How to Get Kids to Clean Their Rooms
There’s no getting around it- kids have to clean their rooms. Even if, as a parent, you’ve been stuck with picking up laundry, toys, garbage and other articles off the ground, there’s still hope for motivating your child to do it themselves. There’s always a case for why kids don’t clean their rooms. Sometimes, they are stubbornly defiant, in which case, scolding them can make their behavior even worse. Many times, kids just want to get around to more fun activities or just haven’t developed their organizing skills quite yet.
It turns out, there might be no need for demanding, yelling, or stressed-out weekends for mom and dad; there are some simple, yet effective steps to take when confronting the mess. Regardless of what the situation is, these general tips may make your job a bit easier:
Be a good example
Younger kids will absorb everything their parents and other adults do. By regularly cleaning your home, they’ll see this as the right way to act. Children learn by imitating and the saying “Monkey see, monkey do” definitely applies here.
Clean with Them
Cleaning their room with them can make it more fun and a bonding experience. Remember to offer encouragement and show that it doesn’t have to be a stressful activity. By the end of it, you can say how proud you are that they did a lot of the work! It’s important that you don’t go in and clean it yourself, or they won’t feel the need to do it themselves.
Help Them Stay Organized
You might want to start by teaching your child how to clean one part of the room or making a checklist. You can also keep the process simple and provide them with baskets so that they can sort things out before putting them away. It’s a good idea to schedule cleaning regularly on a weekly basis. Executive functioning of the brain, or the skills which assist in self-control, discipline and organization begins to develop around ages 3-6, so it’s important to help nurture this growth.
Don’t buy so much
It can be really overwhelming for children if they just have too much to sort out. Limit the number of toys they can have and donate things they’ve grown out of. Places like the Goodwill or the Salvation Army will happily receive your unwanted items and it’ll also teach the valuable lesson of being generous and giving to others.
Give Them Consequences
By consequences, we don’t necessarily mean punishment, but incentives to clean up. For example, if they complete a certain task in the room, reward them. On the other hand, if something doesn’t get done, withhold something they enjoy until it gets done. It’s a much better way of teaching discipline without expressing anger.
Allow them to express themselves
If you allow your child to personalize their room, they’ll feel more attached to it and want to take care of it as their own. One way to engage them is to have them help paint something in their room, so they can feel like they took part in it. Even if those old art drawings are everywhere on the floor, remember that these are special to them and they just need to be taught how to take pride in their belongings.
It’s obviously a tricky process to navigate with kids who have formed bad habits, but luckily they are in a stage of life where they can easily learn and relearn. We know it takes a lot to be patient and understanding, but it’s worth it!