I really would like your opinion on this.
This mom says she kept telling her kids “clean your room” “clean your room” “clean your room,” like a broken record. When her kids would not clean their rooms, she took drastic actions.
Let me say here that my kids clean their rooms, and they have been doing it since they were 8 and 5. They also do other chores around the house, for which their dad pays them.
I am not opposed AT ALL to kids helping at home, not at all.
However, regarding this story, my feeling is that a crucial piece of information is missing from the mom’s account and from the expert panel advising her:
Did she ever teach her children how to clean their rooms? Did she do some retraining as the kids grew older and acquired different categories of items for their rooms?
If she didn’t, her “punishment” is completely out of line.
Watch the video below, then keep reading:
The only way to effectively keep a home tidy is to learn to make decisions about categories of items, not individual items. As children grow, new categories of items make way to their rooms. If they join band, there are instruments, cases and music sheets to keep track of. If they take on a sport there are uniforms, special shoes and gear that need to find a place, usually in their bedrooms. So even after you have taught children how to organize the rooms, any new activity they embark on will require re-training.
How About You? Were You Taught?
Were you taught how to clean your room? Most of my clients and students report that they were never taught how to do things around the house. They were threatened that something bad would happen to them if they did not clean this or organize that, and then they had to figure out how to tidy up on their own.
In fact, most of them tell me that they do not tidy up often enough because tidying up brings bad memories, so they procrastinate as much as they can. The more they procrastinate, the worse things get, and the harder it becomes to confront their messes.
How I Taught My Kids to Clean Their Rooms
Since my kids were old enough to follow instructions, I have been teaching them how to keep their spaces tidy. I created a game for them to play as they picked up, and they often listened to funny audiobooks while doing it.
Today, as a preteen and a teen, they sometimes do need a little prodding, and we do have a rule that there will be no video games if their rooms are messy.
But they know what to do. By now they have memorized the process, and they are very good at it.
You Can Learn This Process Too
I recently shared the first part of this process during a radio interview for the program “Welcome in Wellness.”
Go to this page and scroll down to see the replays of past shows.
I was interviewed for shows 5 and 6. During show 5 we talked about Feng Shui in general. Show 6 was all about decluttering.
During show 6, I shared with listeners the exact process I taught my kids and which helps them tidy up their rooms.
This process is part of what I teach in the program Declutter for Good. You can learn this process for free if you listen to the show above: http://boldbravemedia.com/welcome-in-wellness/
You may need to scroll down the window with the replays of past shows to find it:
Keep in mind, though, that due to radio program time constraints, I spoke very fast. Still, you can use the recording as you work on decluttering and organizing your spaces, just pause the recording every time you need to go perform a task.
Share With Me
Share your thoughts with me:
What do you think about the mom in the video?
What strategies have you used to get your children to clean their rooms?
Use the “reply” feature under this article to comment. If this is your first time commenting on this blog, I will need to approve your comment before it is posted. If you have commented before, it will post right away.
Watch this webinar on decluttering: