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How early should they learn to clean up?

I have been taking my 1 year old son to weekly music classes for the past 2 months and I've noticed that when it's time to put up the instruments and move on the next activity that my son is the only one really throwing a fit about putting things away. He is almost the oldest in the class, so I don't know if it's just his age or if it has something to do with most of the other children having older siblings but it's a little upsetting when a 9 month old will put things back into the bucket with no problems and my son throws a hissy fit when it's his turn. I have been able to getting him distracted with the next thing and sneak the previous item away when he isn't looking, but it's just a little embarrassing. So how early should he start learning to put his things away and any tips for making it positive for him?

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Asked by MrsLittleFratto at 11:08 PM on Oct. 13, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • that is a good question my girl is 2 and im startin her out small like if she throws something i tell her to pick it up that way she can learn what pick it up means that way by 3 i can tell her go pick ur toys up and know she will know what that means if u like that idea try that

    Answer by lil-mama653 at 11:14 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • Start making it a game at home. Keep the directions simple. Put your lovie here. Put your trucks away. Don't say clean up or pick up since it's too broad of an order and they cannot process it.
    Each child learns at a different pace. He is only 1 year so it's still early but he will learn. Just keep at it and he will get it.
    by 2 my DD was picking up all her toys with simple requests.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 11:15 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • I started around 1 yr teaching and encouraging manners...and then at about 18 months I started working with dd on putting things away...we're still working on it at 28 months, telling her more generalized things like pick up tour babies and put them in the toy box..rather than pick up the pink ball and put it in your toy box...but I feel like the sooner the better.

    Answer by mom_to_kenzie at 11:15 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • between 1 and 2 years is a good age to start. It's impressive that the 9 month old can considering most kids can't even walk at that age, so don't bracket your child with the 9 month old. Some kids won't do even when they are almost three (like my nephew I have to fight with to get to pick up when he's over).

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 11:55 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • How early a child learns something depends on how early a parent teaches them. There isn't a perfect time to teach a child anything. Every child picks up on things at different stages and every parents feels comfortable at different times when implementing these lessons. I think the earlier the better to start teaching a child things like manners, putting things away, etc. Their brain is developing from day one, so it's important to start introducing these things from day one. Now we all know a 2 week old isn't going to put away his toys, but when the child starts to get up and crawl it's best to start teaching them these things. A child doesn't suddenly start understanding more because they turn one or two. A child from the very start understands more then people realize. They only start to practice it and verbalize it when they get older. That doesn't mean they don't understand earlier.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:20 AM on Oct. 14, 2010

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