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Why Won’t You Pick Up After Yourself?

July 23rd, 2009 by zmorshed

     Okay, so I am a sibling of four; one older and two younger, way younger.  If there is anyone in the house who cleans the bathrooms, it is either me or Mom. Being the type A daughter, I feel bad and want to help out, especially clean up a mess that is my own (and my three other sisters). Every other day, I see a pile of clothing running over the laundry basket or empty toilet paper rolls stacked up in a pile. With the older sibling, it is rather difficult trying to use reinforcements. But with my two little sisters and their royal mess of little girly toys and nail polish on the bathroom vanity, I am able to use operant conditioning such as reinforcement and punishment techniques. Some days I just take them to the park or bake cookies for them if they do as I ask. Other days, I threaten to have Mom take away their bicycles or favorite art sets for some time. After a while, they get in to the habit of cleaning on their own, thank goodness.

     The same thing happend with my previous roommate and I. Boy, was it difficult keep our floor and vanity clean for a even just a few days consecutively! I quickly discovered that my roommate was no cleaner, especially because she was an athlete, and let’s face it, athletes don’t mind things being dirty. {Am I stereotyping? ;) } That made it worse, I could not handle the smell of dirty socks, stockings, jerseys being thrown around every where. So I attempted enfocing the positive reinforcement techniques first. Didn’t work. Eventually I went from being nice girl to mean girl. But it was out of roommate love (it really was, believe me!) and worked out in the end.

    I guess you can’t change a person’s habits unless they want to themselves, but you can easily get your way out of cleaning all the time by threatening to blackmail them, if all else fails :P


p.s. I love my roommate and my siblings.

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