The temptation, with…

The temptation, with children, is to teach them to clean their rooms, put away clean clothes, etc. by telling them to do it, over and over and over again. And that just doesn't seem to work with my kids -- it makes me cranky and frustrated, it makes them cranky and frustrated. What does work is if an adult comes up and just does it with them, cheerfully and chattily. Then, almost always, they eagerly set to, and it's done quickly -- with Kevin's help, we just cleaned up both kids' rooms (disasters after yesterday's party) and put away a load of their clothes in about thirty minutes.

Much more pleasant than nagging them for half the afternoon, and I think it's much better in terms of getting them to think of cleaning as not that big a deal, something they can do fast and get done with, rather than something painful that hangs over their heads. Building good, happy associations, you know?

The only real barrier to this plan is that it takes a little activation energy for me to come up and start this process -- it's so tempting to just hang out on Facebook and nag them (loudly) from another room. But I need to keep reminding myself that, as with most procrastinating-type things, it's so much more pleasant to just get it done, and I'll feel so much better if I do.

So will they, and the more we do this, the more that knowledge will, hopefully, get bred into their bones. (Or at least, dwell in the back of their brains.)

This parenting thing -- it should come with a manual!

3 thoughts on “The temptation, with…”

  1. As they get older, you can also make it part of shared family cleaning time. I.e. Mummy’s cleaning the kitchen, daddy’s cleaning the living room, kids are cleaning thier own rooms. (Let’s race and see who gets do e first!). As soon as it’s done we get to….(shared family treat)

  2. They also learn by example how to clean up a room. I never learned this, because my parents used your method when I was a child. I am now the most inept housekeeper I know. My siblings (all younger) learned much better.

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