PLEASE someone be online...this is LONG

I've reached the very end of my rope with this kid.

AS I am typing this, I think, what exactly is my major malfunction, that I can come up with advice for any person's issues but I can't handle my little demon.

I tried putting her room as basket C. I tried to do a chart, that went absolutely nowhere. Last week, she went to my dad's to go swimming. Before she left, I told her to pick up the room, and whatever she didn't pick up was going to be tossed out. She went through that room and picked and chose what she wanted to keep, and left the rest. Including garbage and clothes (clean and dirty). Which left ME to follow through by picking up all the junk she no longer wanted AND all her trash and tossing it. Plus sorting the clothes she had strewn about the room.

So this week starts with a pretty clean slate. it took no time for tat room to get back to disaster status. As time has gone on, I see that her mess is migrating throughout the home. Trash everywhere. (she eats a granola bar, tosses the wrapper on the floor. she cuts out something on a piece of paper, the scraps are on the floor. She uses a bandaid, the garbage is on the friggin floor) SO I try other methods. No treat (sweet) until you clean up at least part of it. Past is her favorite meal. For 2 days she has asked for it. For 2 days I have told her that she can have it when the room gets picked up.

Now see at MY place, it is a 2 BR apt, and recently we moved my bed into the living room (near the AC) for my breathing purposes, and made what was my room the "den" where she has her desk of art things (trying to decongest her room) and also where my dresser is, along with an area for me to sit and read. Well THAT room is overloaded with her trash too. She has kept it out of the living room (because I spend all my time there) but just throws it in her room.

I don't know how else to get her to clean it. And at this point, it isn't just her cleaning her room. It is her thinking that she runs this home. And because I am so sick, she pretty much does. It is pathetic. I am embarrassed.She is 6. Here is how today went so far:

She woke up long before me (I was having an insomnia problem) so she woke me at 7:30 to tell me that she was going to her friend's house. I said no you are not, it is too early. I made myself sit up, tried to wake up, could not wake all the way up. She says "well can I just go on the patio" I tell her OK. She walks out the door and takes off to the friend's house. Comes back a few minutes later to tell me that they are not up yet Uh, duh? I say look, while you are waiting for them to wake up, let's do this. let's get your room picked up in segments.

She starts by having a meltdown. I have no more patience for that crap. Just because I tell her she has to clean her room, she throws a fit. I can't take that anymore. So I go against everything I know to be right and good and I threaten her with a spanking if the does not stop. After a good 10 more minutes of her having a coronary and my blood ready to boil, she picks up the parts to her dollhouse. Yippee. She announces that she is done. I say ok, take a break, and then we will do some more.

She takes a break. walks in and I can tell she is overwhelmed, the mess is huge. That is why I am breaking it down for her. I say ok, now your dress up clothes. she does. That is one handful, put into a box, and now she wants a break again, I'm like are you kidding me. SO what does she do? pull out her dress up clothes again. and dresses in them. ok, FINE, wear the dressup clothes, just let's get the room picked up, huh? well then the friends come over just as we have to go meet my mom (dropping off my car at the shop) and Tink wants to go play. I tell her no, she starts flipping out and calls me a COW!

Well I saw red. I am screaming at her, and I'm really mad at me. How the &*%$# did I let it get this far? HOW did this kid get control of this house??? at what point did it enter her head that it is okay to call her mom a name like this??? OMFG!!

SO we meet mom, and drop my van off. Now I have ue of mom's car, and my fatass doesn't even fit in it. I am in tears, I can't take this life anymore. I try to calm myself down, we get home, and Tink wants to play out. I tell her no, clean up first. her answer? No. I won't. Just no. ok, I get the timer. Here Tink, clean for 10, rest for 10. "oh can I play first, I want to show you a dance". sure, wrap me around your maipulative finger a bit more. She plays for 10, and when the buzzer goes of, refuses to clean. She is in her room shouting "no no no no no no no no no" SO I tell her she will not leave the room until it is clean.


I can't take this. I'm ready to run.


