How to tidy my asd'ers bedroom?

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Foxx
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21 Jan 2011, 9:15 am

whatamess wrote:
My kiddo loves a clean room, but makes messes with his Legos and all other tiny little part type toys...he doesn't seem too interested in anything that is not a thousand little parts...hmmm...For the last 6 mos it has driven me crazy as it goes from the playroom...then there's no space to play there...to his bedroom...then there's no place to play there...to going into my room...I tell him NO WAY...or the living room...

I finally got sick and tired of it. Yes, most kids don't care about a messy room. However, it's rather impossible to clean a room if its a mess. We track in dirt in our shoes, germs from outside, blah, blah...A few weeks ago I said "NO MORE" and literally spent ALL DAY organizing and cleaning his room and the gameroom...everyday I wake up before he does. I pick up the gameroom before he gets up unless there is only one toy on the floor...THEN I wake him up...then I pick up his room. Of course I will also tell him to help me once he is awake...and during the day if I see him take more than 2 toys out (sometimes he combines them to play) I will tell him he needs to pick up one before continuing...

I do believe that it's not healthy to live in a mess or dirty place. Not because I want a clean house or to impress others...but a messy house does make you feel "overwhelmed"...at least it does me...it does my son as well, although he's not great at cleaning up. I can tell a huge difference in his behavior when he house is nice, orderly and clean...

PS all the little odds and ends that they seem to want to collect, at least mine...I have a nice fabric box in is game room and I throw in there if it can't be put anywhere else...I do not just throw away his things, even little pieces of paper...unless it's broken, etc...and I will ask him.

Also, my mom was a clean freak although she hardly really made US clean the house. I don't always make my son clean it either. I am a very tidy, organized and clean person. I think that if you LIVE in a place that is tidy/clean, even if you are not specifically taught to do it, when you grow up you are accustomed to living a certain way and will also clean up to ensure you live in the same way...


giving him the strength of the "mom's doing it" argument will not help. My parents gave me two incentives to tidy up my room: First was that cleaning up my room once a week was a condition for getting pocket money. Second was that my mom would throw everthing messy in a trash bag and throw it out.... let's just say she only had to do that once...



salt2011
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26 Jan 2011, 8:09 pm

Hello again.

My heartiest thanks to everyone for your replies.

After a lot of reflection I fought against my natural inclinations... and plunged into my son's room yesterday!!

I made sure he had plenty of fore-warning, and input into the details of new storage purchases.

Immediate and more significant rewards were in place for when we'd achieved our goal (sweets now, and a fish tank full of guppies later), but he also knew that the alternative to tidying up was a rubbish bag... Oooh errrrrr, shudder.. MOTIVATION.

I made it about caring for his stuff, as I demonstrated and talked about 'careful sorting' of all the detritis (there was a lot of cardboardy packaging and paper?), and how 'we'll keep the dust off from now' as I went. He 'helped' me to begin with, by putting things I handed him into the piles we'd agreed on. He became a little foreman, moving around supervising the project- answering my questions about where and how things should be moved about. It was the most wonderful trust-building exercise. Everything was going unimaginably well!!

Then his dear dad came to help by vacuuming the cleared area. As kiddo was having a break, dad thought it was ok to get on with moving a couple of pieces of furniture to accommodate the new storage unit... I'd been dreading it, and slowly working towards doing it WITH kiddo. But it was getting late and as dd said IT HAD TO BE DONE. I found borer dust under a chest, and thought this was a solid rational reason to provide for moving things.. NOOOOOOO!! !! !! ! Of course he got really upset, and made a lot of noise. So he and I retired for some decompression (soothing massage) while dad, now irritated, got on with building the shelves.. Kiddo was managing pretty well, alternating between deep concern and bravery (verbalising "this is really hard for me").

When the shelf went up it looked great with the lovely added touches he'd asked for. What a relief- TO US. We excitedly told him to come and have a look!!

NOOOOO!! !! ! That's not where my drawers go!! That's not where my desk goes!! ! Move it back!! ! Get rid of that shelf!! You've ruined my room!! !! It's not even my room anymore!! It's just BLANK!! ! And he got stuck into dear dad with his little pounding fists- time out! (But where?!) Not in that rooM!! So I stayed with him in my room to listen to his misery. Dad was greatly disappointed with kiddo's disappointment, and retired from the whole event.

I assured poor kiddo that he will be able to make it his own again, but that this time we have to keep stuff off the floor so we can care for his stuff and keep it clean (to look after him and his belongings). We eventually went to have a look at the room, where he freaked out, slamming the special red doors he'd asked for... I'm going to take it apart and take it back to Ikea, AND PUT EVERYTHING BACK WHERE IT WAS!! I want my wood back where it was!! I want my styrofoam on the floor where it was!! Why did you do this to me?!?! This is not what I had in mind!! (Then the most pertinent thing he said which broke my heart because it was such a good idea that I hadn't thought of...) WHY DIDN'T YOU DRAW A PICTURE OF WHAT YOU WERE DOING BEFORE?? I HAD SOMETHING DIFFERENT IN MY MIND!! !

We spent some more time in my room talking through it all, then I remembered that there were 2 cute little night-lights (called 'Spoka' from Ikea which he loves) that kiddo could FIND PLACES FOR if he'd like to start making it his own room again.. Ahhhh. Relief. Recovery. We sat on the floor of his room watching the little lights changing colours in the new shelves- for ages.... Sensory toys, eh?!

Then he took them to his bed to try them out, and it seemed that he was comfortable there too! I still doubted that he'd be able to settle enough to actually sleep there, but after staying up VERY late watching the tennis, his new self-chosen reward : ), he settled down without a hitch.

Success. Sigh of relief. Who would've thought.

He woke up cranky (lack of sleep doesn't help), demanded to cancel a play-date (yes, weirdly someone had invited themselves over TODAY, the day after The Big Clean?!?!), and had a very odd brekkie (fish fingers with tomato sauce followed by ice-cream?!). I figure he might be a bit out of synch for a while. Yes, I'm indulging him. He knows it's for being brave about it all.

So, thanks for your support- you all inspired me to take action.

Kiddo knows that when we get the fish we're going to have to clean and maintain the tank so that the guppies stay healthy and happy. And that regular dusting and vacuuming is going to become part of our routine to keep us healthy too. As much as we both hate it!

Hope you're all having Good Days,
Love, Salt.



momsparky
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26 Jan 2011, 8:45 pm

salt2011 wrote:
Success. Sigh of relief. Who would've thought.

He woke up cranky (lack of sleep doesn't help), demanded to cancel a play-date (yes, weirdly someone had invited themselves over TODAY, the day after The Big Clean?!?!), and had a very odd brekkie (fish fingers with tomato sauce followed by ice-cream?!). I figure he might be a bit out of synch for a while. Yes, I'm indulging him. He knows it's for being brave about it all.


Yay! Reading this, I think you did a TERRIFIC job! I agree, it's important to indulge them a bit after some kind of big difficulty/accomplishment, and to tell them expressly why.



DandelionFireworks
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26 Jan 2011, 10:43 pm

salt2011 wrote:
Immediate and more significant rewards were in place for when we'd achieved our goal (sweets now, and a fish tank full of guppies later),


Ummm... are you sure you want guppies? Look, they definitely don't breed like rabbits-- they have the same gestation period, but litters of 50 to 100. The good news is they eat their young. The bad news is, their young are born able to escape and can live off of "table scraps" (whatever you're feeding the adults) or even microorganisms in the water. Ever been overwhelmed by guppies? It's not pretty. I speak from experience. They will breed in any conditions. The population will EXPLODE. (If you have something to do with the fry-- baby fish are called fry-- then of course this isn't a bad thing. You could theoretically make money off of it, but more likely you'd get a little store credit that would make buying fish food and nets a bit cheaper.)

Aside from that, fish, like all pets, are living creatures and as such a big responsibility. Too many people think "a fish tank full of guppies" will be easy. Also, too many people choose rather cliche "beginner fish" rather than seriously considering their options.

This is a kind of sciency article on guppies: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppies.htm

Here's a less-sciency article on good fish for beginners: http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/fish-popular.html

And a much easier to read, detailed article on setting up an aquarium: http://www.firsttankguide.net/

Just remember to cycle your tank, always research fish before you buy and NEVER buy dyed/painted fish (e.g., painted glassfish, purple heart cichlids). And water is heavy. And the volume of water your tank holds with plants, gravel and fish in it is NOT the volume it was sold to you as. And acclimate properly (float the bag in the tank for 15 minutes, then add a little tank water to the bag, repeating every fifteen minutes, and then either net the fish out or cut the bag, depending on whether you want the shipping water or not), and as long as you remember that and do your research, you should be fine.


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annotated_alice
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27 Jan 2011, 9:03 am

momsparky wrote:
salt2011 wrote:
Success. Sigh of relief. Who would've thought.

He woke up cranky (lack of sleep doesn't help), demanded to cancel a play-date (yes, weirdly someone had invited themselves over TODAY, the day after The Big Clean?!?!), and had a very odd brekkie (fish fingers with tomato sauce followed by ice-cream?!). I figure he might be a bit out of synch for a while. Yes, I'm indulging him. He knows it's for being brave about it all.


Yay! Reading this, I think you did a TERRIFIC job! I agree, it's important to indulge them a bit after some kind of big difficulty/accomplishment, and to tell them expressly why.


Ditto this. Great job! Change is hard, but you got it done together.