Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What To Do


For weeks and months I have been trying to get the girls to clean up their toys by themselves. It has really been a struggle to motivate them. I have tried the 'naughty chair,' taking away toys or TV privileges, spankings, helping them clean, making clean up time a game, treats...just about everything! It has been frustrating to say the least. On Saturday night, I was in Walmart grabbing a few odds and ends when I came across the clearance section. They had marked down some singing Barbies the girls had been drooling over since before Christmas. I talked it over with Jason and we decided we would buy the Barbies and use them as a bribe to motivate Hallee and Jadyn. So Sunday morning the girls saw the Barbies and went crazy! They were sooo happy- they didn't know there were strings attached. We told them that if they could clean up for a week that on Valentines Day they would get their Barbies. We put them on top of the fridge, made a clean up chart, and thought it was the best idea ever! WRONG! They have not cleaned up their toys once! I told them they won't get their Barbies and they think that's ok- I can just give it to them next Christmas. AAAHHH! If anyone has some advice, I would love to hear it. We have the cutest little girls that can be so much fun- but they make the biggest messes!

9 comments:

Just Us said...

I heard a great idea once...you pick up all the toys they won't and put them into a garbage sack. Eventually when they have run out of toys they will want them back and they can earn them by doing things for you to repay you for having to pick up their toys. My only suggestion would be to have them go with you to return the barbies to the store, or to go with you to donate them to charity so they know they won't be getting them. I think that hard lessons are easier to learn when young. Good luck!! I will let you know if I think of anything else I have used in the past when working with my clients.

Natalie Leavitt said...

Save the barbies until Christmas and just beat those kids until they are black and blue. Actually, if you find something that works let me know. I'm always in the market for not having to pick up all the toys and messes!

Sondra said...

Check out this link on organizing toys:
http://annban10.blogspot.com/2009/01/organizing-toys.html

I think that sometimes it is very overwhelming for a child - when you say "Pick up your toys". I don't think they know where to start. It's easier to give specific instructions like "Pick up to toy food and put it away", Pick up the dolls, pick up the cars.. Pick up the doll clothes.. that way it is in small bites and they can do the little instruction - better then a whole bit mess.

I also had a gunny bag kinda like "Just us" comment. When Jason wouldn't pick up his toys by a certain time, the gunny bag would come out. It was like a duffle/laundry material bag with a drawstring. It has eyes and the hole is the mouth - dress it up... The gunny bag comes and gobble up the toys. (make eating noises). They can't play with them for the rest of the week.

After FHE you can dump out the bag and let them put the toys away it ate. If they don't put them away where they belong then they don't get to keep them. If a toy is ate 2 or 3 times (You'll have to decide) - The toy goes away to be donated for not taking care of it... Or put it in a box and bring it out a year later if you can't bare donating it.

I don't know what to tell you about the barbies :-).. Hmmmm now that it's done and it didn't motivate them - maybe you can take it back to the store for a refund.. In front of them. That way they don't get it for Christmas and you are not out the money.

I hope this give you some ideas. Good luck! Aunt Sondra

Sondra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shayne and Amber Hoskins said...

I have had the same problem with my kids and have had the same roadblocks. What I have found works the best is to only let them get one thing out at a time, and if they want something else out then they have to pick up the toy that they were first playing with. I also make them pick up the toys before lunch and then again before dinner. Hopefully this helps a little?? By the way, Your family is sooo adorable!!! Any luck with selling your house??

roycecrew said...

You've got some great comments. I like what Sondra said and that is actually what I've been trying with my girls and designating them certain things to pickup is going pretty good especially when they race to see who can get it done faster. Two weeks ago we did an FHE lesson on how to be Heavenly Fathers helper and Kenadee totally ate it up, and she is the one we have the most trouble with. Now whenever she cleans up something she says "I'm a good Heavenly Fathers helper huh mom?".

Zoey said...

Definitely donate the barbies. This will probably be really difficult to do, but I would just tell them that they are going to go to girls that take care of their toys and don't have very much.

I also agree with Sondra and taking away some toys. My kids actually like to get rid of toys. There is a place in Pocatello that is called "God's home" where you can donate and they give all sorts of items to people who can't afford it - no questions asked. They went there in October for Service Club and they still can't stop talking about it.

Let me know what you decide to do! Everyone's posts were amazing!

Heather said...

When Stefanie had this same problem, I made her put the toys in a garbage bag and haul it out to the dumpster at our apartment complex. She doesn't know that later I went and retrieved the bag and donated her toys to charity. Anyway, it was pretty dramatic for her, but has never been a problem again. Not only did she have to "throw away" her favorite toys, but she had to go without toys until her next birthday & Christmas.

Brian and Tracy Atkinson said...

Wow - you received a bunch of real good advice. What to do now? Have you decided?