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Toddlers & Preschoolers Toddlers & Preschoolers

Having trouble getting my 4 year old son to pick up his room

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My son will make a mess in his room and when I tell him to pick it up he won't.  I've tried staying on him about it, I feel like I"m constantly saying something to him about it.  I've just picked it up myself on occasion, and I've even threatened to take toys away but it's like he doesn't hear me sometimes when I say it.  I've also tried picking up stuff together but still don't  know how to get him to take care of it.  He's going into pre-k this year and will be 5 in September, I'm losing my mind with him not listening to me about this and other things.  Any Suggestions????
by on Jul. 18, 2007 at 10:59 AM
Replies (11-15):
RoseQueen0304
by on Jul. 18, 2007 at 11:29 AM
I have a 4 yr old and I definitely feel your pain!  He's very head strong and can be quite difficult when he decides not to do something.  I love all the ideas that I've read for this situation and think I may try a few of them when what I started doing doesn't work. 

Alex loves to "sticky tape" (Dora the Explorer) things to his wall and cut things out with scissors.  I have made him construction Paper stars (Found a Template for a slightly skewed star) and printed them out on my Printer.  Each day he gets a "star" for doing his "chores" (cleaning his room, helping to gather dirty clothes and helping to put them in the washer/dryer, Wiping off the kitchen table and chairs, and helping me match socks.) When he completes all his chores before lunch, I give him a star and his safety scissors.  We sit at the kitchen table and he gets to cut the star out and write his name on the line I've printed there stating that he is a "Star" because he did all his chores.  He then uses sticky tape to adhere his star to his bedroom wall.  When he gets 14 stars, he gets to cash them in for a "Prize".  I have coupons that I've printed up that he can choose from.  He gets to chose things like an extra 30 min. of TV time in the afternoon, 30 extra minutes on the computer or the video game, A balloon of his choice when we go grocery shopping, a new book, or an extra special trip to the library.  Each coupon is decorated with pictures and words to help him decide.  I've had them laminated so we can use them over and over. 

By giving him the coupon he is able to use it when he wants, rather than having to rush to use it right when he gets it.  Also it teaches him the value of thinking ahead and planning.  Responsibility of keeping up with his coupons (If he loses one then it's gone.  You can't redeem what you don't have.)

Right now he's sitting on 2 of the 30 min. extra TV time.  I am just hoping that he doesn't decide to redeem them both at the same time.  If he does then I will of course have to try to find a positive way to suggest that he maybe hold one back, but we will cross this bridge when we come to it.

 Laura 

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." -Helen Keller

Rachell9503
by on Jul. 18, 2007 at 11:34 AM
First off, if you threaten to take toys away, even thought it's hard, you HAVE TO do it. Or of course he'll never listen!!! I have the same problem with my son. He just won't do it. I"ve taken away his favorite toys. And suggesting it as a game works too, have him "play b-ball" with his stuffed animals into the toy box, threaten to beat him by picking up more cars first, stuff like that, and sometimes I sing the "clean up clean up, everybody everywhere, clean up" song while we pick up, cuz he likes it when we sing.

 ~Rachel~ Momma to:

 

                                           




RoseQueen0304
by on Jul. 18, 2007 at 5:00 PM
We love the clean up song too!  It does seem to go faster for everyone involved when you sing.


 Laura 

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." -Helen Keller

MrsLaher
by on Jul. 18, 2007 at 5:03 PM
My oldest had a difficult time cleaning his room until he was about 5.  I think it all felt overwhelming to him.  My daughter will help me clean up her room and we sing the clean up song too.  Sometimes, she doesn't want to, but that's normal for her age (3 1/2).  Sometimes she surprises me and does it all by herself and she feels so proud when she does!
andreamarie
by on Jul. 18, 2007 at 5:07 PM
Hi I posted this idea on another group. I am not sure about boys toys, I have girls. But invest in some shoe racks that hang over the door (if you rent & landlord dosent care or your buying) get the ones you attatch to walls. Hang anything with bows, hooks, ties on it. Make him check out his toys like the library lending system. He has to return some to get more and gets the same # back he turned in. Just make sure its high enough up he cannot help himself. He won't like it for awhile, but he will get used to it. Tell him your decorating his room with toys.
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