Hi, I am a mommy of an eight y/o boy and a five y/o girl. Back in February, I got out of a domestic situation with my now ex-husband (not the father of either child). Since it was a domestic situation DCFS got involved now; I have a caseworker working with me for a year. Well, one of the rules I have is I cannot physically discipline my children at all. This has lead to them walking all over me and believing they can do whatever whenever. 2 weeks ago, my caseworker came over, saw their room, and told them they needed to clean it and also help me with the rest of the house (I am disabled, so it’s really hard to keep up with housework and taking care of them). Well, every day since she said that, I’ve told them to clean it and they won’t give taken away electronics. I’ve done time-outs and even sat down and talked to them to try to get them to help me. They’ve also had their nana tell them to help me, and their aunt tells them also. Nothing is working. Finally, today I broke down and cleaned it myself but as soon as it was done, they were in there destroying it again. Just like I had the living room and kitchen spotless yesterday, and it looks like a tornado has gone through both today. I’ve asked for help from them, but still, they refuse to do anything. And the other day, my eight y/o retaliated by drawing on the bathroom wall with his poop because he’s mad he’s not getting his way and what he wants. I’m just at a loss at what to do. Does anyone have any advice?
Start throwing things out. The less you have the less mess, even your kids things. Physical discipline is never ok even if it’s a rule for now. If they lived with you during the time you were abused then they probably will also need therapist.
Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. My kids have not been listening to me and I am at a loss: Advice?
Throw away their stuff if they won’t clean up after themselves.
Throw that shit away then. They can sit there bored with nothing to do
I would put them in therapy. An 8-year-old responding with that type of behavior is a major red flag.
Anything left out after bed gets bagged up in garbage bags and either tossed or donated (you can store it somewhere and let them earn it back later but for now its GONE).
I was a foster mom for years. No physical discipline is allowed with fosters. Trust me, consistent discipline does work.
You don’t need a case worker, you all need a therapist!
I would remove all there stuff but there bed and maybe 3 outfits
You tell them that if they can’t clean up then expect their items to go in the trash. If you have to pick it up, it’s gone for good. They will test you, be ready to actually go through with it.
I would pack up anything out of place and put in a bag. I’d tell them you have tobfo certain chores to get back 1at a time per each chore. I would also tell them if they don’t listen and clean up I would do again.
Since when can you not discipline your children?
Give it away to kids who appreciate it… take everything out except for their beds and clothes
If the only way you know how to parent is by physically hitting your children, you probably needed cps involved. My advice is therapy for you and parenting classes so you can actually communicate with your children.
I agree with the above–take all their things away that are picked up, then have them earn the items back.
Don’t let them play with their toys for awhile until they clean up. You clean their room and keep them out until bed.
Remove privileges Ruthlessly. Don’t give in
With my son (9) I took away everything … Toys, electronics, ANY thing that could be played with and bagged it up and hid it. In his room, all that is there is a bed, dresser, and his clothes. He learned real quick that momma wasnt playing. Ive never done corpal punishment. Hang in there, momma!
If you can’t tear their tails up they will just get worse. That’s the problem with a lot of kids now. Let the case worker come & supervise them cleaning.
If my kids refused to pick up their things, I’d take them away. You can always donate or store things. Take away electronics and create a.chore chart that allows them to earn time playing games. My kids have way too much stuff, but they are good about picking up. Once you get them into the habit of cleaning up, they’ll do great. I also do a toy rotation. Put away a lot of toys and swap them out. It’s less for them to clean up, and it makes old toys interesting again.
Make a donation to Goodwill, if their stuff.
Well, you should never really use violence as a form of “do this, do that” unless they’re seriously endangering themselves, kids should never be hit. Your caseworker is teaching a valuable lesson here. You’re disabled and have children, it sounds like they’ve had a rough upbringing. Use a reward system, if they do xyz reward for good behavior, make a chart if you will, make it fun for them, use your imagination.
Honey…you need to put them in therapy. What your 8 year old is doing is a HUGE sign. Get them both help before it’s too late.
I would take everything away and leave there bed a dresser and tell them they have to earn one thing at a time back and if they dont help then they have to sit st the table and write a paragraph as to why they wont help and give it to the case worker you dont have to give then anything as long as they have the basics bed dresser clothes etc.
Take away their things and say you threw them know the trash. Also, therapy… I would be more concerned with how the 8 year old is acting out… sounds like there is more going on that they aren’t talking about.
