Friday, March 12, 2010

How Clean Should a Kids Room Be?

Well those of you that read me at Sageville know that I field and opine on all kinds of questions real regular. Most are relationship or political but often they are from one end of the spectrum to another. I answer the bulk simply by return mail but some I post about because I think other people might have input or gain insight from the post. All questions in mail are private unless I get consent to post it by whoever asked me and they can own it or not.

Well I got this simple question that I thought would be good fodder for a post so let me know what you think.

Before we get to the question I should state my stance on child rearing or training any person or animal. Consistency is the NUMBER ONE key to making this happen with man, child or beast. If an action gets the exact same reaction every time you can train anything. I am strict. I take no shit, ever. I believe it is my charge as a parent to do my damndest to train my children to respect rules and laws, be they of the government, household, school, religion or whatever. It is up to me to make their passage into adulthood easier by training them to know that if they do the right thing and do what they are supposed to do even when nobody is looking then they will do well and will be on the right side of the universe/gods/God/Mohammad/Budda/Yota or Darwin/Obama for you Democrats. I have said this before but if you missed it you can ask my kids and they will tell you what I mean when I ask them politely to do something, they will say "He means right now and for sure, he don't mean later and he damn sure don't mean maybe". And they are of course correct. They will also tell you "He ain't raisin no damn Democrats, we will be responsible for our actions and responsible for our belongings."

Responsibility is the key for the child and consistency is the key for the parent. A wise man said "repetition is the mother of consistency". So we must glean from that that if the the parent repeats the same actions (reward/punishment) then the child should consistently perform to expectation. And they will. So there that is my take now on to the question.

Here was the whole email. From a married woman (sexy of course, I only ever deal with sexy women) that has a few kids tween down in age.

how clean do you think a kids room should be?

I gave my answer and the follow up email said:

thanks. this is where I feel alone. I have no back up on this stuff. nobody to ask about this sort of stuff ... it is " my deal"

Two things to hit here.

#1. The room and how clean.

Here at the Sage's I demand expect my kids (11/6) to have their room straight. I do not expect it to be spic and span. I do expect the things to be in the proper location, board games in the hall closet, Wii games in the basket, clothes put away or in the hamper, toys in their designated location. Shoes in the closet or against the wall. Drawers shut. Orderly. Thats it. I don't expect them to sweep (all hardwood floors in the house) or clean the windows or dust or do any deep cleaning. Their momma does that whenever she feels it needed, with the child that owns the room.

To get this done I have them on a schedule. When they get home from school they do their chores. Then they do their homework, then they can play or whatever it is they do for fun. Then they eat supper. If you think for a second they won't eat if their room isn't clean you have misread me terribly. If you think that my daughter would miss the father daughter annual dance because she didn't do her chores, again you have misread me. Lastly if you think even for a second that I won't call off a non-refundable Disney trip because chores are not completed, you dear reader have absolutely mis read me. These things happen every single day of their life. They cried, threw down in the floor, vomited, peed on themselves, kicked, screamed, hollard, pooped the floor, and their heads spun around the first week or two. And I assure you "this isn't fair" was their favorite term to yell. But after that it became routine and they do it without a battle now.

So I am ok with one toy in the floor, or some things not in there exact proper place but in general the room being straight is enough for me.

#2. No back up.

This is huge for married/shacked up people in my opinion. I expect the bride to back me 100% in front of the kids. (Ok sometimes people call me out because I don't disclaim every damn statement I make because of exceptions, so here a go. If I am being abusive or demanding them to do something that might kill them or harm them physically or mentally or whatever then she, of course, should of course intercede on their behalf) Outside of that she should back me. She should also, outside of my presence back up my assertions and intercede on my behalf to the kids.

"Baby you know your daddy wants you to clean your room so why not do it before he gets home?"

"Baby you know your daddy only makes you clean up to make you a more responsible person so that when you grow up you will understand better how to run your life and that of YOUR family"


And I of course back her 100%. If we disagree we discuss it outside of the presence of the kids and refine our strategy.

Ever heard of "divide and conquer?"
You think a 7 year old isn't smart enough to employ that tactic? If you don't think so then you don't and have never had one.

So dear reader what do you think? How clean should a kids room be? How often should it be clean? How do you get your kid to do it? Do tell.

it is my understanding that some of you fine people have missed out on the awesome giveaway!

Go see what the Real World has going on! I posted here today too I think!

Southern Sage I surely posted here today too, don't miss the great giveaway either!


The Pipster said...

I could not agree with you more Sage. I follow the same rules, or rather, my boys do!

Barefoot Dreamer said...

Consistency - that is the hard part, not arguing it... just stating the obvious

peedee said...

Spot on. And it does work.

