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How can I stop my DD breaking her toys/looking after her things?

(14 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Wed 17-Nov-10 07:38:09

Her bedroom is a pit. It is always a pit. I tidy it, then by the end of the day it is a pit again.

She is always breaking her toys. Always. It really makes me angry and upset. Right now I am really upset. She was dancing to a song I was singing and fell over, onto a duvet cover she had pulled out from storage under the sofa in her room. But, she had put a ton of toys under than duvet, fell on them and promptly broke 3 of them. "cerunch". The state of her room was just shocking, in the 5 mins I had my back turned she had obliterated it, so I have told her to tidy up, in a Not Very Happy Mummy Manner. Upon doing so she informed mer her Hotpoint Cooker door has come off and the hinge has snapped. 'i didn't mean to' is her response to everything she breaks. She has her pink castle tipped on its side, puzzle bits scattered across the floor, clothes taken out of her drawers and scattered across the floor where she has been 'dressing up' or 'dressing her bears'.

I do get her to help tidy, I offer gold stars for days when she keeps her room very tidy, DH never ever tidies her room, rarely goes up there unless it is to read her bedtime story/put her to bed, and it is a big room so it is always me tidying. Every time I walk in to her room my heart sinks. And she knows it is messy and wrong as when we come up to bed after i tidy the room in the day she says, as we walk up the stairs 'i am sorry the bedroom is a bit messy mama, i didn't mean to'

Is this an age thing? Should I remove some of her toys so she has less to play with? She does have a few toys, although not excessive, just lots of each thing, in particular a million bears, and a huge box of food/cooking stuff, but she plays with them all.

piscesmoon Wed 17-Nov-10 07:57:12

Why not remove some to the loft and rotate them? If there are so many it is daunting to tidy. She will appreciate them more if she hasn't seen them for a fortnight. Definitely have a clear out before Christmas.

TheLifeOfRiley Wed 17-Nov-10 08:04:25

I would thin down what she already has (e.g. half the amount of bears), do it from the POV of some children have no toys at all so what shall we donate. I assume you don't replace the things she breaks?

We have a rule here that you can get one lot of toys out at a time e.g. trains, space stuff, a puzzle, a game. Makes tidying a do it as you go along job rather than a huge task at the end of the day. Sounds lik some breakges are through toys being left out so that would narrow those down and mean less bulk tidying for you. TBH I would stp tidying her room. Help her to tidy by all means but hand the baton to her. wink My DS is 6 (but younger really as he has autism) and he tidies his own room/toys, puts laundry in laundry basket, etc.

3littlefrogs Wed 17-Nov-10 08:07:13

How old is she?

PavlovtheCat Wed 17-Nov-10 08:43:37

oh sorry yes forgot to say she is 4.

I do try to get her to play with one toy at a time, or one set at a time, so do puzzles, put away then the next thing. Problem is, her bedroom which is also her play room is in the loft, and she really enjoys some quiet time, she loves playing around us and DS (11 months) but likes to go off with her bears for time on her own. We culled her bears from many to significantly less. Will need to do that again. So it means when she is upstairs in her room it is hard to keep a check on what she is playing with and make sure she puts it back before moving on to the next thing. Obviously we go and check on her, but it is amazing how quickly a tidy room can be trashed by one lone 4 year old!!! She also makes a mess by playing with more than one thing at a time, like, she will have a 'teddy bears picnic' which involves, getting her bears, dressing them all up, getting her tea set out, and the food!

We will be moving her bedroom downstairs soon, so we will have more of a close eye on her playing, and able to help her tidy up as we go along.

And no, I don't replace her broken toys. She does know that once it is broken, it has to be thrown away, and not replaced (unless i can fix it, which I do but keep it away from her for a while).

PavlovtheCat Wed 17-Nov-10 08:46:22

She tidied her own room this morning as I was so furious with her. I sat here and mn'ed did some important work while she put things away. She did a pretty good job actually! On the rare occasions she does this of her own accord I offer a star, but obviously not today as she was in trouble!

