How often do you find yourself saying to your children (or possibly yelling?!) ‘Tidy your room – now!’ or ‘Why is your room always so messy’, ‘I told you to tidy your room’ etc.? Well don’t worry, you are certainly not alone and the good news is that we can help you with some simple and effective tips. Tips for making kids tidy their room!
First of all we need to be clear about what we actually mean by ‘Tidy your room’, because our idea of what makes a ‘tidy room’ and theirs might be miles apart. For example:
Tidy room for mum might mean:
- Clean clothes nicely folded and put away, dirty clothes in the laundry basket, all books neatly placed on the bookshelf, bed made, desk tidy with all stationery stored away, toys in the right place etc. – aaaahh nice!
Tidy room for a child means:
- All the toys, clothes and books pushed under the bed or stuffed in the cupboard, all clothes (included the clean clothes) into the laundry basket or all clothes (include dirty clothes) stuffed in the wardrobe. Hmmmm NOOOO!
- Sit down and talk about what a ‘tidy room’ is and what it looks like. Even better, write it down as an agreement. It’s a great idea to use images so expectations are clear i.e. tidy the room together then take a picture so you can refer to it when it comes to ‘tidy your room’ day.
- Agree what day and time is ‘tidy your room’ day and write it up as an agreement. It is important to have a visual agreement so you have something to refer to!
- Break it into smaller tasks. ‘Tidying your room’ can be a big chore for a child at any ages, even a teenager. So agree to take it ‘step-by-step’: e.g. Desk: have images of how you expect it to look like. Bed, Toys, Clothes etc. You might end up with several images but that’s ok; your child will find it much easier to respond to a request such as ‘please tidy your desk, here is the image’, than ‘tidy your room’.
- Be realistic with what you ask for. You know your child – can he/she tidy the room on his/her own? It is ok to support and guide (as long as you don’t take over and DO it for them).
- Give encouragement: tidying the room is not fun, so you might have to give a bit of encouragement to keep them going. ‘Sam you are really working hard and doing such a good job, I really appreciate it’, ‘Jen, I can see that you are doing a great job, you’ve tidied your desk already, I am sure this will be done in no time and then we can go and watch some TV. Use ‘When, Then’ language : When you have tidied your room we can go for a bike ride etc.
- Rewards: We don’t think that kids should get pocket money for doing their own chores; they simply just have to do them. The reward is a tidy room! But you can “top up” with lots of praise and special time: ‘Wow Tom you did a great job, maybe we can read an extra book, bake a cake etc.’
Have a calm and positive chat with your child about:
- What does a tidy room mean and look like?
- When will they tidy their room?
- What support will they get, if any (according to age and individual child)
- Reward? When, Then: When you have tidied your room, we can watch a movie and have popcorn etc
We wishes you all the best
The ParentingSuccess Coaching Team
More tips CLICK HERE