Practical Organization Tips for Your Type 3 Child

3 ways to motivate your child to tidy up

How to tap into their determined energy

Your Determined Type 3 Child is a natural go-getter. But do they miss important details when they clean? Or do they resist when they’re not motivated enough?

In this episode, Carol, Anne, and Diane in Denmark share tips to help a Type 3 use their energy well in their space and life routines. Diane’s motto about getting things done can help your whole family!

This episode’s Parenting Practice

Where is your biggest pain point with helping your Type 3 child clean up and follow through? Listen to this episode and pay attention to which tip really stands out to you. Try it. Put it into practice. Involve your child in it, and see what a difference it makes in your day-to-day experience together.

Transcript of podcast episode

Carol: Welcome to The Child Whisperer Podcast. I’m your host, Carol Tuttle, author of the best-selling parenting book, The Child Whisperer. I’m with my co-host, Anne Tuttle Brown.

This has been such a great series of life and space organization tips for each of the 4 Types of children. And we’re moving now into looking at our Type 3 child. And it’s great to have Diane in Denmark who is an expert in life and space organization. She is a well-known YouTuber with tens of thousands of followers. She is a Type 1 herself. She knows the 4 Energy Types with great understanding and she… When I asked her and invited her to participate in this podcast and I gave her three challenges to look at, that are tendencies, that are really a byproduct of a child’s tendencies and their true nature that become challenging when you’re not approaching your child and supporting them true to who they are. So her tips are really aligned with that. I think you should listen to every podcast in this series. My co-host, Anne, is with us today as well. Thank you again, Diane, for being with us. I have learned a lot myself.

Diane: Thank you so much.

Carol: Yeah. Anne and I often joke that Energy Profiling is the body of work that just keeps on giving.

Anne: Seriously.

Carol: We’ve studied this now for… I’m 17 years in and I’m still getting insights. It’s amazing.

Anne: I’ve been jotting down notes. I mean, even if you don’t have a child of each Type, listen to all of them because you’ll get little nuggets in every podcast.

Carol: Yeah, you will.

Diane: After organizing your own space and your own daily routines. Yeah.

Carol: So our Type 3 child. I am the Type 3 in our group here today. The Type 3 child has a push-forward, direct energy that is motivated by actions that create results. Type 3 children have a physical connection. We call the Type 3 child a Determined Child, so there are some, you know, advantages… The fact that they like to get results that… It’s not the action that you’re interested in, it’s the result that action is going to create that really motivates a Type 3 because you really want that benefit of a result. So you are motivated to get your hands on stuff, get things done. So let’s talk about some of the challenges you face with a Type 3 child. The first one, wanting to speed through chores and other space management tasks just to get it done because, again, you’re going for the, “I’ve got it done.”

Let’s take cleaning the bathroom, for example. You know, that takes a little more… Those are details to make sure that you clean it according to the standard that’s been set, which would be a family rule or guideline. So Type 3s can often neglect steps in the process because they’re so focused on getting it done. And a Type 3 child is just not…is thorough often times and they’ll miss steps. And when you don’t know that, they might be reprimanded for not doing a sufficient job. But they need to be taught…you know, we’ll just hear Diane’s tips here on how do you work with a Type 3 child?

Anne: I just think it’s funny because, you know, these tendencies, they go with you throughout your whole life. Anna K, our Type 3 Make-up Expert, just filmed a video for Type 3 specifically about, “Don’t miss these steps with make-up.” Like, you want to get your make-up done but don’t miss these steps or the result won’t be as good. And so she’s specifically, like, “Make sure you do this. Make sure…” So you’re going to get a better result when you get all the right steps in there.” So take it away, Diane.

Diane: Okay. Well, we will start with storage because we’ve been talking a lot in this podcast series about storage for the different Types. Type 3 children, you’ve got to make it easily accessible for them. The main thing with the storage is, you know, some bins, any kind of large bins, something that is sturdy, can stand up to a lot of rough and tumble make it really, really easy for the kids to be able to put away their toys. So there is not so much to access. You know, the Type 3 child will find those toys, but we’ve got to make sure that it’s easy for them to put away.

