As a kid, you want nothing more than to play your favourite games, watch your favourite TV shows, eat your favourite foods, and laze about when you’re not doing any of those things. Cleaning is nowhere in the picture until you, as a parent, present it to them in a nice, shiny frame. Read on to find out what we mean.
Chores for kids to do are never appealing because they find it boring, unnecessary (they generally have no issues with filth) and unrewarding. What you need to do is show them that cleaning is, in fact, the opposite of all those things. Here are some very useful tips in teaching your kids the importance of cleaning their rooms, and how to get them to do it willingly and routinely.
1. Lighten Up the Mood!
Whether it’s music, a game or just calmer voices; the cleaning mood should not be a dull, strict atmosphere that ends with you yelling at your kids to get the job done. Music definitely lightens the mood. You can allow your child to turn up the volume just a little more than usual and that alone will give them a sense of cheer and freedom when cleaning their room. Another great way to motivate them to clean up is by throwing a game into the equation. Maybe I spy with my little eye’ to help locate things that are left out of place; race against the clock’ by timing them to put things like toys and books away (neatly, of course). It also helps to have an inspection and score them after they’ve finished. Avoid using stern tones unless absolutely necessary.
2. Health over Filth
By teaching kids the importance of a healthy environment, we don’t mean you should turn your child into a germophobe. Rather, instill a little fear into them of the health risks involved with living in filth by explain how dust and dirt can lead to allergies, skin rashes and other health issues. It’s also a good idea to tell them that they can’t eat ice cream and other yummy foods if they fall sick; it works like a charm! No child enjoys being ill to begin with, so this way they will be motivated to clean their room regularly without being nagged.
3. Cleaning Reaps Rewards
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, new toys, clothes or books serve as nice rewards. Even a day out to the movies or a park would be great. Either which way, it’s important to teach kids that good behaviour, good deeds and hard work pay off. It doesn’t have to be a daily reward (you can praise them throughout the week for cleaning up), but perhaps a weekend reward is what will make the difference in getting your kids to clean their rooms willingly and routinely.
4. A Helping Hand is Always Welcomed
Sometimes is just takes an offer to help to get kids cleaning. Especially for the younger ones, they are going to need help and guidance to tidy up their rooms anyway. Knowing that the work will be done faster and lessen the load on them, will get them right off the couch to finish off the job. In all of this, let them know that family is meant to help each other out so that the next time you need a little help with something (maybe cooking or folding laundry), you can remind them that it’s only fair that they return the favour. These little teachings go a long way.
5. A Lesson in Rules and Responsibility
While it’s tempting to spoil our kids because we love them so much, it’s important to set rules and examples for them. This means setting rules like no computers, watching TV, playing outside or getting dessert until they’ve cleaned their rooms. Kids are too attached to these things to sacrifice any of them. This also teaches them (as kids and later on in life) the responsibility of fulfilling personal duties.
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