Leave just their beds in their room. Only have them 2 toys each to play with. No electronics period. No desserts. If they decide to draw on walls with poop then I’d get them a lil baby potty and make them use it in the living room infront of you.
Like others have said 1 therapy and 2 take their toys away until they learn respect
Everyone needs therapy…physical discipline never works, only damages the brain. 30+ year of studies proving this. There are plenty of tips out there for free for you to take advantage of. Doing 90% of these tips like physically disciplining, taking items(except they can’t have say the tablet until room is picked up, THAT is reasonable). You have to understand even if it was just you who experienced the abuse, your children most definitely witnessed or overheard it and THAT IS TRAUMA!!! Get yourself and them professional help. This is gonna be a LONG and COMPLICATED journey. Good luck
If DCFS is involved I would ask them to have the children placed in a temporary home, they’ll see the difference and they’ll come back begging, that’s ruthless
Id make him scrub wall id take away all electronics and find a good farm to put them to work on. I also suggest counseling they might have lingering emotions from your domestic situation
Why do they have electronics at that age.ine didnt get until middle school. Of it a game system let them play it after room a once a week. Get rid of them and get trash bags and take all their stuff in it. Then they want stuff tell them their room isnt clean. Dont let them run over you at this age. If you do you will never handle them has teenagers. Been their parent not their friend… Hard but you got to do it!
Get rid of everything but their beds
If YOU were the victim of abuse, how is DCFS going to say that YOU can’t spank your children? They don’t get to make that call. Sorry, but if that’s the case, they’re crossing a major line. DCFS does NOT get to tell you how to punish your children. So long as you aren’t beating them, they don’t have the right to interfere one bit!
Taking their possessions and giving them away is going to do nothing but cause further outbursts and lack of trust.
It sounds like there needs to be some family counseling. Your social worker should be able to help with this. Social workers do not typically get a thrill out of putting kids into foster care and will typically help the parent get connected with beneficial resources.
Trauma needs to be processed. Not internalized. For you and for your children.
There are many ways to discipline them including groundings Ana’s electronic groundings that don’t involve laying a hand on them.
I give my kids x amount of time to do thier chores and do them well not half assed or they get disciplined. It should not take 2 hrs to do one sink dishes
There’s wall sits, push ups, sitting hands in hands in laps listening to lectures on not being disrespectful to parents or other adults who e asked nicely several times for them to do what they know they need to get done. Removing other toys for x hrs or days etc. my kids used to walk allll over me too until I started the non physical as in I don’t have to lay hands on them. Not only that it’ll get them ready for school sports should they choose to participate in any. Do they like wall sits no they hate them with a passion so if the problem
Is severe enough that’s the go to for them being super bad and it starts with 3 mins if they cheat I add 1 min
My children are the same way same ages my oldest is a boy my youngest is a girl and i cant get either one of them to do anything. My house is destroyed. Im 5’3 210 my.son is half my size and almost as tall as me and autistic with anger issues. Their dad has been in prison since feb and ive had cps involvedmy kids wont do shit. I do everything. Its hard. They wont clean up after themselves or their room so i throw things away. If they like it and wont pick it up it either goes in my closet cuz half the time i dont have the balls to throw it away or i actually do throw it away. I also have that voice that if you dont do what i say all hell is going to break loose. So what i would suggest and this took me a while is be stern with them. My son pisses in his room when hes mad and using that deep oh shit mom voice has made a huge difference. Use the voice and maybe even be in there helping them. Like tell them to pick up garbage or put this toy here. Kinda like guide them. This is just what i do and its helped. We clean up their rooms every other day.
