Different punisment ideas...time outs etc.

Canada
January 17, 2007 4:45pm CST
Hello all. I have a 4 year old and a 7 year old. My oldest isn't mouthy but HATES to clean up. I find myself repeating that I want the room cleaned sometimes 30 times. I've even tried to have a race..EG. Let's see who can clean faster! You clean your room and I'll clean the rest of the house and we'll see who can have a fastest cleaner star! Well, I must have about a million stars now :( Also, my 4 year old is going through a HUGE attitude change. She is often saucy, often just rolls her eyes etc. People say, you have to be tougher on them! You have to let them know who's boss! while others say, Don't be so rough on them. I'm thinking that if I was any more strict it would cross the line. So for those of you that have been through this, what did you find worked for you? I'm desperate to find something to work. Thanks to all who respond :)
9 people like this
60 responses
@bobbyjoe143 (1287)
17 Jan 07
i have an 8 year old son, and i find bribary works wonders, all parents know that children start wanting things, whether it's possesion, things their own way, or your time. if you play games with your kids, then tell them you will play a certain game if they do this thing for you first. if you buy the sweets, then have a jar of sweets in the kitchen, ask them to do the thing you want them to do, with the promise of a sweet afterwards. it seems to work for me :) good luck
4 people like this
• Canada
17 Jan 07
Thanks for the response. I have indeed tried it, but it seemed as though the expected and needed to be bribed to do anything after a bit..so I stopped that, and explained that they shouldn't expect anything, but if they got something it was because I appreciated their help around the house etc.
2 people like this
• Canada
17 Jan 07
I had that concern - about the kids expecting to be bribed/rewarded for things they should do anyways. I talked with our therapist, and he reminded me that we ALL get rewarded for doing the things we dont't really want to do...it's called a paycheck. It's not really so bad to teach kids that there are going to be things in their life they don't want to do, but they have to do them anyways. As adults, they can offer themselves rewards ... ie: when I have studied for an hour straight I'll make a hot chocolate .... which is actually a good skill for them to have.
• Canada
17 Jan 07
Thanks for the response. When someone says reward, most children think of something big, mine often ask, well mom, if we clean up our room a bit, can we have bikes? WHOA!..lol The hot chocolate thing is making me think of different things in the house that I could use as rewards, but in a simpler way. Thanks again :)
1 person likes this
@nmw2005 (1198)
• United States
18 Jan 07
growing up, if I didn't clean up toys, after a few times of asking they got tossed in a bag and I had to earn them back.
@korek222 (703)
• Poland
18 Jan 07
this sounds nice cause children will have to learn the responsability for what they do :)
2 people like this
@jenalyn (675)
• United States
18 Jan 07
This is a great idea, and if you buy new toys or anything, they shoud go in that bag until it is earned.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jan 07
Great idea! Thanks :)
@missytia (387)
• Australia
17 Jan 07
I have a 6yr old daughter that has a problem cleaning her room and also has major attitude. I just tell her that if I have to get in there and clean her room, I will end up throwing stuff out and then she won't have to worry about mess as she won't have anything to make a mess. I also tell her she can't have friends over to play in her room if it's a mess. I found with my daughter that I have to always be 2 steps ahead of her with punishments. What I mean is that I have continually change them. I used to do time outs, but they just don't work anymore. I just take things away from her now and the longer she carries on about it, the longer I keep it. I wish you the best of luck and I know how frustrating it can be.
2 people like this
• Canada
17 Jan 07
Thank you so much. I have also been through the time outs and am starting to take their things away for periods of time. They just got a TV in their room for Christmas, and they hate having that taken away just as much as I hate lugging it out, but it works for a bit of time anyways.
