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To ask how to teach children about chores and tidying?

(39 Posts)
MrsJorahMormont Thu 13-Aug-15 16:08:53

I am a lifelong messy hoarder - child of messy hoarders. I am working really hard to change this and am making progress.

We have a DD aged 3 and I want to start getting her into good habits now but I'm not sure how to go about it or what age appropriate tasks are. She puts her shoes in her shoe box after nursery and we encourage her to tidy up her toys but is there anything else we should be doing?

If you raised tidy, organised, clutter free kids - how did you do it?!

MrsSippy Thu 13-Aug-15 16:11:56

I really don't know, my friend has 3 kids and when you go to their house there is NO evidence of them apart from perfect photos on the wall grin

My two, on the other hand, leave a trail of destruction behind them (and they're old enough to know better!!)

MrsJorahMormont Thu 13-Aug-15 16:25:00

I know some people don't mind chaos but my messiness and clutter have had a really negative impact on my life so I want DD to get into good habits early on.

Purpleball Thu 13-Aug-15 16:28:18

What about getting her to the previous toy away when she gets a new one out?
Also when you make her lunch or dinner, get her to tidy before she eats, and at bedtime too?

Glitteryarse Thu 13-Aug-15 16:29:16

mrs well I'd lead by example then, if your house is full of clutter your showing her that's how things are supposed to be. throw all your crap out and both of you start as you mean to go on.

You could both have a check list of things that need to be completed through out the day.

YouGetNOTHING Thu 13-Aug-15 16:29:49

My kids are messy as am I!

I try to do the following:
Make sure room is tidy before bedtime.
Put things away before getting something else out
Putting plate, cutlery and cup by the sink after dinner
Putting clothes away after getting changed.

Its very hard to implement ad it does not come naturally to me!

MrsJorahMormont Thu 13-Aug-15 16:34:09

Actually she is good at putting her clothes in the laundry basket at the end of the day so she's already doing better than me grin

I really am trying to get rid of stuff and am making progress but I just need to know what are reasonable expectations of a 3 year old.

MrsJorahMormont Thu 13-Aug-15 16:35:01

So for example is she old enough to explain that we can't keep all her toys and we should give some away for others to play with?

Seffina Thu 13-Aug-15 16:41:25

Some things DD was doing at 3:
Taking her own plates/cups back to the kitchen (we used to 'play' at washing up plastic stuff as well - she loved it)
Putting cutlery away - if she likes sorting things
Putting her dirty clothes in the washing basket
She used to like finding her own clothes in the clean washing so she'd help me sort sometimes.

Tidying is harder, as I also hate tidying (but will happily clean things - given the chance I'd rather employ a tidier than a cleaner grin) but we try and put things away as we go along or I'll put one of her favourite songs on and we'll see if we can put everything away before the song finishes and have time to dance. I try and make it a game, as it makes me feel better about it as well, and work with what they are into at the moment. DD likes to try and add things up at the moment, so we'll add up things we're tidying up, stuff like that.

Thurlow Thu 13-Aug-15 16:47:01

DD is 3. We expect hope that she will put her toys away, either at bedtime if there aren't too many, or during the day if she's had a lot out, that she puts her clothes in the washing basket, that she takes plates etc to the kitchen when they are finished with, and that she cleans up if there's a big mess or something spilled.

Of course, most of those she doesn't always manage entirely on her own, but the expectation is there at least!

Also she is involved in a lot of cleaning tasks, like washing up, getting the dirty washing, hoovering, dusting etc, so she starts to learn that needs to be done.

Pixi2 Thu 13-Aug-15 16:48:15

We have a 5 minute tidy up downstairs at the end of the day. A big once a week tidy of their rooms, and a home for everything.

MarchLikeAnAnt Thu 13-Aug-15 16:59:30

Get her to do some housework for you with you. My DD (2.6) loves vacuuming and mopping the floor, takes about 2/3 hours but she gets it clean! grin

maplepecanpie Thu 13-Aug-15 17:03:02

DS is 4 and seems to be tidy by nature anyway. But we've always told him to tidy toys away before he gets more and now he's a bit older he puts his clothes in the washing basket, puts his plate and cutlery in the sink. I let him loose with the hoover sometimes as well! Only for a few mins and I then do it properly. Before anyone shouts child labour grin

DoJo Thu 13-Aug-15 18:30:07

I ask my 3 year old to help me find spots on the floor in the kitchen and wipe them up with a baby wipe, he also loves 'brooming' and has started to appreciate that it's easier to play with his toys when they aren't all over the place. He likes helping to put laundry in the machine and pass it to me to put in the tumble drier, and recently begged me to show him how to fold the clean laundry (much to my astonishment).
He recently got a certificate from nursery for being tidy, so something's going right, but honestly, I just use my natural laziness to encourage him as it's easier for him to reach the floor than me so I give him the jobs I don't want!

