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Thinking of confiscating toys and books

(31 Posts)
Letmesleepalready Thu 08-Sep-16 19:12:43

DD1's attitude is getting out of hand at the moment, and I'm tired of her being rude. I've asked her to tidy up the mess of toys and books in the living room, but she just said no, and when she finally did start she just threw things in anger as I'd thrown away a scrap piece of paper she wanted to keep.
I'm seriously thinking of just throwing away anything left on the floor if she doesn't tidy up when I say so (I do give her a warning so it's not like it's a surprise) but maybe I need to work at making tidying a routine first?
She's also starting to lie regularly and I just don't know what to do about that. Our relationship is very strained at the moment and I'm a bit lost. She's 4, so old enough to know better!

KatyN Thu 08-Sep-16 22:05:59

Has she just started school?? That might be a bit of an upheaval for her but might be the break you need to rejig your relationship.
My 4 year old doesn't really tidy on his own. He can do bits or we tidy together but if we've been playing together we tend to tidy together too. We have set times for tidying, before we go out and bedtime or if he wants to get new toys out.
But don't get me started on the attachment to scraps of paper, and sticks. Every fricking day we have more to save.

RiverTam Thu 08-Sep-16 22:08:05

Agree with Katy, I assume he's just started school, so I don't think now is the best time to expect amazing behaviour, but I would also help a 4yo to tidy, make a game of it.

LyndaNotLinda Thu 08-Sep-16 22:14:31

She's 4?! She's a baby!

WhatTheActualFugg Thu 08-Sep-16 22:15:25

Don't be too hard OP, I'd say this is fairly typical of a 4 year old.

Although obviously you don't want to let it go.

My 6yo will only now tidy on her own and my 4yo can be coerced in to making a cursory effect.

I do offer them consequences for not tidying up. If I ask the eldest to tidy up before bed time and it's not done, then there's no time for story and song because I have to do it instead. If I have repeatedly asked for something to be out away and it's not I do threaten to give it to charity - and I mean it! But it's never got that far.

With the 4 year old I ask him to help me and if he can't be bothered to help me then I can't be bothered to help him build his train track etc.

Ambroxide Thu 08-Sep-16 22:37:20

She is four. She is tiny. What is she telling lies about?

In your shoes, I would be instituting a tidy up time in which you and she work together to sort out whatever mess there is. You can direct her to take toys to where they belong and oversee but she can do the bulk of the picking up and carrying things to where they should go. She needs help to learn how to tidy up. My 9 year old still has attachments to random stones and bits of paper but I make this her responsibility - if you want to keep this, then you need to find somewhere tidy to put it that will not be in the way of anyone else in the house etc. A four year old is not yet capable of this so you will have to help her. Can you give her a special box or folder for precious things and say that when it is full, you and she can sit down together and decide what's important? Obviously anything not in the box may be thrown away. It's her responsibility to make sure anything she wants to keep is in the box.

Batteriesallgone Thu 08-Sep-16 22:46:50

She's 4. Having a tidying up routine is your responsibility.

BombadierFritz Thu 08-Sep-16 22:53:03

I thought this was a teenager! she's 4. this is entirely normal. tidy up time together, easy storage, maybe a one in one out rule for toys, ignore the strops. the lying is also entirely normal at that age. what kind of lies are they?

Letmesleepalready Fri 09-Sep-16 05:49:45

Haha, it does usually feel like she's a teenager most of the time to be honest.
The lies are usually about hitting or pushing her sister (I'll be in the kitchen, hear DD2 scream, I'll go into the living room and ask what happened and DD1 will say that DD2 hit her head against a piece of furniture, even though she's no way near said piece of furniture)
I have tried the charity shop idea, and she'll actually just fill a bag for me to take, instead of tidying up as planned.
I'm hoping things will improve now she's at school (and I've already learned that I need dinner ready by the time we get home, especially if we've been to the park after school)

HorridHenrietta2 Fri 09-Sep-16 06:17:26

I agree with pp, at 4 I don't think many children would tidy up alone very well. What I tend to do is say Eg "I'll put the cars in this box, you put the trains in the blue box and let's see who finishes first"
I have removed toys to the top of the fridge for a few days if he's refused point blank to pick them up. But generally breaking tidying down into manageable chunks works much better all round.

Ambroxide Fri 09-Sep-16 07:36:35

Telling lies about hitting her sister is completely normal. It's what she likes to think might have happened. The line between truth and fantasy is very very thin at this age.

