Sept. 27, 2021

Ask Amy- My Kid Dumps Out The Toys Right After I Pick Them Up

Got a toy dumper? Make organizing the playroom a special time with you as the parent. Follow your child’s lead on what that organization should look like. Or consider making your playroom to be more like a preschool classroom, with heavy rotation.

Got a toy dumper? The way to engage little kids in household cooperativeness is to make it an outgrowth of spending time with you.

Hear more in our "Getting Kids To Cooperate" episode, launching on Wednesday 9/28/21.

This week's question comes from Lindsay via Instagram:

I have a two-year-old who used to love helping me pick up his toys. The mess never got out of control. But ever since he became a big brother a month ago he is really struggling in general. Lately he won't help me pick up his toys, and after I clean them up, he will run over and dump them out and pull books off the bookshelves. I started leaving the mess till the end of the day so I'm not spending all day cleaning, but yesterday he tripped over all his toys and busted his lip open. Any advice on the toy mess and the transition from one to two kids would be great!

You're right to have compassion about the struggle. It's only been a month since your little guy's world got turned upside down. Your life will get a little easier as the baby becomes more interesting to your toddler.

In the meantime, you do want to clamp down on the toy-dumping. But a two-year-old is too young to clean up out of a magnanimous sense of the greater good. And if you give it too much attention– even negative attention– the unwanted behavior may escalate.

In this episode, Amy gives suggestions for making the cleanup and organization of the play room as special time with Mommy– a time in which the infant sibling is far, far too immature to participate. She also gives ideas on restructuring a playroom to be more like a preschool classroom. Rotating out many of the toys will give your toddler less to dump out– and you may find that at playtime, he's even more absorbed with what he does have to play with.

Dealing with a newborn *and* a toddler at home? Listen to "Surviving a Toddler And A Newborn" for tons of great listener-sourced advice!

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