Walking by your child’s room is sometimes a frightening experience. Clothes
strewn on the floor, bed unmade, dresser drawers hanging open and toys scattered
around are enough to make even the most patient parent upset.
Teaching your child to take responsibility for his things from a young age
prepares him for responsibilities later in life, according to Oregon State
University. It is never too late or too early to teach your child how to clean
and maintain his room.
Organize and clean the room first. Starting with a clean room helps a child keep
it clean. Go through every item in the room. Throw away trash, donate old
clothes and decide what decorations stay. If he is reluctant to part with old
toys or books, store them in a box.
Ask him where he would like toys and decorations to go. Purchase bins or low
shelves and place them in his closet or along a wall. If he is young, show him
how to put his toys in the right bin. With an older child, express your
expectations on how neat you want the room to remain.
Explain that he should always make his bed. This makes the bedroom look neater
even if there are stray objects lying around. If he is very small, help him make
the bed every morning. With an older child, teach him the steps to make the bed
properly. Remind him to look behind before he leaves the room to make sure he
made the bed.
Give him a basket or bag for his dirty clothes. Tell him you expect him to put
his laundry away. Explain that if he leaves his clothes on the floor for two
days in a row, there could be 10 to 12 pieces of clothing on his floor. When he
picks up his clothes, his room looks neater.
Teach him how to dust and vacuum. Expect him to clean his room thoroughly once a
week. Show him how to vacuum. Explain that he needs to remove items from the top
of the dresser or shelves to dust completely. Instead of having him work for a
long time, set the kitchen timer and challenge him to get as much done as he can
in 15 minutes. With a small child, challenge him to a race and see who can pick
up the most toys in five minutes.
Remind him that his closet can quickly become messy if he does not clean it
regularly. Once a week, sit with him and look in his closet. Teach him to
organize his shoes, belts and clothes. Provide hooks for robes and ties. If you
are teaching a girl to clean her closet, explain that her purses and accessories
will stay fresh looking if she hangs them on hooks. Show your child how to hang
pants over a hanger...
Ok you’ve finally got your children to clean their room. Well now you don’t want
it to be messy the second you leave now do you? When a child has cleaned their
room make sure to compliment them and tell them how proud you are of them. Trust
me, it’ll mean a lot to them to know that you are proud of them.
Check up on it. (I don’t mean hang over your kids) but take a peek in the room
every once in a while and if it’s clean go to your child and tell them. Make
sure that they know that you love it that they keep your room clean. A parent’s
love and acceptance are extremely big factors in a child and teens life.
Tips and Warnings
• Give your child an incentive for keeping the room clean. Sing a cleaning song
with young children to make the activity fun. Be a role model for your child by
keeping your own room clean. Make it as easy as possible for your child to clean
his room by staying organized and being willing to make changes as necessary. Do
not allow food or drink in your child’s bedroom. Give your child an incentive to
keep his room tidy such as not allowing him to go out and play or watch
television until the room is clean.
• Do not show frustration to your child. Be encouraging and patient.