My daughter is currently driving me to the brink of a meltdown, though so far, I am remaining surprisingly calm.
Recently, this 7 year old cherub has been refusing to clean her room…. in addition to refusing to listen everything I say. This is the second battle of wills we have had over this room.
For starters, she destroys her room, like no other child I've seen. I think it's because she changes clothes so frequently and/or doesn't like what she has on, so all the unwanteds go on her floor…then eventually get shoved under her bed, when she doesn't want to put them away.
Also, she has clean clothes to put away daily. She has done this task with minimal assistance since she was 4 years old….so this is nothing new. But right now, she doesn't want to.
In addition, she has pulled out every Barbie, all the Barbie clothes, and every other doll accessory she has, and she has placed them on her floor….all while she was supposed to be cleaning.
We started this war on Sunday afternoon, when I told her she needed to tidy her, only slightly messy room, at the time. She all but stuck her tongue out at me, when she not only didn't tidy it, but threw more things around.
Monday night wasn't much different, except I had added more laundry, to her growing pile. She did not pick one item off of her floor, and now you can't walk on it without stepping on something!!!
Tonight, I picked her up at 3:50pm, I gave her a small snack, and tried something new. I told her she was going to that room to clean it, and she wasn't coming out until it was done. Of course she asked the annoying questions like “What if I have to go to the bathroom…What if I have to put something in the hall closet…..what if…what if? But the last question she had, I ran with. “What if its time to eat dinner”? ….
I informed her that she would not be coming to dinner if her clothes weren't put away……GASP!
She started whining immediately. I told her to get started, and she wouldn't have to worry about it. The thing is, when her room is this messy, and there is something she really wants to do, she can have in cleaned in 20 minutes tops….That is IF SHE WANTS TO!!
When she got up to her room, she started wailing.
I asked her what was wrong.
She screamed “MY ROOM IS HORRIBLE….WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO DO THE LAUNDRY”???
I reinforced her beliefs. “Yes, that room is horrible. If you would have listened the last two nights, that pile wouldn't be so big sweetie”! 🙂
Once she got a good cry in, she was quiet again. I checked on her every now again, and she hadn't touched one item! Every time I saw her she'd say…..”Im hungry”. And I would say get going, and you can come down to dinner….. What have you picked up so far”?
Every time I asked her that question, she would scream “MY BARBIES”!
Okay, she had been up there for two hours! We were going to start the dinner process! That drove her over the edge. She started screaming ” IM SO HUNGRY….WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WANT TO STARVE ME (we have never done this before, mind you)…..I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING……IM HUUUNNNGRY”!
I reminded her that she wouldn't starve. She already had two meals and a snack….and if she felt that hungry she would put those clothes away. For twenty minutes, she stood at the top of the stairs screaming “IM SOOOO HUNGRY”! I ignored her…and she was quiet again.
She has still picked nothing up, and it has been four hours. Each time she sees me pass by, she continues to tell me about her hunger. Each time it takes all my strength to remain calm, and ignore her.
But now, I say AHHHHH!
In the past, I have tried every ritual with her! I have tried helping her put them in piles, and showed her how to put them away quickly. I have stayed in her room through the entire process, trying to keep her on track. I have tried the old strategy of only telling her once, and not repeating myself. I have tried rewards. I have tried sweet talk. I have tried a behavior chart. ALSO, I have gone hoarse from yelling my demands. We have gone full circle!!! SHE IS SO STUBBORN!
ITS GOING TO BE A LONG WEEK…..SIGH!
This is her trying to block me from taking the photo….due to ???embarrassment? 🙂 I think not!