Since we moved I've had a hard time getting my son to pick up his toys. I started to reread Toddler Love and Logic and a couple weeks ago got a bit more serious. Giving my son choice until I was blue in the face. ME: "Would you like to put your left shoe on first or your right?" HIM: I want to play with my trains ME:Well that wasn't an option, let's do the left.... ME: "Bath or shower?, Would you like to leave now or in 5 minutes? Spoon or fork, bowl or plate, red or orange, la, la, la...."
Things seemed to be looking up again (remember to stay consistent Mom and Dad!) except on the toy front. Oh, I thought I had done what they said in the book: if they won't pick up their toys give them a choice of them doing it or you. Then Mom and/or Dad put it up. I had done that with a handful of toys but it never seemed like he missed them. One day a couple weeks ago after his quiet time in his bed room toys were EVERYWHERE. I said OK buddy, you may come downstairs for a snack after all your toys are picked up. He looked at me and said "No, you can do it."
I stood there about ready to go ballistic and then thought - you are messing with the wrong Mama kiddo. Took him downstairs and I went back up and picked up EVERY toy in his room and put them up on the top shelves of closets. I had no mercy except that his night time cuddle guys were on his bed and not part of the mess so I left them.
He was upset when he saw his very empty room later that afternoon. I showed empathy, I consoled him. I asked if he wanted them back tomorrow or the next day. He said the next day and I held him to that even though I really don't think he got that it was longer without the toys. Ever since those toys have been back picking up a room has never been so easy, nor has my 3 year old ever been so willing.
Unfortunately the lesson didn't carry over to downstairs and currently all the downstairs toys are in the garage or up high as well - this morning when he say the empty shelves he did choose getting them back tomorrow instead of the next day. It's just reassuring that when I don't mess it up, this Love and logic stuff really works!