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Old 10-03-2012, 11:38 AM   #1
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Am I asking too much?

My Oldest DD turned 5 in April. She is attending public school. She is extremely bright. Is it asking too much to ask her to pick up her markers when she is done with them. This was the day today (She is home because she has had a stomach bug and pooped on herself at school yesterday and no one ever called me, they never sent her to the nurse, so I have little faith that I can trust them if she may still be sick and poops on herself again. She has gone 24 hours without pooping or vomitting but that is besides the point).

This morning I wake up, new markers on the floor, uncapped, everywhere... ( she woke up before me and didnt wake me up and started coloring which is normally fine with me, I wish she would have asked me though, I would have got up)
ME: Abrielle, Can you pick up the markers, please? Put covers on them and put them away when your done, please.
Abrie: OK (she does it)
Me later in the morning: Abrielle, remember I asked for you to put the covers on your markers and put them away when you are done with them? they are all over the place again. Im going to throw them away if I ask you again.
Abrie: OK, and picks them up again.
Me this afternoon: Abrielle, your markers are again on the floor. Im throwing them away, panic, tantrum, ensues, she promises not to do it again and picks them up.
Me later this afternoon: Abrielle, that's it, they are going in the trash. Panic and tantrum ensue, she starts physically hitting me when I try to throw them away so I give her ANOTHER chance to recap and put away.

Am I being unreasonable?
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Last edited by clothdiapercrunchy; 10-03-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #2
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Re: Am I asking too much?

I don't think you are necessarily being unreasonable, but...

I have a very bright 5.5 yr old. She is CONSTANTLY forgetting things. Same as your daughter, she loves art and loves to draw and color and imagine and create, but clean up escapes her.

I kind of think this has to do with her being so unentertained by mundane things, and so anxious to get on to the next activity. I think her brain is just going so fast that she doesn't remember most of the time what she needs to do.

B/c of this, we have constant struggles over cleaning up. I recently had to bag and throw away some of her toys b/c she REFUSED to pick them up off her bedroom floor. And I gave her a LOT of time and a LOT of reminders. So, you can see, I am definitely not ANTI-throwing away.

But with her, I have had to come to the realization that her brightness makes her a little scatterbrained, and for something to become habit for her (ie, putting away toys), I need to be on top of her and enforce it EVERY time and after a while she will get it and just start to do it.

I also remind her. Like, if I see her coloring, I tell her very specifically, "Hey, don't forget to put that stuff away when you are done, ok? I don't want it left in the middle of the floor. Someone could fall on it." Or if I walk by later and see everything still out, I'll say loudly (we have a small house) "Oh no! I hope (DD's name) didn't forget to put her stuff away! I would be so sad if I had to throw it away!" And she usually RUNS in and picks it all up immediately. LOL

I also have let her markers dry out b/c I got tired of telling her to recap them. Then when I went to throw them away and she flipped out, I handed her one, told her to try to use it (it was dried out, so she couldn't) and said, "This is why you HAVE to put the caps on markers when you are done with them. They dry out and now you can't use these." She was really upset, but it was a consequence she brought upon herself by ignoring me when I kept telling her to put caps on and put them away. Now there are no markers. Oh well.

So, I dunno if that gives you any ideas. That's what works in our house. But there are still battles and struggles over everything every once in a while. Yesterday she threw a full on screaming, kicking, flailing tantrum b/c she WANTED TO TAKE A NAP! but when I told her to lay down, she instead woke up her brother and played with him. So I told her she had to sit in the corner for 5 mins quietly and THEN she could take her nap. But.... ugh.... I am pretty sure the neighbors called CPS. I've never had her scream like that and it took me 30 mins (and removing toys) to get her to chill out.... My point is, there's always something. Today was the markers, tomorrow might be something else. lol.

best wishes mama.

Last edited by Kiliki; 10-03-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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Re: Am I asking too much?

no, I would expect that of my 5 yr old....but what is happening before you ask her to pick them up?

Like say she is coloring - you call from the other room..."hey time for snack"....she jumps up right away (cause snack is AWESOME!!!) and goes to have snack, then sits to watch TV....you go in other room and see markers....not really her fault cause you interrupted her with an AWESOME snack and then she forgot about markers.

BUT
If she is coloring....you come in the room and say "hey pick up your markers and we will have snack"....you walk away to prepare snack....she appears a little later.....has snack....sits down to watch TV....you go in other room....markers still out....her fault, she knew the expectations and didn't follow through.

