The last thing on any kid’s mind is the thought of doing chores or cleaning their room. All they want to do at a young age is play games, watch T.V., and laze around; basically, anything that is fun or keeps them from doing something they don’t like. Cleaning is nowhere in the picture until you, the parent, present it to them in a nice, shiny frame! In other words, the trick is to make them WANT to clean their room, but the question is HOW?
One of the reasons why chores are not appealing to kids is because they are considered boring activities. Moreover, to a kid, a dirty room doesn’t matter because they don’t mind untidiness and filth (to some extent). Therefore, cleaning the room, in their eyes, is unnecessary and unrewarding. Your job is to show them that a clean room is, in fact, the opposite of those things.
Here are some tips you can use to teach your kids the importance of cleaning their rooms, and how to get them to do it willingly and routinely!
1. Highlight the Importance of Health over Filth
By teaching kids the importance of a healthy environment, we don’t mean you should turn your child into a germophobe, but rather enlighten them about the health risks that come with living in a home that is dirty or filthy. For example, you can explain how dust and dirt can lead to many allergies, and skin problems, as well as some chronic illnesses.
Kids should also be taught the many restrictions that come with falling sick, including not being able to go outside or play games, and having a highly controlled diet. This is not only effective in encouraging kids to clean their rooms and maintain good hygiene, but it’s also a lesson that will stay with them when they are older. Moreover, no child enjoys being ill, so they will be motivated to clean their room without you having to nag them.
2. Set Rules that Come with Consequences (when broken)
While it’s tempting to spoil our kids because we love them so much, it’s one of the worsts things you can do to a child. Giving them a little tough love may be difficult for many parents but it’s for their own good. For example, if the household rule is putting toys away before going out to play, there must be consequences if this rule is broken.
Similarly, if your kids don’t clean their room when they’re supposed to, perhaps, some form of punishment is in order. Nothing harsh, just something that will teach them about discipline and responsibility. This can include sacrifices like no computers, watching TV, playing games, having friends over, etc. For children, their world revolves around many of these things so they will definitely not want to sacrifice any of them.
3. Keep the Mood Light; Avoid Yelling
Studies show that speaking calmly to children is the best way to get through to them. Yelling or raising your voice is more likely to encourage rebellious behaviour and we all know nothing good can come from that! Therefore, it’s important to be patient when communicating with your children, even when they aren’t on their best behaviour.
So, the next time you ask or remind your kids to clean their room, do it calmly so that you don’t put them in a bad mood. Regardless of their reaction, it’s up to you to stay calm and be patient to avoid an argument. There’s no harm in a little guilt-tripping either! By asking them if they think it’s fair for you to have to clean their room along with all the other work you have, your kids will be more understanding and appreciative of you which, in turn, will get them to clean their own room!
4. Introduce Rewards (for a clean room)!
Although good health and a clean room is rewarding in itself, kids respond better to tangible rewards or those of leisure and activity. Depending on your child’s personal preferences, a small, weekly reward for keeping a clean room all week can be some much-needed motivation to get the job done! Rewards can be in the form of new toys, clothes, books, or even a day out to the movies.
Apart from getting your kids to clean their room, this teaches them that good behaviour, good deeds, and hard work pay off. Remind them of this as often as you can and you’ll have them doing their bit willingly and routinely! Don’t forget to give them praise whenever they clean their room or do a good deed; this boosts their self-esteem and leaves them wanting to do more good.
5. Help Them Out When You Can
Sometimes kids just want a helping hand when it comes to cleaning their room. This is especially true with younger kids who require more supervision and guidance to ensure that they tidy up their rooms safely and efficiently. However, when you offer to help your child to clean his or her room, keep in mind that there is a fine line between helping and doing most of the work yourself! Kids are likely to take advantage of your kindness when they see you tidying and cleaning up their room, so be sure to keep the ‘helping hand’ bit to a minimum.
A few suggested tasks you can help your kids with include:
- Making their bed
- Rounding up dirty laundry
- Organising books
- Putting clothes away
- Tidying tables
Whatever the task may be, make sure that completing it is the result of a combined effort between you and your child. In a similar manner, you can get your kids to help you when you are doing other things like cooking, garden activities, laundry, etc. Simply remind them that it would be nice if they returned the favour for all the times that you’ve helped them clean their room!
6. Keep a Schedule to Divide Cleaning Tasks
It can be overwhelming for kids to clean up their entire room in one go, especially if it’s in a real mess! Realistically, cleaning up a dirty room can take hours which is the last thing any kid wants to do. So, instead of placing a big burden on their shoulders, lighten the load by assigning different tasks to your kids which are to be completed on different days of the week. Bigger tasks like vacuuming, dusting, and washing windows can be done on separate days when there isn’t much (or anything else) to do.
With a weekly schedule that includes 2-3 tasks a day, kids will be more motivated to clean their room since they don’t see a long, time-consuming list of things to do. Having said that, there are certain responsibilities that your child must fulfill without having to refer to a schedule or be told such as picking up after themselves, putting clothes away, keeping tabletops clutter-free, etc.
7. Make Cleaning More Fun!
Considering the fact that they already view cleaning as a boring, dreaded affair, incorporating something fun stuff during the process is a great way to get your kids cleaning! Whether it’s music, a game, or listening to their favourite podcasts, the atmosphere should be fun and lively when your kids are cleaning their room.
Try playing some games like cleaning against the clock, word association, or ‘I spy with my little eye’ to help locate things that are left out of place. Time flies when you’re having fun and, more importantly, cleaning their room won’t feel like much work to your kids!
Simply Maid is a professional cleaning service that covers all household cleaning requirements. Feel free to contact us with your queries, or simply to ask our experts for cleaning tips, guides or advice; we’re always happy to help and clean for you! Take a look at our services and pricing page for rates and more information. You can book a cleaning with us instantly and we guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with the results!