Yes, most kids are messy and most moms will do the cleaning up because she thinks it’s simpler and quicker to do it herself. If that’s where you’ve been, then stand by for a little help from KiddeTime
However if you want them to learn and to keep your sanity, start teaching your kids to tidy up after themselves as early as possible. Besides helping to keep the home clean and tidy gives kids a sense of accomplishment, pride in themselves and a sense of belonging to the family group with their own responsibilities.
Parents Need to Keep In Mind –
1. Consistency is probably the most important and hardest element of training your kids. Kids won’t learn what you want them to do if one week you insist on certain jobs being done, then don’t follow up every week after that. It has to become a routine for you and them.
2. Model what you want them to do. If you’re not very tidy, your kids probably won’t be either. You set the example and they copy what they see.
3. Give them structure and places to put stuff. Kids often don’t want to clear up because they don’t know what to do with their stuff. Make sure everything has a place and they’ll be much more likely to put things away in those places.
For example, if you put up a Kidde Time Stuffed Animal Hammock in your child’s room, it becomes obvious that the stuffed toys go into the net. Another example is putting chalkboard labels on drawers, boxes or shelves to tell your child where things should go. This is especially true if two children share a room. Labels can help avoid quarrels over whose area is whose.
As for structure, set up several times a day when clearing up happens – first thing in the morning, right after they get home from school and right before going to bed. If one massive clean up works better in your household, then do it that way. But if done at specific times, kids get used to putting things away as they go and it never takes very long to tidy up. Make a game out of it by setting the timer for 10 minutes and see what they can accomplish.
And…nothing else gets done before cleaning up is finished – no food gets prepared, no games, no TV, no Ipod…no nothing! You’re the parent, and you make the rules. After all TV, Ipods etc. are privileges not rights.
Be firm – “now” means NOW, not whenever the kids get around to it. Threats don’t usually work but being firm does even when you’re tired.
4. Make cleaning up fun by making up your own cleaning song or game and doing the cleaning often enough means neither you nor your kids will get overwhelmed by the size of the task.
5. Explain why cleaning is necessary. Be patient and tell them exactly why it’s important to put toys away and why you want to have a clean, tidy house. Use every opportunity to reinforce your message, for instance, if he slips on a toy or can’t find his favorite shirt.
6. Set up a basket or box in your room that “swallows” everything that is left lying around – jackets, cell phones, Ipods, the WII remote, etc. Make Sundays “redemption day” when they get their stuff back. However if they want it back sooner, they have to give you something in return – money, walking the dog or some other task, etc. (You’ll have to decide on what is appropriate for their ages and abilities.)
If kids have a structure and consistent routine, places to put their stuff, consequences for when they don’t put things away, and some praise (and maybe an occasional reward for when they get it right) the whole family will feel more peaceful and the house will stay cleaner.
Don’t become the frustrated mom who grumbles and cleans up after everyone – you’ll still be doing it when they reach 25! Your KiddeTime Toy net is available from Amazon.