I too took away a Disney day trip because when asked to complete a task, said task was ignored. I think my mother heard her rant from 100 miles away.
BTW, the rant earned a weekend inside.

Anonymous said...

It all sounds good, but get back to me in about 6 years and let me know how that's all going for you then.

WannabeVirginia W. said...

When my 2 kids were little, they knew what was expected of them. Everything has its place! If you took it out of its place put it back when you are done. Simple.

I was lucky, my kids listened and they were easy kids because they knew for starters momma don't play that!

So now son grown up, I go to his place and everything has its place (hehe). My daughter is doing pretty good, but occasionally needs to be reminded with her room. Otherwise, she is all good.

Genevieve said...

OH gawd... here I am all alone again...
My job as a parent, as I see it, is to keep my kids warm, safe, fed, and loved. They were taught to be respectful of others and the basics of right and wrong with regard to the law. They are NOT forced to follow a particular religion or political group. They know my general thoughts on those things but they are my own beliefs. I want for them to think for themselves with regard to that stuff, not be miniature versions of me.

As for my kids rooms, my son keeps his in pretty good condition. He's always been more particular about things than my daughter. A scratch on a cd will bug the shit out of him. She was a bit of a mess growing up though. We did do battle with her for awhile about it and then just decided their spaces are THEIR spaces. No, they aren't allowed to smoke crack there, but if they want to take a plate a food to their bedrooms and watch a movie, hey, have fun! If they don't pick up their clothes and get them to the laundry then they will be embarrassed having to wear something wrinkled or unwashed.
I figure the rest of the house is my domain and I say what I want to be where and how, but their bedrooms are for them.
Sometimes, learning the hard way is how a person has to do it.
When my daughter moved out of her first place, she didn't get her security deposit back because she chose to not clean the apartment and the landlord withheld the money. Teachers come in different ways. I could have told her 10 times over she should do this or not do that and her personality is one that she'd have fought me on alot of stuff. She eventually learned the lesson the way she needed to.
We certainly do expect certain things around here, but room cleaning to any specific degree is just not one of them.

Okay... I'm sneaking out now so as not to get a dirty pair of underwear thrown at me! ;)

Have a good weekend.

Missty said...

LOL. To anon. And pretty much true. Sage,I was spot on with you, when my kids were younger. It was easy for all of us. Then cam early morning practices, early mornig bible study group, early morning or late night homework, the list can be endless, with teens.
Not making excuses but I changed. I would rather my kid get up at 5:30 for that water polo practice, then have to worry about making his bed before he heads out the door.

And as they get older, they need there space. Sure they live in my house, my rules, and that is why they need something of their own. Their bedroom.

So now my theroy is - God made doors for a reason - to shut them as needed. I guess because I expect tidiness when they were little, and they know how to clean it has worked out. Where, now the beds don't get made ever day, but the clothes go into the hamper as needed most days. And stuff gets picked up. I now tell them on a MOnday, I am going to be vacumming your bedroom on Thursday have it cleaned up. It usually is and ready for me.

great post.

Anonymous said...

Pippi: Of course!

Anonymous said...

BFD: yes it is but you can do it you are the adult!

Anonymous said...

PeeDee: Awesome!! Good job!

Anonymous said...

Anon: it worked the first 11 without many problems the last 5!! I spect it will do good.

Anonymous said...

WVW: it will work every-single-time!

Anonymous said...

G: the hard way in my opinion is to lose their benefits.

To each their own. I gave them the option for the "their space" option but neither could come up with the rent I imposed. I am pro choice, they always get to choose.

Anonymous said...

Well there ya go. Wen do your kids work? Surely y'all don't have 15+ year olds that aren't employed. They will be able to pay their part of the rent when they get to the closed door part of it!

Surfer Jay said...

As long as there's a 12 inch wide path that allows me to get in, I'm good.

sewa mobil said...

I think you should educate your children to make a habit continues today with a harsh warning to serve up

WhoHasDad said...

Ha I'm not looking forward to this one! I'm messy, my wife isn't. I was messy as a kid, she wasn't.

So who will our kid take after and if it's me will my Mrs always be shouting "go tidy your room"!

We'll have to wait and see ;-)

Web Hosting said...

When it comes to decorating kids rooms, one of the most important things to do is keep it simple. And always be sure to see what they want. They may be young, but that doesn't mean they don't have suggestions and ideas about how their bedroom should be decorated.

web designing jacksonville said...

I do not want that to happen. He has been a part of my mind, throughout the year .Besides, he has gone away, from me and I no longer see him. Does this mean that he does not like me?

web designing jacksonville said...

A lot of it because really, I'm scared to go back. I don't wanna go, but I have no choice. I know I have to deal with bullying in my life, but not to this extent. I'm 16 years old!!!

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