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Re punishment for not tidying Lego away

(144 Posts)
GoodAfternoonSeattle Mon 28-May-18 11:27:33

My three year old daughter clearly sees me as a total pushover. She’s generally pretty well behaved anyway but if she does play up she simply doesn’t take me seriously if I tell her off, threaten punishment etc.

I will hold my hands up. This is because I’m not great at seeing through a punishment. It’s also because I feel mean doing it and she senses weakness.

But the time has come that I need to be a little harder. She’s getting older and I’m worried that when she’s in school etc and she misbehaves and it really matters, she won’t take me seriously and I won’t have any control over her. But the truth is I don’t really know what I’m doing.

So this morning she emptied her beloved Lego set all over the floor of the living room, after I told her not to. It was everywhere. I have a crawling baby. We were just getting ready to leave the house. I asked her to pick it up. She refused. I asked her again. She refused and said “you do it”. I said no, it’s your Lego and if you don’t pick it up the bits will go missing” “you pick it up Mummy”. Etc.

So I told her if she didn’t pick it up, I would take it away for today and she could have it back tomorrow. It had previously been agreed that she would sit and play Lego with DH tonight after her bath when he gets home from work (she loves this, as does DH) but the plan is that this will not be happening now. She isn’t bothered at the moment (“fine then”) but she will be tonight.

I mean is this ridiculous? Will she actually make the connection about this morning? I just don’t know how to do this.

GoodAfternoonSeattle Mon 28-May-18 11:28:15

This is minor btw I realise. It’s not really just this specific scenario I’m looking for comments on. I just don’t really know how to punish blush

Godotsarrived Mon 28-May-18 11:33:34

I think she is still quite young to be punished and I would worry that if it doesn’t bother her now but it will upset her several hours later, she won’t be able to make the connection between not being allowed to play with her dad and the fact she spilled Lego on the floor. I’d would have immediately suggested that you and her both tidy it away... so she knew she wasn’t to use it at that time but wouldn’t have selected a punishment. But maybe I’m too soft.

Whatshallidonowpeople Mon 28-May-18 11:35:39

She's 3!! Punishment?? You should just beat her until she learns.

LolaLouise Mon 28-May-18 11:35:46

I would have done nothing else till the lego was away. No tv on etc. Plans cancelled. Stay put until she had made an attempt then start helping her. At 3 i needs to be instant consequences, not delayed, as making the connection is hard.

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Mon 28-May-18 11:36:52

Once she starts getting on defensive it's hard to back down-for her!! A quick side track method is what I do, oh quick dc you do yellow and red and I will do white and green, the tension lifts and jobs is done together. At 3 I wouldn't worry about behaviour too far ahead.

Lifeisabeach09 Mon 28-May-18 11:39:08

It's hard to reason with a three year old. You can as they get older re consequences for actions.
I wouldn't stress over it. She didn't pick it up, it doesn't matter.
I suppose next time you can turn it into a game, if you want.
And, no, she won't remember that she didn't put it away.

AlexanderHamilton Mon 28-May-18 11:39:59

This is where a good supply of black bin bags comes in handy. Anything not tidied goes in a bin bag and the child loses access to it.

sparklepops123 Mon 28-May-18 11:43:10

This takes me back! I used to say if it didn't get picked up I'd get the hoover out and suck it all up and it'd be gone , worked every time, yes I know I'm evil 😬

Peach2018 Mon 28-May-18 11:45:52

My boy is 4, he has been quite challenging in the past with things like this 🙈 I found the best way was to explain it to him calmly, get him to help me clear it away and just explain how we would play with it later and do something else for now. He's finally started to learn and listen and work with me. I found when I didn't ask him nicely and calmly it didn't get me anywhere other then winding him up and making him worst. My little girl who is 2 has seen how my older one behaves and has just copied. Hope this helps!