They are acting out and prob need therapy . Negative attn is still attn to a child . I’m very sorry you had to go through this
as y are a single mom giving everything away likely not a good idea-Get that child or children into therapy Child services has people who can help an the one playing with poop has he/she been sexually abused? These children are slipping thru the cracks get the social worker to refer your kids to summer programs -camps big brothers /sisters utilize the church find an talk an talk you need help being a single mom means asking an looking for help
get the realtives to help go straight minimal with them and help you bag up toys leave the bed and blanket in their room 5 outfits and shoes and their 3 meals a day no extras and change the wifi password. Tell them “You want to act like hooligans, you can get treated like them too”. You are only mandated to offer nutrition, and a safe place to sleep with proper hygiene…all the toys and extras are not mandatory. tell them they can have the other stuff back when they start respecting the fact that when you left X to get away from the mistreatment you did that to better all 3 of you and you will not let the disrespect and mistreatment continue from anyone including the kids. granted the 5 year old is a little young but cleaning her room is an easy chore and should not be a problem. (Mom of 3, stepmom to 4, gramma of 3) And the poop incident with the boy, thats not sanitary and you may want to look into counseling because he is acting out and without remorse on it and solely to cause a reaction he might need mediation. mentioning that to the caseworker might help. understand that you have all gone through the domestic situation not just you and they have to heal as well
I would make them write 100 times I will help keep the house clean… And anything that’s theirs gets baged up and put away then they can earn it back
If they don’t have toys to misuse then they won’t misuse them. My son is addicted to the TV, and nothing I did helped with the behavior until he lost his TV completely. You can’t spank them, but you CAN enforce rules and punishments. Make them earn every toy back with a rewards system. Leave them with only the things necessary for their upbringing, so just a bed, light, and clothes. If they complain that they’re bored tell them that they can clean an area of the home for ‘x’ amount of time with one toy. They’ll learn that they have to earn what they want, and no matter what don’t give in! They’ll scream and cry and tell you you’re awful, but once they are older and realize that they can’t act that way they WILL thank you.
These kids are acting out because there is a much bigger problem. Time for you all to be talking to someone. Your children have also learned how to disrespect by your ex. They need to learn this is not a behaviour you will tolerate and that it’s not nice treating people the way they do. But good for you on getting out. Now it’s time to heal all of you with therapy.
Black rubbish bag, everything that goes on the floor ends up in the bag. If they want their “possessions” back make with earn it! If they refuse straight into the garbage it goes… They are old enough to know the difference. I also think they may be acting out due to the changes and circumstances this year. Have you had them talk to someone professionally?
Tell your caseworker you need parenting classes, so you have educated options on discipline options. DO IT NOW. That 9 year old needs proper guidance before he gets much older.
Question for the author. Are their fathers involve in their lives? Maybe they could be of some help. No visiting or going anywhere til they start respecting you. I would take away everything they own. Even a bedroom door would be gone. Earn it back. They only get enough clothes for a week and food when meals are made, no snacks. Serious tough love needed here. Just my opinion.
Looks like you need to remove everything but the actual necessities out of there room.
Record them to show your case worker why you….Busted. Their. ASS. & tell your case worker to to bail them out of jail when they are 12/13 since you aren’t allowed to discipline them? Threaten them that if they don’t do as told the first time, the case worker will take them to a foster home & explain how bad that can get.
As for the unsanitary acting out have him be the one to clean it off and disinfect and wash his hands afterwards. Maybe he needs to learn to
Hand wash his clothes for a few days or learn to hand mop the bathroom floor but that’s yeah just make sure he knows that it’s highly inappropriate what he did and there are consequences for such things if he doesn’t like it he can sit in the middle of his floor no toys books etc for an hr to think about what he’s done. Give him water at the 1 hr mark ask him if he’s got anything to tell you if he’s not apologetic then repeat an hr of absolutely nothing he can stare at his walls praise and thank them for the good things they do help with. Ask them doesn’t it feel nice to come into a clean room once it’s clean and tell them they’ll feel better about everything if they keep it clean
Have the children had therapy? Even if you think they didn’t see certain things, they know more than you think. That would be the first step
One is 8 one is 5. They are kids. Jesus on a bike.
If it’s not cleaned up it’s thrown out
Everything you have to pick up that is theirs put in a bag and they have to earn it back or it goes in the garbage
My girls 5 & 4 at times don’t take me seriously either because I don’t spank them. I have a dad who is a social worker & says spanking shouldn’t be done. Even though as a little kid I was. It taught me not to do the same mistakes. An easy way is to start taking their toys away give them away. So they start noticing “if we don’t listen we have no toys” also putting them in think time or in their rooms until they calm down. I know it’s hard but also yelling at them won’t help either. They’ll think yelling is okay & will get into the habit of it too. Talking to them in a stern voice is better. I hope this helps maybe even have an uncle or grandparent scold them to listen to you. It works with my girls. Best of luck to you!
Counseling Them and you. May Be acting up because of the speration. Sometimes it’s developing a tone of voice. Parenting class.
