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How important is it to keep the house clean at all times?
Well, for me having 3 boys running and playing around the house, I find it hard to maintain a tidy environment. I can’t spend my entire day cleaning up after my boys; it would never end. I am sure each of us grew up in houses that had a certain level of clutter, mess and organization. Constant clutter, though, can be overwhelming. So I teach my boys how to lessen the mess and clean up, when needed.
How to Play
First thing to consider is establishing “appropriate time to play” with your kids. You have to have an agreement among your kids for when is the best time for them to play and mess around the house. It is also important to establish playtime rules. Teach your children to take out one toy collection at a time. Before they move on to their next playful endeavor they need to put the previous items away. This also helps lessen fighting between my boys and controls the amount of discipline I have to do.
Less is More
Teach them that they don’t need to have huge piles of stuff to be happy. They can’t possibly play with everything, anyway — there aren’t enough hours in the day. With less stuff, they can find things more easily, they can see what there is to play with, and they can own better quality stuff.
Giving Room to Breath
Work with your children, not against them. Make them feel that they have the freedom to do whatever they want to do inside the house for a certain period of time. Let them play till they bore themselves out.
Teach your children to take out one toy collection at a time. Before they move on to their next playful endeavor they need to put the previous items away. Create a simple system using labels, so kids know how to easily fulfill your “put this away” request. And right after that, tell your kids the importance of having a clean and tidy home. Make them clean their own mess.
I know having kids clean isn’t always “helpful”. In fact, I know a few good friends who feel the need to re-clean after the kids have done a chore. Here’s the thing: don’t just let your child “play clean,” get down and teach them how to properly accomplish the task. Though it can be challenging to keep things clean, neat, and orderly when you’ve got young children at home, it’s not impossible. In fact, the secret is to make your kids part of the solution, rather than the problem.
My kids actually enjoy helping to do the chores. You can make it fun, interactive, and “game-like”. You could set a timer and see how quickly they can accomplish a task. Remember to give praise when they do a good job, too!
What are your tricks to home for keeping a clean house? Do you get your kids involved? We want to know your thoughts!