Do you ever pick up your children's toys? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know it's their job to pick up the toys they play with. But do you ever pick up their toys - like when you're practically tripping over them, or they're sleeping over at their grandparents' and you want the house to be clean, or you are just "sick of" the mess, or they're taking a nap and you just want the living room to be clean?

 

I guess I'm asking because I know a mother of 10 children who told me last time I was at her house (over a year ago) when I went to put some toys on the floor away that at their house, the adults don't pick up toys, only the children do. I would love for that to be true at my house, too, but realistically it doesn't happen. And sometimes I clean with my children, when I want to help them - for example, when they're discouraged at the big job they have to do.


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#2 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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I don't agree that it's "their" job, especially children under 8 or 10. It annoys me when adults choose to have children and then act as if they are their minions and must do whatever they want them to do. I picture parents like that laying back and being fed bon-bons all day (not in a flattering way).

I believe in treating my children with respect and sweetness in order to model that behaviour, assuming that is how they will treat everyone else, including us, siblings, strangers, friends, neighbours, etc.

My two eldest are 14 & 11 and from what I have seen with them, it works!! orngbiggrin.gif
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#3 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I said it's their job, I mean when they play with toys, the responsible thing to do is put them away. The parents didn't play with toys (usually), the children did. Children younger than 8 or 10 can be trained with consistent reminders. And the mother I'm talking about certainly isn't fed bonbons, and from what I know she doesn't boss her children around. She is a loving, gentle mother.

 

I treat my children with respect, too, and generally sweetness when they're well behaved.

 

Thanks for your opinion.


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#4 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 02:21 PM
 
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My children are expected to pick up their own toys. Yes, sometimes I help, and I do go in and help them organize their bed room and play/craft room about once a month or so...but in an average day if it hits the third or fourth time of me asking, telling, sternly warning them to pick up their toys/books/clothes/shoes and they haven't?? That's totally disrespectful to ME as their mama, the household, and their siblings need for walking space and that just isn't going to fly.

It also shows me they don't care about it and they don't need to own it. Eventually it winds up donated or earned back. We still have toys in boxes from 3 months ago....

I think in some ways the larger the family you have the more you need to have some order for things. What may fly in a family of 4 is NOT going to fly in a family of 10. It just won't. It would be chaos and not good for every one in the home.

 

 

Riversky, I laughed at your description of parents..lol

lol.gif No bonbons, but I still average 12 hours a day cooking, cleaning, teaching, taking kids to activities, bathing and laundry. They can totally pick up their toys and not give me any lip about it.

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#5 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RiverSky View Post

I don't agree that it's "their" job, especially children under 8 or 10. It annoys me when adults choose to have children and then act as if they are their minions and must do whatever they want them to do. I picture parents like that laying back and being fed bon-bons all day (not in a flattering way).

I believe in treating my children with respect and sweetness in order to model that behaviour, assuming that is how they will treat everyone else, including us, siblings, strangers, friends, neighbours, etc.

My two eldest are 14 & 11 and from what I have seen with them, it works!! orngbiggrin.gif

 

 

thumb.gif  Congratulations!  I have tried to nicely ask my children to please help with pick up so that Mommy and daddy are not left with all the work.  But you know, my oldest is always busy playing world of warcraft and my youngest is always reading a really awesome adventure book so I feel really bad about interrupting them.  I just do it myself when it's obvious it would be pushy of me to make them do it.

 

Am I asking them wrong? 

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#6 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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We do it together a lot of the time.  There are certain things that are tedious to put away and since those things are played with daily, we do leave them out.  We are fortunate to have a play area, so they aren't left in a heavy traffic area.

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#7 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 05:38 PM
 
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There are times I pick up toys (my children are nine).  But then, there are times I ask them to do things for me...like empty my bathroom trash, get something from the basement, organize the shoes in the garage, etc.   If they complain...saying I didn't take this out or this isn't mine...I remind them that as a family, sometimes we just do things for each other.  I guess I feel the same about occasionally picking up their toys. 

 

That said, when I pick up their toys, I typically put them into a cloth bag or basket and put it by the stairs.  Their playroom and bedrooms are upstairs.  They take it up and put the items away. 

 

I also help when a cleanup job becomes overwhelming.  e.g.  The other day we had a lot of kids over several days in a row.  The playroom was a disaster.  I helped the kids re-organize and clean the playroom.

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#8 of 22 Old 07-15-2013, 09:47 PM
 
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Yes but not often. I expect them to keep toys in their bedrooms and they do a decent job of it. But the not yet two year old will bring stuff back out, which I will usually take back myself. Every night before bed though, they straighten the house up and clean their messes. My eldest complains, but I'll either tell her It's too bad we all do stuff we don't like sometimes or it makes mama have more time for them.