Don’t need to be loud or physical punishment. Glad you have a support person even though it feels threatening
Lots of praise even for little things
First of all do you realize that we are talking about a 8 and 5 year old. At this tender age they have seen way more than they were supposed to regarding to the domestic violence issues at home. What we see has being unrulely is actually kids that are acting out, thats emotional pain right there. Mom I would really seek help for their mental state. Mom I know that you must be so overwhelmed and at a breaking point because you your self haven’t had proper time to process and heal from the pain that was inflicted on you. But try to be gentle and patient it’s only been a few months. Please know this acting out has a deep root cause. Trauma needs time. The more you hard on them the more you risk them withdrawing from you. Eg the act with the poop on the wall. Any person of the cuff would say that child is naughty but the actual truth is he actually cnt handle his emotions and his anger is misplaced. That precious little boy is so lost. Please seek for all of yourl dnt underestimate you abuse.
I am using this as a good time to teach my son about working to eat. I don’t expect him to clean or do anything. He just better start learning from me now so he doesn’t starve in the future. And I always tell him that he has to help me too and think of me too because I can’t take care of him if I can’t take care of myself first. Just hope he learns something
T.I.P. Trauma Informed parenting
I would make him clean the wall
These children are crying out for love and attention
Ignore the negative and praise the positive
After the trauma they have been through they need love and guidance not harsh discipline x
It is worrisome that you don’t know how to discipline without getting physical, I would get all of you into individual and family therapy asap
They’re 8 and 5 I understand picking up after themselves but they are not maids, you need to figure out other ways to clean your home.
Be firm and consistent. Giving in and doing it yourself only enforces that mum will eventually do it for me like a reward for acting up and refusing to do it. If you stand your ground they will eventually learn that doing what they are supposed to will get them what they want faster if they just do it without complaint. Work out what works as a reward for their behaviour- eg if they spend 30 minutes actually cleaning their room and not just 30 minutes sitting in their complaining and not really accomplishing anything they don’t get the reward. Praise on how good a job they have done when they do put the effort in (even if it is not perfect - kids love praise - my 8 yo will clean his room without being asked and ask me to have a look and comment how good a job he has done making his bed and just be so proud of himself that he wants me to reaffirm that he has done good)
My son is 8 if he don’t get cleaned I put it in a garbage bag til he starts cleaning up. No tv no tablet. He had anger issues so I got him a case worker it also helps him focus on how to express himself and anger. I’m sorry I have a state worker for a year in my state they are only allowed 30 days unless the child is taken. Just make sure u follow what they say and u will be fine. I’m glad u got out of that relationship. Hopefully ur kids will start to help u esp ur son where he is 8 now
Throw every thing away other then what they absolutely need
I am in the same sinking ship. Mine are 9.5 & 13. Being a single parent is exhausting, working up to 7 days a week, especially when they don’t seem to care or listen. They spend most of their time in their rooms so sending them to their rooms is pointless. Taking their electronics not only punishes them but me also, because now I cannot get any alone time or work done because they are bored and will not leave me be. I have tried affirmative response, yelling, spanking, therapy, time out, going on strike, parenting classes (19 to be exact), taking away items and privileges nothing seems to work they still won’t help and I am left even more exhausted. So now what do I do??
Shoulda call d that social worker back and asked would she rather clean that up or allow for butt whipping
Parenting is hard.esp doing it alone.i commend you for asking for help. Stick to keeping rules. dont back down when you are tierd, and find punishments that work, taking away elctronics etc. Eventually things get easier.just let them know they arent boss momma is. I wish you the best.
throw all their toys in the bin and make them realise you will no longer clean up their mess they are old enough to do it themselves also maybe think of getting them professional help as trauma can make kids act out
I used the method if bagging their stuff in a trash bag and the only way they can earn them back was by doing chores…they would earn the items by how big of a chore they did and if they did it correctly without tantrums or talking back… I took my daughters door off her bedroom because she had a habit of slamming and locking her doors… 3 whole months without a door broke her… now you can even hear her close a door and the only door she does lock is the bathroom
Ask your social worker for respite and read a lot about the Teaching Family Model. It helps a lot. An no extras until they do what is reguired. I would get the poop smearer some mental health help.
I’d slap there bottoms but there acting out from your x.
Sounds like they need a good ole ass whipping.
