This situation can be frustrating, but instead of cleaning the room yourself or directly overseeing the process, you can make it easier for them by teaching them.
If you have children, you have probably had the experience of asking them to clean their room, and then entering later to see that they have not done so. This situation can be frustrating, but instead of cleaning the room yourself or directly overseeing the process, you can make it easier for them by teaching them a step-by-step room-cleaning strategy.
When it comes to teaching cleaning tasks, simple is best. You will want to give your kids easy-to-follow guidelines so that they know exactly where to start and what to do.
List the Tasks
You can create a board that has tasks for each child to complete. A whiteboard would be the best because you can add or subtract tasks easily. (Just make sure that the kids don’t erase it). If you do this, your child or children will know what tasks that they have to complete to clean their room without you have to tell them. You can ask them to place check marks next to each task once they have finished it.
This will be less time consuming for you too. Rather than telling the kids to make their beds, fold their clothes and pack their school books, you can just ask them to “look at the board.” They will have a defined set of actions that they have to complete. This is also important because it defines the level of “clean” that they need to achieve.
It is essential to have a board that you can quickly add items to. You don’t want to make the kids overwhelmed by giving them too many tasks at once, especially if they are learning a task for the first time (such as making their bed). Give them a while to be comfortable with each new task.
How long should you give them? Once they can do it without you having to ask them, then you can add another new task to their list.
Once the children’s “chore board” has a few different tasks on it, you can start motivating for them to do more. You could offer them a tangible reward, such as a trip to the ice cream shop, or an extra perk, such as an additional half-hour of TV time. Write down the reward that you plan to give them on the whiteboard. This will mean that, like the cleaning tasks, the reward is defined.
Create a Routine
Do cleaning, or at least checking the board, a daily activity. You may even want to normalize the cleaning tasks by including other routine things on the whiteboard. For example, you can add “brush your teeth” or “make your school lunch” to the list. This will serve as a reminder for kids who sometimes forget these basic tasks, and it will provide an easy, confidence-building checkmark for other children.
Best of all, you will be training your children to complete all these tasks without having to remind them verbally.