Posted in Behavior, Blended Families, Big Kids

How to make 6 year old clean up?

I need advice on how to make her understand that she needs to pick up her toys, clothes, shoes, & etc. when she’s done with them. I kept telling her if I see any toys on the ground they're going with me & I’ll take them or I’ll throw it away. Am I doing the right thing?

  • Anonymous
    Mar 20

    That sounds a little extreme to me. Why not work with her to find a wya to remember to clean up. Remind her, and if she refused fine. But praise and positive reinforcement is much more effective than jumping to punishment.

  • Erica
    Mar 20

    I feel like kids need only the amount of things they can take care of. Maybe instead of throwing things away that she leaves around, maybe throw things away that she doesn’t like or care about very much, to make room for the things she does care about. And then make sure those things have a place, and work with her on putting them back in their place every day.

  • PK
    Mar 20

    Are you expecting her to pick up after herself right away? If so, maybe consider starting small where you ask her to clean up after herself midday and end of day or just at the end of day. I’ve seen parents use charts where they track how consistent their kids are with their responsibilities. Give them a check mark or star for the days they successfully complete it and say.. after x amount of stars, they get a treat. With that being a physical treat (candy, toy, etc) or privilege (watch a movie, gets to go to the zoo, gets to pick what to eat for dinner, gets to skip veggies for dinner one night, etc)

  • Anonymous
    Mar 20

    Before changing activities make sure to remind her that everything has a place. Before meals, before outings, before earning TV time, she must do X. Give warnings. Say dinner is at 6 so clean up toys and wash hands, reminding her in needed increments. Being tidy by example. We all hang our jackets on our own hooks and place our shoes on a mat. We do this as soon as we get home. I have to remind my husband of stuff like this. Like putting dirty dishes in the sink. If kid sees Daddy leaving dishes out, why should he put his away? 6 is also old enough for a chore chart.

  • Brittany
    Mar 20

    Yes always teach that there is a time and a place for everything. I agree if kids do things on their own like putting up their own clothes, shoes, etc it will make it so much easier and simpler. How I started getting all my kids involved to make it “fun” we call it a boogie time! I bought a timer and I tell them we have *blank* amount of time (depending on the size of the mess and how fast I think they can do it including distractions and slowing down) to pick up the toys, clothes whatever it may be. We do it twice a day. Once in the afternoon, and one at night before our bedtime. I help with the one on the bedtime cause its my stuff too. It teaches them to know exactly where things go and how the house looks after its clean. For my oldest she lost EVERYTHING, and she would always ask me “where is my....” and I would always say I don’t know. Even though I knew exactly where it was. So I would tell her you have to pit stuff where its supposed to go if you want to use it or have it later. So it taught her to put things up, well things that are important to her. Hope that helps!

  • Xena
    Mar 20

    Thank you all for so much advice. I should of worded my post Better. Didn’t mean anything wrong. I don’t do punishments right away for one. I have to tell her multiple times to pick up her stuff or put stuff away back in its place but She just doesn’t like to listen to me , maybe cause I’m still new to her? She’s been in my life for 8 months now.

  • Elizabeth
    Mar 20

    That may work for some kids but others work better on a reward based system. “If you pick up your toys, we can go to the park.” Or you could just say “Ok, if you don’t pick up your toys, you have to sit there until you do.

  • Jessie
    Mar 20

    I think positive reinforcement is almost always key, but IF the time calls for it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with grabbing a trash bag for a little scare and saying, “well, I told you... If you can’t take care of your things by putting them back where they belong, then I’ll give them to someone who will.” ;) Good luck!

  • Elissa
    Apr 01

    I would tell her she has til such and such time to pick up her things. If she doesn’t, the item goes in time out, for like a day, or she gets an extra chore before it can come out again. We have a lego chore chart and my SS loves to complete everything so all the LEGOs are on it. You could try something like that as well