Carol: Well, the emphasis for the Type 3 is being able to do it swiftly.

Diane: Exactly. And so we’re going to keep it really, really simple for them. Keep your categories very simple for toy storage. For example, you’re going to have one bin for LEGOs building blocks, another bin for plushy toys. You perhaps have a bookshelf for the books, a bin for anything that has wheels, you know, trucks, cars, trains, those kinds of things. Don’t go into too many different storage types because the child is not going to put them away into different boxes and, you know, “Oh, this belongs to this.” Just, you know, keep it three, four categories, also another bin for art supplies. And that’s going to encourage them to actually put things away. And if you like, you can also make it a game. You know, they get to throw things into the bins. Maybe you can put up a basketball hoop above the bin, you know, so you just make it something fun for them. But really keep it as simple as possible so they can really, you know… If mom says, “Well, we need to tidy up in here,” they know exactly what to do. They can just throw that stuff right in here.

Carol: And being the other quality in a Type 3 nature is practical. It’s practical. It’s common sense. It’s, like, okay, so what you’re saying makes sense to a Type 3, that there’s compartments that I can swiftly dump stuff into and I got it done. So that makes sense. That’s a practical approach.

Diane: And make it very, very practical storage because… And I don’t have a Type 3 child, but I have a lot of Type 3 friends in my circle, and they are the ones who are, well, just talking from an analyst point of view, they’re always standing very close. They break things. They drop things. I think…

Carol: It’s really annoying, I have to be honest. You know why that is? Because we move so fast. I’m notorious for spilling things. And it’s because I’m knocking things over and I’m moving so quick.

Anne: I can attest to that.

Diane: And it’s the same with the kids. And, you know, we don’t want to make them feel bad about it. That’s just their nature. So, you know, have some practical storage bins where we’re not going for fancy things that you’ve seen on Pinterest and you spend a whole lot of time coming up with these ideas. Just some practical plastic bins or cardboard bins.

Carol: You know, for girls and boys, when it comes to clothing in the Type 3 world, Type 3 boys, especially, are just… They’ll wear the same pair of gym shorts that look like basketball shorts every day.

Anne: Oh, Katie is the same way. You got her a new shirt, she want to wear it five days in a row. And I’m like, “Take it off. I’ve got to wash it.”

Carol: Right. A part of that is just not being bothered.

Anne: And, like, you know, not showering as often. She does once…

Carol: Yes, taking the time to do it. Yeah. And they don’t want to bother with the steps, the details of putting outfits, you know, all together.

Diane: But hygiene is important. I mean, you know, you can go with that to a certain degree but, at the end of the day, they need to be changing their clothes at least, every, say, third day if they’re also sleeping in…

Anne: Good. You’ve got some rule.

Carol: Well, you’ve got to be liberal.

Anne: I like that.

Carol: Every third day. That’s pretty good.

Diane: But you could do… One of the things that we’ve talked about earlier in this podcast series is, you know, getting them to prep their outfits. And, you know, the Type 3 child, you could prep the whole outfits for the week, use one of those cubbyhole solutions that I have mentioned before. And you just put out for every day, you know, the shorts, the underwear, the hair barrettes, whatever they have. And that will also help your Type 3 child because they get up and they know their items are right there. There is no digging around or no one is thinking, “Oh, I don’t want to change out these.” The items are ready to go. So that would really help them.