Well-Known Member
Hi there, hon. I'm ALWAYS I work online so I take my breaks by going on the board. I'll tell you what I'd do, and you can take it with a grain of salt. It's up to you.
Even my easy child kids hated cleaning their rooms and rarely did it without a hasell. To make it easier for myself, I'd let her live in a sty if she doesn't mind. If it's that big a disaster, she probably feels overwhelmed even if it's broken down and the result if she rages and doesn't get it down and YOU suffer because, for whatever reason, she is going to dig in her heels on this. If I was feeling so poorly that I had to sleep by the air conditioner, I would shut the door and let her deal with the dirt. I'm not saying others will agree with me, but a clean room for the kid wouldn't be high on my list of what I'd stress over. My kids will respond to discipline over cleaning up, however they also leave trails of paper and food (ick) etc. The only difference is that your child refuses to pick it up, and while it IS a problem, since it's causing you so much stress, I'd let it go, at least for now. When she finally does have to do it, my guess is an adult will have to stand in the room with her and help her. Clearly, though, she's not stable now and isn't going to listen.
When she blabs about "Daddy" I'd act like she didn't say anything. I'd completely ignore it and not let her use that as a trigger for you.
Finally, I'd do all I could to take care of ME. It's not YOUR fault that this child seems to be running things. She's a very difficult child and anyone raising her would feel the same way. Since she is obviously not doing well, maybe you can take her a new doctor who can perhaps get a fresh perspective on her diagnosis. and treatment. (((Hugs))) and please calm down. A dirty room for now won't be the end of the world.


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Staff member

I'm here. I have to preface this with the fact that I am not a big Explosive Child fan. I would have a hard time letting a 6 year old tell me no and rule the roost.

So I would go with more of a John Rosemond approach. I think he would suggest that you lovingly tell your child, "Of course you can come out and have supper. You'll need you're strength since you will be going right back into your room and stay there until you get it cleaned up. Even if it takes the rest of the night."

And mean it. She comes out for dinner and bathroom breaks only. If she falls asleep, she can have breakfast in the morning and then get back to work on her room. She'll put up a fight but she has to see that you mean what you say.

I can't imagine what she will do as a teenager if you don't get things in control now.

I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time. It must be doubly hard to deal with a difficult child when you aren't feeling well.

Hang in there.



New Member
What a day! I was going to recommend the clean for 5 minutes each hour, but it looks like you've tried that route. I wish I had an answer for you. All of mine listen to me when they know I mean business, except for my youngest difficult child. Hes my hardest.

I'm not much help, but I can offer an ear, I guess an eye, to read. Make some alfredo and lock yourself in the den. It certainly sounds like a comfort food day to me! I know, that doesn't help with Tink, but at least you'll get a break!



New Member
I can't take this. I'm ready to run.

I think I'd go for that option :smile: . Okay, I guess that's not really an option, so I think I'd be tempted to cut down on the amount of "stuff" she has available for making a mess. Is there any way you can box up some of it and store it elsewhere? Then her messes wouldn't be so overwhelming (she probably won't be any more inclined to pick up after herself, but she won't be able to make as big a mess, either).


Well-Known Member
I'd like to add again that, although some would battle this, I don't really think that what a child is doing NOW is indicative of how they will be as a teenager. in my opinion no child decides to be "bad" and in my opinion they become uncontrollable only because they are out of control. If he has bipolar disorder (which I have) right now he's not yet stable and is liekly not very able to comply yet, but that could change with the right medications/treatment. Once he is stable, most likely he/she will listen and be able to comply. That's why I wouldn't work myself into a nervous breakdown over it. If the child isn't stable when he is a teen, no, he won't listen then either, but if he is, he'll be easier to control. If it's bipolar, it's not a discipline problem, it's a medical psychiatric disorder that needs MEDICAL treatment. Decide whether or not you want to fight with the child until you "win" and with these unstable kids, often neither of you win and the kid feels horrible for his rage and you, as a parent, feel like a failure because the child made YOU give in. I wouldn't set myself up for that right now. I'd lay off the room.
I *do* believe in "The Explosive Child." It's not a cure all for long term. It is in my opinion supposed to be used until the child's disorder is treated so that you can have peace in your life. I remember homework wars that went nowhere except to upset both the child and the rest of the family. in my opinion it's not worth it. You aren't letting him "get away" with everything by putting this on hold until he is stable or until YOU are healthy enough to deal with it. One practical bit of advice in my opinion is to let her have her bed and dresser in her room and nothing else. Therefore she cant mess it up. Put her other stuff in storage and give it to her one at a time, then make her put it back. I don't think fighting 24/7 is healthy for anyone...or a good solution. One practical bit of advice Again, this is JMO. (((Hugs)))


Well-Known Member
I REALLY hate to tell you difficult child does exactly the same things and he's almost TWELVE!!!!! Arg....! I wish I had the answer. I have finally gotten to the point of just closing his bedroom door.....and clean it myself when I have the energy and the nerve to walk into it. husband thinks I've lost my mind because I'm a neat-freak and I'm ignoring the slums of his room, but I'm tired of fighting city hall. Even when difficult child does clean it's a really.....mmmmm lousy job (I cleaned that adjective up). It really gets next to me. Truthfully, I wonder what he's thinking! He walks into the living room eating a popscicle and drops the stick into the plant next to the television. Oh yea, the television.....have you looked behind yours lately? There were so many wrappers behind mine that I had to pull the table out to clean it up! It seems nothing I do to try to change him works.

Good luck.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

You're right in breaking the mess down into steps. Once I discovered this concept with Travis, life was alot easier. Oh, and I ALWAYS had to supervise. (even now at 21) Otherwise he gets distracted and you can forget anything getting done.

Now to avoid future messes..... This is what I did with mine. My kids loved those popcicles that come in the long plastic tubes. None ever seemed to make it to the trash when they were done. So I stopped buying them. Snack wrappers/candy trash, I stop buying it. Paper, artsy stuff.... nope don't buy it. (Nichole still makes a mess with it) When either Travis or Nichole dared not clean up their toys, they either got tossed, and if that didn't work.... they got locked away in a storage closet for a very long time. I Would then reintroduce according to how they'd clean up.

Didn't cure the problem, but it did help.



Well I hope things get better. My battles with the bedroom were hard won. That was one thing I wanted was if not spotless at least not crappy. I wanted to see the floor, under the bed (I bought under bed storage so things couldn't be stuffed as easily under there) and closets needed to not be the recipient of everything either. It was a hard won battle. Now that difficult child 1 (by far the worst with rooms) she was having a problem passing her room checks. I told her fine no one buys her ANYTHING ELSE to go into it. Staff backed it up. She got it back under control. Now I know that there is a big age difference but I think the battle is still the same. If this is a battle you have picked then stick to it. difficult child 2 spent many a day in his room until he realized I meant business. easy child has always been okay with her room (unless a vacuum is involved because she is literally phobic of them).

It is hard when you don't feel well. If this is your battle I say stick to it. Then you will be one step closer to letting her know it is you not her in the lead.

This is all of course just my opinion. Hang in there no matter what you choose.

See, that's just it.

She took all her Barbies (granted, they were all hand me downs and nasty to start with) ans over time went from cutting their hair to drawing on their faces to leaving them out in the rain to pulling all their heads off. And when we throw out her trashed toys, and I remark on what a shame it is that she destroyed her toys, her response is "oh I will get new ones for my birthday". It's the sense of entitlement, it's her lack of responsibility. I tried that one once too. She wanted a pet, a bunny or something. I said "show me that you are responsible enough to keep your room clean, and we'll see about the responsibility of a pet." YEAH. that went far.

So since I first posted, she was in her room, on her bed, saying "I CAN'T clean, I am MAKING my BED!!!" Like she has EVER made her bed before. I went outside to cool off for a minute. When I came in she was asleep. She napped a bit and woke up hungry. So fine, she is having her supper now. And I will use Kathy's suggestion. Back in the room she will go.

I SO feel like I created this monster, and I do not know how to deactivate it. It's really not the room, it's her thinking that she is in charge, and she really does. The room is but a symbol.


New Member
Hey Kitty,

I'm online alot, especially @ Myspace because of the Child Bipolar site, so if you want to ever message me there, feel free.

I didn't read all the responses, so I'm sorry if I'm redundant, although knowing how I am, I doubt that will be the case.

Here is my opinion. I don't mean to offend you, so if that happens, I apologize.

