Sometimes, I just feel like it's no use cleaning up his mess straight away. Afterall, he is just going to make another mess. Even the two older kids are tired of always picking things up. When we point to a messy area, the first thing out of their mouth is "It's not my mess! It's babyD. He did it." or "Why do I have to clean up again. Naughty baby. Don't come into my room again."
So, how to handle little hurricanes in the home?
- Teach the little fella where and how to put things back. This teaching is essential but not highly effective when they are still so little. Teaching them to clean up is more of a developmental training and not an immediate solution.
- Accept the fact that your house will be messy. It's part of their growing up. Don't stress yourself out. Give yourself permission to have a messy house (once in a while, not all the time okay!) Instead of trying to stop the "hurricane" (which is usually futile), try working on damage control. Designate an area where they are allowed to mess (but must be cleaned up at the end of the day.)
- Don't ever say "you mess, you clean." Children are quick to use it against you.
- Encourage a group effort. Put on the timer for 1 minute and be a "group hurricane" rushing through the house to put things back. Make it a game to see who can be the fastest. Children love competition. If you have a lot of mess, than maybe put the timer for an extra few minutes. But keep the time short. That way, cleaning will feel more "do-able".