“But how do you get your kid to do…..”

When I mention that my son has to clean up after himself, the most common response is this – that getting the child to do it in the first place is really difficult. 

It is. It’s something that has literally taken years to teach him. It absolutely would be faster and more efficient if I just did it for him. There are nights when he is stalling that I have grabbed the bath toys and thrown them all in the basket just to get him to bed. We do clean up after him sometimes. If he has just made a massive mess of the family room and we need it cleaned before bedtime, we often end up cleaning at least part of the mess ourselves. J is still engaged in the conversation, “where does this go?” But yes, we still end up doing some of it quite often for times sake. 

But – teaching kids order is a priority because it is a skill that will help them when they are older. From 18 months on it’s been a consistent time investment. Toddlers don’t work quickly. They get distracted easily. They take a while to do it. They start playing with something and forget what they are supposed to do. They have to be monitored while they are doing it or they will forget. 


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