HeyMicky Thu 13-Aug-15 18:43:48

DD1 will be three on September. I currently expect her to:

Put shoes away and hang up coat
Empty her nursery bag and hang it up
Put dirty washing in hamper
Pull up the duvet in the morning, open the curtains and put her PJs under the pillow
Put her toys away
Take plate and cup from the table to the sink and hang up her apron
Have a go at cleaning any spills etc (on hard floors) that she makes

No chores as such but routine things such as the above are expected to help keep the house in order

HeyMicky Thu 13-Aug-15 18:47:22

I should add that this requires planning by us. So she has coat hooks at the right height, a step stool in the kitchen, enough storage for toys and books, toys are colour coded for ease of grouping eg all musical toys have a blue spot sticker on them and go in the blue box. You need to provide the tools as well as encourage the behaviour or they'll be defeated

HicDraconis Thu 13-Aug-15 18:55:53

Yes - at 3 she is old enough to decide which of her toys she still wants to play with and which can go to charity shop / GP surgery / playgroup for other children to play with. Have done this with my children since around that age. You pick the percentage (half / quarter etc) and she picks the ones to keep.

MrsJorahMormont Thu 13-Aug-15 20:43:56

Great ideas on here, thanks!

Caboodle Fri 14-Aug-15 08:21:14

We have the Ikea furniture that is like cubes that you put plastic boxes in iyswim. One for lego, one for dressing up etc. No lids as they are a faff. DC 3 (age 4) is expected to tidy up and make her bed before we go out anywhere and before bedtime. I used to help her but no need now. She also puts her own washing away (easy things like socks). I haven't done this but you could stick pictures on the boxes of what should go in them to help your DC sort it.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Fri 14-Aug-15 09:17:40

DS is 4. He puts his rubbish straight in the bin (actually came and told me off theI othe day for not throwing away the top of am ice lollieblush)

He tidies his room. Had a friend over weds and they did the typical 'tip everything all over the floor' method. So he put everything away.

He likes stripping his sheets on wash day. And puttingh his clothes away while I'm ironing squishing them into the draw thus making ironing pointless and irrelevant

Clothes in wash basket. Drying plates.

DH is not good at tidying after himself, so I'm determined that DS will be. Also im getting him to put the toilet seat down after he uses it.

Sighing Fri 14-Aug-15 09:27:16

I've realised my children are picking up some of my lazy habits to do with stuff. Lately we had a huge clearout (all in the house) of surplus stuff. We've each set ourselves a "one in one out" policy on 5 things we, as individuals, have a weakness for. We're quite tidy (lazy cleaners though). So we're now considering what jobs can be 'monitored' by the dc. They're keen so far to remind me when jobs were last done!

maninawomansworld Fri 14-Aug-15 09:39:20

Just make them clear up after themselves from a young age.

I don't mean get a 4 year old to scrub the kitchen floor or anything like that but simple things like if we come in from a walk with muddy wellies then they have to copy me and hose the wellies off then pop them in the boot rack to dry - not kick them off wherever they feel like and run into the house leaving me to clear up 3 pairs of mucky boots.

If they have had a drink then I just get them to pop their dirty glasses next to the sink or in the dishwasher - I don't want to spend my life training round the house clearing up other people's dirty cups and dishes.

Toys that have been played with have to be put away before other toys are allowed out or before we go out.
Toys left strewn around after they have been asked to tidy them away often 'mysteriously' vanish for a week or so. When they ask where has 'my xxx gone'... I say they should take better care of their stuff and put it away when they've finished with it so they can find it next time.

When they get older they will have assigned jobs - nothing too onerous as we have a cleaner but simple things to encourage a sense of responsibility.

TheNewStatesman Fri 14-Aug-15 10:00:34

If you have a lifetime of mess and clutter so far, then you really need to blitz the place and start with a clean slate.

A kinda-sorty-messy-cluttered house just gets messier and messier, because nobody feels any particular urge to tidy things up and stop it getting worse.

Spend a couple of weekends just getting the place to look really, really clean and tidy, then keep it that way.

trollkonor Fri 14-Aug-15 10:21:35

I do similar to Maninawomensworld, mine started helping clearing up after themselves from a young age.

I think its good as they learn how much mess they make over the day and that it's their responsibility to pick up after themselves. I dont want them growing up thinking that they've "helped" by doing a couple of chores, so its fine to discard mail, coins, gadgets, socks, cups, packaging. That are left to take up communal space or for someoe else to pick up, because its only a sock right.

Its worth sorting out easy toy storage so its clear where things go. It doesnt have to be arduous, before dinner a quick 10 mins tidy up. After a meal they take their plate to the dishwasher or sink. Then as they get older they stay until the evening meal has been completely cleared away and take more responsibility for communal areas.

ReginaFelangi Fri 14-Aug-15 10:27:07

Spend a couple of weekends just getting the place to look really, really clean and tidy, then keep it that way.

This would take me a couple of weeks years not weekends. blush

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