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When do kids start to tidy up after themselves?????

(17 Posts)
FruitLoops74 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:17:03

I am having a bit of an ongoing debate / heated discussion angry with hubby as to what is a reasonable expectation in getting the kids to tidy up... one is 3 the other 5smile
Generally in the past I have always found if I want it doing really quickly I make it in to a competition or a game and this works well and will continue to provided i guess don't over use this one.

I still feel personally that they are still too young to get a toy out play with it and then be expected to put it away straight after but he feels that is important. I tend to allow the mess in there rooms during the day and then either play the game and encourage or if im too tired I will just get on and do it myself (Quicker and easier)

*Can anyone please share any advice* on what is and what is not a reasonable expectation or what has worked for them. For my sanity sadI need to put an end to the debate...

4andnotout Thu 31-Jul-08 22:20:18

Dp is 43 and still hasn't figured the tidying up part yet grin
Seriously though, my dd1 is 6 and will tidy away properly, dd2 is 3 and gives up after a few toys so i usually end up doing it.

Tortington Thu 31-Jul-08 22:21:05

i think kids are allowed mess - equally they should be expected to tidyup

that doesn't make sense!

what i mean is, dont get anal over the mess, and gerthem to help to tidy other things as wel as just toys.

Quattrocento Thu 31-Jul-08 22:22:19

When they have children

funnypeculiar Thu 31-Jul-08 22:23:07

I am on your sideof the debate. But I do have mates whose kids of similar ages to mine (2 & 4) do put toys away after playing with them (ie one toy at a time) - I think if you are prepared to enforce it, they can learn it. But why bother? Most of my dc's best games are created through an eclectic mix of lego, dressing up clothes and skittles grin

I did go through a stage of having 2/3 set times per day when the kids tidied up with me - having a bouncy piece of music they associate with tidying helps. I found after meal times best (so not hungry and grumpy, even though it feels illogical. I've stopped doing it, but do want to get back into it - it's too easy to end up doing everything yourself!

CrushedRaspberryDungarees Thu 31-Jul-08 22:24:40

Personality plays a big part!

My dds are naturally tidy whereas ds is Mr Chaos.

I think at 5 and 3 I expected them to help tidy up the toys before bathtime. It was better if I gave them specific jobs, like "dd you do the Barbies and ds you do the cars." If I said "tidy up the toys!" they would just wander around with one toy in their hand and I would end up doing it all.

pgwithnumber3 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:25:22

I am like a Montessori nursery, DD has to get one toy out, put one back. wink

The reality is DD gets everything out she owns, jumps around the middle of it all doing cartwheels etc and then dickhead here tidies it all away when she has gone to bed. Will be stricter with DD2. She says.

blueskythinker Thu 31-Jul-08 22:25:49

Can't help with this much, but a friend told me a top tip for encouraging tidying, is to put a picture of the particular toys on the outside of the box, rather than words on the label.

CrushedRaspberryDungarees Thu 31-Jul-08 22:28:19

Oh yes and definitely have the toys organised so it's easy to put them away. We have a box for trains, one for cars, one for get the picture.

Realised I'm getting very enthusiastic about toy organisation - maybe time to go back to work.hmm

petetong Thu 31-Jul-08 22:36:11

Never is the easy nswer. Mine are 11 and 12 and I have just spent the last two days going through dds room and chucking the junk. She has promised me this is the last time I will have to do this. To be honest though, I did expect them to put their toys back in their box as early as they were physically able to do so. It doesnt seem to have made any difference now though.

Elkat Fri 01-Aug-08 16:56:24

Definitely down to the personality. DD1 (4) gets everything out and moves on to the next thing. Likes to have the room tidy, but can never really be bothered to get involved in the actual process of tidying up. DD2 (18 months) on the other hand seems to be much tidier and I am forever fishing old coffee mugs, socks and other random items out of the bin that she has helpfully tidied away for me! (Tidy is even one of her few words, lol!).

I try to manage the mess by having the toys that are a pain to put away (lego, jigsaw puzzles etc) on shelves that are high up in the playroom, so my DDs have got to ask for them. Those toys that are easy to put away, are kept down low and they can get at with ease. But for the ones with lots of pieces I do have the rule that they have to put the last toy back before they get the next one out. Both girls contribute with that activity, with my youngest child actually being better at it!

Fizzylemonade Fri 01-Aug-08 16:58:12

We tidy when we can no longer safely make our way across the mess grin so about twice a day.

All toys are tidied away into playroom (aka the conservatory) at the end of each day and each tub is labelled so that everything lives somewhere. My sister recently remarked that she couldn't believe I had a "miscellaneous" tub as I seemed to have everything covered shock blush

My two boys are 2 and 5 and they "help" to tidy rather than do the whole thing. Depending on how I feel as long as it is all in the playroom and I can shut the door I don't particularly care if it goes into the tub.

As I type this my lounge is currently covered in pieces of jigsaw, a t-rex, train track, a trike, huge cardboard box that the new car seat came in and a plane.

mamalovesmojitos Fri 01-Aug-08 16:59:59

dd is four and she's good for tidying. i just ask her to pick up maybe five things first. break it into small pieces. i dont make a big deal out of it, just begin tidying myself and say 'ok love, you put away five toys into the red box'.

also use elkat's rule 'no toys untill the last ones were put away'.

i'd say it'll be more difficult to manage when she gets older.

oeufflorentine Fri 01-Aug-08 20:47:46

Echoing petetong here sad. I have 4 aged 4 to 14. Sometimes i think they are all as bad as each other. The 13 and 14 y olds take off their clothes and they stay there on the floor until they winge about there being nothing to wear (we're on holiday in a cottage so I can take it to the wire , mess wise). Dd (9) used to be really tidy but has learned some slovenly ways recently. AAAArrrrggghhh

elmoandella Fri 01-Aug-08 20:50:48

if they're old enough to get it out to play. they're old enough to help put it back.

my kids are 1 y o and 2.6y o. both help to put away toys before bath.

Dynamicnanny Sat 02-Aug-08 18:37:14

When I worked with 1-2 year olds at nursery they would always tidy up - and in fact loved it with lots of praise and I expect that from the children I look after - if the're old enough to hold a ty the're old enough to drop it into a box

ajm200 Sat 02-Aug-08 18:44:22

Some learn around the age of 2. Mine will tidy up at playgroup and in other peoples houses but not at home.

It seems to be a skill lost by some in their teens and never rediscovered.

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