If you're like us, you'll need these 8 tips for encouraging your child to tidy up in your life!
Let's be honest; teaching your child/children how to clean has great advantages.
Not only does it lessen your load, it teaches kids about responsibility and cleanliness.
Naturally, cleaning the house and tidying up is your role when your baby is small.
But continuing to do this when they are capable of helping can make your child spoiled and lazy - and it sends a message that they'll always have someone picking up after them.
8 tips for encouraging your child to tidy up
Cleaning may not be fun for most children, while others enjoy doing it.
You might get complaints and tantrums when you set chores for the day.
So, here are some tips to help encourage your children to clean up.
- Ease into the task: An abrupt demand to clean often causes friction. If I walked up to turn off the TV and ordered my daughter to go clean her room or do the dishes, she would sulk and complain a lot. But if I provide a warning like "cleaning starts after the end of that program," my daughter will comply, and she won’t be upset. Teenagers especially respond well to scheduled tasks like "Clean your room first thing on Saturday."
- Give them a hand to start: You can choose to start the cleaning process with them. This helps motivate your child. As they get used to the routine, you may reduce the amount of time you spend helping.
- Provide specific tasks: Cleaning up a large mess can be overwhelming for your child. So you need to be specific and provide exact instructions on what is expected in relation to their task.
- Reward and praise good work: Rewards help drum up motivation and make the cleaning process more fun. With younger children, you could give a sticker or use a chore chart. An older kid may enjoy additional screen time or more time out with friends.
- Communicate the importance of cleaning on a hygiene level: I explain to my daughters how germs grow and how we can spread bugs if we don't keep the house clean and tidy.
- Avoid the concept of cleaning as a punishment: This sends the wrong message to your child, who may grow to hate cleaning up as it reminds them of punishment.
- Be consistent: Staying consistent may be quite a challenge, but it is a great way of building a specific behavior. Do not fall into the temptation of wanting to step in when your child fails to complete a task they can finish. Stand your ground as you explain the consequences of failure to complete. I usually tell my daughters, "We would have gone out if your rooms or dishes were done, but now we’ve got to finish the cleaning first.” This trick works for me instantly. The chores will be done in the next fifteen minutes.
- Make it a family affair: When everyone at home is involved with the chores, the children are likely to be excited and want to participate. Let your toddler start earlier. They can help wipe low surfaces, help sort those socks or carry that cup to the kitchen.
Teaching your child to do chores at home is teaching them to be independent and be responsible later in life.
Make it fun, turn cleaning into a game, and remember to be consistent.