First off, I don't do Ross Greene. Keeping the room clean is obviously not a basket C, it's driving you insane. You want the room clean.

The day she was to go swimming ~ I would not have let her go.
I would not give her anything to eat in her room, ever.
I would take every single thing in that room that she enjoys and put it away and allow her to earn things, bit by bit, as she earns them back.
The patio? You told her she couldn't go out. The answer is no, it's no, not yeah, ok.

You need some help to not only teach her how to listen and respect your rules, but how to get her on the right track so she is doing what you want. I don't know if you can try parenting classes, or Wrap Around Services or something in your area.

The road you're on is not going to get better. Doesn't matter what medications you use, medications don't make a kid listen.

If this was me, I'd spend a morning cleaning the room. I'd remove EVERYTHING but the bed, dresser and clothing. EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO NOT LET HER HAVE FOOD IN THERE. Period. There is no debate. No discussion. It's a rule. End of story.

Also, spend time with her, in the room, showing her EXACTLY what you want picked up, cleaned, up, how and when. Then she can't sayh she doesn't know how, she doesn't understand, whatever.

Give her a chart so that she has to pick up daily. Then, as she follows the chart and picks up, you give her stuff back. If she doesn't follow the chart, she gets nothing.

Yeah, this is harsh, but you know what, all advice I give is what I've done with my kids. And I had, at one time, THREE kids that didn't listen to a damn thing I ever said. And now, when I tell them to do something, ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of them, including Dylan, they know they better move.


New Member
I try to calm myself down, we get home, and Tink wants to play out. I tell her no, clean up first. her answer? No. I won't. Just no. ok, I get the timer. Here Tink, clean for 10, rest for 10. "oh can I play first, I want to show you a dance". sure, wrap me around your maipulative finger a bit more. She plays for 10, and when the buzzer goes of, refuses to clean. She is in her room shouting "no no no no no no no no no" SO I tell her she will not leave the room until it is clean.

And right there is why she is how she is. You told her no, Kitty. The answer was no. Walk away from her. You're getting into battles with a 6 year old over rules that you have in place. If you can't stand your ground, she will manipulate you from now until ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Janna ~ I like how you think. :rofl:

I think we are the only two non Ross Greene fans on the board. Have you read anything by John Rosemond? I wish I had found him when my girls were young.



You could have been describing Wynter at that age. Finally, at the age of 12, it's gotten better.

Her room would be so bad you couldn't see the carpet or even open the door all the way. And it didn't take weeks or even days to get that way; it was a matter of hours. Initially, I cleaned it myself. But after several 4 hour cleaning sessions just to have it destroyed again, I was done with that. The thing is, it becomes overwhelming. It was overwhelming for ME...there was no way she could do it all by herself. So, break it down like you did and supervise. (I didn't say it wasn't frustrating OR meltdown free...sigh...) When I was so sick before the heart attack, I just didn't have the stamina for it. Her room was disgusting. She would lose brand new clothes. The kid never had socks. And you know what, that's called natural consequences. I had a hard time coming up with any sympathy when she had a hamper in her room, I have a hamper in my room and I did the laundry. She cleaned her room a few months ago (took 14 hours) and found 24 pairs of socks.

I would take some of the stuff out of her room. I did this with my daughter at one point. If she has so much stuff that it can get so messy like that, then she has too much. Also, if she really valued it, she would take care of it and not leave it all over the place. I would make a rule of no toys outside her bedroom without permission...and then only one at a time and she has to put that away before getting another.

As far as the way she talks to you....don't engage. Completely ignore it. She's looking for a reaction and she's getting it. I also wouldn't be so inclined to do anything for her if she's bad-mouthing.

I have wondered the same things about my did she get control of the house? My son never talked to me that way or engaged in the behaviors that she did.

(((HUGS))) It's so much harder when you're sick.


New Member
No, Kathy ~ I'll have to check into him.

I have been talking to alot of mothers of Bipolar children off this board for some time now. I don't think any, or at least the majority, don't come here.

It's interesting how ALOT of the ones I talk to don't have the issues that I see here. And many of the teens I speak to, they do their chores, homework, etc, with no issues.

