Cleaning up?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2011
Cleaning up?
6
Thu, 06-06-2013 - 5:29pm

My three-year-old just won't clean up!  I don't know what to do.  We've tried games, help, encouragement, and immediate consequences, but nothing seems to work.  Any tips?

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Thu, 06-06-2013 - 11:33pm

Tell her to sit in time out until she wants to put away her toys.  Eventually, she will want to do something else and get to work.  Also, don't let things get too out of hand, keep the messes smaller.  Also be clear on cleaning up.  Put the crayons back into the box.  Now put the box and coloring book back on the shelf. 

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2011
Fri, 06-07-2013 - 1:16pm

We've tried the time-out thing, but he will sit there for an hour, no joke.  Last night he actually did a surprisingly good job of cleaning up.  I would do half (okay, three-quarters) of the work, and he would do a little bit.  Baby steps!

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Wed, 06-12-2013 - 11:27pm

At this age the parent will always do most the clean up. If you want him to do all the clean up himself that would be unrealistic in my opinion. It is the expectation and habit of chores and cleaning up after one's self you are trying to teach. Also don't touch a thing when he is in time out, it will wait until he is ready.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2011
Sun, 06-16-2013 - 8:41pm

Oh, I don't expect him to do the clean-up on his own -- just something other than laying on the floor shaking his head would be great!  We don't even expect Monkey, the six-year-old, to do all the clean-up on his own.  He can do the picking up and putting away, but still needs direction on what to pick up next.  At what age do you think a child can clean up entirely on their own?  Obviously we haven't gotten that far yet.  :)  And do you think I should get Monkey and Mayhem to stop picking up as well when Monster is on time out?  Or should they keep going with their stuff and just leave part of it for Monster to do?

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Mon, 06-24-2013 - 12:50pm
That is a tough one. Perhaps If you leave some for him to do and he sees the others having fun (which should follow clean up time) he will be more inclined to help.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-04-2011
Tue, 06-25-2013 - 9:35pm

I'll try that.  Thanks, Ramona.  :)