Posted on April 15th, 2020
Kids don’t always love chores and if you take a look at most kids’ rooms, you will find the strangest things in the world littered around. You are likely to find empty bottles, shoes, clothes, the odd dirty towel and several unpleasant surprises. Too often, this disorderliness is the cause of many parent-teen fights. Several informal surveys have reported that parents identified their most significant challenge with children to be a messy bedroom, a clear winner ahead of back-talking, annoying friends and risky behavior.
How do you get your children to clean their rooms and keep them clean? This could be a challenging experience, or you can make it fun and collaborative. The trick is not to go by any standard. Children are all different, so it is essential to try different strategies until you arrive at the one that yields the best rewards. It is crucial to know your child and identify what appeals to them. Younger children also have different motivators compared to older ones. Here are some tips that will help you teach your children to clean their bedrooms and keep them clean.
Create a space for each category of items.
Organizing a room means that everything in it should have a place to live. If there’s no designated space, everything goes into a pile. You may worry about how to keep your kids from littering their room after you categorize their stuff, but that is another battle. The war starts when you find homes for everything. It doesn’t have to be neat and tidy. Start with grouping things. Toys, clothes, books and essentials are easy categories to sort out first. Then ask your child to tell you where they want these containers to be. When they choose where they want each group to be, that is a step in the right direction. The organization also works better when the room has adequate furniture and storage space.
Personalize each cleaning routine to the child.
One size doesn’t fit all for all kids, so please bear this in mind. Some children want to do smaller steps while others want to do the heavy lifting once a week. Find what works best for each child. It could be sorting magazines first and letting them decide what they want to do next. Having a say in the process helps to make them feel in charge and responsible. Also, after organizing the room, allow it to get untidy and then have the conversation again about health and safety and work out a cleaning routine that they want to follow. Accept that the routine might not be most efficient, allow them to work at it and give all the support and encouragement that you can so they understand that you are on their side.
Fun and games while cleaning.
For younger kids, you can train them to pick up their toys when they finish playing and put them all in a designated area. You can also play make-believe maid. Tell your younger children about the cleaning game at the end of their activity time, where they pretend to be maids and learn to clean their rooms. This method also gives you a chance to help your child to learn the right attitude to cleanliness and organization from an early age.
Checklists and rewards.
To help your kids learn to clean their rooms and keep them clean, you can introduce a room checklist and a reward chart. The list should clearly show how a clean room should be and then all the things that qualify. Examples of items are a clean floor space, made beds, no clothes lying around, toys put away, etc. You can then provide incentives that increase according to the number of items that the child achieves. Rewards can include ice cream, sweets and special privileges. You can make this chart visual and representative. You can also make the rewards involve all the kids, where it takes several people completing different tasks, for them to qualify for the reward.
Make a list kids can understand.
You can help your children understand what their tasks are by putting it in writing and getting them to agree to it. They need to understand what they are doing and what it entails. This helps your kids to learn the right attitude to chores and build on this foundation over the years. You can also assign “tidy time” to their daily tasks, which allows some time every day to go around the room and clean up.