Cleaning Your Room – Parent vs Child

The biggest battle of parenthood I see as a “choose your battles wisely” topic is cleaning your child’s bedroom.  So many parents complain about how messy their child’s room is, or complain about how they can’t get their child to clean their room. I see two types of parental mindsets with the topic of children’s bedroom cleaning;

  1. The parents who simply want their child’s room to be clutter free, organized and presentable.
  2. The parents who want their child’s bedroom cleaned and organized their way vs the child’s way.

Both parents are perfectly right, who’s to say it’s going to ruin a child by making them clean their bedroom a certain way. I am sure the child will survive the life of having to keep a clean and tidy room whether by their own standards or their parents standards. I simply choose to take another route. Spending many years in therapy with my middle child has really helped open my eyes to what battles are worth fighting for or not.

Cleaning Your Room - Parent vs Child

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How I think A Parent Can Handle Cleaning of their Child’s Room with Less Stress

First off, one thing that bothered me from my childhood was the constant need for me to fold clothes the way the parent did it, clean room the way the parent wants it, and even wash dishes the same exact way my parent wanted me to. I see a flaw in this; I believe parents are suppose to guide children to be individuals. No two people will do the same task in the exact same method but they can end up with the same positive result; meaning my bedroom can be clean by my standards but it may not be up to par with your view of what clean is. The dishes may end up clean, but the process I took to get there is not the same process you took. This is all perfectly okay.

Again, one thing most parents start to realize is that we parent based on our own experiences. I parent based on my own to shed a positive light upon things I felt agonized about as a child.

The key to alleviating stress when it comes to cleaning your child’s bedroom is as simple as allowing your child to clean their room in their own unique way. For example, my daughter has a clutter fest of a bedroom, she is a person who hangs onto everything. It drives me bonkers! I had a discussion with  my daughter, I listened to her side of what a clean room should be and came to my own conclusion of an acceptable approach to her bedroom cleanliness.

My mission is simple: I want the bedroom to be sanitary without food or trash anywhere. I want to be able to walk through my daughter’s room without stepping on anything, including trash. I want to be able to know which clothes are clean and which clothes are dirty in her bedroom and I want her room to be fire safe.

Pretty simple, right?

That’s how I handle the topic of cleaning a child’s bedroom. I allow that to be their space, organized just how they want but it must be a presentable place where I can walk into and hang out with my child or read a book with them without stepping or sitting on things. I want no trash nor food in the room so that the house is sanitary as a whole. This works for us and has actually increased the times my daughter cleans her room close to what I would clean it to more often than not.

There is no arguing over her personal space and there is no stress involved when I say “go clean your room up a bit please”. It’s a win/win and the way I look at it is this; if there comes a day when she can’t find something because of the way she “organizes” her bedroom, then maybe she will change her method up a bit. For now? We live in peace with sanitary bedrooms. I am good with that.

Sharing my Queen Size Bed With Little Four Year Old

For some reason my four year old is really having a difficult time being alone anywhere. If he realizes I have left the dining room, he is on the mission to find me. He will whine because he is just so scared yet can not really formulate a good reason why he is scared to be alone. He is scared of his bed. Scared of his shadow. Scared of his bedroom. Scared of his closet. The list could go on forever.

I honestly have little problem with him waking mid night and sleeping in my bed or sometimes even he takes my recliner beside the bed. It doesn’t really bother me, at this point, however, I know all too well how difficult a situation this will be to break once he is passed his “I am scare of everything” phase. That my friends, I am not looking forward to.

So in the meantime, I have a little one who takes over my bed almost every single night, except on the rare occasion he sleeps through the night in his own bed, in his own room. He shares a room with his brother, so it’s not like he is “alone” per say, but his brother sleeps through everything, thank goodness! That means when the four year old wakes mid night yelling for Mama, the six year old is still fast asleep through it all.

For now, as I share my bed with this cute four year old, I will debate on how important it is for me to fight this co-sleeping mid night battle or not. I am not quite ready, nor have energy to fight this battle right now at this point in time in my life. Too much going on that is just making this the least of my problems. I enjoy singing “there were two in the bed and the Mama said .. get out, get out” I do that often to the little one and he just thinks I am silly.

What’s with the Early mornings?

I have tried various bedtimes with my two sons in the past, never having been able to get them to wake up much later than 8am. That was nice, but it only happens on some rare occasion. Regardless of what time my sons go to bed, you can count on them rolling out of bed between 4am and 6am every day, seven days a week.

Now I don’t know about you but when the weekend comes I want to stay up a bit later, watching a movie, hanging out or writing on my blogs but then I pay for it come morning time. K-man has been waking up a couple of hours, if not as soon as I fall asleep, for the past few nights. He then ends up in my bed to sleep for the night, waking up for the day around 5am when his brother is whining and wide awake demanding breakfast.

