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to go nuclear on the tidying-up front?

(13 Posts)
parakeet Sun 03-Jul-11 19:22:46

The mess my children create gets me down. We have shelves in our living room with baskets of different toys on them e.g. cars, Barbies, tea-set, etc, and we are supposed to have a "put one basket away before you get another one out" rule, but it's not followed. (I have two children, three and five, by the way). I am sick of the living room generally being strewn with toys, bits of paper, children's magazines. They are pretty rubbish at clearing up when it is in this state because it is too overwhelming for them. The three-year-old in particular, tends to dissolve into tears when pressed, or beg for my help, then not actually join in the tidying.

So. After big blow-up/clear-up this morning I have said no-one is allowed to get ANY toys out without asking me or my husband first. The idea being the adults make them put away the first basket before they allow another to be got out. Do you think this impractical or too cruel? Or do you have better ideas?

Thanks for any replies.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 03-Jul-11 19:33:35

It's worth a shot. If they don't learn to tidy up toys now, then when?

strandedbear Sun 03-Jul-11 19:36:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sun 03-Jul-11 19:36:59

Good theory - now let's see it in practice. Shall we check results in a week's time? grin

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 03-Jul-11 19:38:37

i think you are right to be expecting them to tidy, but equally no child i know does so without considerable nagging.

re - the overwhelming thing. we used to have a clear-up at the end of the day, but dd1 always used to end up in tears because "it's toooo muuuuuch". so we go little and often (perhaps 3 times each day), usually motivated by a reward of some sort, eg put away 10 things and you can have a story/we'll go the park.

FabbyChic Sun 03-Jul-11 19:38:58

I'd never have toys in my living room when my children were above 4, no need for it they have bedrooms to play in. You have to have at least one toy free room in the house other than your own bedroom.

parakeet Sun 03-Jul-11 19:39:58

Well I am happy to report back.

I'm starting to get cold feet about the new rule, because I just have this vision of them standing in front of me pathetically begging to be allowed to play with a toy, like I'm some Victorian parent.

parakeet Sun 03-Jul-11 19:43:15

So Fabby, do they really play upstairs in their bedrooms while you and your partner (if you have one) are in the living room?

I wouldn't really fancy that and I don't think my children would either.

catgirl1976 Sun 03-Jul-11 19:45:05

I wouldnt have toys in my living room either tbh

Whogivesa Sun 03-Jul-11 19:49:10

We have toys in the living room but what they get out must go away at the end of each day or it us filed under B wink

I have three children under 8 and don't like the thought of them always playing in their rooms just yet.

It is worth trying to encourage them as they go along, and I do still help mine out a bit! (maybe I'm too soft though!)

oohjarWhatsit Sun 03-Jul-11 19:51:16

i feel sad at the thought of kids being hidden away in their rooms by themselves, playing alone

so who cares about a bit of mess that can be tidied up in 10 minutes

parakeet Sun 03-Jul-11 19:55:31

I do care, though. Sorry if that makes me a neurotic tidiness freak but it's just not a nice environment if you can't see the floor for toys. Plus when it gets like that they can't even FIND their toys.

sims2fan Sun 03-Jul-11 19:56:41

Children in nursery school are usually expected to tidy where they were playing before going elsewhere. They don't always get it straight away, but when the staff are consistent they soon start doing it, so your children are more than capable of doing the same. You just have to really enforce it, make them leave what they are currently doing to tidy discarded toys, etc. If you want to make the rule that they have to ask before getting anything out then fine, but think about what you will do if they break it. Will you make them put everything away? Or just have a bit of a moan but let them carry on? Make sure you have something in place so they know what will happen if they don't follow the rule, or they'll quickly learn that nothing happens and you'll be back where you are now.

Incidentally I also think it's really sad when children aren't allowed toys in a living room. It's their room for 'living' in too after all.

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