You know, we still leave Huck's clothes and toys and things on the floor where he can see them. We used to put his clothing and toys away each day, but then it made him frantic -- do you remember how he reacted to the 'no pantry" thing this summer at my grandparents? Not being able to see the food/clothes/toys he has makes him insane.I started to respond to Maerlowe in a comment, but I decided this was important enough to put in a post.
I totally realize that Huck's 4 and Frankie's not... But. We've been trained not to put things in the drawers. Better to have a pile of wrinkled, clean clothes than a child who isn't sure whether he belongs or not.
First, Maerlowe is right. Kids of all ages can feel much more secure with all their belongings in sight. I think that is probably true for Frankie as well. His being older adds another dimension: he may regard it as a justifiable invasion of privacy.
When I decided to do it I was thinking only about how frustrated he has been about not being able to find his own belongings, the fact that I knew some of Andrew's and Brian's things were in that mess, and that it really seemed to have got to the point where it was a fire and safety hazard. I also just couldn't imagine doing it with him. Not because he would not want me to (Evan HATED for me to even look inside his room), but because I just could not imagine him doing anything other than get in my way -- but that might not be fair. Another motivation is that he is supposed to have an inventory of his possessions and though I am confident that I mailed it in, they don't have it. Cleaning his room seemed to be a good, perhaps even necessary, way to do that.
In retrospect, I'm not confident that cleaning his room while he was gone was wise. In fact, it unexpectedly became MUCH more complicated: when I cleaned the room Hubby was able to see that the bed frame had gone wonky. He took apart the bed to fix it and found ... um ... a Secret Thing. It was clearly hidden from us and I am not certain how to deal with it.
If he is upset about the room cleaning, we will apologize and promise not to do it again -- and we won't. We won't however allow his room to get THAT messy again. I really think it was unsafe.
Tomorrow I am going to buy some clear plastic boxes that will fit on his shelves for all his toys and stuff. One of the things that I found was the key to his lock box, and I will offer to put a lock on his storage cupboard, or take the doors off so he can see inside -- whichever he prefers. I want him to know that I really do want to respect his privacy, and I will understand if he has a need for things to be where he can see them. Probably none of this will help. He will continue to drop toys, clothes, trash, and everything else wherever he is.
Regarding The Secret Thing under his bed...well...we are whimping out. We put it back along with some of his papers and stuff, creating the impression that we never cleaned under the bed. We are telling the social worker and counselor what we found and will follow their advice.
Sadly, though I found several things he had lost, I did not find some things he lost recently that he was upset about. I would like to find those for him, but they could be anywhere in the house.
Given that he had put NOTHING inside his dresser I am wondering if I should take it out and replace it with shelves.
Clearly I haven't given up hope that we can keep at least some of this things off the floor and the trash in the trash can.