Some things are ridiculously challenging, such as climbing up Mt. Kilimanjaro or even trying to cross the Sahara desert barefoot. The only thing that is more challenging than that is getting your child to put their toys away after they are done with them. Research has shown time and time again that children thrive in an organised environment, but for some reason, they seem to do everything they can to make sure that they cause as much mess as possible.
As a parent, this can have you feeling as though your sole purpose in life is to clean and tidy. If you struggle with this issue, remember that children become engaged with whatever they are doing during that time and they have very little thought as to what comes next. They switch from one thing to another and they have no concept of consequence. Their brain moves on, so having them clean up after they have finished with their abandoned toys can be difficult because to them, it doesn’t come naturally! So how do you put an end to toy mountain and odd sock canyon? Take a look below.
Talk to Them
A lot of people tell their children to “clean up”. The problem with this is that this can mean literally anything to a child. It can mean shoving everything into a cupboard and leaving them there. If you want to get the best result out of your child’s tidying efforts then try and talk to them and make sure that you use words such as “put the toys back in their box” or “restore these toys back to how you found them”.
Make Things Easier for Them
Children are discouraged very easily. If they have to take more than a couple of seconds to reach a shelf or to even take a lid off a box then this can send them into a complete meltdown and you may even end up with more of a mess than when you first started. To avoid this, try and make sure that any containers are within reach for your child and also make sure that you have designated toy\ storage areas as well. Recycled furniture is great for this, and you can even line up the boxes that you have to make things look tidier. If you want to take your organisational skills to that next level then try and have words or signs above each container so that your child is able to understand where every toy needs to go. It’s important that there is plenty of room for the toys and if you try and stuff things into a space where they aren’t going to fit then this will only lead to even more frustration for your child.
Also remember that they probably aren’t going to want to sort their Lego by colour, or their Action Man figures by bicep bulge, so really, as long as they are all put in a box and put away, that’s something that you should feel rewarded by and it also shows that your child is doing a great job at being tidy.
This is a collaborative post