Hearing talk about play rooms put lovely design ideas in my head. We have an empty room worth utilizing after all.
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#9 of 22 Old 07-16-2013, 07:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kysaroko View Post

Yes but not often. I expect them to keep toys in their bedrooms and they do a decent job of it. But the not yet two year old will bring stuff back out, which I will usually take back myself. Every night before bed though, they straighten the house up and clean their messes. My eldest complains, but I'll either tell her It's too bad we all do stuff we don't like sometimes or it makes mama have more time for them.

Hearing talk about play rooms put lovely design ideas in my head. We have an empty room worth utilizing after all.

 

As someone who loves a minimalistic, clean, organized look, having a bonus room/playroom really keeps me sane, happy, and a better mom.  I know that may seem dramatic, but it really makes a huge difference for me.

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#10 of 22 Old 07-16-2013, 01:06 PM
 
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Definitely not dramatic to me ;-) I like to imagine that's all it takes to keep me sane and happy.
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#11 of 22 Old 07-16-2013, 01:28 PM
 
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I pick up the toys often. I am a very tidy person and I really don't like things that aren't in their place. They don't ever just leave things in utter disarray and disregard the fact that they know mommy likes things organized, but sometimes things are left lying around. If they're still around I usually will first ask them to do it before I do it. If they're busy or sleeping or not around and I'm tidying up anyway (or if I need the space where the toys are) then I'll do it. They help me with other things, so I don't see why I shouldn't help clean up their stuff if they're good about it themselves most of the time.
 

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#12 of 22 Old 07-20-2013, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A play room sounds nice. We don't have enough rooms for that (3 bedrooms: one for my husband and I and any future babies, one for girls, one for boys) so my husband's desk and our toys and most books are in the living room. It's not ideal, but I don't see how else to do it in this house with no basement and no upstairs. (One thing I don't like about Florida homes!) So my children and I picking up is a must for us to be able to walk from the bedrooms to the dining room and kitchen, or backyard door, because the living room with all its toys is in between.

 

Thanks everyone.


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#13 of 22 Old 07-20-2013, 07:58 AM
 
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A play room sounds nice. We don't have enough rooms for that (3 bedrooms: one for my husband and I and any future babies, one for girls, one for boys) so my husband's desk and our toys and most books are in the living room. It's not ideal, but I don't see how else to do it in this house with no basement and no upstairs. (One thing I don't like about Florida homes!) So my children and I picking up is a must for us to be able to walk from the bedrooms to the dining room and kitchen, or backyard door, because the living room with all its toys is in between.

 

Thanks everyone.

I can understand how it w/b more difficult to keep the house picked up without a playroom.   When my kids were really little we kept toys in the living room because I was not comfortable with them upstairs or downstairs alone.  It was a struggle to keep the main living area looking uncluttered.

 

My children are allowed to take toys and play all over the house, but at the end of the day (unless it is something that is being carried over like a Monopoly Game) the toys s/b back up in the playroom (we do not always follow that rule).  Some toys, like Legos, mostly stay in the playroom. 

 

When I was growing up, we were only allowed to play with toys in the playroom or tv room.  Bedrooms, living and dining room were for books, puzzles, instruments, and board games only.  Now I understand my mom's rule.  She always had a clean main living area. 

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#14 of 22 Old 11-25-2013, 11:02 AM
 
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All the time. It only bugs me when it was an on-purpose dumping. Then they have to come back and pick it all up. Otherwise I'll happily grab things in danger of being stepped on and put them away. My kids are happy to take my coffee cup or whatever out to the kitchen for me if I don't want to get off the couch at that particular moment, and they'll bring me my stuff that I left somewhere I shouldn't have.

 

I've always felt helpfulness should go both ways. If you want kids to be the kind of people that would help each other out, it only makes sense to show them how it's done.

 

As an aside, I almost died from the cuteness this morning when my six year old reminded his little sister to put her glasses on before school and brought them over to her. :throb

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#15 of 22 Old 11-25-2013, 01:50 PM
 
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My kids are nearly 12, 9 and nearly 2. For the big kids, as long as they are putting in some effort, I help. I was at a friends house when my son was just tiny and she was telling her daughter to clean her room. The room was a disaster! You couldn't see the floor for all the debris, and the kid was 4 or 5... the job was well beyond her capability. I thought it was a really unfair expectation. My kids rooms get pretty bad sometimes and I see that as partly my responsibility. They need to form good habits so if I forget to tell them to pick up for a week the mess is partly my doing.

I feel they should do most of the work cleaning it up, but organizing is a skill you have to learn as is how to break a big job down into parts, etc. So I will go in and say "Lets pick up all the clothes first and put them in the hamper." or "Lets use this container for hair things and play make up" or "I haven't seen you play with this for a while, maybe we can put it in the donation bin? Is there anything else you think can go, too?" They seem to go through phases where they have a harder time staying on top of their mess. Right now my son's room is pretty good but my daughter can seem to get a handle on it... a year ago it was the reverse.


