One of the big struggles that many families face when it comes to their children is trying to figure out how to get the children to clean their rooms. Whether the issue at your house be clothes tossed everywhere or toys scattered around, most children seem to find it very difficult to keep their spaces clean. Here are a few suggestions on ways to make this struggle a little easier by making it a fun experience.
Make it a Race
Children thrive on competition. Turn the mess into a way that they can attempt to be better than either another sibling or the parent themselves. Divide the room in half, or attempt to equally distribute the mess between all the contestants. Then see who can get their section cleanest in the shortest amount of time. It is amazing how quickly little ones will work on getting their portion clean if they feel that they will be rewarded by the “win”.
Sing the Cleanup Song
There are many different versions of songs to be sung while cleaning up; Barney has one, Dora has one and so do several other groups out there. Find a version that you like and stick with it. Super Simple Songs has a very good version called Clean Up. Whenever something needs cleaned up, sing the clean up song. Tell your children that while this song is being sung, cleaning is what needs to be done. The Seven Dwarfs had it right when they wanted to whistle while they worked. For some reason, putting music to the task really does seem to make it go by quicker and easier.
The Reward System
Most children are born with the “what’s in it for me?” attitude. Put this attitude to work for you! Whatever your child is really interested in, whether it be My Little Ponies, Spider Man or money, setup a reward system for them. Perhaps if they clean their rooms within a certain amount of time you will give them a dollar (and some change) to allow them to pick out any one item that they would like from the dollar store. Or, if they are a bit older and able to see the more long term picture, setup a plan with them where if they clean their room and keep it clean for a certain amount of time, then you will buy them the newest hair ribbon or hot wheels car that they have been wanting.
No matter how you choose to deal with the battle of getting children to clean their rooms, remember that if you can keep your cool about the situation the children are more likely to listen. So instead of blowing your top the next time they dump their to ybox out and have toys covering their bedroom floor, think of it as a way that you can spend some quality time helping your children learn to be responsible for their own space and belongings.