Saturday, October 10, 2009

Teaching Kids to Pick Up Their Rooms

In a recent conversation about messy rooms, mommas wondered whether to fight the battle, whether to keep nagging, whether to shut the bedroom door and just not look, or what.

I have found that telling a kid to clean a room may not work well. "But it's already clean, Mom." Sometimes it helps to ask the kid, "What do you see that is out of place?" Maybe they'll notice the dirty cup on the dresser that should be in the kitchen sink. Maybe they won't. It's very possible that the child will answer that he doesn't see anything out of place. And the mom is thinking, "Do we need to take you to the eye doctor? Are your eyes open? Do you have on a blindfold???"

Amazingly enough, one little twist on the question has proven to make a big difference in my house. NOT "What do you see that needs to be put away?" Instead, "What am I going to tell you shouldn't be where it is? If I were to sit here and point out what you need to put away next, what would it be?"

1 comment:

  1. At our house we say, "Clean it like Aunt So-and-So is coming."