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DH thinks i’m being unreasonable with my expectations for 4 year old,AIBU?

(43 Posts)
Maddie2019 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:32:34

So my 4 year old seems to love making a mess. I don’t think it’s cute or funny, not when I spend ages in a day cleaning up after him at multiple times!

We have just moved in a house and he now has his own playroom downstairs where he can keep all his toys and do play dough, kinetic sand etc.

I came home today with the house full of all the toys, kinetic sand in the new carpet etc. Yesterday his uncle came over (6 years old) and no joke, they took all the clothes out the drawers, bedding all off, every toy emptied and I made them tidy all
the mess they had made.

I have no shame in saying that I will make him tidy up his mess, of course I will help but I also think they need to learn early on that once they’re finished with one game it needs to be tidied away.

DH hasn’t helped saying i’m too harsh and he’s just a child which has made me doubt myself!

What age do you make your kids tidy up their mess? (toys, play dough etc)?

OP’s posts: |
Skyliner001 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:38:15


Skyliner001 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:38:29

U even.

dontdressme Tue 30-Jun-20 17:40:47

It doesn't sound unreasonable to me. Four is old enough to know not to put sand on the carpet, for example.

Is your DH proposing to clean up the mess himself? Or does he just want you to do it and not mention it?

Atalune Tue 30-Jun-20 17:42:06


If he is in the flow and might come back to the mess/toy then I would leave it as it’s part of his play process and he will be learning.

At the end of the day I would insist on a big tidy up and get DS to help. Absolutely.

If there was sand/play doh or other messy play then they would have an area like a big mat or tray and it would be more or less contained in that. If DS was grabbing handfuls and wandering about then I would stop that and redirect.

The pulling everything out is a common play theme. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Rubyandsaphire Tue 30-Jun-20 17:42:35

He needs to learn he'll be expected to clear away, keep things in certain areas, not go in certain draws at school. There's going to be mess but he needs to learn the boundaries and be able to tidy away himself.

BertieBotts Tue 30-Jun-20 17:43:19

DH is wrong! Of course you want to model that straight away.

theproblemwitheyes Tue 30-Jun-20 17:43:41

His uncle sounds like a right dick imo, I'd be calling and giving him a piece of my mind.

Your DS should 100% be tidying up, but it's a big job for a little lad, so you and DH should both be helping.

dontdressme Tue 30-Jun-20 17:43:45

The pulling everything out is a common play theme.

Repeated for truth grin

dontdressme Tue 30-Jun-20 17:44:23

His uncle sounds like a right dick imo, I'd be calling and giving him a piece of my mind.

His uncle's six!

ChaBishkoot Tue 30-Jun-20 17:46:13

Yes yes of course he should clear up. Of course! You can help him and model it. But of course.

nugget18 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:46:27

He needs an adult around to stop the mess getting too much. The time to get him to tidy is when he wants to move onto the next thing.
Sometimes he might be engaged in a game with several toys at once, that's fine but needs an adult to prevent it getting out of hand. It's overwhelming to have to tidy everything at once. Don't let it get like that. Someone has to supervise. He'll also still need a little tidying some of the really messy things. I wouldn't leave the playdoh and kinetic sand accessible without an adult in the room.

Deadringer Tue 30-Jun-20 17:49:14

Who was supervising them? We have playdoh, sand etc but small dc need to be supervised when playing with it imo. Kidd will pull everything out if you don't keep an eye on them and remind them to put some of their toys away before they take out any more.

theproblemwitheyes Tue 30-Jun-20 17:50:10

@dontdressme aaaaaand off i go to get another cup of coffee.

Still, who was supervising? Letting two little boys play together in a brand new house seems like madness to me.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Tue 30-Jun-20 17:51:19

I think you have approaching zero chance of a four year old only playing with one toy at a time, and tidying up after each one.

Sand and play dough will get in carpets. Paint will go on surfaces. Stuff will not get tidied away after use. They are little children.
Tidying up is fucking annoying but it is part and parcel.

dontdressme Tue 30-Jun-20 17:52:47

aaaaaand off i go to get another cup of coffee.

@theproblemwitheyes it gave me a good laugh, the thought of ringing up a 6yo to give him what for about making a mess grin

Maddie2019 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:53:34

Thanks lovelies, I think i’m always doubting myself as a parent and it’s some frustrating when me and DH are not on the same page.

He will play with sand etc in his playroom which is fine (it’s hard floors) but I feel once were done it’s something we need to clean up again straight after or it sticks to his socks which comes through the house.

I will of course help him tidy but my DH thinks it’s just part of being a kid which is probably easier to say when he doesn’t help to tidy the toys away!

OP’s posts: |
Maddie2019 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:56:06

@theproblemwitheyes we only live in a small 2 bed end terrace so they were up in his room originally playing with lego. I gave them a 5 min warning that his uncle will have to go so finish up the game, and they literally made that mess in the space of 5 mins! Don’t ask how because I can’t even see how it’s physically possible!

What was more funny was probably my face when I went up to say it was time to go! They’re excuse was if it was messy it will take longer to leave (oh boy did it work!!!)

OP’s posts: |
hopeishere Tue 30-Jun-20 17:56:40

He has a six year old uncle?!

UltimateWednesday Tue 30-Jun-20 17:56:57

Yes, he should help clear up but how did a 4 & 6 to manage to make quite so much mess without any supervision?

dontdressme Tue 30-Jun-20 17:57:32

my DH thinks it’s just part of being a kid which is probably easier to say when he doesn’t help to tidy the toys away!

That would be the biggest issue for me. He doesn't get you to expect to be 'good old Mum' who just tidies everything up like the invisible cleaning fairy.

Little kids grow up, and IMO it's never too early to start teaching them a bit of responsibility. In an age-appropriate way of course.

now if I could just get it to work on my own children

FelicityPike Tue 30-Jun-20 17:58:00

No, he should definitely tidy. But there’s no way in hell I’d allow free flow access to kinetic sand or play dough or any arts and crafts stuff. No way, especially at his age! That stuff needs supervising.

Maddie2019 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:58:18

@UltimateWednesday read above, it’s not as it sounds!

OP’s posts: |
UltimateWednesday Tue 30-Jun-20 17:58:19

Hopeishere, my dad is actually older than two of his uncles. There's almost 30 years between his oldest and youngest brothers.

SnowdropFox Tue 30-Jun-20 17:58:39

Leave your DP to tidy up. See if he feels differently after that. It shouldn't just be you tidying up afterwards.

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