Carol: One of the traits I see with all the traveling we’ve done and I see a family and I can always pick out the Type 3 child without even…even from a distance because they always look disheveled. They’re just like, “Whoa.” Hair is, like, kind of wild and… Because, you know, they’re not as uncomfortable in that sort of just thrown-together look, these kids. The next challenge, becoming bored with daily tasks that feel tedious. Like, “Oh, I have to do that again.” My routine in the morning, nothing ever looks exactly… I accomplish the same things but never in the same order. You know, it’s like… Now, a child’s going to start moving between things. I think that’s a fascinating tendency, is that I’ll start making the bed then go…

We want to get five things moving into motion at one time. Now, I’m very good and that could be because of my secondary Type 4, my follow-through’s excellent. I make sure all the things I started into motion get done. Now, that’s where a Type 3 child may have this tendency to say, “Well, I want to start getting dressed and also, you know, get the bed going and get my school.” You kind of move between these stations. But they might not be real efficient in that yet. So that is a trait we have. So rather than, I think, stifle that, I’d work with it personally and teach them to not get too many things going at once.

Diane: No. Well, also, we’ve talked about the importance of having a daily routine and, you know, different ways you can do this depending on the age of the child. It can be on an app. You can have these things written down as a checklist and they get a little achievement award when they get things checked off. And, also, the importance of, you know, perhaps, using a timer that they can say, “Okay, well, we’re going to get this done.” You know, they love working along for them. But the checklist thing… They don’t need to be working through it, excuse me, in one long list. Like you said, Carol, you can zigzag through your gotta-dos for the day. Allow the child to be able to do that. Again, you can make, like, a bingo card. It doesn’t need to be a list of, you know, one to five. We can do it in any order that they like as long as they get them all done.

Carol: And I think… The other thing I recall looking back at my childhood, I was 12 years old, and my parents agreed to buy a horse for me. I’ve been riding out horses for a couple of years by that point. I’ve been involved with the neighbor’s. So I had enough experience to now own my own, even though they knew nothing about that whole equestrian world. The agreement that was made was they would go ahead and make the purchase. It was… You know, horses were a lot less at that time, in 1969, but the horse was $350. That was a huge undertaking for me. I learned a lot about taking responsibility, but my side of the agreement was I had to clean the kitchen every night for a year to the equivalent of a dollar. Now, did I like cleaning the kitchen, and was it satisfying the result of a clean kitchen every night? Not at all. That was tedious, but it was that other… I was working for… In this case, they’d already invested in it. I was working… Let’s say I was working towards something. So a lot of times you’ve got to put that in place for a Type 3 child to say, “Yeah, you know, you have absolutely no motivation to get this homework done.” You think, “Why am I doing this? It doesn’t seem practical.” But, you know, I’m not doing it for this. I’m doing it for this other result that I’m working towards.

Diane: And it can be, you know… When they get to the end of their routine, they get to do X, Y, Z, you know, that they get to have, you know, an hour of gaming time or whatever is the reward.

Carol: And Type 3s like to earn, if it’s not money, points or something, like, it’s going towards something. You know that, we like dirt. We like to get our medals and prizes. You know, we like to earn that. I’ve earned that.

Diane: And this podcast here, we’ve been talk decluttering, how to help your children declutter. And I have to say I really don’t think that Type 3 kids have a problem with decluttering. Judging by the Type 3s that I know, they are the best at decluttering. They always can declutter too much. They’re ready to…

Carol: Well, we have this sort of innate…our practical nature says, “Why am I keeping this if I’m not using it?” We want everything to be useful.

Diane: Yeah. And in my circle, we have parties, and the Type 3s are the ones who are the best at bringing things from home. “I don’t need this thing or I don’t need this anymore.” And I’m thinking, “I didn’t think I would be able to let go of it.” But they really don’t need much help with decluttering, Type 3 children.

Carol: And in your case, Anne, you’ve mentioned that Katie’s room got pretty cluttery. It was more… Again, she’s younger. She’s only eight. She wasn’t really mature enough to say, “I’m going to declutter.” So you had to, again, invite…you know, help that process along and to take the time to do it.