I find that if I give clear directions (at that moment) the kids do great - if it is something they are just supposed to "remember" ...not so much (unless it is like brushing teeth which is like routine, or cleaning up their plates from table, again everyday routine)
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:54 AM   #4
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Re: Am I asking too much?

I dont think this is too much to expect but really, probably the only thing she learned from this whole scenario is that mommy gives multiple chances and even if she says something, I can throw a fit and might get what I want anyway. You should have thrown the markers away like you said you would....otherwise dont even say it. I would give the markers a timeout for the rest of the day if she cant take care of them only because I wouldnt throw away perfectly good markers. There has to be some sort of consequence. In this case she colored and left stuff everywhere and really didnt get a consequence, right?
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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Re: Am I asking too much?

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I dont think this is too much to expect but really, probably the only thing she learned from this whole scenario is that mommy gives multiple chances and even if she says something, I can throw a fit and might get what I want anyway. You should have thrown the markers away like you said you would....otherwise dont even say it. I would give the markers a timeout for the rest of the day if she cant take care of them only because I wouldnt throw away perfectly good markers. There has to be some sort of consequence. In this case she colored and left stuff everywhere and really didnt get a consequence, right?
And you know, I know that. She doesnt take me seriously because I make idle threats. Im just tired of the same stuff over and over and have tried so many different consequences and nothing works and Im just so frustrated. We are going to put them away for the day and revisit them when she is able to follow the rules.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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Re: Am I asking too much?

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Originally Posted by doodah View Post
I dont think this is too much to expect but really, probably the only thing she learned from this whole scenario is that mommy gives multiple chances and even if she says something, I can throw a fit and might get what I want anyway. You should have thrown the markers away like you said you would....otherwise dont even say it. I would give the markers a timeout for the rest of the day if she cant take care of them only because I wouldnt throw away perfectly good markers. There has to be some sort of consequence. In this case she colored and left stuff everywhere and really didnt get a consequence, right?
this was my first thought.

there was never a consequence for not doing it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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Re: Am I asking too much?

She moves onto the next thing without cleaning up. I remind her everytime she takes them out to put them away with caps. I mean every time. Its just so frustrating. Its not just markers. My house frequently is a nasty mess because I am one human who cannot possibly keep up with the kids EVERYTHING all the time. If she plays with blocks, she is reminded, please put these away when you are done. She never does it. Now my three year old is picking up the same habits too. ugh
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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Re: Am I asking too much?

My 5 year old son doesn't have the maturity (not quite the word I am looking for, but I hope you get the point) to remember to pick things up the second he is done with them.

As others mentioned, it's like he is so excited by the next thing whatever it happens to be, that he stops what he is doing and moves on not even remembering that he was supposed to do something else first.

Secondly, it takes about 28 times to makes something a habit. So if she is used to just stopping what she is doing and moving on, that is her habit. To form a new one is going to take 28 times of doing it the right way.

I would say something the second she finishes about cleaning up, and catch her before she moves on to something else. It can take a while, but that helps her form her new habit.

I doubt she even knows she is doing this until you mention it to her.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #9
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Re: Am I asking too much?

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Originally Posted by SaraElise View Post
My 5 year old son doesn't have the maturity (not quite the word I am looking for, but I hope you get the point) to remember to pick things up the second he is done with them.

As others mentioned, it's like he is so excited by the next thing whatever it happens to be, that he stops what he is doing and moves on not even remembering that he was supposed to do something else first.

Secondly, it takes about 28 times to makes something a habit. So if she is used to just stopping what she is doing and moving on, that is her habit. To form a new one is going to take 28 times of doing it the right way.

I would say something the second she finishes about cleaning up, and catch her before she moves on to something else. It can take a while, but that helps her form her new habit.

I doubt she even knows she is doing this until you mention it to her.
This is a great suggestion. I will certainly try that...
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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Re: Am I asking too much?

I think my issue is more that this happened 6 times TODAY. Can she really not remember that just an hour ago we had this same conversation? maybe she cannot. But when I remind her every time she takes them out and reminded her every time she did not put them back (this was six seperate occasions today) it seems crazy to me that she doesnt remember. Maybe we need more structured coloring time then its over for the day and put it away? IDK. For now I explained she cannot be trusted with markers and put them away and on the top shelf where she cannot reach them. SIGH....
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