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#16 of 22 Old 11-25-2013, 07:39 PM
 
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I think it is their responsibility to pick up their own messes. But like the poster above me said with reasonable expectation. My five year old picks up her messes when told and picks up her room but we go in after and organize of help with stuff. What's picked up to her might not be to me! But at the same time I show and teach her expectations and as she gets older she learns and continues to do better

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#17 of 22 Old 11-25-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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I expect my kids to learn and have some responsibilities. My oldest kids are 7 and 4 and they can clean there toys up and put them away. It may not be perfect but it is a lot less stressful for me when I have to cook, do laundry, fold, wash dishes, take them to activities/parks, scrub two bathrooms, clean the rest of the house, do crafts with them, volunteer at their schools, shopping so we can eat ect... I need to lay back on a couch when they are cleaning up, then I can untangle my hair..

 

So I don't think them putting away there toys is asking too much. They know where their toys belong. 

 

I do encourage them to clean up and put away things after they have played with it. Sometimes they do it and other times I have to remind them. I usually ask them to clean their room maybe every other day or when I see things starting to be left on the flour. It really only takes them about 5 minutes to do it.

 

Then once a week I will go in there room and the basement(which has most of there toys) and do a more in depth cleaning. (This is our first year having a basement or anytype of play room, before that toys where kept between our room, their room and a few in the living room but the rules was the same).

 

Even with them helping, there are toys and things that will be missed and I will still have to pick them up from under the couch and other places and put them where they belong..I don't expect them to be perfect.

 

For their age the do a very good job and they rarely complain. If the basement gets out of hand and it is alot of things I will help them but a big mess like that usually only happens when my 2 year old decides it is time to dump everything out on the floor and cut up all the scrap paper he can find..lol..so much fun.

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#18 of 22 Old 11-26-2013, 03:41 AM
 
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Yep. I mean most of the time I do make them do it. But sometimes I do it just to be nice. Or I will clean their room just to be nice. And ya know what? Now sometimes they "clean" my kitchen just to be nice!

 

Now they are 4 and 7 so obviously it isn't cleeeean clean but it is the thought and effort that counts

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#19 of 22 Old 12-01-2013, 05:09 AM
 
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I have my kids straighten up the living areas if their toys are lying around, sure.  I don't see how that's taking unfair advantage of them.  They're 5 and 6 and have been doing so for a couple of years.  But we don't have a lot of toys out.  It's just a matter of putting a dozen or so things into a basket, it's not hard.  I help out if they have trouble with, say, lining books up on a shelf.  My DD still just piles them up.

 

My 6 y.o.'s room is generally clean, and if it isn't, I'll ask him to clean it so I can vacuum or something.  He does pretty well.

 

My 5 y.o is another case entirely.  She is a messy mouse and her room is a disaster most of the time.  She doesn't have a lot of stuff but what she does have has a lot of different pieces that she gets creative with - like a dollhouse and furniture, blocks, crayons, etc - and they end up all over her room.  She'll even set up scenarios with her socks sometimes.  She's just really creative.  I ask her to pick up and she'll pick up a few things, but she can't really do so well yet.  I generally clean it once a week while she's in kindy, so that I can vacuum and dust and get her already-worn clothes washed.  Messy is OK, dirty isn't.  It's messy again by the end of the day usually.  I try not to stress about it, I was the same as a kid and I know it drove my mom crazy!!

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#20 of 22 Old 12-02-2013, 05:45 PM
 
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My kids are 9, 9, 7, and 4, and the oldest three have a chore chart that includes cleaning their animal cages and the areas of the house (rooms and playroom) where they dump out their toys. Seems obvious, right? I just started up this system last week :nut I think that caring for one's personal possessions is the job of everybody in the family who is capable of doing it. So the four-year-old still gets help (from me), but everybody else is completely capable of toy pick-up. They are not my minions - and I'm not theirs. 

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#21 of 22 Old 12-22-2013, 08:58 PM
 
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I pick up my 4 yr old toys a lot and ask him to help also. And sometimes help with 6 and 9 ur old but they also help me pick up laundry etc at times

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#22 of 22 Old 12-22-2013, 09:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post
 

I have tried to nicely ask my children to please help with pick up so that Mommy and daddy are not left with all the work.  But you know, my oldest is always busy playing world of warcraft and my youngest is always reading a really awesome adventure book so I feel really bad about interrupting them.  I just do it myself when it's obvious it would be pushy of me to make them do it.

 

Am I asking them wrong? 

 

Maybe you can phrase it more like, "in five minutes, I need you to help me clean up such-and such", or "after this chapter, I need you to take a break and clean up this or that"?  Some kids don't clean up when they know someone will do it for them, and even if that's not what's going on, if it's something that happens all the time, then they will get used to not having to clean up their toys as a responsibility.

 

My fiance has three children.  The oldest two stay at their grandparents' house during the week to homeschool.  At their grandparents' house, their room is pretty nicely kept up.  At their Dad's house, the oldest just leaves things where they fall, and I mean everything- books, clothes, candy wrappers, you name it- because she knows her Dad will do it for her.  She also knows when I'm there, I expect her to clean up after herself (within reason), and she mostly does so.


I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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