Anne: And having less stuff was really supportive in keeping her room tidy. I remember when she was six and I, you know, started to talk with her, “Okay. Let’s go through on what should we get rid of.” And she was like, “What? No.” But it took a couple times and now she knows that those will go to somebody else, and so that brings her joy, or she sees that that is no longer useful and she has other more favorite items that she’s getting better use out of. But bringing her into the process has been supportive and, I think, will help her, you know, as she is an adult be able to make those decisions by herself rather than me doing it for her. And I always wanted to say one other reward that I’ve used with Katie is when she gets here must-dos done or gets through the routine is I’ll text a friend for a play date. And so rather than being, like…even just sending the text to a friend, maybe the play date won’t happen, maybe the friend won’t be able to come over.

Carol: You take action on that for her.

Anne: But we’ll take action… Like, that will be the reward.

Carol: So something you would do anyway, build it into that.

Anne: Yeah, get creative with… Often times, I think, “Okay, what are the rewards? Money or an outing?” And it’s, like, oh, that’s sometimes so much work or hard to get to keep track of, so what are the little things?

Carol: Right. Right. It could be something that’s already…you would plan to do as you’re…

Anne: Or the other day, she wanted to just talk with me about something. Like, we came home from a vacation and she was wondering where all her Christmas presents had gone. We put them all away and she was like, “I thought I left them all on my floor.” Anyways, I was like, “I’ll go through that with you. We can go and sort through your room once you get your things done.” And even just, like, that activity of being able to take the time to do that was enough motivation to get her to do the other things.

Carol: The idea in this is not that they’re motivated by the result of the task. They’re motivated by the result they’re going to get because of the task.

Anne: Yes, and don’t feel like the result has to be…the reward has to be so big.

Carol: No, no.

Anne: You know, in our family, we have cotton balls. I don’t know why it ended up being cotton balls, but I think because I just had them on hand and we try and fill a jar every week with our cotton balls, and it’s rewarded for good behavior, following routines, or being kind to each other. And if we fill the jar, we get to have a movie night.

Carol: Well, then was another movie night with something out. I mean…

Anne: Oh, when we were in Hawaii, we switched it to seashells.

Carol: Yeah, but it’s, like… Tanner was telling me that you had, like, movie night plus popcorn or treats or something.

Anne: Oh, yeah.

Carol: The movie night got more grand. How big is your jar?

Anne: And when we were in Disney World on vacation, we were giving out Mickey ears, and if they got so many Mickey ears… And it wasn’t anything that we were tangibly giving them but we were kind of keeping score. And so with our oldest as a Type 3…

Carol: Well, yeah, works for Type 3 children. Well, how big is your jar, the cotton balls have to fill?

Anne: It’s just a medium size. It’s not a full quart size, and so probably a pint, yeah.

Carol: Okay, Okay. You should get a really big jar.

Anne: Oh, yeah. I’m thinking with all these ideas I’m getting from Diane. I’m, like, “All these routines are going to end with a cotton ball so we’re going to need a bigger jar.”

Diane: You’re going to have to fill out the bathtub.

Anne: Yeah, there you go.

Carol: All right. So the last challenge, this is something I hear frequently in the Child Whisperer Facebook group, this pushback energy from the Type 3 children becoming uncooperative with parents that is pushing them to get things done while they push back. And they’re not motivated. And they’re, again, not… They get stuck.

Diane: Oh, gosh. Well, I think you’re better to answer this than I am, Carol, because I am a Type 1, and I’m not good at dealing with…

Carol: Pushing people? Interestingly, I didn’t have any Type 3 children. I came from a family of three. You know, there were three of us that were Type 3, and kind of observing my older brother that’s just taller than me, he wouldn’t cooperate if he was being demanded of. He needed a lot of autonomy to kind of call the shots for himself and given expectations and such. So I think the key here, Diane, is that they know what the routines are. And there is, you know, as you’d call it…

Anne: An independence then?

Carol: Yeah. And it’s, like, it’s not an option. This is what everyone is… You know, we’ve, as a family, listened to the first… There is five podcasts in this series. The first one was just Jen, her best three tips.

Diane: And having house rules.

Carol: Yeah, we talked about house rules a lot in the first episode. And so you don’t give your Type 3 child an opportunity whether they… It’s, like, great. And I wouldn’t get into it with them. I just say…

Diane: No, you just say that this is how we all create here…

Carol: Exactly. And you know the consequences of you don’t do it. Like, your choice.