I have no clue what to do to deter this early morning wake up, now if you think about it the boys sometimes pass out between 7pm and 8pm, waking up at 5am puts them sleeping somewhere between 9 and 10 hours. I don’t know if that’s enough sleep for a 4 & 6 year old or not. The boys used to sleep closer to 11-12 hours per night and then they were in better moods, so I can only assume they are boys who need 11-12 hours of sleep for a steady mood through out the day.

Lately I can forget about doing much past mid day because their moods are so horrible from being over tired that I can barely tolerate them. I want so badly to enjoy my sons but lately with them not getting enough sleep, which is what Aj used to do all of his life up until about a year ago, I just can’t function as well or have as much patience. I hate watching as Aj is having troubles sleeping as much as he needs to again, after all I thought he finally had a proper mood disorder diagnosis and was on the right medication. Maybe due to weight gain and growing taller it’s time for the dosage change, but I am not sure that’s the answer quite yet. I happen to like that he is on the lowest dose of the Risperidone.

Whatever the reason, whatever the diagnosis; the fact of the matter is my two sons need to sleep more and how do I force them to sleep more? Trying to force them to stay in their bedrooms is like asking to have a tornado of screaming, crying and sometimes aggressive behavior in your home. I decided to do what I do best; reach out to my blog readers and community for help on how to get the boys to go back to sleep, stay in bed longer or even take a mid day nap??

I Dare you To Jump Off Top Bunk Bed

Each and every morning at my house goes something like this;

Alarm finally wakes me, after dinging for 15 minutes.

I hit snooze, multiple times.

Ki comes in to wake me.

Boys wake up and come in to my room demanding breakfast.

Finally I drag my butt out of bed to get them ready for school.

However, one fine morning after going to sleep around one in the morning, I woke up wide awake after a really odd, but life like dream to find that my sons were talking. I glanced over at my video and audio monitor to see that both boys were on top of the bunk bed just hanging out.

I slowly closed my eyes.

Then at 6:38am I hear “I bet you can’t jump off the top bunk bed” and “I can, I not scared” … that would be the five year old son daring the “I have no fear” three year old to jump off of the top bunk bed.

I jump out of bed, suddenly more awake than I was a moment ago.

Pressing the microphone button on the audio & video monitor I inform the boys that they best not jump off of that bed and that I am coming down to get them. Of course my morning scratchy voice makes them think that Daddy is coming because apparently I sound like a man in the morning.

The boys start laughing, saying “daddy is coming, quick jump off the bed”.

I race down the stairs trying not to slip down them in my slipper socks and am yelling that they best not dare jump off of that bed and that I am coming. I walk into their room to find that they want to leap, without notice, off of top bunk bed into my arms.

If that doesn’t wake a parent up, I don’t know what else would.  I love my boys, but in all honesty, I was not prepared for the things that happen while raising these little boys.

 

There’s Has to be an Easier, More Efficient Bedtime Routine

My first born child was always really easy to get to sleep, of course she co-slept with me from the day she was born up until three or four years of age so when I went to sleep, she went to sleep. My sons on the other hand never really co-slept from the beginning. My first born had a bassinet beside my bed so that I could easily nurse him in the middle of the night but after 8 weeks he switched to formula and was in a crib in my bedroom. My last born child co-slept more than his brother but less than his sister. It seemed the boys were not as easy to have in our bed because they didn’t sleep when we slept necessarily and at that time I started getting concerned for their safety being in a bed in between two adults, whereas with my daughter I was a single mom so it was just her and me in the bed.

The first born boy has always had issues with sleeping through the night, it was given from the day he was born that we would no longer get a good nights sleep with this child but we had hoped in time this would change. In the past few months my first born son has started to sleep through the night but now the three year old wakes mid night with a wet pull up or wet pajamas and bed due to peeing too much while sleeping. I have tried to cut back on drinks before bed, make the three year old use the toilet before bedtime, but none of it keeps this child from waking mid night. If we are lucky there is one night in a seven day week that we can sleep all night without our deep sleep being interrupted from yelling boys.

The bedtime routine is pretty strict and each child is fully aware of it as it has been in place for many years. Up until about a year ago the routine was the same but both boys were placed to bed at the same time, they share a room so this ended up becoming a nightmare. The boys would jabber, feed into each other and if they got too hyper chatting then they wouldn’t be too easy to get back to sleep. After going to my first born son’s counselor with my concerns regarding bedtime routine, we were told to do each boy separately which in turn can make bedtime start as early as 6:30pm for the youngest and as late as 9pm for the oldest on some days. I personally want all three of my kids asleep by 8:30pm at the latest on a school night.

It’s been such a struggle with bedtime routine, which has been discussed with the counselor, but it is the only method that works right now to get them to sleep with less troubles and engagement between the boys. A normal night I spend two hours waiting for kids to be asleep and it’s killing me. I do not want to spend two hours every single night getting kids to bed, I feel like there has to be another option. Aside from wishing I had three bedrooms, I don’t know what else to do.

What would you suggest with my situation regarding wanting to cut down bedtime routine time?

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