5 Ideas to Help your Kids Clean their Room Without Complaining
Get Kids to Clean Without Complaining
“Buuuuuuttttt MOOOMMMMYY!” They shriek. I briefly mentioned the thought that their room might need to be cleaned. This isn’t the kids cleaning without complaining!
“You are treating us like SLAVES!” Heaven forbid they have to clean their own mess; Oh the horror!
After a long discussion on what slavery is and how cleaning up the mess you made does NOT equate to slavery, I knew I needed a new mama plan of attack. The room wasn’t going to clean itself, and my “slaves” were on apparent strike.
Is making them clean their own room worth enforcing it like a drill sergeant? Having a clean space to do our snugly reading times is essential to keeping my mama sanity and patience intact, but not at the emotional cost of barking orders at them while they whine for an hour. So I started experimenting with different strategies until we found some that not only worked, they were FUN!
A clean room is possible with happy-hearted children and a sane mama at the end. Here are some tried and true strategies to get your kiddoes to clean in peace.
1) Turn up the music!
Something about music turns mundane chores into a party. Play some scripture memory songs or some school work that you want your kids to remember, turn on something fun and upbeat like Overcomer by Mandisa, or play your favorite Pandora channel. Anything fun and happy will set the mood so you can dance through cutting out the chaos of the clutter, and put things back into order.
2) Do it together first.
Sometimes kids get discouraged when they don’t know what to do first and the whole big mess seems overwhelming, so it helps to model it to them anytime there is an attitude problem. Cleaning the room with mama’s help seems a lot less daunting of a task, and is a surefire way to get your kids to clean without complaining. So let you kiddoes know that you are in this thing together, and are going to tackle the task as one big team, toddler included! Make sure everyone gets the basics down of where everything goes, and how it gets put away so that there is no confusion of what is expected when you tell them to clean their room.
3) Turn the whole thing into a game.
If you want your kids to clean without complaining, this is VITAL! Turn on the music, go in there with them, and get started. We aren’t trying to tackle the whole mess at one pop because that seems overwhelming. But we are going to tackle it together one baby step at a time. I start the timer for 5 – 10 minutes and we sort things into designated piles: toys to be put away, books to go on the shelf, clothes that need put away or placed in the hamper, things that need to go into another room, and trash.
Sometimes each of us will be in charge of a specific pile, so the book person will go through the room picking up all the books to see if they can complete their pile first, while the dirty clothes person carries the hamper about in search of all the soiled clothing. Sometimes we all work together sorting the room and trying to beat the clock. Either way its a fun time for all. After everything is sorted it is much easier to clear a pile that a huge monstrous mess!
4) Be the timer.
After you have established that cleaning this room “ain’t no thang” to be upset over, and that cleaning is a ball of fun (Whoo hoo!) you need to be involved for a few times. The next couple of times the room needs cleaning, you should be in there to watch. Whatever you do, DON’T tell them you are only going to watch. Tell them that you are going to be timing them in a race against the clock, or you are going to be the referee that sees who crosses the finish line to complete their piles first. After a time of sneaky supervising…… 😉
5) Let them try alone, with an incentive.
The game has been played, the dancing has been done, and they know how to clean their room without complaining now. It is time to cut the strings and let them attempt it on their own. Explain that they are going to clean things up the same way we have been doing it together, but mama is going to do some dishes or hang some laundry instead of cleaning the room with them, so that we can accomplish more of our housework and get to other things faster. Everyone gets started as Mama starts the music and the timer. It is a race to see who can complete the chore the fastest! Can the beat mama? If so, ice cream or stickers for all! Children should come with disclaimers, ” Will work for rewards.”
As time goes on, your kiddoes will be able to keep the room cleaning groove alive while you completely delegate the task to them. Getting your kids to clean without complaining can be accomplished without a struggle, and without disciplining bad attitudes or disobedience! Just follow our 5 sime, FUN steps!
What strategies do you use to get your kiddoes to clean without complaining?
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