Diane: Yeah, yeah. I mean, you’re in the driving seat, but then they can be shouting from the back seat, but you’re in the driving seat as the adult. So this is how it works.

Carol: Do not get into an analytical or detailed conversation with a Type 3 child.

Anne: Not in that moment, yeah.

Carol: You just lay it down. Yeah, point it out and you lay down the rule and say, “This is what it is. What are you going to choose?” Let them choose.

Anne: With my Type 3 three-year old, you know, I’m teaching him, “Okay, we put our shoes in the bin.” And he’s, like, “No.” And he just walks away. And so rather than… I don’t know, there is many ways you could go with that. I grab his hand, put his hand on his shoes, pick him up and we walk together and say, “Look, you did it. Great. That was easy.” But it’s, “Yeah, no, we’re going to move through this together.”

Carol: Yeah, we’re not discussing this.

Anne: And then there was, you know, we were cleaning up after dinner and he doesn’t want to participate and he’s only three, but it’s, like, I want him to start being a part.

Carol: Well, he’s showing you his push-back energy, though.

Anne: Yeah, that’s true. And what am I teaching him?

Carol: And are you going to allow it so that he… Now, you’re training him that it’s okay.

Diane: But what we say in our family is, “You don’t have to want to do it. You just have to do it.”

Anne: I like that.

Carol: So write that one down.

Diane: And I do the same. You know, I’m the same with my daily routines. You know, I’m the queen of routines. I don’t always want to do it. But I can curse and swear in my head, you know, and I can be the kind of grumpy teenager, but I just get on and do it. I don’t have to enjoy the thing. I just gotta do it.

Carol: That’s a life lesson. Like, for every… And I’ll throw this in here. For every…all 4 Types, not everything requires a game or a reward or a plan. It’s like, “We’re just getting this done.” You know, it’s just this is what’s required of us and we’re going to follow through and we’re going to just…you know, it’s the right thing to do.

Anne: Back to the story, we were cleaning up the house, my three-year old wasn’t helping. And I was just like, “Oh, whatever. Like, we’ll just get it done.” But then my eight-year old Type 3 went and she’s like, “I’m going to help him.” And she said, “Roy, pretend the shoes are bad guys. Pretend the toys are bad guys and we gotta put them into jail,” which was, you know, throw them in the toy bin. And so letting her help out was really good because it took the burden off of me. I was able to clean up and she was helping him, teaching him, and he responded and he helped for a solid five minutes, which is really long in a Type 3 world or three-year-old’s world to be cleaning up, and he really did contribute.

Carol: When he’s a 3-1, so that gaming aspect to it really helped him because he loves to play.

Anne: And then Katie felt really proud. Like, “Look, Mom. I got him to help clean up.” So, you know, utilize the gifts of the other people in your family and the siblings as you may get a family job, everyone can help each other out.

Carol: That’s great. Well, these are great tips. Your parenting practice this week is to choose one tip. Where is your biggest pain point? Which tip, really, like, ring out to you? Take that one. Put it to practice. And, again, involve your child in this. The more they learn about how they are, their own tendencies, their own nature, it’s a reasonable thing to sit down with even a five-year-old Type 3 child and say, “Well, your nature is to want to push back.” So the more awareness that we have about who we are, the more we can manage it and make choices that we feel our own autonomy and authority in that. So pick one tip, put it to practice, and share in the Child Whisperer Facebook group how successful you were and the great response you experienced with your child being more cooperative. Again, thank you, Diane. We’re excited to do our last of this series, looking at our Type 4 child.

Diane: Yeah. Thanks so much.

Carol: Thanks for listening. For more support, go to, where you can purchase the book, subscribe to our weekly parenting practice email, and find a transcription and audio of “The Child Whisperer” podcast.

Anne: If you’re listening on iTunes, thank you for leaving your review. If you have a parenting question, please send it to [email protected].

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