What is the best way to get your child to pick up after them selves?

La Donna - posted on 12/04/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My daughter only picks up after herself every now and then and I would really like to find a way to get her todo it to help herself to know how to be neat and take care of belongings aswell as to help me out not having to pick up after all her messes.

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Sara - posted on 12/31/2009

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A huge help is to label where things go. I have an in-home daycare and could never keep up with everything getting put away if it was not for labels. I label with words and a picture (for the little ones). I can say ok it is time to pick up and everything gets put away neat and clean. No one says where does this go. They know and my 15 month old is beginning to be able to put stuff away as well. You have to start young and expect them to help every time. The littlest ones like to dump everything and to resolve that I go behind them for a couple days and remind them to pick up and then help them over and over. Hope this helps!

Melinda - posted on 12/26/2009

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I ask my kids once to pick up thier toys, if they don't I pick them up and they get put up for one day and then the kids can have them back. Sometimes if it's a chronic problem that day/week I pick them up and they go to Goodwill. My rule is if you can't take the responsibility of owning something you don't deserve it. It's all about teaching self-respect and respect for one's own property.

Heather - posted on 12/06/2009

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I have the same problem. Can't get my 3 yr old son to pick up his toys. Taking them away for awhile worked for a very short time. It took him off guard but then he got used to that I guess. And would just say "No mommy you pick up the toys and put them in the closet." My husband would throw the toys away but things are so expensive and we do not have extra money to spare. Throwing them away would leave him with no toys and since I am the one that stays home with him I would be the one being punished in the long run. Because my son would just get into everything else and would bother me and I would never get anything done.
He has even broken quite a few toys and gets mad when they are thrown out. But does not seem to get the concept, because he continues to be rough with them. For some reason he also thinks that if he breaks a toy he can just get a new one. Not sure where that came from considering we do not go out and buy him more toys.
So for now we still take the toys away.

Crystal - posted on 12/06/2009

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Well this goes to show it doesn't work with every child. My oldest simply learned to hide her stuff under her covers and go to sleep... note to parents do not try this if your child is lucky enough to have a big bed....

Rebekah - posted on 12/05/2009

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You know, I feel the need to add that I pick the time when we do this. Everything else stops, and their full attention is on picking up until we're done. I think the things that have really helped me have been keeping my attitude upbeat. If I'm excited about the work instead of frustrated over the mess, their attitudes are better. Also instilling the idea of family being about teamwork, and what a huge help they are to me when they do their part!

Rebekah - posted on 12/05/2009

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I've tried different ways. The best so far is to spend 15 min, a day and do it together. We use a timer and try real hard to beat the time. It's helped a lot. I've started using it in their bedrooms too, and it even really helps my older children. My kids also have chores. Each day is something different throughout the week. This way they each get a turn in the living room, and classroom (we homeschool). It helps when they have to deal with other peoples messes as well as their own. They are getting a much better understanding why it helps when each person picks up after themselves.

Dana - posted on 12/04/2009

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LOL this happened with us and we were told by a child psychologist to put her trash on her bed over and over if we had to and to tell her this is where it would end up if she didn't put it up or in the trash. Well it sure got to our daughter the only problem it was the other daughters trash, thats why I laughed out loud. Well it worked when the other daughter knew where her things would end up trash, food, and all her stuff on her bed that she would have to move before she could sleep. Good luck

Amy - posted on 12/04/2009

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My husband and I have the same problem. My husband will throuw out the toys. Then our son will come and ask where is this toy and that toy. I say ask Dad. One time my husband got so mad he broke one of the toys. Abraham was so mad and throughing out toys he plays with and loves. We told him go ahead that will not bother us. Next time remember to clean up your room. Now when Frank broke it he hit his foot on it and steped on ti so it hurt and he got mad and broke the toy gun. His friends will come over and have toys all over the house and we told him keep this up and your friends will not come over. Plus my husband does not help me too much and Abe sees that and thinks this is ok and does the same thing. It is not always easy.

Cassandra - posted on 12/04/2009

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I did not know how old the child is; that is why it is mentioned as a tough love scenario. I had to do that with my boys; since that time they have improved, every once in awhile I might have to pull out the bag.

Heidi - posted on 12/04/2009

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I would use the things my kids like to do the most, which is play with their toys and play kiddy video games together! So I tell them hey if you want to have your playtime today and play games together you need to clean up after yourselves! if they say no, I say ok then you don't get to play with us, you can go to your room until we are done playing, usually they start helping right away, but I have had them all say no, and refuse to clean, I took all the toys, and fun stuff they get to play with away for a whole week! they were bored stiff, but since then they have been great about helping me, they even want to help cook, vaccum, and fold clothes, and they are under 5. So try a few things, but when you see some progress with it, STICK TO IT!!! never back down or say ok you've been good mommy can get it, NEVER. be strong you'll be fine. hope this helps!
Heidi

Cassandra - posted on 12/04/2009

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Start early in having them to help clean up. If she does not do it, then get a garbage bag and place the items inside. If she is old enough to teach a lesson, then hide the bag and gradually give back the items. If not then do the tough love scenario.



She will do as you teach her. Use a penalty or chore chart.

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