Bedroom cleaning with kids may feel at time like a battle that isn't worth fighting. Why not just give up and close the bedroom door?
One great reason: Bedroom cleaning with kids is essential if we want our kids to grow up to to be self-sufficient adults. To learn all the cleaning tips and tricks they'll need to do this on their own; they'll need to practice with us.
"Clean your room!" we say. But kids need to know exactly what we mean by "clean."
What is a 'clean bedroom'? Not a speck of dust? Toys and clothes put away? A clear walkway?
Write it down, in checklist form, so kids can easily succeed by meeting your expectations. What exactly do you expect? And how often do you expect it?
Not only do you need to spell out each chore out for your kids, but you'll also have to motivate them to get moving on the task.
For little ones, the promise of a game of Candy Land with Mommy or a bike ride around the cul-de-sac with Daddy might be all the prodding you'll need to do to get a little one on-board.
Where tweens are concerned, you can take stronger action. If stuff is on the floor, take control. I know one mom who got angry and packed away her kid's American Girl doll collection after repeated infractions.
Then the girl had to earn it back. For each clean-room week, she had one doll returned.
Here's an idea for teens. Make them sign a lease agreement! This could state how a room will be kept. If said teen violates the lease, no, you can't evict her, but you can yank a privilege or three.
Or, maybe have her pay "damages" out of her allowance. Or try a credit-card approach. Tell your son you will give him a $30 credit card at the end of the month for his favorite store.
The catch: For every day that his room is dirty (as defined in the lease) there will be a dollar deducted from the card.
The beauty of this system is that you're going to spend at least $30 a month on your teen's wardrobe anyway. Why not make him work for it? If all else fails, you can always close the bedroom door.
When it comes down to it, even though it's embedded in a mom's genes to want to clean a kid's room, you should try to resist the urge to do this essential chore for him or her. You're robbing your little angel of a life lesson she needs to learn.
Here's a list of which tasks kids can generally do by which age. Once a child reaches an individual skill or age level, he can usually do the chores for his age group and those for the age groups below.
Of course, some of these chores need to be done each day, others once a week, and still, others once a month or even less frequently. Use your best judgment for what gets done when.
AGES 2 AND UNDER:
AGES 3 TO 5:
AGES 6 TO 9:
AGES 10 TO 13:
AGES 14 TO 17: