days vs weeks

The weeks are absolutely flying by. But the days are so long! Each night lately, bedtime has been a battle with the girls. I read, sing, lay with them awhile, and then try to leave. They always need more... questions, drinks, whatever. I can barely make it out of their room without a clinched jaw and one of them in tears.

Another challenge. Leah will not help clean up. Melody has always enjoyed cleaning up, so she does it all of the time. She keeps their room tidy with no instructions. The other day we had a showdown after they had played with Play-Dough for two hours. Leah would NOT help clean up. I told her that if she didn't help she would not be able to spend the night with Grammy as planned. She chose to forfeit the privilege rather than clean up. !!!???! In the end, she still didn't help clean up either. I've been thinking on it all week and I can't figure it out. How do I motivate my four year old to work hard? Is this a birth order thing? I want to empower her to be a hard working and capable person. The other day she said, "Melody likes to clean up. I hate to clean up." I do not like those labels.

Any insight is welcome! Thanks!


Brannan said...

Ugh..the sleep thing is SO tough! We are finally getting to easy bedtimes, but it took getting up at 6:30, naps from 12:30-2:30, then bedtime around 10. I can handle bed at 10 if they will just.go.to sleep.

As far as the four year old cleaning up...mine has sometimes opted to lose the privilege, too. Honestly, I think that's reasonable if I'm giving him a clear choice. Usually, though, I don't give him the option to NOT clean, ya know? It's more like, "We have 20 minutes to get ready to go. You have to clean this up. If you don't have it cleaned up by then, we can't go." And when they get something out (that isn't their regular toy box stuff..I have a hard time enforcing it then :-/ ) that they can't move on to the next thing until that is picked up. My 4 y/o is better about it than the 2 y/o, who is perfectly content to attempt waiting me out most of the time :P

I hear 5s enjoy responsibility more :) Maybe they will grow into it?

Soaring High said...

I am behind my sister. I hated housecleaning, but loved yardwork. At this age, just try to find ways to motivate her. Maybe when they are a little older find things they both like that are work. (still have them do some that they don't like I think). I happily worked in the garden, pulled weeds, took care of the flower beds and eventually mowed the lawns, but give me a dust mop and I cringe. As a mom, I now HAVE to do those indoor things. I have 2 with severe allergies that if I don't dust and clean, they suffer. But, I am training my kids to take over that area, so I can go back outside and "play" in the yard.

cjoy said...

I don't think it's birth order - I hated to clean up as both a child and a teenager. My mother could not pay me, bribe me nor threaten me to help. My brother was willing. I never was. And the truth is probably in her words: She hates it. I hated it. Melody loves it. I don't see them as labels, I see them as feelings. I had to make changes to empower myself....but there are still days!

Perhaps telling her that next time she can't play with the (insert item not cleaned up) would be more of a natural consequence? Then she'd have to watch her sister play and miss out on the fun.

As for bedtime...we've got the same struggles right now. I think summer light makes it so hard for them and for us! Another reason I prefer autumn. Sigh.

Jen said...

Unfortunately I have no great advise on this one. I'm dealing with the same clean-up struggles with my 4y/o and 3y/o. My almost 8y/o will clean up when asked and always has been that way. And the younger ones know it. They know that if they dilly dally with the clean up that my oldest will end up doing it all. It's very frustrating and not fair to the oldest child. There is no punishment severe enough or reward great enough to motivate them to do it. If you do find something that works share it this way! I could use it too!

Gow_spot said...

hi sweet friend.
on the clean up thing- i try to ask my girls to clean up about 10 minutes before we are going to do something they love.
ie - we watch a movie after lunch, before naps everyday. they always look forward to their movie and milk time.. so i pick one area/thing for each of them to clean up about 10 minutes before the movie and i then i get excited and talk about how fun the movie will be. often sally will jump up and clean and daisy lollygags around. when sally is done, she goes to the chair and i tell daisy, if you don't clean up... sally will start the movie with out you. it works about 85% of the time. i also pick a smaller job for daisy to do. and i try not to ask them to clean it up more than 2 or 3 times but rather them hear the starting music of the movie to realize they are about to miss out... =) just a thought... hope it helps.... hang in there... and hope to talk more face to face!!

Kelli said...

Eli hates cleaning (my 4 yr. old) and Sol loves to help unload the dishwasher, etc. if we're working on it together. Eli would be more agreeable if I helped him clean up but in the end, I'm the one cleaning while he watches and talks to me. So we've been taking away a lot of privileges, including him having to stay in his room all morning or afternoon. This seems harsh but this is last resort after shows, treats, bike, lullabies, etc. have been taken away first. He's awfully stubborn but a good few hours alone in his room gets him to cooperate. He's my social-bug so being w/out playmates and attention is the worst option. Don't know if that helps but maybe it makes Leah seem "easy" in comparison! LOL! :)