I guess I should’ve also mentioned my 8 y/o is in councilling to help with the trauma im also in councilling but it will be another year before they take my 5 y/o to councilling. Also I have taken away electronics and special privileges they had to try to get them to listen. Also not only have I sat down and talked to them so have the case worker and my mom and my best friend have also talked to them. Literally nothing is working to get them to listen they just act out more and its not for lack of attention I spend time with them constantly and we even have it set up if they want attention they can just walk up to me say they want attention and ill drop what im doing to give it to them.
The question is why don’t they listen to you without beating them? It’s because you only beat then to discipline them
This might be a bit much for some buuuut… it’s time to turn into an actress. Pack them a bag and tell them the lady is coming to take them somewhere else to live… if they can’t do as you say they have to live with someone else and good luck for them to find someone that will let them have as much as they had with you. They need to be scared and maybe it will light a fire. Hell I got threatened with being dropped off at the orphanage once or twice and I turned out just fine
Kindness is good and praise
When my kids were little I’d take all their stuff and put it in a garbage bag.
They could earn it back through extra chores without beging asked. Then they could get whatever, depending on how much effort they put in.
If it wasnt earned back in a month it got thrown away, or donated. they obviously didn’t want/need it.
When I was young. In order for me to listen to my mom. If my room wasn’t cleaned. She would get everything off the floors. And throw it away in front of me. Now I know that sounds harsh bit it’s the only way they will learn if they want to keep their things. If that doesn’t work. Idk what else could. But that’s one way I learned to keep my room cleaned.
Start taking all of their things away. If it isn’t necessary for them to need to have or use, put it in a big garbage bag and stash it away and don’t let them have anything. I’ll volunteer to come over and spank them for you because God knows that’s what my kids would get
Also get them in to see a therapist
At 5 and 8 by 13 they are going to be reform school material.
Next time, send them outside while you clean it with trash bags. No toys equals no mess. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Consistent. Let them know that you mean business.
And when a caseworker tells you it’s time to clean, I have concerns on how your case will go. Js
Make him clean it!!! And take away every thing. But their beds and clothes. Good behavior can earn back more as you go.
Put them up for adoption
Your kids have been through thinks kids shouldn’t see! You don’t need to physically touch your kids to discipline them! Get your mother and sister in to help with things you cannot do yourself! Your kids now need your time and attention watch some films together do some crafts… mess can wait!
I sometimes have my niece who’s 11 and my 2 nephews 12&8 . my niece Is nice , polite but the boys especially the 8 year old , he does whatever he wants, says what he wants like go screw yourself I don’t have to listen. When I was a kid I got my butt beat , know a days can’t disapline cause of child abuse. Well what about adult abuse kids are doing to us.
Take electronics away and if they still refuse to listen take their toys put them in a garbage bag and put them up and away from them for whatever time frame you deem necessary. They can be restricted to their rooms with books until they can help and act right.
Whip them and threaten them if they tell they’ll get it again. They’ll stop
Strip the room of everything but essentials, bed , blanket and pillow. The rest is all earned back
Put your foot down and ENFORCE your rules
Take away most of the toys and junk. If there’s not much to clean up it’s gonna stay clean. If they smear poop on the wall they can clean it up or lay in bed grounded. I’ve thrown toys out before , if it’s favorite things they can earn it back but if it’s not a favorite thing I would trash it. Declutter
I have three boys and I cannot even remember the last time I actually had to spank my kids. I make the punishment fit the crime. If they wiped anything on the wall they will clean it with a toothbrush off that wall until I say its clean. If they run in the house they walk down the hall back and forth until I say their tired. My oldest told me once that if I spanked him he would tell the school and they would yell at me I turned around and took his phone and sold it. He was having a attitude problem at the time and that took care of it. The trick is that they have to know you mean business. You have to be consistent. If you tell them to help clean the house then you do not clean the house alone. If they refuse to help then they do it alone while you watch. In my opinion talking to kids at that age range wont do much. To me it seems like they know you cant spank them and they think that they have freedom to do as they please because of it. I also give my kids more chores or more school work if they misbehave, I dont just take away things I add things onto them that I know they wont enjoy. Basically it makes them think twice before breaking a rule. Plus our rules dont change and the chores we expect them to do only change as there age changes so they know what is expected of them and if they dont do them then they are punished. Also, dont say you are gonna do something and dont do it when it comes to a punishment. Dont say your gonna ground them and not do it. Its a big no no.