• Canada
17 Jan 07
I can really relate to your comment about having to be two steps ahead of your daughter. It's like that with my boys, too. What motivates them today won't necessarily motivate them tomorrow. For a while, trading ten stickers for a dollar was a huge motivation. When they were less interested in money, I started to keep a treat bag ... with small toys, hockey cards, etc ... and they were once again re-motivaed to trade ten stickers for a treat. I never allow playdates at our house if my sons room is a mess ... which works well. And - I gave up on any expectation that things should be sorted into the right bins. I used to want him to put Lego in the Lego bin, blocks with blocks, etc. But now I just ask him to get it all up off the floor into whatever bins so I can vacuum...which he is much more capable of doing. I occasiaonally go in and sort the bins again, but for the most part, I am just happy that his room is staying clean without the fuss.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I think we all start off thinking that maybe, just maybe, if we show them how to sort, they can do it too..well, that just doesn't work..lol. I have bins (as stated before), everywhere in their room. Some contain everything from crayons to the odd sock that I thought magically disappeared, and some are kept sorted, like their arts and crafts drawers. As long as it is off of the floor and looks decently tidy, I am happy. Now just to find their newest motivation to do so :P
@judyt00 (3504)
• Canada
17 Jan 07
perhaps you are expecting too much from your kids. their main job in life is toplay, and learn, not do housework and follow strict rules. In order to help your daughters learn to clean their room, you have to first show them how, help them do it and then let them try on their own. reward them every time they do something properly even if its just GOOD JOB. next time you want your daughter's room clean, grab 2 bins and have a contest to see who can pick up the most toys. and let her win once in awhile. Andstop expecting perfection, what a 7 year oldthinksis clean does notcompareto what an adult does. As for the eye rolling, that comes about when the parent is always demanding things, or yelling.Its "there she goes again, that crazy lady" And really, isn't it easier to just close the bedroom doors instead of yelling and repeating things over and over and then just winding up doing them yourself because its not good enough for YOUR standards
2 people like this
• Canada
17 Jan 07
WOW..well first off, no where did I say that I DEMANDED or YELLED at them. Second of all, they have been shown a million times how to clean their room and I have toy bins everywhere for them. I don't expect perfection, and nowadays, no, their main job in life is to learn as well as play..learn in school, learn at home. Parents set examples for their children and by not asking them to help you out, you allow them the room to walk over you, which I sure as hell won't. You, my dear, have to stop making these assumptions about my expectations of them. I know they aren't bloody well Molly Maids, but they should be able to pick up a few toys and put them in the bins. They do get rewarded for a good job, any time they do anything even near a good job I praise them and they know that they did well. My advice to you is to not insult people on here, and as for "crazy lady", you really need to stop and READ what is being written before preaching about something that isn't even relevant.
2 people like this
18 Jan 07
I agree that children should be taught these things early. My son is 14 and I STILL have to ask a million times to get him to tidy his room. Even then, it seems like the only way to get him to do it is to threaten him with punishments that I really don't want to carry out like no seeing his girlfriend over the weekend. I think if I had found something that worked when he was younger it wouldn't be such a struggle now. I have read in a book about parenting that children actually like to be given some responsibilities as it makes them feel grown-up and useful. Bear in mind also that it is only in our very priviledged culture that childrens main job in life is to play. In many societies, children have to work at least some of the time. It is really important that children learn about responsibility and respect. You are right that a 7 year old's idea of clean is different but when my son was younger, I would sometimes get him to wash the dishes and then redo them quietly when he wasn't looking! I knew he couldn't do it properly but it was more important that he was learning. I definitely don't think closing the bedroom door is any kind of a solution. Certainly when your child has you furious it is best to walk away and calm down but doing that because they won't do what you've asked is teaching them that if they ignore you for long enough they won't have to do what you say.
• United States
18 Jan 07
I have an 11 yr old like your 4 yr old. you let me know if you figure it out. My 12 yr old is just like your 7 yr old. She never cleans up, and is constantly told to do it. The best thing to do is make rules and stick to them
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I totally agree that rules and constant rules are what a child needs. Let's face it, it's a cruel world out there and we need to start early to instill values and life lessons in our children. We need to prepare them to work hard in life and show them that when they follow the rules, they reap the benefits.
• United States
18 Jan 07
Since I'm only 16, I think I can give you some better insight. The bribery works very well. I just got out of that stage myself. When I was little, I used to always want items. Whether it was candy, a few cents, to stay up later, or not have to eat those pesky vegatables during dinner, if I was offered something ocassionally, i was pretty content. The only thing is, with the reward system, don't spoil your kids. Don't give them rewards all the time, just maybe one-twice a week. Hope this helps!
• Canada
18 Jan 07
Thanks so much. It's great to have insight from someone who is on the other end. I definitely don't want to have to "bribe" my kids until they are 16, but the offering rewards once a week may be a start anyways. Thanks again.
