How to teach kids to clean up their toys?
I, as most of the parents (I believe), find it difficult to teach their kids to clean up their toys. It ends either in tears or we – parents end up cleaning it up ourselves, because it becomes easier than learning them doing that. Different tactics can be used in regards to kids age. If you are one of them who is a little bit late with teaching process (when kid is 4 years) as I was, so keep reading.
During these years of living in Denmark I have seen and learned a lot about rising a kid. Of course, it differs from our original culture in many aspects. But as I live more and more years in Denmark, I adopt all these things and use it for our kids development and our relationship with him. It seems that he and we become happier because of that.
Thus, I would like to share our experience how we have managed a situation of teaching him to clean up his toys.
Be determined and Explain the rules
First thing that I have done was determination. I usually give up very soon, because it is easier for both of us – me and our son. However, I was about to reach the final result, so I had to be prepared to all possible manipulation and drama from my kid.
Thus, next ting was talking and explaining to our son about new rules. Since he is in kindergarten most of the time, so we made a deal that he has to clean up his toys every day before the night time. Otherwise, all of the toys go to a room (where they will not be reachable) or will be given away. I was prepared myself that I actually might need to execute this action, because, as many times before, he just thought I am kidding and would not be able to do that. However, as I expected, I had to do that few times and it was not easy for any of us, but the result has justified our efforts.
Of course, some of the psychologist (especially danish) would say that it is not appropriate way to learn kids, because it becomes as a duty. But I think that he is old enough to have duties, responsibilities and to meet the consequences. Finally, this kind of tactic is working for us, and our son is fine with that and now he sees it as a part of his daily routine.
10-15 min rule
I found it useful to inform our kid 10-15 min before the cleaning that soon it is going to be the time to do that. In this way he is more prepared, less surprised and more willing to do that.
Time spent cleaning up and motivation
I have also noticed that sometimes it takes a lot of time for him to clean up, because he e.g. starts playing with the toys again. I found out the successful way to speed up cleaning process (especially at the beginning) – offer him help by saying that I will pick these and you take other ones. Later on it was enough to encourage him by saying a nice word. And as a final result shows up I give him a hug or even occasional small reward.
Finally, cleaning has become a part of his daily routine. Getting a routine is healthy for kids development and for parents too. I believe that with strong parents determination it can also become essential part of a day in every kids home.