Sounds like a mess. They are 8 and 5. An 8 year old can handle 8 “rules.” A 5 year old can have 5. I would begin by stripping rooms to a bed. Any extras have to be earned. Realistically they are small humans who have seen too much. Be realistic. Once they have mastered basics; tooth brushing, hand washing, bathing (8 year old may be able to shampoo, a 5 year old need assistance) and anything you ask them to assist with needs to be right beside you doing it together. You can’t send an 8 year old to clean his room - you can lay on the bed and point to things that need to be put away, and where they go. You can get laundry baskets for toy containers, etc. It has to be easy - and the more stuff they have the worse it is. Good luck.
I have stood in my kids room and told them I’ve got a garbage bag, hope you can pick up faster than I can. It usually works. I usually end up with very little in my bag and I try to start with things I know are broken or not played with anyways. Then when room is clean they can go through the bag. I have also never thrown away their toys. I put them in the attic and then slowly give them back and they don’t realize it was the stuff from the bag.
Also to all you saying she can’t discipline without spanking etc. you do realize that kids that age understand when and how they can manipulate a situation! She knows she can’t even threaten to spank them right now, which is a load of bs in my personal opinion. A spanking on the butt isn’t abuse! As long as no marks are left and it is the butt, not the leg arm or any other part of their body, it is discipline not abuse. This is the problem with most of society today. Kids weren’t raised with a healthy level of respect and understanding. Good luck momma!
Take privileges away. No tv. & a therapist
Smearing isn’t a typical response. Ask your caseworker to help you set them up with therapy I think
Black garbage bags. Anything left out gets thrown out. No TV. No video games. Suspend cable or internet services if your will is weak.
When my daughter was younger I would give her step by step on what needed to be done and how long she had on each section (I was more then generous) and if that wasn’t done whatever was left got “thrown away”. I would take it out for a set amount of time and slowly put them back as things improved. I also agree with the moms who are saying take everything but the essentials. I’m so sorry you are having to go through this it sounds like you son especially needs to be put in counseling, he is WAY to old to be pulling that crap.
Take their stuff and throw it in a trash can. Or do what my mom did to my sister and I. Take all of the items in their bedroom and throw it out their window. Then they can bring in all their belongings and put them where they belong. If they refuse to them throw it all in black trash bags. You need to put your foot down and let them kids know you are the alpha in your home. My kids were the same way. I also refused to spank me my reason was because of my abusive ex husband who was also their father. I started spanking again open handed on the bottom. My kids are way better now. You are the adult. You make the rules. You enforce those rules.
Oh hell no! My daughter is 2 yrs old and she knows the look now because counting does not work she just finishes counting for me! I am so sorry you are dealing with this. If there wasn’t a case worker involved I would say clear their room out of all toys and just leave the bed. They are at the age where they should know that is not ok and what respect is. I would try keeping them in the room only out to eat and restrooms. If they see they can just do this I can’t imagine how they will treat you in 2 years. Best of luck to you momma. I home nothing but the best
First, since you are disabled, get in touch with an Independent Living care place. In Erie PA it’s called Voices for Independence. They will evaluate your needs and send help for cleaning at least a few days a week. That will help you soooo much and you won’t have to stress about your housework as much.
Then any punishment you give the kids, stick with it. If it’s no electronics until they clean their room, then put the children in their rooms and tell them that they’re not allowed to do anything besides clean that room. If lunch time rolls around, feed them and right back into their room they go. Then if dinner comes and they aren’t done, feed them dinner, and right back to their rooms they go, AFTER HELPING YOU CLEAN UP DINNER! Then back to their rooms they go! It may take a few days, but tell them when they’re done cleaning their rooms, you will go to the park, playground, or beach. And follow through with the activity as soon as the rooms are done. Say things like “Man, I can’t wait until you guys are done so we can go to the playground, or whatever you told them the fun thing would be. Instant rewards are essential to children of those ages You may have to even stand at the door explaining what goes where, example: pick up your trucks and put them over there, your legos go in that bin over there, dolls go in that buggy, etc. Kids at those ages still need some guidance even if you’re not physically doing the cleaning, you may still have to coach them through it. Once it’s cleaned, everyday, pick a time, after lunch possibly, and then before bedtime, and make them clean up what they messed up. Use a sticker chart and once they get 5 or 10 stickers on the chart, they get to pick a toy. Dollar stores are good or 5 Below. Fill a box with some cool new things for them to do like bubbles, crayons or a coloring book, anything they may like. They DO NOT get a toy until they get their stickers! I hope you can get them to help you!