Oh my goodness, my kids were driving me crazy with the refusal to pick up after themselves for a long while. My son often used the excuse of “Daddy doesn’t pick up so I don’t have to.” Not acceptable in this house. I am married to a man never taught to pick up after himself and I refuse to do that to my future daughter in law. I was desperate for the longest time to find a way to get my kids to clean up after themselves.
Yelling doesn’t work because well my kids tun out loud voices after growing p with a hearing impaired father. Punishments go ignored and they just sneak the tablets or laptops when I am not looking. Natural consequences are a joke. Sure a toy will get broken here or there from being left on the floor but in the end ups mostly me, that sees the consequences of them leaving everything where it lands and walking off. Something had to give.
Big cleaning jobs
When it comes to big cleaning jobs like spring cleaning we make it a fun family affair. The kids loved when w made busy bee headbands and set them off to be busy little spring cleaning bees. We blast the radio and throw open the windows driving the neighbors crazy I am sure of it. Many hands really do make work lighter.
Let’s be honest when I need help with something big or I have a tight timeline to get a cleaning job done I pull out the bribes. We don’t give the kids a lot of treats like candy or soda so when I really need the kids to help with something I have my husband bring a treat home and announce that if they help they get it. I know this won’t work forever but now while it does I use it fully to my advantage guilt free.
Deep cleaning can make a great one on one activity. I love pulling a little helper to the side to help me with a deep cleaning job. This makes a great chance for quality one on one time and they learn a life skill that I honestly can’t remember anyone ever taking the time to teach me. Like how to really clean out the oven or scrub down grout.
Every day pickups made easy.
When it comes to everyday cleaning I have a few simple tricks that take the drama out of getting kids to help clean. Sometimes I have to pull out all stops. Head into the kitchen and call out that everything in the family room must be tidied up before anyone can eat lunch. After a late lunch or two they quickly learn that they have to do the chore I assign before a meal or it may be cold by the time they get to it. It’s like when your mom would tell you that you had to wash your hands before you could eat only they also have to pick up the toy bomb they set off that morning.
Sometimes the key to getting your child to clean up after themselves is to make it easy. We keep a few baskets handy for kids to load things into sot hey can quickly be carried back to where they belong. This eliminates those infuriating trips back and forth kids will do as they pick up one tiny thing and put it away dragging out the chore until you are ready to scream.
Making cleaning a game helps get it done faster. Pint he kids against each other by giving them each a bag or basket and setting them off to gather toys, trash, dishes, or any other item around the house until it is full before their siblings fill their basket. If you have competitive kids this works… every time.