Watching my daughter clean up her room, I noticed she was having trouble. It is always my goal to be teaching positive behavior, so I kept watching for a minute. I wanted to learn what was challenging her.

She would pick up an item from a pile of clutter. Then she would set it to her other side. She did this repeatedly with one pile of clutter. She picked up each item to her left and set it down to her right.

My girls got overwhelmed with the toy mess every time they needed to clean up. The first technique they used was shoving all the mess on the floor under their beds. This of course went over well for this anti-clutter mama!

Despite having a place for everything, and teaching my girls to put everything in its place, we had trouble. Teaching positive behavior of cleaning up their toys was challenging!

Anytime I can zero in on the reason why my children struggle to learn a life skill, it helps guide my teaching. That means I need to be a present mom. I need to see how they do things to assess their strengths and weaknesses. (Our presence is so vital to our children successfully learning.)

I stopped my daughter. Then I showed her what she was doing. She had no idea.

She was going through the motions. But, she was not paying attention to her actual results. There was a disconnect.

(This post is sponsored by Amy Sue Morgan, MSC on behalf of the Itty-Bitty Isabella book series. All opinions are my own. Please view my disclosure for more info.)

Teaching Positive Behavior Like How to Clean Up

I talked about it in real life terms: When friends come over to play, there is not room for them to sit if the toys are all over the floor. When toys are all a mess, you lose them. If we want to keep our things, we need to take care of them.

Preschoolers reading the Itty-Bitty Isabella book series to learn how to clean up and other life skills for kids.

Encourage Positive Behavior in Preschoolers: Itty-Bitty Isabella Series

Reading books like Isabella Loves Her Clean Room (affiliate link) help at an early age to make clean up a game. The story of Isabella cleaning her room so she can really enjoy her clean space teaches kids the goal of cleaning up. A clean space is is worth the time.

Reading the Itty-Bitty Isabella series helps teach positive behavior in preschoolers. Reading books to teach children life skills is very effective. Mindfulness activities for kids is one more way to reinforce focus. Being aware of what we are doing and what others are doing is important.

Author Amy Morgan, MSC, writes the series inspired by her grandchildren. The Itty-Bitty Isabella book series will entertain children while teaching them important life skills.

View the flip books available on the Itty-Bitty Isabella website or download coloring sheets to help reinforce the lessons from the books.

We teach these life lessons by helping our carry out challenging tasks at home:

  • Utilize organization systems for toys like this one and this one.
  • Use books to teach positive behavior in preschoolers.
  • Work with your child to clean up.
  • Be patient as they learn to do it on their own.
  • Avoid swooping in to do it yourself.

All of this helps reinforce the life lessons you want to teach. The Itty-Bitty Isabella series puts this in perspective for young children.

Teaching Life Skills Requires Consistent, Patient Parenting

More than once, my daughters have broken down in tears when it was clean up time. Not all lessons are easy to learn for every child.

When your child gets so overwhelmed that they struggle to move forward in a positive mindset, teach them to take a break.

I encourage my kids to stop for a bit when they are stressed. They can relax in their room until they are ready to approach cleaning up with a calm outlook. Isabella Needs Her Quiet Chair (affiliate link) is the second book in the Itty-Bitty Isabella series that teaches that exact life skill.

When we get overwhelmed to the point that our emotions cloud our thoughts, taking a break is a positive step. We all need to separate ourselves from challenges at times. Gaining clarity and calming our emotions help us focus on how to solve the problem.

Our children can learn this too!

Children cleaning up. Life skills for preschoolers for encouraging positive behavior in preschoolers.

Teaching Children to be Resilient

Teaching children to tackle a challenge, and not give up, is key. We teach them why the task is important to do. We teach and model being patient. It is so important to not let them give up.

So hard at times to see our kiddos struggle, but we can teach them the life skill of positive behavior.

They can take a few minutes to be alone. They can rest in their favorite chair or in their bed.

Then we guide them to return to the clean up process. I work alongside them to support them through it.

This teaches them to persevere. If I clean up the girls’ room for them, allowing them to get out of finishing it, they will feel incompetent. They will not grow to work through the overwhelm, but will shy away from it.

Children reading books that teach life skills for preschoolers.

In the last couple of months, I have noticed the girls want their room clean. They are working through the challenge of cleaning it up with less stress. The lessons are sinking in!

  • The toys may be mixed up in the bins. But, they are not all over the floor.
  • Their shelves may not look magazine-ready. But, they are learning the importance of a clean space and taking care of their toys at their pace.
  • This is all taught through encouraging positive behavior in preschoolers with the Itty Bitty Isabella books. It is reinforced with being a patient and consistent parent.

Current titles available:

“Isabella Loves Her Clean Room”

“Isabella Needs Her Quiet Chair”

Coming Soon:

“It’s OK for Isabella to Say No Sometimes”

The Itty-Bitty Isabella series can be viewed online in flip-book format, and the stories are read aloud by the author on the Itty-Bitty Isabella podcast. 

>>>View the Itty-Bitty Isabella book series here.

>>>Click here for more toy organization tips.

How do you store toys to make clean up easier for your child? Have you tried any clean up games or books to teach this life lesson?

Children learning to clean up and show positive behavior and life skills.