Can You Ever Get Your Kids To Clean Up After Themselves?
No parent wants their kids to become obsessed with tidiness (which let’s face it, is highly unlikely!) or to be routinely punished for not cleaning up after themselves, but there should be a happy medium. Getting your kids to clean up after themselves is certainly achievable, but it does require a little patience and a little perseverance:
Start them off at the right age:
Even children as young as a year old can be taught to put their toys back in a crate once they’ve finished playing with them, and provided you reward them, and they understand that doing so makes you happy, they may even start doing it without you needing to prompt them. They may even be able to help you with other small house cleaning tasks, but don’t expect them to do it perfectly, and always praise them, whether you need to clean up properly afterwards, or not.
Getting your kids to clean up after themselves requires you to expect and demand that of them all the time, otherwise they’ll soon begin cutting corners or not bothering, and you’ll end up doing it instead. Kids aren’t stupid, if they know that when they leave something long enough, you will come along and do it anyway, then why would they bother?
Keep the rules the same:
One strict rule to make life easier and tidier for you and your household, is that your kids can only begin playing with a different toy or game, once the previous one has been neatly packed away. Don’t be tempted to skip this rule, as it’s one of the simplest to enforce, and can often make the biggest difference.
Your kids are not going to become super cleaners and tremendous tidier uppers overnight, so try to be patient, continue to teach them what you expect from them, and you will doubtless be rewarded soon enough. Ensure also that when they don’t do what is expected of them, that there are consequences, while of course trying not to punish them so hard that the whole thing becomes a huge and unnecessary drama.
Be an example to your kids:
There is no better way to teach kids what you expect of them, than by setting an example yourself. Even if you’re tired and don’t have the energy to put your empty glass in the dishwasher, hang your jacket up or make your bed in the morning, you must try to do so otherwise your kids will use the same excuse not to do their chores.
If getting your kids to help you clean is becoming too much of a losing battle, then why not have a professional cleaning company come in once a week (or as often as required) and help get the place clean and tidy again? After all, small children will never be able to help you clean to high standard, so don’t be ashamed to ask for a little extra help.