Fear not, friends. It is possible for kids to clean their room, but you'll need to lead the way, says Anne Dobson, of Effective Behaviour Management.
It's a big job learning to keep your room tidy when you're a kid. Behaviour management specialist, Anne Dobson, suggests to break up the huge and often daunting job of ‘cleaning the bedroom’ into smaller, bite-sized tasks. As their parent or guardian, it’s also important that you invest the time and patience to show your child how to do each step – together. Supporting kids as they learn new tasks like this is well worth it. After all, when you show them and encourage them to take pride in their space you’re also teaching them fantastic life skills such as responsibility and independence. Here's where to start when it comes to asking kids to tidy their bedroom.
1. Word it right
'Tidy your room' seems like such a hard, time-consuming task, right? But 'Let's sort this area' is much more manageable...
2. Get it sorted
Soft toys can go into a basket or hamper, hard toys can go into a toy box, a shelf or into a drawer. Sort the dirty from the clean. The dirty clothes go straight into the laundry basket. The clean items go back to their 'home' — teach them how to fold items and placed them in a drawer or on a hanger in the wardrobe.
TIP: You don’t want all the clothes ending up in the hamper and having to deal with mountains of unnecessary washing. Make an agreement be- tween you and your kids about which clothes you will call dirty and which you will call clean. For example, decide that any clothes are smelly or wet, or have dirt or food on them are dirty.
Teaching one job at a time means you will have to put up with a room that is only partially cleaned up while your kids master each step. It might be making the bed and placing their pyjamas under the pillow. It could be putting away shoes or knowing where the toys should be returned. Help them out by making sure everything has a space to be stored. if it's too hard to find a place to store things, it'll inevitable end up on the floor.
TIP: If you need more storage or hangers, take your child shopping so they can choose what they like.
4. Set the goal
Kids need time to learn something new, so they may not get it right, especially the first few times. Decide together what would be a realistic target to reach. Plan (together and ahead of time) how you will celebrate the tidy rom. A celebration of success can be something simple like staying up a bit later on the weekend, a special meal, or extra time doing something fun that your kids enjoy.
5. Chart topper
Keep up the momentum by making a chart with the name of the task and a place to mark it off when done. You can do this with ticks, stickers, smiley stamps or gold stars. Kids learn better when they experience repeated success, so it helps if they see a visual record of their achievement.
And there you have it - five steps to get kids to clean their room!
Good Luck 🤞
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