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  1. #1
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    Default 4yo refusing to do what is asked

    Since my daughter was old enough to follow instructions, she's consistently been told to clean up her toys (with our help). Now that she's older, I will say "can you please pack up your barbies / puzzle / books" and she just flat out refuses to do it. I've tried putting the toy in the garage, reminding her that it's part of playing with a toy to put it away when you're done, telling her before or as she gets something away that she will need to put it away when she's finished, telling her it's important to put things away because someone could trip over and hurt themselves, putting a 'clean up' song on, and it all falls on deaf ears and often ends up with her in a screaming tantrum.
    If she has a lot of things out, I start off by just choosing one item and ask her to put that away so she doesn't get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task but she won't even pick up one item. How do you get your kids to do something they don't want to do?

  2. #2
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    Persistence and nagging unfortunately. Sometimes it takes DS 15 minutes to pack up but we don't let him do anything else until it's done.

    We have a rule that only one type of toy can be out at once as I find he gets too overwhelmed if we let things get too messy.

  3. #3
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    Does she get overwhelmed by the mess? I have a child who used to get overwhelmed by the mess and then not be able to cope (but it looked like defiant behaviour until we realised).
    So we stopped allowing a big mess to be made. So once one activity was finished it got packed up. If they didn't want to pack it up then no new toys got pulled out. If they wanted to watch tv, they needed to pack up. They were also allowed to ask for help. This could mean me going and physically helping (assigning us a task each), or pointing to toys and saying 'that goes here' type of thing. It made a big difference to our lives once we realised the behaviour wasn't deliberate defiance.

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  5. #4
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    Also...if there is something new, show them where it lives. Eg. My child was given a new pack of pencils. DH assumed that my child would know where the pencils would go (in the pencil case with the other pencils...pretty obvious to us!). 15 minutes after DH told our child to put the pencils away our child was still on the floor twirling pencils. I told my child the pencils needed to go away and that they were to live in the pencil case. Said child picked up the pencils and put them away. However, past experiences told me that of I asked why they hadn't been cleaned up I would have got 'I don't know.'

  6. #5
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    Are the toys in her room? If so i would leave it be. Its her room after all.
    If theyre in common areas i would role model cleaning and tidying and let her know the consequences for not tidying such things will get broken or lost. People might step on them.

  7. #6
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    Also to make things easier you and her could de-clutter and get some more storage boxes. Perhaps the mess is too overwhelming for her so together you could write out a list and tackle it together. Just do a little bit at a time.

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    Sounds pretty normal, both of mine got to about 3/4 and realised- hey you can say no to mum!
    My DS is now 6, but will still sometimes refuse, taking things away and a lot of explaining creates a whole lot more resistance in our case, so usually it'll be like "hey you know that book you wanted me to read, I'm going to go grab it while you start packing up, so we can read it" or if we're going out I'll say we'll stop at the park for a quick play or get a smoothie, or what ever.
    Basically just put a positive spin on it, it seems to work a lot better, for us. It takes the focus off the 'boring' cleaning up, instead looking forward to the next 'fun' thing.

  9. #8
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    I have the same battle with my dd1.
    The only way I can really get her on board with tidying up is telling her all the cockroaches and spiders will come in and hide under all the stuff on the floor lol.

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  11. #9
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    My 3 year old daughter has just started this. Outright refusal to pick up anything she's chucked on the floor. Which seems to be a lot at the moment. From toys, books to iceblock wrappers. I'll ask her nicely like I've always done but now the answer is "no". I've told her if she doesn't pick it up no more iceblocks etc. But she just says no to that too. She's being very defiant lately. So yesterday I tried something different. I said let's tidy up together. "Which toy do you want to take back outside? And I'll take the other one". She chose a toy and we both took one each. Then I said "let's pick up all the books together. Which ones can you collect?" And we both put them away. It actually worked. I think because we did it together and she was still receiving attention and she still had power by choosing which ones she picked up. It wasn't her just giving in and doing what age was told. We have a lot of power struggles. So I'm trying to learn some new tactics where we both win.


 

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