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Useful “horror stories” you can tell your children if they don’t want to clean up

Modern psychologists say that you should not scare a child. The psyche is formed in childhood, and secret fears can later manifest themselves as neuroses and problems in adulthood. Therefore, in this article, we will not draw real “horror stories”. But we will offer 5 ideas that will be understandable to a small child and can motivate him to clean up. 

1. Tell him that he might lose his favorite toy.

A child’s toys are his values. The little person doesn’t want to part with them as much as you don’t want to part with yours, and of course, such a prospect may frighten him. If one day he cannot find his favorite bear or car in a heap of chaos, then the fear of losing his favorite thing next time may motivate him to put the toys back in order to quickly find what he wants.

2. Explain that things and toys will not find their way “home”

Professional psychologists say – explain the idea to your child based on his experience. In this case, the following example will be relevant if the child goes to kindergarten/primary school. 

Few people want to stay in the garden longer than usual. Yes, you yourself probably remember at least one situation when your parents were suddenly late for you, and you had to wait for a long, long time for mom or dad, sitting with the teacher. It seemed like time was stretching on forever, and my parents would never come. 

So, the child is afraid that they will not come back for him. This fear may be groundless, but it happens to almost everyone and is definitely understandable to him. And it will help motivate you to put away things and toys. 

Imagine that they also have a “house”. Let this be the basket/shelf/box where you usually put toys. And say that things also want to “go home”, and when they are left scattered, they feel bad and sad. 

3. Make up a fairy tale. Let the main character feel bad because the baby doesn’t want to clean up

Any job will seem easier if you turn it into a game and make it fun. Come up with a horror story in which the main character really needs things or even trash that the child has scattered. 

The boy Sasha scattered pieces of paper on the floor and told his mother that it was snow. Of course, he didn’t want to remove the snow – snow is fun in warm weather. The resourceful mother told Sasha that Santa Claus was somewhere far away bored and sad, he didn’t have enough snow. And if Sasha doesn’t collect snow in a bag for Grandfather, he will feel bad. Sasha believed it, and his mother put the package on the balcony, saying that Grandfather Frost would take it from there. 

4. Say that the one who cleans up plays 

Here’s another example from the book. A resourceful dad came up with the following story for his messy son. In the evening, when the baby fell asleep, he placed several toys in front of the front door. In the morning, when the child got up and saw them in the corridor, he was very surprised. The parents explained that the toys want to leave him – he treats them poorly, does not clean them up, and leaves them scattered. 

Dad hid several toys in advance so that the child would discover that some of the nimble toys had already escaped. 

The principle is based on the same feeling of possessiveness and fear of losing – you can’t even play later, the toys will simply go away. This method will help you explain clearly and in a language understandable to the child – the one who cleans up plays. 

5. Show disappointment 

Offending a mother is a fear for a small child because she is the whole world to him. Tell him how upset you are that he doesn’t want to put his toys away. But don’t overdo it and don’t involve relatives: the child shouldn’t feel “bad.” You love him anyway, but the fact that he throws things around upsets the parent. 

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