Does your child refuse to keep his room clean? If you’ve tried all the usual tactics to encourage your child to keep a clean room without success, you know how frustrating it can be.
Teaching your child to keep a clean room also imparts responsibility and pride in ownership.
Here are some suggestions that may help to motivate your child to clean & organise:
1. Be a good example for your child
How can you expect your child to keep his room clean if you fail to clean the rest of the house? By keeping your house in good order, you set a strong example for your child to follow. Get the whole family involved in the cleaning process. Turn on some upbeat music when the family is cleaning to turn it into a happy occasion. Never make the mistake of complaining about having to clean the house. This is a form of negative reinforcement.
2. Have a designated place for each of your child’s toys
Each toy should have its own designated place in your child’s room. Spend some time showing him where each item belongs. Have him repeat back to you each toy’s place so you can be sure he or she understands. Let him know that each toy needs to be in its established spot at the end of each day.
3. Make cleaning a challenging game
Give your child the challenge of seeing how quickly he or she can clean his room. Set a timer, turn on some lively music, and watch your child go to work. Let you child know that when finished, he or she can go outside and play.
4. Establish a reward system
Consider giving your child a daily allowance for cleaning his room, rather than a weekly one. Receiving a daily reinforcement if often more motivating than a weekly one. To a young child, a week can seem like an eternity and this may cause them to lose motivation.
5. Give your child a written list of cleaning tasks to be done
It’s helpful if you post a list of cleaning tasks assigned to your child on a bulletin board so your child can see it on a daily basis. Encourage them to look at the list upon awakening to see what needs to be done for that day. This is a good way to help your child set goals and become more responsible.
6. Reward your child with privileges as he becomes more responsible
As your child shows the ability to be responsible by keeping his room clean, gradually allow more privileges. Let your child know that by keeping the room clean, he or she's earned them.
7. Don’t criticise
Avoid making negative statements such as, "You never clean your room like I ask you" or "This room looks like a tractor trailer rolled through it". Use an upbeat, positive tone of voice and tell your child how pleased you were with the job last time he or she cleaned the room.
8. Give regular feedback
If your child is doing a good job keeping his room clean, let them know on a regular basis. If it doesn't live up to your expectations, give feedback in a positive manner on how it can be better. Make sure your child understands exactly what is expected and how to go about doing it.