How to Encourage Your Kids to Clean Their Rooms: 5 Steps
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Make sure everything has a place.


Despite what your kids think -- or what your partner might fantasize -- you're a mom, not a maid. That's why it's important to teach your kids to pitch in and clean their own messes. After all, it wasn't you who ripped the books off of the shelf and then pulled out the dress-up box. The good news is that even toddlers are old enough to give cleaning up a shot, as long as it's approached in the right manner.

Steps

  1. 1
    Start by organizing your child's room and making sure that everything has a place. If possible, label bins and boxes with pictures of the type of toy that goes inside so your little one is positive where everything should go. This is also the ideal time to de-junk the toy box and get rid of outgrown clothes -- the less stuff in the room, the less of a mess your child can make and the less overwhelming the cleanup is to tackle.
  2. 2
    Be specific as to what constitutes a clean room to you. Vague instructions like "Go clean your room!" mean little to a small child who sees everything as a huge task. Instead, create a checklist that your child can follow, with directives like make your bed, put toys away and put laundry in the basket. That way, it's more doable and broken into easy steps your child understands.
  3. 3
    Help out to keep your child on task, not to take over. It's tempting to step in and finish the job, especially after a couple of hours of foot-dragging. If your child seems to get off task, offer to come help and organize her books while she cleans up toys. She'll be more likely to keep at it with you nearby. Or, you could read a book while she cleans to add an entertaining element to all that bed-making.
  4. 4
    Overlook some of the sloppy stuff. A 3-year-old can't achieve hospital-bed corners, so don't expect perfection when it's your child doing the cleaning. Instead, recognize the effort and offer positive feedback to entice your child to keep up the good work. Constantly nagging at your child while she's trying to clean is likely to send you right to Tantrum Town. If the sloppy stuff really bugs you, you can always sneak in and fix it up later.
  5. 5
    Keep track of your child's work and offer rewards when you can. While you might be hesitant to practically throw a party every time your child cleans up, you can offer small rewards that help her feel praised. Whether it's an afternoon movie at home, an extra story at bedtime or a trip to the park, a reward doesn't have to be extravagant to give kudos to your cleaning kid.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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