Many parents have unnecessarily saddled themselves with the responsibility of cleaning their child’s mess. This ends up adding to your responsibility as a parent. While this may seem okay at first, it ends up having a detrimental effect on the child.
Dr Tamar Chansky, a psychologist and an author of several books including “Freeing Your Child from Anxiety” points to a study published by the University of Minnesota. This study found that giving children household chores at an early age “helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance.
How to Engage your Child to Clean his Room
1. Teach Them the Importance of Cleanliness
A child barely knows his right from his left. With the family being the first agent of socialization, it goes a long way to determine a child’s disposition to life in general.
Teach them that dirt breeds microorganisms and that many microorganisms cause diseases. Sadly, diseases could end up making them sick. These are true medical facts that will send a red signal to their brain that a dirty environment is unsafe and may affect their health. This will invariably make them conscious of the cleanliness of their surroundings.
2. Erase the Mentality That Chores are Punishments
Some parents punish their children with chores. This makes them see chores as punishments and not a responsibility to be carried out. On the contrary, teach them that cleanliness to an extent guarantees healthy living and that chores are simply duties that must be done.
3. Live By Example
Children learn faster by observation. You cannot successfully encourage your child to clean up his messy room while yours is a den of dirt.
So be the first model of what you are trying to teach your child. When you live by example, your children see first hand the beauty and necessity of doing what you want them to do.
So, next time you tell your child to clean up after his mess or tidy up his room, make sure that yours is also tidy.
4. Shower Them With Praise When They Successfully Clean Their Room
Praise works wonders, especially when directed to a child. As a result, children who know they will be praised for doing a particular thing, often do so in order to be complimented.
So when next you enter your child’s room and see it organized, don’t just stare in surprise. Praise them. As simple as this may sound, it helps to boosts their dopamine (a hormone that triggers joy level) and encourages them to continue keeping their rooms clean.
5. Set a Goal for Them and Reward Them
Goals have always been known to help in producing results. So try to set achievable cleanliness goals for your children. Likewise, set up a reward for obedience.
This makes them conscious of their cleanliness in a bid to get the reward you promised. At first, they would tidy up their rooms in view of the pending reward. But with time, this habit of cleanliness becomes a lifestyle.