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July 29, 2004



I was hoping we could work on that next, LOL! Just kidding - Liam is only 8 months, but I am a clean freak, and while I hope to "lighten up" a bit, it will be important to me that the house and all bedrooms remain tidy. I'd think once he is able to comprehend "picking up and putting back" we'll start doing this together at the end of the day. Is that one or two? I won't expect him to do it as a chore until he's older, like four or five. But together, we will clean up before bedtime, as soon as I think he's ready to understand.


Robin - your apartment sounds just like my house! Too much clutter, nowhere to put it, and a general lack of will to make a change. This is one of the big issues between my husband and me. I won't bore you with a transcript of our regular argument, but it's predictable and unpleasant! I am NOT a cleaner and I am struggling to maintain a household I can be proud of. It is a problem! We haven't taught our daughter how to put things away yet -- she is 16 months old -- but based on some of the comments, I'm thinking maybe she's not too young! I can't imagine how she and any other future kids I may have will have any semblance of a healthy relationship with cleaning, because they have crazy me as their mother! But hopefully I will be able to teach them other things and they'll forgive me for this. Stay tuned -- I'll let you know in about 20 years how that worked out.


The real question is: when are your children ready to start cleaning YOUR room?


How funny. I started teaching my daughter to clean early on. She is 18 months now and can put everything away where they belong. She leaves the hard stuff for me. I just started training my "big helper" to help cook and do laundry. She slows things down a bit, but I feel this is quality time spent with her. I have all day anyway. I have no need to rush things.


I've started teaching Tony how to clean his room when he was little. When he was just a little more than a baby, I held him on my lap and guided his hand in mine while putting away a toy. As he grew older the jobs grew with him. Today, at five years old, Tony is expected to take his used dishes from the table when he is done to the sink, take the dog out and bring him back in, make his bed, put his toys away (or risk having them lost to "the fee box"), putting dirty clothes down the chute, put away the "drawer clothes" (jeans, socks, t-shirts, underware, P.J's) he away while I will hang up his "closet" clothes.

We are not the clean fanatics that some people are; I don't dust, vaccuum, and clean the toilets every day; but try to get them done once a week.

jen lemen

i have no idea what age is the right age, but if i were you i'd be thanking my lucky stars that kid got the cleaning gene from your mother! maybe she'll grow up to compulsively clean the kitchen every night and de-clutter the house!!! we can only hope... :)


Wow - You've got a little winner there. Can I rent Lillianna out for day, so she can give my two (4 & 2) a lesson in positive attitude. We are currently struggling with this greatly - of course it doesn't help that DH and I don't set the best of examples.

As a working mom, I have a hard time spending all my freetime with the girls cleaning. Therefore most of cleaning gets down after they've fallen asleep, hence they don't benefit from seeing their parents setting the example in action.


All three of my kids are expected to clean their rooms themselves. They are 3, 5, and 9. In addition to that, they all have household chores!

At three years old, I expect Darcy to be able to put all of her regular toys into one bin, and dress-up clothes into another...dirty laundry into yet another. She can pull the covers up on her bed, and she can run the sweeper (a small hand-vac with a floor attachment). Of course it's far from perfect, but it is her job, and she does it fairly well when she puts her mind to it.

The five and nine year old boys share a room, and I expect more out of them - toys in seperate bins, etc.

Each one has at least one chore a day outside of their rooms as well. The 3yo picks up the family's shoes and puts them in the shoe bin. The 5yo picks up stray laundry and delivers it to the laundry room. The 9yo takes out the garbage. They get paid for the outside-of-their-room chores, but not for cleaning their rooms. Their rooms are simply their responsibility.


My husband and I JUST had this same conversation. My daughter is 15 and my son is 12. I don't make them clean their rooms or do laundry. I always do it. Why? Okay...I'll tell the truth...because I can do it better! (And faster.) I know that I don't have to do it...I just do. My husband says that the kids need to learn how to do those things themselves...that there is no reason that they can't. I know this to be true and I also know that they CAN clean up their own things. (I have seen them do it.) It's just that I am home during the day...and that's part of why I am home, isn't it? My other reason is that you are only a kid for so long. My sister and I had to clean the house from top to bottom every single weekend and it took hours. Then my mom checked our work. We also did all the laundry, every day. I can still remember my mom yelling at me one day because I ironed creases into her blouse and it was the kind of blouse that was not supposed to have creases. (I was a teenager) I was ironing HER blouse FOR HER. I'm sure she doesn't remember it at all, but I do. Anyway, I know that my kids COULD clean more often instead of me doing it, but I don't mind. They help out with other things all the time. Sometimes they even surprise us and have supper ready with the table set and everything. I guess it just depends on whether they help out with other things around the house. They do, so having them clean their own rooms at specified times isn't an issue for me.


Hannah has always been a cleaner.She loves it.I would say she has been doing her own room completely on her own since she was 5.Mallory hates it and at 8 I still have to make her.She whines and begs Hannah to make her bed for her.

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