1. I put my son’s toys in ‘time-out’ once for this very reason – I gathered them all up in a bin and said they were staying with me until he could show me that he’d learned his lesson about picking up after himself. After a week of his laundry magically landing in the hamper, dishes being carried to the sink, and coats being hung up, I returned his toys.

  2. I wouldn’t throw toys out, but I have indeed given things to Goodwill. I wouldn’t do it with a treasured toy that I know actually gets played with, but the things that don’t come out until they’ve got every last thing on the floor? Sure. Some other kid might actually play with whatever it is, and my kids really don’t need the wall of toys that they’ve got.

    If they don’t respect their things enough to take care of them, or if there is just so much that it’s overwhelming, it’s time to talk about giving some things away.

    • rebecca

      That’s a good distinction, throwing away vs donating. I try to get my kids to choose things to donate from time to time too, so they learn we can’t just hold onto everything we ever liked.

  3. I never ever make a threat that I’m not going to follow through on. It’s the hardest thing… and once the words are out of your mouth… crap!! Now I gotta do that!! I have a friend who did – she only needed to once – take all of the toys out of the house in response to a situation like you outline above. And then, very slowly, over several weeks, the kids “earned back” their toys. Highly effective, if you have somewhere to store them all.

    Anyway! Glad that your hand was not forced!

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