Encouraging Your Children to Clean

Children are so energetic; they just can’t have enough of playtime. After enjoying one activity, they run towards the next and no matter the number of times you repeat your instructions or warnings for cleaning up, they just don’t lend an ear. So, let’s find a solution to the problem that most of the mothers face and learn some simple ways to get your children to clean up.

Make cleaning a part of their routine, e.g. - everyday 15 minutes before their favorite TV show would help them turn it into a habit of tidying up. 

Organization and order is important to tidying up. Having places designated for their belongings such as racks for shoes, shelves for books and toy boxes for toys makes up for easy sorting and easy storage. 

Set an example yourself. Do not indulge in complaining or griping while you do household chores because children imitate their elders, so make clean up time a fun time with music so that they associate the regular chores with fun. You can use a timer to motivate them as to who gets to put the toys away before the timer goes off. Encouragement by hugs, kisses, praises and timely rewards are important for maintaining the habit. 

Discipline is important, so set some rules. Explain that after they have finished playing with a toy, they have to put it away. If not taken care of after one reminder, the toy can be taken away for a month or be given away. You are the one to make rules, so decide your level of harshness but be practical otherwise you won’t be taken seriously.

Initial suggestions and a little supervision are fine but do not step in and clean for them after you establish rules. It is surely easier and less time consuming to clean up on your own but this would give them an excuse to drag their feet and contribute to lack of motivation. So, it works against you. 

Do remember that you are preparing your children for playing an independent role in their adult life and as a parent you are equipping them with essential life skills. There is no set age for adopting good habits; the formative years are instrumental in habit forming. So, don’t wait for the right age or time, start early and according to their age and see them grow up into responsible adults.