December 14, 2010

Same Rules, Different Reactions

I am always amazed by the different reactions my daughters have to the rules at school and the rules at home. The rules are basically the same: clean up your mess, be nice to your siblings (or classmates), use your inside voices, etc. Following the rules at school is a piece of cake. At home? Not so much.
At school, my daughters will start cleaning up the minute the lights flicker (that's the sign for clean up time). They will even help their classmates clean up. At home I am regularly greeted with choruses of "I'm too tired to clean" or "I didn't make that mess."
I feel like I'm fighting a losing a battle when it comes to chores. I tried the chore chart. The novelty wore off in a few months. I've threatened to throw away any toys that aren't picked up. The other day Hubby and I did an intense cleaning and purging of the toys. We separated. We organized. We threw away broken toys, toys beyond repair. We made a pile of toys to donate and toys to sell at my next moms of multiples sale. This might actually work. Every toy has a place and so far, has been put back in that place at the end of the day. Yet, I have a feeling a week from now I'll once again be complaining that I'm not receiving any help when it comes to cleaning up.

6 comments:

debi9kids said...

Oh! You are not alone! Kids always, always behave better at school than home (which I guess is better then them telling their teacher "no". It's how we know we've at least taught them to respect adults.)
Anyway, I have used a behavior system for YEARS that works well: http://www.whosays8isenough.net/2008/06/losing-my-marbles-not.html
Hope you'll give it a try and maybe it'll work for you too.

ps Will NEVER uses a fork. Ever. Spagetti is just his biggest messy meal. LOL

MaryAnne said...

We're down to one or two toys out in the playroom at a time, because Johnny especially was walking in, dumping out every toy, walking out, and whining and crying come clean-up time. Of course, he had no trouble cleaning up for his early intervention teacher in our own home. The rest of the toys are in the garage and the laundry room, and they have to ask for a specific toy. So far it's working well - and if I can convince Mike, we'll donate the ones they haven't asked for in the past three weeks to charity. Lucky for me, it has yet to occur to them that they can take toys out of the garage and laundry room by themselves, and I'm hoping they don't figure it out anytime soon!

Quadmama said...

Debi: I like your marble chart. This might work since they already use a marble jar at school and know it leads to good things!
MaryAnne: We were going to hang a pet net on Sunday, just out of reach so we could only have a few toys down at a time. Unfortunately the instructions called for one of the largest drill bits ever and I refused to put ginormous holes in my walls. Still figuring that one out.

Christina said...

They always behave differently when they aren't around us don't they? We have to yell at mine to get them to do anything! Then they cry because we are just so mean making them clean up, lol.

Sadia said...

We HAVE thrown away (or given away) toys that weren't picked up, and yet the mess remains.

reanbean said...

My guys have yet to be much help when it comes to cleaning up. There's a toy box in their room, and they will help put the toys in there after playing with them. But for the toys in the living room/playroom that go in specific places, they don't even try to put them away (not even in the wrong places). There is a time for clean up at the playgroup they go to, but I think mostly it's the teachers who are singing the clean up song and cleaning up while the kids stand around and watch. I've been trying to get them to help more, but I've not been all that successful. Perhaps when they're 3...

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