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How do you get your toddler/preschooler to clean up after themselves?

Forum: Attachment Parenting


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August 7th, 2009, 09:56 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,966
I was wondering what you all do. I have been letting this go. Jonathan will have toys all over the floor and I would not have him clean them up. Well I have decided I really need to get on this. This morning he dumped blocks all over the floor. He went to get his trucks and I told him he needs to clean up his blocks before he moves unto the next toy. I of course sat on the floor and "helped" him.. I am hoping that if I keep up with this the kids will do it on there own. I am sick of constantly having to pick up after them. I want to get them used to cleaning up after themselves within reason while they are still young.
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August 7th, 2009, 11:03 AM
MommaNator's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,773
DD started showing an interest in cleaning up and helping around 18 months and we encouraged it as much as possible. Now that she is 2, she does not want to clean up sometimes but she knows that she is supposed to, for example, before bathtime. I tell her that it is time to clean up and I start cleaning up, but I ask for her help and point out specific things (like "please get the Lego that is under the piano") and she will do them. Once she sees me throwing Legos into the bucket, she usually can't resist. So DH and I help her clean up as long as she is picking up too. Sometimes we have to remind her throughout the process that we are cleaning up, not playing. If DD refuses to clean up, we sometimes use time out. We do have to be consistent about DD helping to clean up, because if we are not she will refuse. This way, it is a habit.

Good luck! It will be hard at first but if you establish a very consistent expectation of cleaning up, soon it should be habit for the boys.

Thanks Julie_aka_Mommy!

Last edited by MommaNator; August 7th, 2009 at 11:05 AM. Reason: DD submitted post before I was done!
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August 7th, 2009, 11:07 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,966
Thanks... I have just been kind of lazy about it. Thought after I had Jonathan clean his blocks up he started cleaning up other toys.
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August 7th, 2009, 01:01 PM
sunshine411's Avatar Let's go MAVS!!!!
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Where everything is bigger....
Posts: 5,894
with the girls we would sing the clean up song, they learned it from my daycare. Every kid I have ever known who hears it starts to clean up, its crazy.

Clean up clean up
Everybody Everywhere
Clean up clean up
Everybody do your share

sing it in a sing song voice while helping him pickup. Kids love it for some reason.
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August 8th, 2009, 10:40 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: belfast, northern ireland
Posts: 1,563
Anyone have any ideas to get dh to clean up after himself? He's worse then teh kids!
Ian is only one, so i try to play a game of throwing things in the bag or box, but if he doesnt want to, i do it myself.
I still pick up after billy often, mostly the odd things, but something like a big pile of blocks cars etc.. he ahs his choice, he can pick it up himself or I will pick it up, but i will put it away for awhile and he wont be able to use if.
Dh is soo much help though - NOT. he told Billy "If God wanted you to pick things up he wouldnt have made women" Ok he's not really serious, he's an athiest but that is still about his attitude. Oh well, i love him anyway, as I always say if aft er 10 years and everything we've been through we still love eachother and want to be together, warts and all, well thats true romance to me
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August 9th, 2009, 05:03 PM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
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I don't have much to add except that you are right that consistency is key. I find that if I even do a couple of days of hurrying & picking up without asking for help...I get resistance next time I want help. He calls it "pickle up" which I think is too dang cute. We sing a "clean it up" song from Yo Gabba Gabba & that seems to motivate him & we race & I tell him I am beating him at "pickle up".
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August 9th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 394
i just say that i like the house clean and it makes me happy so please clean up now and they do, usually. when they don't i let them know it makes me unhappy to clean up other peoples messes by myself. this works for us, but we've always used similar approaches and parent based on high-connection so even though i do have some very strong willed children this seems to work most of the time because strong willed as they are they still like a happy mommy *smiles*
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August 19th, 2009, 06:42 AM
Xx5Xy1+'s Avatar What's your superpower?
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Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
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We use the same song as Naomi and it works *most* of the time. Sometimes all I have to say is "time for pick up pick up" and my 3 year old starts singing the song and both the little ones start picking up.... sometimes they will each pick up one toy and go hide in their bedroom so they don't have to keep picking up in the living room lol

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August 30th, 2009, 02:26 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,516
There are three things that have helped.

1. her personality....my daughter loves to clean
2. her school....she was in daycare until recently when I became a SAHM and they sang a clean up song
3. Little Bill tv show on Noggin. He also had a zoopity zoo clean up song she LOVES
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