Teaching Kids to Clean Up After Themselves

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Teaching Kids to Clean Up After Themselves @ AVirtuousWoman.org

A Time to Clean: Day 26

This is the last week of the challenge, ladies! How has it gone so far? Have you seen a bunch of clutter disappear from your home? I hope and pray you’ve felt some success!

I’ve been totally overwhelmed by life this past week. I had too much to do in too short a time and it’s been exhausting. I stay busy, but things really piled up on me this week and I apologize for having this post up so late.

As the mama of five kids – three of which are either grown, married, and/or in college, I remember a lot of frustration when they were little trying to get them to help out. After a few years of trial and error, I figured out a system that worked for us… most of the time.

If you have kids at home, you need to be training them diligently in how to clean up after themselves. Not only is it unfair to you when they don’t help, they need to learn to be responsible and share in the housework because one day you won’t be there to clean up after them!

Teaching Our Kids How to Clean Up After Themselves

Are you tired from constantly cleaning up after the family? Most moms struggle with knowing how to serve their family, but not over serve them. It is more than okay to teach your kids how to clean up after themselves. The tough part is knowing how to teach your kids to clean up after themselves.

Realize that teaching your kids to clean up after themselves takes time. It’s not going to happen in one day. If you have older kids, it’s never too late to teach them how to clean up after themselves. If they are still little, this is perfect timing. You are at a great point in life to begin this journey.

Understand what you’re teaching your children

When you decide to do everything for your children, are you really teaching them anything? Mama, you’re already tired enough. You cannot be responsible for picking up every single sock off the floor too. Now is the time to understand that you’re teaching your children skills they can use for life.

Kids need to learn how to care for their belongings

Kids who don’t learn how to care for their belongings at a young age, rarely learn how to care for their items at an older age. Lead by example. How you care for your items is how your kids will learn to care for theirs. Show your kids how a responsible person cares for their belongings and then watch them follow your lead.

My kids are very careful with their belongings. They don’t toss their stuff around and cry when it’s messed up. They take care of the things they own because they appreciate them.

Find out what motivates your kids

I’m not saying you should pay your child for doing every day chores around the house. However, it is wise to find what motivates your child. For example, if your kids do their chores for a week without being asked, they can be rewarded. The fun part is finding what motivates your children.

related: Reward Punch Cards for Kids – Only $4.00

At the same time, I’ve personally never paid my children to do their regular chores. I would however pay them for extra chores that they did.

Pray over your children

We can yell and talk all we want. However, sometimes our kids need extra prayer. Praying for your kid is an excellent way to secretly motivate them to clean up after themselves. Pray that your kids be motivated as the day goes on. Pray that they have superb listening skills. Pray your children always want to do the right thing. Prayer is the best thing you can do for your child at any point in their lives.

God listens to a mother’s prayers. Never forget this! Laziness and disrespect are issues of the heart and as mothers we need to be asking God to work on their hearts.

Teaching Kids to Clean Up After Themselves @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Stay consistent with your children

One of the best things you can do to get your kids to clean up after themselves is to stay consistent. For some, it can be hard to ensure your kids are doing what they have been asked. Kids get complacent, just like adults. If someone isn’t being consistent, they will remember and they’ll slack on cleaning up after themselves.

Remember how we talked about self-discipline a few days ago? It’s hard for us to lead by example when we as parents struggle with self discipline. It’s okay to be honest with your kids. Say something like, “I’ve been working really hard to have more self discipline when it comes to housework. I want you to help me stay accountable and I want to help you learn to be responsible and have self discipline now. I don’t want you to struggle in this area the way I have!”

As we continue to clean our hearts and homes of clutter, go ahead and help your children do the same.

Mama, you have enough on your plate. It’s okay to ask your children to clean up after themselves. Let go of the guilt of thinking you need to do everything for your kids. It’s okay to prepare them for life and have them clean up after their own messes. Come alongside them and show them how it’s done!

Do you struggle to teach your children to clean up after themselves? Let me know in the comments below!

Today’s Goal

  • Pick up a journal and write down your thoughts about what He has shown you or print my free prayer journal.
  • Choose an area in your home you want to tackle.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it on Facebook, or Instagram – use hashtag #atimetoclean {optional}
  • Leave a comment below about what you chose to get rid of and anything else God has laid on your heart.
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow and spend time in prayer. Use your prayer journal. I’ll be waking up around 6:00 am.

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One Comment

  1. I have 4 kids, the girls are 19 and 15, the boys are 7 and 2. The 19 year old will only clean when asked but at least she will clean.The 15 year old will only clean when she wants to and only if she is not asked. I give them chores and the 15 year old will refuse to do them. Over the years I have tried so many different things but with in a week I. am back to doing everything. My mom never made me doing anything..... in fact she made my bed until I was 13. yikes!! Her mom made her and her siblings do all the cleaning and she didnt want to be like that so she went the opposites direction. I find things not getting done and I desire a clean house so I do what I seen my mom do, clean everything ...... there is really only so long you can let dishes build up. My 15 year old doesnt care what you take away or offer her. So there I stand doing the dishes again and I give up even asking for help for a month or so because I feel bad making the 19 year old help out when the 15 year old wont, then it sttartrs all over again. I get over whelmed with doing everything and try another way to get some help. Its a viscous cycle. I never made the girls do anything when they were little. I feel I have learned something from that so the boys carry in groceries, help take out trash, take dishes to the sink, feed the animals, and put their shoes on the shoe shelf and dirty clothes in the hamper. Right now they love helping and I pray I can keep being consistent. I can get the girls to carry groceries in and sometimes take the trash out but I am so worrued the boys are going to realize the 15 year old pretty much does what she wants and they will stop helping.