Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cleaning Up Kids - Day 4

If you want your kids to be responsible for their messes, then you have to get them involved in both the storage of their toys, as well as clean up.

Letting kids help with sorting and purging gives them ownership of the process.  They will understand the way their toys are sorted if they get to help do it.  They will also realize what a big job it can be and hopefully with time will begin to understand how much easier it is to put a couple toys away rather than leaving items to pile up.

Kids also need to be held accountable when they are lazy.
This is a hard one for moms because we all know it's a whole lot faster to just put something away ourselves, but it's only faster in the present.  In the long run, we would save ourselves so much time if we'd commit to training our children to pick up after themselves.

See that empty pop can?
See that grey recycling bin on the floor a few steps past it?
I called my boy down from his room to fix this situation.

Same thing here.  Remotes on the couch literally feet away from the remote bin.  Another call.
Now maybe this sounds a bit nutty, I mean really, who cares if the remotes are in the bin right?
But I have, on several occasions, had to take off every single couch cushion, look all over the floor, and spend many minutes searching for one lost remote before I could use the t.v. when all they had to do was put them back in the box.

The thing about training is that it never ends.  There's no graduation date when suddenly kids are fully responsible for cleaning up their own stuff.  But if we're diligent in expecting them to do so, they will become more consistent.


  1. Well, I did catch that oldest son of yours stacking dishes and putting them in the dishwasher when we were over without being asked, so I think he should at least get a mini diploma. :)

  2. Future wives will thank you for it too...