@sylvrrain (662)
• United States
18 Jan 07
I know exactly what you are going through. I don't know if this idea will work with your child, but it sure worked with mine. I gave my son a couple of hours to pick up the toys in his room, when it wasn't done, I did it myself. I took the toys and put them in a box in my closet. In order for them to get one back, he had to do a good deed. Those good deeds could be just about anything. Reading a story to his little sister, helping to set the table, holding the door for you, saying thank you, etc. You would not believe the things that got accomplished. I always gave him a hug and told him I loved him for whatever he did. When that started getting old, and it will, I told him how proud I was of him when he was doing the good deeds. I also let him know that when I had to put the toys in the box, I was disappointed. My son did not like to make me "sad", so things did improve around the house. It actually got to the point where he turned to a "neat freak" when he got older. His room ended up being one of the most organized in the house. He lives with his girlfriend now, and she even comments on how much of a help he is around the house. As for the four year old rolling her eyes and being "saucy", I feel she is just seeing how far she can go. If you respond to it in a negitive way, she knows it is working. Just ignore that behavior, when she finds that it is not getting a response, she will come up with something else. Children are very smart, they will try anything to get a rise out of us. Good or bad. I wish you the best of luck with your children. Parenting can be as difficult as it is rewarding.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
Thank you very much for your response. I will definitely try the box trick and also playing on their sympathies for mommy..it sounds cruel stated that way, but my children don't like to see me anything but happy either, and it's worth a shot. I won't overplay it..I'll just do like you said, say that I'm disappointed. And yes, parenting has it's moments where I don't know how I manage to have a hair left on my head, but when they cuddle up to me and say those magic words, Mommy, I love you..well, do I really have to say anything else? lol. Thanks again.
• United States
18 Jan 07
I have a 5 year old son and a 21 montth old son. my five year old does not like to listen or be told what to do. what seems to work for him is losing priveleges. Such as if yo dont do this or that, or listen, behave etc.. then you dont get to outside and ride your bike today with your friends. (this is one of his favorite things to do.)Or he gets toys, tv shows, computer games etc..taken away from him. You could try telling yoru child if he doesnt clean his room ,you will, and you will use a garbage bag, and put them all in the garbage, or tell him you will give them to the neighbor down the street. My son hates knowing his friend would have his toys..lol!! Maybe he does have too many toys in his room, and some do need to be put up, so he doesnt make such a mess with it. these are some ideas!!
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
Thank you. I was actually thinking on putting some shelving as a border around the upper part of one wall so that they can pick out toys that they really don't use alot to put up there. That way, they are still there for them to see and have for another time, but they are out of the way.
@kareng (7986)
• United States
18 Jan 07
Kids - Identical twins.
Try to turn it around to where the child gets to make the decision. Ask..Do you want to pick up in the den or your room first?Do you want to clean your room before or after lunch?By letting them make the decision, it gives them a sense of control. You have to word the questions to where you will get what you want either way. Good luck.
• United States
18 Jan 07
Wow that is one very cute picture you have there!
@vivasuzi (4126)
• United States
18 Jan 07
That is good advice. One thing that bugged me growing up was when parents would say "do this now" when I had planned to eat first or something. I always thought, it's not that I don't want to do it, I just didn't want to do it right now. So I will take your advice whenever I have kids b/c I think that would work :)
@jolanda33 (721)
• Netherlands
18 Jan 07
i think you are the parent, and you decide what to do! maybe you can try a sticker system! ask him what he realy likes to do, or want to have as a gift! then give him 10 stickers, and everytime he listens, or help you with cleaning he get's one! when he he doing something ba he have to give you one back. as soon he has ten stickers, you give him a gift, or do something with him he realy likes! or another idea: make a box with the toys(stuff) he realy likes, if he don't listen you take one out and hide it from him! no more then 10 toys! so if he listens the box sta full, if he don't it is getting empty! and give one back if he does something good! and ofcourse you can have a time out place! i use the hallway! as soon as my daughter don't listen to me i give her two warnings, at the second one i tell her that if it happens for the thirth time she must go to the hallway! she is two years so i let her wait for 2 minutes to get back into the room, and i tell her why she was standing there , right now only saying that she is going to the hallway is enough! ofcourse she will try things out but it works! just be strong if they leave that time outplace, put them back until they stay, even it takes 30 times! good luck!
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jan 07
Thanks so much :)
@shooie (4989)
• United States
18 Jan 07
Well when we were growing up after being told the second time if they had to tell us again we got a swift swat to the tush. I mean it didn't hurt but we knew they meant business and we better move or another swat or two was on the way. I believe in spanking. There is a difference between spanking and beating.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I totally agree. There is a difference between a spanking and beating. When I have to go as far as a tap on the behind, it's not their bums that hurt, it's their feelings.
@korek222 (703)
• Poland
18 Jan 07
Good punishement idea is to give them a chair and make them sit still for like 10 minutes if they did something rude :) And about cleaning room i cant help you since my parents never even managed to convince me to this one so i cant think of anything that could help. Or maybe you can say - if you want to go out your room have to be clean :) And if the children turns out to be extremlly rude you can spank them ( not too hard - just once to show them what is extremlly not right!)
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jan 07
I do have the "time out" chair in play, and it works only once in a blue moon now. Before it was the scariest place on earth, but now it's just a rest, or so it seems.
@pookie92 (1714)
• United States
18 Jan 07
I have one suggestion for you that worked for my 7 year old. A general command of "clean the room" is a lot for a little kid to digest. Try to break it down. First say, "pick those toys up and put them in the toy box" then after that is done try "Ok, now make your bed" and "those clothes belong in the laundry". If you make it smaller tasks at a time, you may have a lot better success than just a general request to clean the room. They may not know where to start, expecially if it is really a mess.
• Canada
19 Jan 07
Thanks so much :)
• United States
18 Jan 07
I have found with my children that when they refuse to clean up if I come in the room with a trash bag, they start cleaning right away. But, I will say if you are going to threaten to toss out their toys then you have to be completly prepared to go all the way through. Kids are very smart and know when you are being serious and when you are making an empty threat. I made a believer out my kids when I first did it I threw out a small grocery bag of toys and it went out with the next days garbage. I have had no issue since then. As for you daughter I have nothing my 4 yr old is a little snooty princess at times I ususally just look at her say I don't like they way you are treating me, and I leave the room. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Jan 07
I'm doing the trash bag thing tonight to see how well it works :)
• United States
18 Jan 07
I have a brother and he hates cleaning his room so my mom who has just bought him something new like a small dvd player (not for cleaning his room mind you) or a new toy or even something old like his x-box. She will take it out of the room and not let it go in there untill it is clean and she will tell him that. And he cleans it because he wants the object that has been taken so that he can use/play with it. As for your Saucy 4 year old, whenever she becomes rude in rolling her eyes and such tell her that is rude and tell her that untill she stops doing it, that you will not help her with what she wanted. I have a 3 year old sister who I've pretty much raised since she was 6mo, who likes to get Saucy and sometimes I get her hands to remind her what she is doing is wrong but often I talk to her about what she's doing and in order for me to help her what she needs to do. On a last minute note...though it sounded like it I'm not trying to tell you what to do. Sorry if it came across that way.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
Lol..no worries. These are your opinions and it sounds like great advice to me, not bossy at all. So thank you for everything :)
@missy24t (43)
• United States
18 Jan 07
When it comes to cleaning rooms, my children get one chance to clean it. They have a wall of bins in every room. Each bin holds a specific type of toy. They have one hour to clean their rooms. Whatever is not put away or in the wrong bins is mine. They have learned really quick to clean it up. They have lost several several toys due to not listening and cleaning their rooms when they are told. My children know that the their toys are priveledges and that by law a parent is only to supply a house, a bed, clothing, food and education. Beyond that everything is a priveledge. So I have no problem taking toys away. And my kids learned that really quick. Also they should clean their room once a day. A lot of kids run into problems with cleaning rooms when parents only make them clean once a week. By the end of the week there are probably so many toys out that it is overwhelming. So make them clean it up once a day and they will notice that mosr of the time they can be done in 15 minutes. Good luck
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I agree that it should be an everyday chore. Can you just imagine if we didn't do our "grownup chores" for a week? EEK! I sure wouldn't want to live in here..lol.
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
18 Jan 07
What I did with my sons was to with hold their meal until they had picked things up. Some people think this is cruel or illegal but you are not stating that you will never feed them, you are saying "you can have your food after you clean up". Another things to do, if you cannot stand the thought of delaying food, is to throw away anything that is not put away, and do not buy another to replace it. You can tell them, as they watch the toys hit the trash bin, that there will not be toys all over the palce and ovbiously they don't care. If "Santa" brings them most of their toys, then your next Christmas should be alot cheaper, because you are n't going to buy them more than one or two toys each. Be sure to follow through. Don't fall into that "but I want them to have...."syndrome. Thing is, the room is never going to be quiet as clean as you want it to be. Realize that they don't really own the room, so their motivation to have it "nice" is not going to be the same as when they have their own home. If you don't provide material for clutter then you are teaching them to appreciate the things they have, hopefully, but more importantly, you are managing your stress in an adult fashion.
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I agree 100% . The "I want them to have..." syndrome is horrible. I myself want them to have everything they NEED, love, support, a good home and a warm hug. Things like that are worth more to me. I am not floating in money and don't provide them with alot, and maybe this should be my next discussion, but their great grandmother is always sending them over stuff. I ask her not to, I get to the point of telling her that the next box of junk that comes over is going directly into the garbage etc. But she finds ways around it, she will send it to my mother to give to the kids. Hmm..yes, I am going to start a discussion on that one.
