Cleaning up help

[deleted account] ( 2 moms have responded )

My son is 19 months and I'm trying to get him to help clean up after himself and I can't even get him to respond to his name. If I said, "cookie" he'd run but I say, "Logan!" nothing. I threw a scrunchie at him to get his attention, he looked at it, looked at me and kept doing what he was doing. I asked him to put something away and he kept doing what he wanted. Finally I gave him a small smack on the rear to get his attention and just collapsed into an emotional heap and walked away sulking as I handed to him what he needed to put away. Clean up time means I clean up, show him what to do and he just takes it back out faster than I put it away. I can't ask him to do anything or he just cries and throws a pity party. Please help! Need suggestions!


Christine - posted on 05/21/2010




Ok.. couple ideas for you..

with my daughter, we made up a clean up song.. really simple.. we just sing "Clean Up Time.. clean up time.. it's time to clean up ".. and we sing it as we clean.. and so it sounds dumb.. but it makes it kinda fun. At first I'd help her and she and I would clean up and sing together.. but now after doing it for a year and a half..she's 3 and half.. I just have to say it's clean up time and she starts singing the song on her own as she cleans up.

Another thing we do.. or I should say .. rule we have is this.. if she is asked to clean up.. and doesn't.. then I get to keep the toy for a couple days. And that's if the toy is left in a public place.

In her bedroom a little more liberal there.. but even there we have a rule.. if she leaves it on the floor.. and I ask her to pick it up and it remains there .. then if I pick it up.. it goes in the garbage.. now.. I don't like throwing away toys.. but honestly.. I had to throw away one baby bottle she just kept not picking up for whatever reason.. and so throwing it away.. well .. cost me a buck.. (dollar store baby bottle).. but she got the message and hasn't been an issue since.

But these last two ideas.. your son is too young to use right now.. the clean up song you can do now.. he's the perfect age to enjoy singing and maybe getting into it. The other two rules.. I'd implement them officially at age 2.. but you could try to start teaching him those rules now.

Anyway.. it's worked in our house. also.. at that age.. my daughter we've taught her she has to help out with whatever is going on in the house.. we have our chore time.. mostly the morning when i'm getting things going.. and she helps me all morning long.. sometimes it takes a little longer getting things done with a toddler helper.. but honestly.. she's been my helper since she's been a year old.. and even though I coudl do those things faster and better without her.. the truth is.. she's learning how to do something, and the responcibility of doing something..and she needs those lessons more than I need to get it done fast.. know what I mean?

But we have no TV on in the morning while we're doing our chores.

that's how we roll. =)


View replies by

Jen - posted on 05/22/2010




i think u just have to be firm i have a 19 month old son too n wen i say alex pick tht up put it in the bin or pick tht up n put it back where u found it he does it and i will say thank you for listing. but rarely he will turn him self off from listing to me he will look at me look at the object n smack the object so what i do is if his too busy playing with his toys i will pick his toy up hold behind my back get my son to stand up n show him directly wht he needs to do else he wont get his toy back and tht works n then i will give him the toy back n say well done for listing. its about responding to the postive behaviour n ignoring the negative like saying next time listen to me. even if i ask a few times the job gets done. theres also another point children only have a short memory span so if you are asking a child to pick up the toys then go pick up the crisp packet n put it in the bin n then go get your shoes its unlikey they wont remember any of it n do sumthing totally difrrent they dont do it on purpose just cus they forgot on to the way to get wht u asked them to do. so just stick to plain simple sentences like put your cars in the toy box.

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