Letmesleepalready Fri 09-Sep-16 07:45:18

I guess, she does seem to talk a lot about pretend siblings. Not quite sure how to make her stop - the lying and the hitting as soon as I'm in a different room.

Ledkr Fri 09-Sep-16 07:50:36

Gosh she's very young.

Be careful because your first can often feel older than they are. Then when dd2 gets to 4 you will realise you expected too much.
My 5 year old doesn't clear up unless we help her, and can be pretty defiant too. I just chivvy her along and try to keep it light hearted. If I get cross or heavy she can't cope and has a minor meltdown.

Letmesleepalready Fri 09-Sep-16 08:22:15

That's interesting Ledkr I guess she's always been so vocal about wanting to be so independent so young I probably do have unrealistic expectations.
I do get cross too quickly though

Ledkr Fri 09-Sep-16 08:35:33

So do I grin having a hideous morning where she is fussing about everything and acting as if the hairbrush is a deadly weapon.
It's really hard but if you lower your expectations and revert back to more pre school management you may find it easier.

RiverTam Fri 09-Sep-16 09:14:24

Agree with Ledkr. I've often made the mistake of not appreciating DD's age and also getting cross too quickly. Luckily DH is on hand, he's much more in tune with small children!

She's little, she's just started school, and tidying a big mess is a daunting task. DH would make it a race 'I bet I can put the dolls clothes away quicker than you can tidy the puzzles' kind of thing, and then let her win. She loves that.

LyndaNotLinda Fri 09-Sep-16 10:07:43

I was going to say what Ledkr said - I think when there's a younger sibling, it can make the older one seem a lot older than they really are.

If this is a new behaviour, I'd have a think about why she's doing it. Is she finding the school transition difficult? Is she trying to get attention/jealous of the time her sister is getting alone with you?

Please don't throw away the things she leaves on the floor - she's only four and that's the level of comprehension you can expect from a teenager, not a 4 year old

Ledkr Fri 09-Sep-16 11:05:24

When ds was little I expected so much of him and then when ds2 came I felt terrible at what I'd previously expected of ds1.

My 5 year old was a late baby and I'm an "older" mum. I have to admit I've left her very young and do lots for her still I dh t want to rush her childhood , she is largely a very happy settled and secure child (as long as you don't brush her hair hmm)

Ledkr Fri 09-Sep-16 11:07:01

Dd also tries to get dd1 into trouble by lying, we just tell her that's not nice to lie and make mock disapproving faces

Ambroxide Fri 09-Sep-16 13:38:42

I used to explain to DD that if she did something she knew I didn't want her to do, I'd be cross. But if she did something that I didn't want her to do and then lied about it, I'd be fifty times as cross. It took a few years to sink in, of course. She now confesses to the tiniest of faults immediately just in case which are quite often things I honestly don't care about.

Letmesleepalready Fri 09-Sep-16 13:50:02

That's a good way of putting it, as she obviously doesn't want to be told off, but makes it worse by lying. I'll try that next time!

When I do make things into a game it does generally work better, I just need the energy to do that all day long!

RiverTam Fri 09-Sep-16 14:22:41

Yes, it's bloody exhausting. I'm quite slovenly, which helps...

Letmesleepalready Fri 09-Sep-16 14:26:12

River, that's the thing, I'm very messy, but in a futile attempt to not live in a skip, I'm trying to teach my kids to tidy up. Unfortunately a) I'm not very good at it, and b) they don't seem to be any keener than I am grin
So getting rid of the toys would help with that issue altogether grin

AnnaMarlowe Fri 09-Sep-16 14:29:43

How do you ask her to tidy her room? Do you just say "tidy up"?

That works fine for my DS, but my DD needs explicit instructions:

Please pick up the dolls and put them in their basket
Please put all the pens back in their tub with their lids on
Please put all the books back in the bookcase.

She doesn't seem to be able to break down "tidy up" into specific processes on her own. However give her a few explicit instructions and she's fine.

Letmesleepalready Fri 09-Sep-16 14:35:44

I'll usually say: after x it's time to tidy up. When X is finished I then say, pick up the books from the floor "NO" and that's as far as we get, with me repeating myself and starting to pick things up and her just saying no or wanting to do a million other things. Sometimes when she does pick something up she'll forget she's meant to be tidying and starts playing again.
I think we've only once managed to tidy it all up in one go. And we have lots of different storage so should be quite easy.

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