Ask Nana: How Do I Get My Kids to Pick Up Their Things?

//Ask Nana: How Do I Get My Kids to Pick Up Their Things?

Ask Nana: How Do I Get My Kids to Pick Up Their Things?

Getting kids to pick up their toys and clothes without a battle has been an ongoing challenge for parents throughout time.  I know it was in our home…times three! I’ve been asked many times for how to approach this topic with minimal conflict.  To offer the best parenting advice, I’ve reached out to Emma Jenner, child development, sleep and behavior specialist who is the founder of Emma’s Children (www.Emmaschildren.com).  Read on to learn Emma Jenner’s positive parenting tips on…

How to Get Kids to Pick Up After Themselves Without a Battle

Tired of your child’s toys cluttering up every space possible, not to mention the battle that follows your simple request, “please put away your toys”?

Kids will be kids, but it’s our job to teach them to clean up after themselves and yes, it is possible. Now, like with all things kid related the famous word ‘consistency’ plays a huge roll. You must be consistent.

Here are some positive parenting tips:

  • Encourage your child to take out one thing at a time. They should put away whatever they were playing with before they are allowed to take something new out.
  • Give your child age appropriate responsibilities. They will be less likely to make a huge mess if they are the ones responsible to clean it all up again. Remember, if your child is capable of taking a toy out they are perfectly capable of putting it away.
  • Teach them to look after their toys, if they are all over the place they may get lost or even broken and then they wont be able to play with them at all.
  • Make it fun and not so much of a chore. Make up games (set a timer) or sing songs. This is a really fun way to encourage your child to tidy up. One of my favorite clean up songs is “clean up clean up everybody everywhere, clean up clean up everybody do your share”.
  • Give everything a home and have separate containers for cars, dolls, Lego, characters etc. and clearly label them. Not only does this make it more fun but also educational.
  • Have your child tidy up at the end of each day and at the end of a play date, all children should help.

Now having said all this, your children need you to establish the rules and be consistent. If you let your child off the hook one day, then please note they will expect it all the time and the battle will remain.

Happy cleaning, children!

Do you have a question on parenting, grandparenting, raising healthy kids, combating childhood obesity, etc? Ask Nana and I’ll get an expert to answer your question.

About the Author:

Grandmother of 5 great kids, retired special ed high school teacher, married since 1972 to Poppy...loves spoiling the grands, crocheting for whomever I can and charities, reading, crafts, outdoors, and blogging.

One Comment

  1. Susan Adcox 2010/04/19 at 9:32 am

    I like the idea of setting a timer: “Let’s see if we can get cleaned up in five minutes!” As an adult, I use this strategy. Once I figured out that it only takes five minutes to unload the dishwasher, I quit dreading it. If I can’t stand five minutes of an disliked task, I’m definitely a whiner! The job of cleaning up often seems monumental to kids, and they drag it out for much longer than it needs to take. Turning it into a race against time just might help.

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