One of the most aggravating challenges parents face: getting kids to clean their rooms. Being orderly isn’t the only goal here — teenagers’ rooms can be
Among potential health issues this type of environment can lead to is everything from allergies and asthma caused by mold and dust mites, to rashes and infections from bacteria and fungi.
The good news: instill the habit of cleaning early and arguments about keeping one’s space tidy won’t result in ongoing battles. Here are some ways to get the ball rolling.
Do Chores Together
Clean the household with the family as a shared chore. This serves double-duty by instilling the importance of a sanitary environment and teaching proper cleaning methods. Turn tasks into fun, bonding experiences by playing music or making games out of the routine. Another option: use the time to connect with one another.
Instill Pride Over A Child’s Personal Space
A great way to encourage kids to clean is by instilling agency over their space. Allow them to decorate their room as they wish, whether that be by hanging favorite posters or arranging the furniture. With this freedom, kids may feel more inclined to clean up as the space serves as a reflection of who they are.
Set a Good Example
If kids witness their parents’ bedroom in a state of disarray, they’re likely to follow by example. When kids see their parents approaching cleaning with a sense of purpose and pride, it becomes something they relate to in terms of their own space.
Define a Clean Room
There’s looking tidy on the surface, followed often by a different reality behind closet doors. Show kids which clothes need to be hung up and which ones can go in the drawer. This extends to other tasks like the proper way to make a bed and when sheets should be changed. Your kids should know where you keep the vacuum cleaner and other essential supplies, provided they are the right age, so they can slowly begin cleaning independently.
Regularly Clear Items Out
Speaking of closets that are overstuffed danger zones… If your child has too many toys, it may be time to donate some of them. The same rule applies to used clothing. Make a point of donating items as new ones come into the household. Explain how giving these items a new home helps others in need.
No, participating in household chores doesn’t need to be rewarded by payment. However, offering incentives is a way to teach kids about earning their own money and budgeting. Consider making a weekly allowance dependent on chores being completed. No chores mean no allowance.
Be Ready for Teenage Rebellion
Even teenagers who’ve mastered cleaning routines can fall back on bad habits. This happens to everyone due to time crunches and other obligations. Remind your kids to make cleaning a priority. Allow some leeway for life to interfere with tidiness now and again.