I think in cases like this, again, no insult to Kitty, that it's parenting. Not bad parenting, but lack of knowledge. I've been there. I was right where she is, with three of them. I was tired, didn't want to deal with the tantrum, blah, etc.

And I turned all that around.

I'm sorry, but if I tell you to clean your room, I don't care if your Bipolar/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/ADHD/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)/Schizophrenic/Paranoid/Suicidal, I told you to clean your room.

And for a 6 year old, that should take all of 10 minutes.

The kid is running the mom. Silly. She needs help, and this, to me, is not an "ODD" thing. She just needs someone to teach her how to take charge.

I will look into him. Maybe you could PM me the name(s) of the book(s)?



I do have to say that my daughter no longer controls the house. A LOT of it had to do with how poorly I was feeling and I just didn't have the stamina to deal with it. Because it does take a lot. I've been known to say that my daughter just :censored2: the life right out of me. She can certainly take all the energy out of me.


Well-Known Member
You two are not the only two non greene fans on the board. I am another one who says that you need to get control of her now. If you cannot control her at six you will never control her at 16.

I would do just as Janna said.


Well-Known Member
Wow, does this all sound familiar!
I hate to say it but some of this is easy child behavior.
The meltdowns, however, are the difficult child part, in my humble opinion.

Yes, it is overwhelming. I never realized how overwhelming until we completely stripped our difficult child's room and instead of having a meltdown he said, "I like it better this way."

Well, some of it is overstimulation, I'll grant you that. And spoiling the kid half to death.
Some of it is not knowing where to begin. So when you told her to begin with-the dress-up clothes, that was precise and concrete. (I had to laugh at the part where she started putting them on, though. Sorry!)
I also had to laugh at the part about drawing on the dolls and taking their heads off. When I was a kid, my little sister used to take all her dolls' clothes off the min. she got them out of the box! Go figure.

My difficult child always says he has to take a break after he's cleaned for 4.2 min. He will make every excuse in the book.

I have to stand there. I figure that's okay, since I have a bad back, and at least I'm not bending over repeatedly.

Yes, I agree with-the others, you've got to cut down on her stuff.
She gets two Barbies and one Ken, just so they can have relationship issues. :smile: But if she's got a pile of Barbies, she's got too many. Put them in a container and put them away. When she's ruined the ones she has an quits playing with-them, make HER throw them away and pull out the old ones. Tell her she cannot have any new ones. Period.

One thing that parents in our group started a cple of yrs ago because of this very issue, was to put on the birthday party invitations, "No gifts. Please bring a bag of dog food or treats that we can bring to the SPCA." All the kids loved going to the SPCA, which also has a petting zoo, parents still got to spend the conscience $, and homeless dogs got one more day of food and no euthanasia.

Just some thoughts.

Good luck. I feel for you!
That's it, that's the answer right there. This happened over the summer.

This summer has knocked me on my kiester. I am SO sick. And she has learned the fine art of manipulation.

She knows the rules, no food in her room. She out and out defies me. WTF do I do? I want to beat her sometimes. .

What I need is an other body here to help me clear her room out. I am not capable of doing it.

SO, she finished her dinner, and tried bargaining with me every way till Sunday to get out of going back in the room. She lost, and she is in there. And knows she is not allowed to come out until it is done. Of course she is trying to engage me. "Look mom, I'm not cleaning. Look mom, I'm just sitting here brushing my hair." I'm ignoring her.

OH WAIT. Now she CUT her hair.


New Member
I don't know what your psychiatrists office can offer you, but I'd call them Monday morning. Ask them if they have Family Based, Wrap Around, something of that nature.

I did Wrap Around with success. They send someone into your home for a set amount of hours per week to work on behavioral modification. That person can probably help with cleaning the room, etc, and getting the charts in place.

Be warned, you may get offended. The guy I had come in, he gave me a whole list of stuff that was wrong with me LOL! This was 4 years ago. But you know, he was right. I sat down and thought about it and knew I had to change too, not just my kids. And I did it, but it was really hard, Kitty. She didn't learn to be disrespectful in a week, the charts and behaviors aren't going to change in a week. I had the TSS in from Wrap Around for a full 12 months. Yes, he was a PITA sometimes, but in the long run, it was worth it.

Sorry she's giving you such grief.