Not all her toys get broken due to being stood on/fallen on either, she is quite rough handed with things. Not sure how I can stop her being like that?

3littlefrogs Wed 17-Nov-10 14:04:44

IMO 4 is too young to tidy on her own.

You need to remove at least half the toys. Make sure there are suitable storage containers/places for everything. Stick a picture of each toy or game on the box/basket or shelf. (Think about how storage is organised in nurseries).

Only one or two things out at a time, then put away before the next thing comes out. Rotate the available toys/games.

Help her to tidy up for 15 minutes before bath time every night.

Try to make it a fun time. It is such a shame to fall out with her over this when she is so small. sad

a four yr old just doesn't have the skills to organise and tidy a whole room plus all their toys on their own.


cilantro Wed 17-Nov-10 14:48:16

My DD-4 does the same. She loves to pull everything out and make a huge mess. But I have told her that her clothes are off limits. If she wants to dress up teddies, we have a seperate box for that. Because it was getting too stressful to have to put all the clothes back.

As for the breaking things, I can relate with that too, but hopefully they will get more appreciation for their stuff and not want to break them at 5/6?!

PavlovtheCat Wed 17-Nov-10 20:31:57

3littlefrogs she has storage boxes for everything, each toy type has a home, so a 'food' box which is in her 'kitchen corner' with oven microwave, kettle etc. She has a box with her little people in, a dressing up box, a bear/dolly dressing up box (in our room as she turfs it all out!), a music box.

I am not sure about her not tidying up her own room. She does know what each box is for, she helped me organise them, helps me organise them when I tidy. This morning, she did as i directed, i said 'you need to put all your food into the 'food box', now your pink castle, where does that live? etc etc. I did not make her fold her own clothes though grin.

We have a new ikea storage set which we will be putting downstairs for both kids, so will remove some of the toys in her bedroom, make it less over-stimulating for her, like her puzzles, she gets frustrated when she tries them on her own so no point having them upstairs as she either does not do them, or she turfs them around in a huff, they can be downstairs where we can help her.

UniS Wed 17-Nov-10 21:40:28

Do you mend stuff, or replace ?

My lad ( also 4) knows that a broken toy may be mended BUT will be out of action while that happens and may not work as well after repair. he also knows that some toys can't be mended and have to be binned . He is pretty carefull with his toys.

His cousins how ever are VERY hard on toys and nearly always break stuff when thy visit, toys don't get mended in their house. Once broken beyond playing with they are binned. Kids seem unconcerned about breakages and shift to play with something else leaving broken item to be discovered by someone else.

Nature or nurture, I've no idea. Maybe I'm just lucky that he likes lego and toy cars and isn't into climbing on top of toy garages.

PavlovtheCat Thu 18-Nov-10 10:49:57

uniS I mend if possible, and remove for a period of time. But I do not replace. Once it is gone, it is gone (apart from the new doll i bought to replace her old one whose head got caved in, but she broke about 18 months ago - she can't not have a dolly).

PavlovtheCat Thu 18-Nov-10 10:51:48

ah, and DD always tells me she has broken something. She loves her toys, but she does love climbing on things, and jumping off things, and seeing what happens if you drop something down the stairs, or if you bend it the wrong way, I shall probably revere in this personality trait when she is older and uses it to some valuable use, but for now it makes me go [ARRRGH]

MickyLee Thu 18-Nov-10 10:57:13

Mine are the same. But too young for me to expect them to tidy away on their own.

I have a grand master plan for a couple of years tim though. I will tell them to tidy anything away and anything left out will go in a bag and given away to children who don't have many toys.. and i will stick to it. I think after one bag every toy will be put away sharply!

UniS Thu 18-Nov-10 11:18:50

arrrh, sympathy Pavlov, it does sound like you are living with a small materials scientist in the house. Nature I guess.

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