Question: My daughter’s room is a mess. Any suggestions? Hi Maria, My daughter’s room is always a mess. Emily is 9-years old and I feel she should be able to clean up on her own by now. I’m tired of nagging her…lately, when I do, it ends up in a fight. Any suggestions? (I am a mom of four, so I can’t be the only one cleaning house!) Kathy A, Minneapolis, MN Response from Maria Gracia Dear Kathy, That’s a great question. As the mother of a daughter, I understand where you are coming from. You are right that your daughter should learn to clean up after herself and are also right that a 9-year-old is capable. Just think how efficiently most kids can operate a computer or tablet! They are pretty smart. Here is a strategy that works: Kathy’s Job: Determine your expectations. How often you want it cleaned? Take schedules into account. Between school, homework, chores, sports, and lessons, Emily does need some downtime. Does it really need to be cleaned daily? Would once or twice a week be okay with you? Decide what you can live with…rather than what is perfect. Set a routine based on that. Kathy and Emily Together: Sit down in a calm moment and work together to make a list of what needs to be done to “clean” and when. Does it mean changing the sheets? Running the vacuum? Taking laundry to the washer? Putting toys in bins? Create a written checklist and include the day each task is to be started and completed. Emily’s Job: Emily’s job is to follow the checklist as previously determined. When Mom checks the room, she’ll only tell Emily to check the list again, rather than nag and nag. This puts the responsibility back on Emily to find and correct tasks. Be sure to praise your daughter for a job well done (even if it’s not exactly how you would have done it) by telling her she is becoming quite responsible and that you are proud of her. If she’s still having trouble getting things done, make some rewards dependent on completion of the task, like, “no phone until task a, b, and c are done” or “you can certainly hang out with your friends, but not until your task list for the day is complete, or 50% done, etc.”
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Question: My daughter’s room is a mess. Any suggestions? Hi Maria, My daughter’s room is always a mess. Emily is 9-years old and I feel she should be able to clean up on her own by now. I’m tired of nagging her…lately, when I do, it ends up in a fight. Any suggestions? (I am a mom of four, so I can’t be the only one cleaning house!) Kathy A, Minneapolis, MN Maria’s Response Dear Kathy, That’s a great question. As the mother of a daughter, I understand where you are coming from. You are right that your daughter should learn to clean up after herself and are also right that a 9-year-old is capable. Just think how efficiently most kids can operate a computer or tablet! They are pretty smart. Here is a strategy that works: Kathy’s Job: Determine your expectations. How often you want it cleaned? Take schedules into account. Between school, homework, chores, sports, and lessons, Emily does need some downtime. Does it really need to be cleaned daily? Would once or twice a week be okay with you? Decide what you can live with…rather than what is perfect. Set a routine based on that. Kathy and Emily Together: Sit down in a calm moment and work together to make a list of what needs to be done to “clean” and when. Does it mean changing the sheets? Running the vacuum? Taking laundry to the washer? Putting toys in bins? Create a written checklist and include the day each task is to be started and completed. Emily’s Job: Emily’s job is to follow the checklist as previously determined. When Mom checks the room, she’ll only tell Emily to check the list again, rather than nag and nag. This puts the responsibility back on Emily to find and correct tasks. Be sure to praise your daughter for a job well done (even if it’s not exactly how you would have done it) by telling her she is becoming quite responsible and that you are proud of her. If she’s still having trouble getting things done, make some rewards dependent on completion of the task, like, “no phone until task a, b, and c are done” or “you can certainly hang out with your friends, but not until your task list for the day is complete, or 50% done, etc.”
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