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JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
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8/20/12 12:34 P

I must agree with last poster, finding like minded parents is very important. Sometimes due to location, it may be hard to do, but it is still worth working on. It didn't take too long before we found that most of our closest neighbor kids were NOT ideal play dates. It seemed like a rather harsh thing to do, but it was for the safety of our kids.

We have found that our choices were proper and wise too. Most of our neighbor's children did NOT do so well as they got older. Dropping out of school, doing poorly in school, getting pregnant, being in gangs, etc. The children we chose to be their play dates are all graduating college, having jobs, joining the military, being good young adults.

Bottom line, if the play dates you make with kids make you worry, then follow your instincts and knowledge. Your children will think anyone their parents let them play with or stay over with are SAFE and GOOD. If they aren't, it may just be the beginning of much reprogramming in the future. Parents really need to know their children and the children they let their children play with(and their parents). Protect them, they are your most valuable possessions. If you wouldn't trust your computer or password with the folks you trust your kids with, then something is wrong.

8/20/12 9:33 A

when my kids were younger i found myself gravitating more towards parents who had similar parentnig styles as mine. usually kids of these parents (although individuals) tended to respond better to my cues and my styles when they were at my home. and i also found that they didn't make me nearly as crazy as kids who were being raised to embrace some of my biggest pet peeves

NANNER99 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/19/12 8:21 P

I have 4 kids and there are usually 2-6 neighbor kids over on any give day. The easiest thing to do is to remove the stuff that is the hardest to put back correctly. For me, I am much more lax about where it all goes than I used to be- but that is b/c \my 3 youngest kids are 3,4, and 6 and it is too much work to have everything that sorted out all the time. Just leave enough stuff in the room that they can enjoy themselves, but not so much that the mess is overwhelming. And try to relax about it if you can- it's great for your daughter to share her things and have the socialization that comes with the playdate. :)

ETA: I put games, flashcards, puzzles, stuff like that, in drawers in my room at all times unless the kids are playing with them. Also, anything that is highly cherished or breakable that your daughter has should go up before her friend comes over.

Edited by: NANNER99 at: 8/19/2012 (20:24)
TISTEN23 SparkPoints: (31,222)
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8/8/12 11:59 P

We always play the cleanup game with songs at the end of a playdate to get the other kids to help us clean the toys! I have the kids ask them to start helping, and if they dont then I politely ask the parent to have their child(ren) help out.

NPPMOM Posts: 601
8/3/12 4:12 P

When my son has play dates he's told to move any thing he doesn't want to play with into my bedroom (off limits to other kids). I do this to deal with sharing issues (if it's still out when the friend shows up it must be shared). If all the toys are in bins in the toy chest could you have your daughter decide ahead of time what she wants to play with and then just move the rest to another room? Limiting access will limit the mess:-)

TMCK-40 Posts: 581
8/3/12 12:22 A

Ugh it is all so hard sometimes.

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
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8/3/12 12:09 A

They are young, but don't give up. Stay on this and don't allow them to win out or you will have many more years to regret all the other things you give in on. Putting out just a few toys is not a bad plan, try it. Try other things to until you find what makes it work best. BUT DON'T GIVE UP. Keep the faith.

7/31/12 10:19 P

Go ahead and do the one toy at a time rule. You can just say that it will be easier for them to manage, and encourage them to actually play with the toys instead of just throwing them everywhere.

As far as him being too young to understand, I wouldn't say that for sure. I bet he can fully understand the 1 box at a time rule if you take some time to teach it to the kids.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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7/30/12 9:14 P

Sounds very frustrating for you.

If he can't clean up, then maybe try your option of locking the toys until he can grasp the cleaning up. Take away the temptation of dumping the toys. There may too many new and exciting choices for him. Unless there is a different way for you to remove toys so he can't have access. But that can be a pain.

Without access, he would need to clean up before getting something else. You are simply setting limits. He will have limits at school.

