Friday, April 15, 2011

The Clean Up Hook Up

Why should Mom be stuck cleaning up all the mess???

Everyday, my playroom is cleaned up by the teamwork of 3-4 toddlers, so one of the most popular questions I get is: How do I get my child to clean up their mess?

1. Give a warning that clean up time is approaching about 5-10 minutes ahead of time.

2. Stay in one room and give them a specific job. For example: Colton you clean up the blocks. Kennedy, you put the books back on the shelf. Mommy should have a job too. I believe it's important to teach team work. If your child wants to chose their job, that's great. Go with it. They're more likely to do it if they feel they have some power in making the decision on what they want to clean up.

3. Set a time limit 5-15 minutes at max. The longer you drag it on, the less likely the kids are to continue to help.

4. Make it a game or a race. Play music, have fun. Keep the mood light. You're kids will want to participate with you.

5. Lots of praise. Remember, these are young children. It's  not going to be a perfect clean up like mom would do. Give them lots of "great jobs" and "at a boys" to boost their self confidence. 

6. Rewards for doing the right things. Since she's a little older, Kennedy gets time on our computer to play games. Colton gets stickers, a piece of candy, or an extra book read to him, etc.

Remember, there are tons of other things you can integrate cleaning  habits in your everyday life, such as having your little one put their plate in the sink after they finish eating and throwing their laundry into the hamper while they're getting dressed. Starting cleaning habits early will help reduce the mess in your house, as well as, teach your kid's responsibility.

1 comment:

  1. Send them to my house, please!

    Also, I'm sure moms know this, but a trick I use with my students is giving them a choice but not and "out". I'll say, "Do you want to finish your essay or read the next twenty pages?" That way they get to pick one, and I get something done. It works with my unmotivated students.