How do I encourage my son to do what I need him to do during the day??

Stacey - posted on 03/19/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )




I'm constantly asking him to pick up his toys, clean up his mess, get dressed, brush his teeth. He knows how to do all of these things and constantly tells me no, or wants me to let him do something else first. He's 3 and 3 months..It's not that he can't he just wont. It takes me threatening to take priveleges away, but then I end up doing that all day long. I have a 10 month old baby to deal with and a mountain of chores. I need some continuity in the day, and having a preschooler that refuses to help is getting tiring. Tips? When it comes to toy clean up, I get down and help's not like I'm expecting him to do everything all by himself, I just need him to be willing. He has also started stalling bedtime by telling us he's hungry and thirsty. At first I thought, okay a growth spurt, but now it's become apparent that he's just using it as a stall tactic. I know I need to stay consistent with whatever I do, I just need to figure out what to do!


Sarah - posted on 03/19/2012




I like the rewards chart. Another thing that may help is picking a few times in the day when you have him pick up his toys. In my house we do it right before lunch and right before bed. When we pick up before lunch one thing I always say is....we need to get the toys picked up so we can eat, and if they are not wanting to pick up then I will ask them if they are hungry and remind them that we need to get the toys picked up so we can go eat. Make the toys easy to pick up. Have tots or buckets for certain toys or a big toy box. I have a cars and trucks box, a baby doll box, a dress up box, etc. It makes picking up quick and easy. There are different clean-up songs you can sing as you pick up also. You can also make picking up a game. Set a timer and see if you can beat the bell. This can also be used with getting dressed in the morning.

For the bedtime thing I think every kid does this :). What I do is to do all those things that they may get up for before we head to bed. Bathroom, drink, etc. Once you are in your room then it is time for bed. We say prayers and I give you a kiss good night and shut the door saying I love you. I don't leave much room for the many questions that comes if I am not saying something as the door is shutting. Then if they get out of bed after that they are put to bed with me saying you will have to do that tomorrow as we have already said prayers.


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Louise - posted on 03/26/2012




My daughter is the same age and we went through this with her. At first making it a game with an egg timer worked really well. How many toys can she put away before the egg timer runs out. Now she refuses to put her toys away so I have told her I will put them in the bin if she wont tidy up and get a black bag out. If my daughter refuses to tidy then I put them in the sack and put them in the cupboard for a few days before slipping them back into her toy box. Now all I have to do is pick up the sack and she runs round as fast as she can to pick them up!

As for the food and drink ask your son if he wants anything else to eat or drink half an hour before bed time and if he says yes let him have something and if he says no, then stick to no. Just remind him of his decision when he asks for food and has already said no.

Katrina - posted on 03/26/2012




Hi Stacey. I agree with Victoria and Sarah about setting timers and rewards charts and making things as fun and enjoyable as possible often gets the best results - rather than them being bored. I agree with you that he is obviously using these as stall tactics. I wonder if you have considered if he may be doing these things to get your attention, as you now have a baby aswell. Sometimes the older child can do what they can, to remind you (or convince you - depending on if you ask mum or the child) that they need you too. They can feel insecure at the fact that a smaller person has replaced what used to be theirs, no matter how hard we try to devide our time evenly. If this is the case, maybe telling him about his role and how he can show his little brother/sister how to do things since he's so clever and knows how to do these things. My daughter seemed to respond better after she knew exactly what her role was. Also, you could use pictures from magazines as your schedule to show what it's time for. Stuck on a whiteboard or coloured contact, the kids can tick off everything on the list as they're completed. Then you can rub off all the ticks ready for the next day. I hope you're also able to get a little mummy time to relax, especially with the added demands that you've described. All the best xxx

Victoria - posted on 03/19/2012




I would make a reward chart w/stickers and have a list of things you expect him to do ie: pick up toys, get dressed etc. Give him a sticker for each accomplishment and set a goal. Explain the process to him and allow him to choose a small reward when the goal is met. Also, I find at that age the use of a timer is handy. Set it for 10 mins or whatever you think is a reasonable time and explain that he must finish doing 'x' before the buzzer sounds for him to earn a sticker. For bedtime, I would start the nightly routine 15 mins early, slowing him one snack, one drink, one trip to the potty. After that no more and stick to it! He may protest but once he realizes you are not coming back he'll stop. Good luck!

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