I used to remove some items that were more fragile (like some of my daughter's american girl stuff) depending on who was coming over.

Can you have him choose a toy or two and play with that in the living room and not allow him to go get another toy without putting that one away?

I have a boy/girl set of twins. When they were younger, my son was more rough with toys. He wouldn't intentionally break things, he just wasn't as cautious as his sister.

I usually helped with the cleanup at that age. (and two the same age can make a big mess) It was me doing most of the cleaning with my kids helping. In preschool, they would have a clean up song the teachers played.

goof luck!

7/30/12 5:33 P

Unfortunately, I've found that it takes the little stinker less than 5 minutes to empty every toy onto the floor, and the room is too small for all 4 of us (moms and kids) to hang out in there. When he dumps all the toys out, they get all mixed up, so other than tell him piece by piece it's pretty hard to tell him to put all the blocks in the shark, the food toys in the flower, etc when they're all mixed together. I can't blame either kid for feeling overwhelmed; I feel the same way, hence the rule about only 1 toy box at a time (only the box of balls, only the box of blocks, etc) so no one gets overwhelmed. The last couple of times he came over, it took my daughter and I over 4 hours to put everything where it belonged (books, flash cards, blocks, food toys, balls, etc) so telling him one by one isn't an option either. I believe he's used to putting his toys away at his house, but at his house they just all go in one pile. I've set up guidelines, but they don't follow them. He's too young to remember and my daughter doesn't think it's fair she has to clean up after him, even if he is a guest. Normally, I'd say you have to clean up after guests but it's gotten to the point that for every hour he spends at our house she ends up having to help me clean for an hour - and that's with us (the moms) checking in about every ten minutes.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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7/30/12 5:13 P

I used to hate those messes. My twins and their friends would make a huge mess, which would be overwhelming for the little ones to clean up. They didn't know where to start. I would break it down into little tasks. Lets put all blocks in the block bin. Now let's put the puzzles away. They go on this shelf.

When they first start playing, have them pick an activity and have them tell you when they are ready for something different. Then you could have them put away the first one. Of course, they probably won't remember to tell you they want to get out another toy so...if they are playing in your daughter's room, check on them every 15 minutes-and have them put away what is out that they aren't playing with.

The friend may not be used to picking up toys at home. everntually, they will get it. They are required to put away toys at preschool.

it is your house-so if you want it kept clean, that is your choice so i think it is ok to set up guidelines so it stays the way you want it.

Edited by: CLARK971 at: 7/30/2012 (17:14)
DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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7/30/12 4:42 P

I'll repost what I said earlier. :)

Basically, why would you feel like a jerk? You can't expect the child to know without being told, so there's nothing wrong with direction to prevent your property from being damaged. Just step in and direct cleanup. You're not being a jerk, you're being a responsible parent.

7/30/12 1:33 P

I have a good friend, S, and my daughter is best buds with her son, LS. I love having them over, but every time they come over, my daughter's room is trashed. I've tried telling my daughter and LS (LS is almost 4 and my daughter's 4 and a half) to put toys back before getting out other ones, but it's not very enforceable. My daughter knows where everything goes (they are sorted into separate bins and the bins get placed in the toy chest. That way, she can just get out a box at a time), but her buddy's too young to even really follow directions so everything just ends up crammed in her toy bin and she gets upset later when she can't find anything and/or her toys are smashed and broken. It is now to the point where she only wants to play with him at the park because she doesn't want him to mess up her toys. My friend is great about helping me make her son help my daughter pick up of the floor, but I feel like a jerk being picky and telling them where things go, but if toys aren't put where they belong, they won't all fit in the toy box and they end up damaged. It's a hard enough battle getting him to help her pick the toys up off the floor and just dump them in the toy box, let alone put them back where he found them. What do I do? I was thinking of putting a lock on the toy chest and letting them get a box out at a time and locking it until they put everything from the 1st box back but that seems a bit extreme.

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