Your thoughts, what to do?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Christy, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. Christy

    Christy New Member

    difficult child is arguing about everything these days. His typical response to everything is an angry no followed by a tantrum if you push him.

    Picking up his toys is one of those areas. He just refuses to do it. For days, legos were scattered all over the family room and kitchen. Walking in your barefeet was like crossing a minefield. Everytime I pushed him to clean up he would argue that he was working on something. Now he has a playroom on the lower level and he could leave his legos out all the time but he likes to be on the main floor. Sending him to his room for refusing to clean up usually netted a promise that he will do it followed by a half hearted attempted then quitting. Trying to make a game out of it, like let's see who can fill our bucket with legos the fastest, didn't help either. Telling him no tv until the room was clean just meant that he didn't watch tv. I offered to play Wii with him when he finished cleaning up the floor, his solution was to push everything to the sides. He did not understand why I was unhappy with this. So after the third day when he went to bed, I cleaned up alll the legos and took them downstairs to the playroom and banished them form the main level.

    Now he's building with k'nex and other toys and things are a becoming a mess again. I am trying to get him to clean up as he goes. He won't. He is currently in his room, which has nothing in it for him to play with, until he is willing to clean up.

    The question... Do I give him another chance to clean up or just take these things away. If I do this then there will be nothing left upstairs for him to play with and he will have the option of playing in the playroom or not at all.

    He just announced that he is going to clean up. I set the timer for fifteen minutes and told him if he wasn't finished then he was going back to his room for the rest of the day.

    I know, this sounds like small potatoes compared to the bigger issues we are struggling with but I was looking for some expert opinions.

  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    The rule was that anything left on the floor at bedtime was picked up and put in a box in the closet. The boys had to earn those toys back. difficult child wouldn't have noticed if they were gone if I don't tell him but he hates losing his "things". It helped to clean up the room and teach them to value their toys.
    Make the clean up specific. My difficult child doesn't know what to do with the words "clean up your room". I tell him "trash in the trash can, books on the book shelf, dirty clothes in the hamper, etc,etc." He needs specific instructions.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Christy, I think it's really a matter of what you can and can't live with. My kids, too, have a basement playroom, and I don't care how messy it gets (and at age 15, my son still plays with Legos and has pieces scattered all over the playroom). But our rule is that if toys travel to the main floor, they are moved back downstairs at the end of the day. If the kids don't move them downstairs, the offending toys are confiscated for one day.

    I put cleaning up toys in Basket B (a la Ross Greene) -- something the kids and I work out togehter. in my humble opinion, it's just not worth a meltdown.
  4. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    It's not small potaoes ;)

    I have a very small house. I also provide childcare, so toys have always been an issue around my house.....tripping, stepping on, cleaning up. I learned quite a bit over the past 8 years about "clean-up" time. All of the children I babysit for have pretty much cleaned up without more than one reminder. difficult child, on the other hand, has been a tornado from day one. Mess, mess, mess & now says someone else made the mess when it's time to clean up. Runs away. Tantrum.

    I started throwing out everything. I know it sounds awful, but....if the stuff isn't here, it doesn't have to be cleaned up! I'm finished babysitting all of the little ones now that school is out & plan on giving almost ALL of the toys away. Thing difficult child has never stopped long enough to actually build, play a game, color....anything like that (until the past few days-different story-medication change). So, my suggestion would be to bag it all up when he doesn't clean it up. Hide it. If he enjoys his toys & misses them....maybe he can earn them back one by one.
  5. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Thanks for your input. I have decided to take away toys that are left on the floor after he goes to bed each night. I won't throw them out but I will make them off limits in the family room. He can still play with them in the playroom downstairs, perhaps that will be incentive to play in the playroom where stuff can stay out on the floor as long as he'd like.

    He did actually come downstairs and clean up this time :) Of course it's an ongoing thing and being asked to cleanup (or get ready for bed, brush his teeth, take a bath, get dressed, eat dinner, etc...) still leads to an angry outburst. HOWEVER not as destructive as a month ago so that's progress.

    On another note, We added back his furniture in his bedroom this weekend with the exception of his loftbed. He is happy to have his dresser and desk back and his mattress off the floor. Hopefully we can add some other things like books and display items but I don't quite trust his temper that far just yet.