5 Smart Ways to Convince Your Children to Keep Their Rooms Clean
As precious as children are, they’re often little tornadoes of toys and cookie crumbs. Children simply don’t appreciate orderliness as much as their parents do. Teaching them to see things your way can be a bit of a struggle, especially if all the work you’re doing behind them gives them the impression that the house cleans itself. One of the best things about children is that they’re open to learning and young enough to effortlessly form more effective habits. If your messy kids need a push in the right direction, try some simple methods to guide them.
1. Don’t Give In
If you always go behind your child and clean up the mess he or she leaves behind, requests to clean up go right out the window. Your child knows that ignoring your request will lead to a clean room with no effort on his or her part. Necessity is the mother of invention – no one makes changes unless and until they really need to. By not giving in and cleaning up, it will become apparent to your child that the responsibility of cleaning that room won’t be passed on to someone else. As much as it may drive you crazy in the interim, don’t go in and do what you asked your child to do.
2. Create a Cycling System
Clutter makes it difficult to keep a room clean, especially if clutter is being continually added to an already large pile. Implement a rule that for every new thing brought into the room, one old thing has to go. That new doll or truck is replacing an old doll or truck. That fun pair of light up shoes is replacing a worn out pair of sneakers. This method cleans out the stash, demonstrates responsible spending, and also teaches charity. Children won’t want to bring home things they don’t want as much as the things they already have – they don’t want to give up something they’re happy with. Donating the things they no longer want or need will discourage wastefulness and inspire empathy for those who have less.
3. Use an Organizational Strategy That’s Easy to Follow
If cleaning the room seems difficult, your child might find it to be a daunting task. Young children may not be able to efficiently strategize as well as teenagers. That’s why creating a storage system that’s easy to follow will make the room easy to clean, no matter how the task is approached. If everything has a clear place to go, the child can pick up any toy or piece of clothing and know exactly where to put it. Bins, buckets, crates, chests, and boxes with simple labels can make a world of difference in simplifying the organization process.
4. Never Let Things Get Out of Hand
If your child’s room is allowed to get to a point where the mess is overwhelming, convincing your child to clean that mess becomes an even larger uphill battle. Children might become listless and not know where to begin. Rather than allowing things to become chaotic, reinforce the idea that your child should clean as he or she goes. Putting one toy or game away before another one can be used is quick and simple. It also prevents messes from becoming unmanageable.
5. Let Them Customize Their Spaces
If your child really loves his or her room, a sense of pride will come with that love. Allowing your child to choose paint, furniture, and decorations will give your child a sense of independence. That space is strictly theirs, and with ownership comes responsibility. Your child will want to keep his or her room exactly how they want it, because they will have a semblance of control over their environment. Getting your child into this mindset early on might also inspire them to take better care of their first car or dorm room.
All children are different – some will respond better to certain methods while others will need an even bigger push. No matter how your child needs to be motivated to keep their room clean, it’s important that this motivation can be turned into a habit early on. You’re setting your child up for a successful future.
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- 5 Smart Ways to Convince Your Children to Keep Their Rooms Clean - April 1, 2019