What is your daily life like? Do you feel like you are constantly following your kids and picking up after them? That is one thing if they are toddlers, but pre-school age and up can and should be picking up after themselves. How can this be accomplished without a fight though? Well, we have put together several tips here that should help you to get your kids to clean up after themselves!
Minimize Your Toy Collection
We have far too much, that is just a reality. Do your children really need all of the toys that are creating such chaos in your home? It might be a good idea for you to minimize the amount of toys that they have and it will make clean up much easier for everyone.
Talk to Them
Sometimes a little bit of conversation goes a long way to get your children to understand what it is that you want. Be sure to explain to them how much mommy or daddy have to do and how all of the time that is spent cleaning up after them just adds more to that list. Also, be sure to remind them of the pitfalls that can come from keeping the room messy (Can’t find specific items, tripping hazards, etc). Kids understand more than we think.
Make it a Game
Make cleaning up a game. I set a timer and tell my kids that the first one to get their rooms clean get to choose dinner (or dessert or whatever reward works for you). This helps to get it done quickly without argument.
Follow Through on Discipline
If your child is continually creating a mess with a specific toy, it doesn’t hurt to take that specific toy away for a period of time. As an example, my son likes video games, but he kept leaving his games strung all over the room. After the 5th reminder (yes, I waited too long), I took his game system away for 1 week. The next time he was able to play he was sure to rush to clean up when he was done.
I am very excited to hear ideas from all of you on your tips for getting your kids to clean up after themselves? What have you found that works for your family?