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Or is DH? Tidying up toys...

(16 Posts)
Glitterspy Mon 14-Dec-15 19:27:13

DD is 3 in Feb. DH thinks she should (immediately he asks and without argument) clear up toys eg a big floor puzzle they were doing this evening right before bedtime.

In theory, I do think she should tidy her own toys - she regularly does - but every time he asks her to do it ends up in a screaming rage from her. His approach is very "Tidy up your toys DD. (DD carries on playing or says NO.) I'm going to count to 3. One two three. Right bottom step"...he thinks this is a clear instruction, I don't think it is, we end up arguing about how to deal with it, meanwhile DD merrily starts playing with something else and not clearing up.

For context this is all going on in the witching hour between end up a long day at work (DH) and nursery (DD) when they've just been playing a crazy game involving running and shrieking...all excitable/overwrought. Then he expects her full attention and obedience...?

So tell me wise ones. Who is BU here?

APlaceOnTheCouch Mon 14-Dec-15 19:33:22

If she never tidies the toys when he asks then it's likely he is BU as I doubt she is permanently defiant. So if he wants a different result either he decides not to bring out toys after a certain time at night (when DS was little, we used to pack away big toys about 5pm.) or he makes it a game and helps her to pack them away, turns it into a race, etc.

oobedobe Mon 14-Dec-15 19:37:48

He is BU. If you make tidying up a big battle, they will never want to do it!

At that age you should either try and make it a game, race to tidy up or let's count the pieces back into the box etc.

Or just help them "Time for bath but first we need to put the toys away, let's do it together and get it done quickly".

If they REALLY refuse to help at all then I might say, "oh the puzzle will get broken/lost and we wont be able to do it together again".

Last resort is put it away yourself, but put the toy on 'time out' - eg on top of the fridge where they can see it and explain they can't play with it for a few days/week and why.

I would also 'front load' the situation and say "Yes I'd love to a puzzle/game etc, but remember we need to tidy it away afterwards, so the pieces don't get lost".

Also not everything has to be tidied EVERY time, better to be a bit laidback and flexible about it IMO.

Last thing, 1,2,3 counting is better for 'stop' behaviour (eg hitting your sister) NOT start behaviour (eg tidy up now).

MrsSparkles Mon 14-Dec-15 19:43:33

My DH was just the same, he'd tell her to do it and expect instant obedience without him lifting a finger. I on the other hand always got an excellent response with a more collaborative approach.

As she's got older (now 4.5) she's got much better at doing it on her own, especially as she knows if it gets left out, it goes away for a couple of days

MrsSparkles Mon 14-Dec-15 19:44:42

Forgot to say I agree with making it a race, sorting out colours etc.

Littlef00t Mon 14-Dec-15 19:45:39

Dd is only 21 mo so I guess we help more, but when we do tidying, i say it's 'tidy tidy time', let's put this puzzle away so we can have a splashy bath. Pick up a piece and hand it to Dd while I put a couple of others in the box. She usually follows suit.

Booboostwo Mon 14-Dec-15 20:35:57

I think with this kind of thing it helps to remind them of what's coming up, e.g. "We can play with the puzzle but remember we then need to put it away...Well done the puzzle is nearly finished, do you remember what we do next?". I'd also try a carrot rather than stick approach, e.g. a pasta for the pasta jar for each time the toys are put away, or a race.

orangeyellowgreen Mon 14-Dec-15 20:48:25

op's child is only two and her DH expects instant obedience? How does he cope with tantrums? A happy loving relationship is so much more important than tidiness.

redcaryellowcar Mon 14-Dec-15 20:53:40

I find the 'immediate' bit unrealistic, I find my DC need a five minute warning eg five more minutes then we need to pack away the train set, or after we finish this, let's show daddy before we pack it away as its time for tea (second is a bit more long winded, but dc1 is almost 5).

DoJo Mon 14-Dec-15 21:37:32

I agree about making tidying a game rather than a chore, but WRT puzzles, I have introduced a bit more leeway as my son was always really upset about breaking up a jigsaw he had just done, so we would ensure that everything else was tidied away, but wait until the next day to do the puzzle on the grounds that we needed room for other toys which he found a lot easier to deal with (or we just put it away while he was in bed and he usually forgot about it!).

sandylion Mon 14-Dec-15 21:56:45

Absolutely YES to making it a game, a race, a counting challenge! I don't expect my near 4yo to tidy up absolutely everything without help but she has gotten so much better at it and will do it happily with a wee song etc. If you make it sound unfun it will be unfun for everyone!

Toadinthehole Tue 15-Dec-15 05:45:11

Speaking as someone whose DCs are pretty bad at tidying up I'd say that a collaborative approach is best for 3 year olds; they need to understand that it has to be done without it being too much of a daunting task. To that extent, your DH is BU.

However, if there is an obvious disagreement between the two of you in front of your DC, you are both BU and setting yourselves up for him to fail.

What's your method?

mathanxiety Tue 15-Dec-15 06:01:23

He is an idiot. Reasons I say this --
First for winding the DD up,
Second for expecting instant compliance,
Third for not understanding that transitions are not automatic for 3 yos, Fourth, for insisting on breaking up puzzles without taking time to admire it, take a photo, etc.

He is also being lazy, for trying to parent a 3 yo just by issuing orders.

"You catch more flies with honey than vinegar".

No more running and shrieking in the evenings. He and DD can get together and read a book or he can give her a bath if he wants to spend time together that is productive and not a pita in the end for you to deal with.

He needs to work around her reluctance to move on to the next thing. I agree with oobedobe -- "Time for bath but first we need to put the toys away, let's do it together and get it done quickly".

And YYY to 1,2,3 being a tool for stopping behaviour, not starting.

Strangertides1 Tue 15-Dec-15 06:11:33

I think at 3 a clear time warming or an incentive needs to be added. Eg, when you have finished its tidy up and bedtime / you've got 10 mins, then 5 mins / o look at me tidying up am such a grown up, after this am doing bath bubbles. If all the above fails get a bin bag and say anything I pick up goes in the bin, I resorted to that yesterday!

IguanaTail Tue 15-Dec-15 06:23:45

Agree. They like to know what's happening next.

1. Lots of lead in, described and repeated as the routine. And after dinner we have?..... Puzzles... And then we have? ...bathtime....
2. While that's going on, there needs to be timings.... 3 more minutes...2 more minutes... Etc. Or get one of those big salt timers and when all the salt has disappeared then it's times to do the next thing.
3. Evenings should be as calm as possible.
4. Can you have a little transition song you play to get things cleared away? Makes it more fun.

Adults have their own built in timers and power to manage their evening. Imagine if DH was in the middle of watching a programme and was told "right turn that off now tidy up the papers and it's bathtime!" He would be furious because he was in the middle of doing something. Why is it fair to spring that kind of thing on a toddler who has far less control over emotions?

Amazon sell these and you can get 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 minute ones. Suggest 5 minute one might be good for activity finishing.

Domino777 Tue 15-Dec-15 06:30:51

He needs to prewarn her, put a timer on. Say 'lets tidy up' when the timer goes off. Make it fun.

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