From Chaos to Calm: Day 67
Scripture Memory: “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 113: 9
Cleaning the children’s rooms is similar to keeping your own room clean. Follow the same basic steps as listed in the “Caring for the Bedrooms” post. The trick to keep kids rooms neat is really in how to train them. Diligent training will pay off in the end!
When your child wakes up in the morning, immediately make the bed. When he or she is old enough to help, have them help you make the bed. And when they are old enough to do it alone, have them make the bed alone (or with a sibling if they share a bed, as is the case in our household). Instilling a love for neatness in your child early on will benefit both of you!
From the time your child is old enough to walk, he should be helping to keep his things in order. Schedule regular clean up times each day and help your little one to put his toys away. I suggest that you have clean up times just before lunch, just before supper, and again before bed. The one hold out on this would be if your child is creating a large project – for instance, a grand Lego® castle, or building a tower with his Lincoln Logs®, or painting a masterpiece. In this case, I would tell my child that everything but that one thing has to be put away.
When it is time for a bath or time to change into pajamas at the end of the day, train your child to place their discarded clothing in the proper place, whether it be the hamper, a laundry basket, or perhaps they are to hang their clothes in the closet or return to a drawer to wash next time. Show them how to do it immediately rather than later.
Training means being involved. Training your children means you are aware of what if going on in their lives on a daily (even hour to hour) basis. You will never train your children properly if you are a distracted mother. Books, TV, the internet, work, hobbies, etc. should never take your attention so much that you fail to instill proper life skills in your children.
It is easy for kids to become overwhelmed once their room becomes super messy (which for some kids could mean in a single day if mom doesn’t stay on top of their messy habits.) So, what do you do if your child’s room looks like it was hit by a tornado? Yelling doesn’t resolve the real issue and getting frustrated with your child when they don’t want to clean their room only creates an atmosphere of anxiety in the home. Instead, you can offer help in the following ways:
1. If the room is really bad, sweep everything into a pile on the floor or have your child pick up everything that is out of place and put it on the bed. It is much easier to sort things from a central location than it is to move from place to place all over the room.
2. Give your child orders. For example: Pick up all the Legos®. Pick up the books. Now put
away your dirty laundry. Now, I want you to put your shoes in the closet. Clean your mirror. Sweep the floor. Straighten the bookshelf.
Children do not instinctively know how to clean up a really messy room. They need your loving guidance. It is also much easier to keep a neat room clean than it is to clean up a messy room. This is why it is better to have regular “tidy up” times throughout the day. That way, things are less likely to get out of control in the kids rooms as well as the rest of the house!
God has given us as mothers such an awesome responsibility to train our children to become productive, kind, loving adults. Let’s not squander the opportunity!