There’s been a lot of debate over the years about kids and messy rooms. Some think their kids room is off limits to adults so the kids can do what they want. Some feel that it is a part of the house and it needs cleaning like every other room. The reality is nasty, messy, dried food containing rooms are not only an eyesore but can even cause bugs in your house. Roaches or bedbugs are not friend of mine so I’ll opt to make my kids clean their rooms.
So what do you do when you have a hard time getting kids to clean their rooms and make them stay clean. Here are a few tips and hopefully this can help you with the disaster zone some kids call a bedroom.
- Set the example! Ok parents, if your room is messy or you rarely clean up anything in the house, YOU…THE HYPOCRITE will always have a hard time getting your kids to clean unless by some stroke of magic they’re naturally a cleaning machine. Long and short here is that kids are mirror images of us up to a point. Cleanliness habits often transfer and if you’re dirty…they will most likely be dirty too because they’ll only care as much as you do.
- It’s not just for show. Please don’t let kids think the only time they need to clean is when someone is coming over. That is just as telling the when they grow up they only have to do work when the boss is around. Start good habits from the beginning and you’ll save you all a lot of heartache. This is about character building and sanitation… not about being friends with your child.
- Begin at the beginning. Kids get used to what is normal from the start. Although some kids may still be a little messier than others, if they know your home to be clean and that is the expectation they will adhere to it pretty closely.
- Allow for a creative “gross me out” zone. Just remember kids DO like to express themselves. Save a small area in the room where they can be messy and deem it the “disaster zone.” This area can have a less than regular cleaning schedule as long as the room is otherwise clean.
- Forbidden Zone. Kids are notorious for letting green fuzzy mold grow on things because they don’t put the dishes in the sink after they put down their half eaten meal in the bedroom. Make bedrooms a food free zone. If food in bedrooms is off limits in the beginning you shouldn’t have too much trouble with this one.
- Mattress covers to the rescue! If you have a kid who is a bed wetter, beware. The urine is the least of your problem if you allow bed bugs to get in. Make sure kids take showers before laying on those nice clean sheets and also cover mattresses for kids who have poorer bladder control.
- Psychology is king. Let’s not tell kids what they get if they do their chores, but instead what they WILL NOT get. Stop making it so easy on them! You don’t have to be a prison warden but be realistic because the world certainly will be when your kids turn 18.
- Table your expectations. Sometimes we expect too much out of kids. Don’t expect them or anyone for that matter to clean up like you. Take your time with kids and give them direction. It may be frustrating but they’ll get it and be realistic in your expectations especially on an age appropriate level of expectation.
- Give Them the Tools! Don’t expect kids to hang everything up without enough hangers or put everything away without the proper number of storage containers.
The key to raising kids is to give them good tools for survival in life but for you as a parent to also enjoy that time as you’ll never get it back. Pick your battles!!! Maybe they do make the bed a little lumpy but be glad they did it and keep it moving!
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