• United States
18 Jan 07
I just went through this last nigh with my girls ages 12 and 7 they share a room and I too am always repeating myself clean your room clean your room I had it last night so I calmly called them to come to me for a chat,I said ok girls you like having your room right?of course its a yes.I say then we need a change now I have warned you,repeated over and over and this is it.tonight you get in that room and get it spotless and organized,if it does not continue to stay this way,I am going to pack up everything,I will allow you your outfits daily of my choosing,take down your beds,allow you a blanket and pillow at night but all you will have is a floor in this room and nothing more,so its your choice girls,what do you prefer when friends come over your room or a floor?my 7 yr old cried and my 12 yr old was scared.this morning I over heard them before school say come on lets double check our room!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YEAH I hope this works
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
Chalk one up for mom! lol.
@coolcatzz (1589)
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I would be firm. I have an 18 year old son and a 9 year old daughter and we were always strict as far as manners and stuff. I think you have to punish age appropriately. When they are older you take something away. Like no phone, no tv or no video games. Something like that. When they are younger I would do time outs. Do you ever watch SuperNanny. I think she has some great ideas. But as far as your 4 year old I would nip it in the bud right now because it'll only get worse if you allow it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I LOVE Super Nanny! I have cured those grocery shopping trip fits of my oldest with her television help..lol. She used to fling herself down (she was around 4) and scream until everyone thought I was killing her, and then of course, little sister had to follow suit. Meanwhile Mommy is standing at the cart, all different shades of red and nearly in tears because I felt so helpless. But since then I've given them "mini jobs" and write them each out a list of 2 things they have to pick up while there. They really love getting groceries now, and I actually don't mind it :)
@tw99384 (260)
• Jodhpur, India
18 Jan 07
It's hard to bring up children. I have two daughters one is 12 and the other is 4 years old. My elder daughter always tells me why is it that I don't tell my younger daughter to do the things and has to be told atleast upteen times to do something. I think every where the comments are the same. People tell me too to be strict and when I am strict they tell me not to be so strict with them. I too am desperate to find something that works!
• Canada
18 Jan 07
I've had a mini breakthrough! I hope that you look back onto your response to read this. Just a minute ago, I looked into their room which can only be described as toys EVERYWHERE! So I asked my 4 year old if she could go in and pick up 5 toys, and to make sure she counted each one (she is finally getting into the stage where she enjoys counting), and sure enough, she went in and you could hear her saying, 1 book, 2 books, 3 books..and so on. Hmmm..maybe this is a very good thing. :)
@remaster74 (4067)
• Greece
18 Jan 07
I wouldn't dream of saying a command and my son execute it at once. So, I clean up the room or the house but I have him to help me. You see the best thing for the kids is to see that they have some how equal responsibilities with the grown ups. So, I often challenge him to help me clean. If I want him to gather his toys, I pretend that I try to do it myself but my back is in pain and I can;t do it, so I tell him "Angel, please, my back is in pain. would you llike to help mammy gather your toys?" And boom, he does that instantly.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
Great idea. I agree with the command bit for sure. They do like to feel like equals and I try my best to do that in different ways. I give them reasonable choices for their ages and I never tell them what to do. I simply ask if they could help me by picking up their barbies and putting them away. Then an hour after that I ask for their books to be put away, but allow them to choose books that they will read during our "quiet time" before bed. But the sore back bit I have not tried..I will try that later today. Thanks so much!
• United States
18 Jan 07
Darling.. I have 6 kids.. 20,18,17,13,8,and 5 the youngest 2 are boys and lets me tell you something.. In the 20 years I have been a parent, there is nothing you can do at those ages to make them do anything if they dont want to.. No matter what you try their going to refuse, give attitude, etc. It is just part of being a child.. It has nothing to do with bad parenting either.. Its just a fact of life you have to breath through. lol.. Dont get to upset when they dont do as told.. It doesnt work. They dont care. lol Just tell them nicely and then basically you will end up doing it yourself. Thats what Mommies do.. ;-)
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 07
WOW..well first off, kudos to you for the 6 children. And oh I have learned that lesson myself many times, and yes, I go in after them to pick up what is leftover everynight..lol. That is indeed what mommies do, but I'm trying to find fun ways for them to be incorporated into it. I know that I'm not a bad parent for sure. I don't think I am the best either, but I do MY best and I don't abuse my kids, and they are given everything they need in life.