Storm4star Mon 28-May-18 11:46:19

I think there’s a bit of a difference between just turned three, and three nearly four. I don’t think they’re too young for punishments, maybe delayed punishments yes. But I know by that age my kids were responsible for tidying their own toys. I mostly tended to use time outs, or withdraw something, like the toy goes away in a cupboard. The kids I knew where there was no discipline at all, tended to become a bit bratty.

catkind Mon 28-May-18 11:49:02

Three? She'll remember. You've said it so you should stick to it now. Just remind her "I had to put the Lego away for today because you wouldn't tidy it when I asked". Another time the advice to join in and make a game of it is good, but I think 3 is old enough that sticking to what you said is important. It's not like it's a dire punishment. And next time probably leave longer for tidying before you go out so you're not feeling rushed if she is difficult again?

just1post Mon 28-May-18 11:51:00

Fgs, why would you want to “punish” a baby? hmm

DuchyDuke Mon 28-May-18 11:52:56

3 is old enough to remember why a delayed punishment occurs. In some parts of the UK kids go to pre-school / nursery at 3. I personally would have taken the lego away for the time specified and return it only after a promise that she would clean it up if she used it.

AlexanderHamilton Mon 28-May-18 11:54:26

It’s not punishment it’s consequence.

AllMYSmellySocks Mon 28-May-18 11:54:34

I think the consequence is much too far removed ( a day is a lifetime for a 3 year old and the two events won't be connected in her mind) from her tipping up the lego for a 3 year old to comprehend or care about. I would just insist that it gets tidied up at the time, even if you're putting more effort into getting her to do it than it would to do herself.

HarrietKettleWasHere Mon 28-May-18 11:56:04

The children I nanny for (3 and 5) wouldn't be punished for that, some days they're just difficult. BUT. They both know that after tea, my dustpan and brush/Hoover comes out. And whatever they haven't bothered to pick up from the floor might well be spirited away in the clean.

Velvetbee Mon 28-May-18 11:56:43

You don’t ‘punish’ a 3 year old. You just don’t.
Natural consequences involve ‘No I can’t play/make lunch because we need to tidy the Lego.’ Then move on. Don’t let the little blighters have any leverage by turning it into an issue.

Candlelight123 Mon 28-May-18 11:57:22

She's not a baby - she's 3!!
Maybe the word punish is too harsh in this context- it should be consequences. I think there should be consequences for a 3 year old not tidying up at least helping. I think the PP that said no tv or no new toys out until the Lego was away sounds fine and I would have helped to avoid a stand off if she's that way inclined.
When she starts nursery or pre-school she will be expected to put toys away and help tidy activities up, it's preparing her for this.

Namechange128 Mon 28-May-18 11:59:28

At this age we focus more on natural consequences than a separate 'punishment' - also much easier for them to understand. To me a natural consequence is that if she can't be trusted to keep her Lego tidy then it will have to go on a high shelf she can't reach, and she'll have to ask to play with it (and you might say no)

BlueSapp Mon 28-May-18 11:59:38

Instead of shouting at her try and make things like tidying up toys more fun, like singing a song, making a reward chart I think at 3 she might respond a bit better to this rather than punishments

LaurieMarlow Mon 28-May-18 12:02:08

3 isn't a baby fgs, especially if closer to 4 and I agree there should be consequences for actions at this age.

Stick to the original plan. No lego tonight. Explain to her really clearly why this is happening. She's old enough to remember her actions this morning.

Notso Mon 28-May-18 12:03:27

At three I would have done as pp suggested, made it into a game you do reds, I'll do yellow etc.

If they refused that then if you were off to the park for example the trip would be delayed until it was done.
If you were going somewhere more pressing an appointment for example or more boring the supermarket then there'd be a choice, tidy now with Mummy or tidy when we get home.
If they chose to delay it then you have to remind them when you get back "no DD you can't get the puzzles out now, we have to tidy up the Lego first"

elQuintoConyo Mon 28-May-18 12:04:45

She's 3 shock

Put the Lego box on the floor and have a race to pick it up, or she picks up green and white, you pick up black and yellow, or whatever.

I have a Swoop Mat (can buy on Amazon) a round mat you empty Lego onto and play on, with handles that you pull and it scopps everything up at once. You can then hang it on a door handle and it is out of the way. My 6.5yo DS has had his for 3 years and it is durable and invaluable.

As for a 'punishment' for a 3yo, do something immediate otherwise they won't connect not getting an ice cream an hour later with not picking up Lego.

She has a baby sibling, i imagine she is kicking off at 'pick up your stuff so baby doesn't eat it'. She needs space away from baby to have her toys out.

CloudCaptain Mon 28-May-18 12:05:15

It's easier to make a game of these types of situations rather than a battle. So join in with picking the lego up. Who can pick up the most blue ones, etc. Bedtime who can get up the stairs the quickest. Getting in the car, who can hop to the car, etc. Quite hard to remember when they are winding you up. My 4.2yo is still like this.

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