Thursday, 18 January 2018

4 quick tips to teach your child how to tidy up after themselves

Children love nothing more than to have their toys sprawled on the floor in front of them, where they can see them. Toddlers have this incredible capacity to make a mess no matter what they are doing. For toddlers, a mess signifies more fun and an easy way to reach what they’re after without asking for help. But what toddlers don’t understand is how to tidy after the chaos and why they should be tidying up their toys in the first place. And though it sounds boring, it needs to be done, to their dismay, they become disheartened when their favourite toy breaks on the floor, or they lose an integral piece of their Lego set. 


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And it would be a shame to have to enquire with waste collection companies how to get rid of toys that can’t necessarily be thrown in the bin due to health and safety. So, in all the fun and games, parents have a responsibility to show their children how to tidy up and why it can be fun whilst doing so.

Here are 4 ways to teach our child how and why to tidy up after themselves:




Keep a routine in check 
At school, your child, no matter the age will understand that a routine is a necessity to keeping the day in check. Do the same at home – before you start dinner, make sure your child puts away all their toys from the dining room so you can sit down for dinner. And perhaps before bed, ask your child to put their books away that they have been reading with you. The more routine you make these chores; the quicker you child will learn to do it themselves. 

Limit how many times you ask to tidy up
We all know as a parent, it’s the most frustrating thing knowing you have come home from work and you still need to cook, clean and put your children to bed, all in a day’swork. And in all the frustration to complete your chores on time, you will most likely nag your child to help. But to avoid you and your child clashing with tidy up time, pick a consistent time of day for them to tidy up. The more you ask in bits for your child to tidy up after themselves, the more reluctant they can become. Also, if your toddler overhears your eldest child always saying no to cleaning up at different times of the day, they too will pick up bad habits.

Make tidying up fun, not a chore
It is entirely unrealistic toe expect your little one, no matter the age to tidy up without being asked. So instead of being perceived the evil parent who always asks to clean up, why not make tidying up a dedicated part of the day, where you can do so together and make it into a fun business. Put some music on, perhaps their favourite Disney film soundtrack, or play a game that requires them to complete the task in a certain amount of time. You could even try and make it a learning experience by asking them to count, or identify the colours of their toys. If you make it a fun and rewarding experience, your child will most likely help again. 

Give them space
It’s all fun and games knowing your child enjoys hours on end playing with their Barbie’sLego, puzzles or toy cars, but at the end of the day you want it to be put away. So, when designing your home, make sure you have areas of the house, whether it be a giant toy box in the living room, or their bedroom, dedicated to their toys, and their toys only. Children don’t like to necessarily share, and they like to see their toys on show, so don’t overload their space with your own belongings. Perhaps, make it an exciting adventure taking a trip to Ikea to buy storage boxes for all their toys.
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