Teaching Kids to Clean-up


According to Better Homes & Gardens
“Clutter is one of the chief causes of family fights,”

So learning to work together to help keep a house clean can actually bring more harmony into your home.

To help us tackle this subject, Sandra Phillips our home efficiency specialist gives us some ideas.

Q: I have to ask you, Are some kids just naturally neat?

Yes! Even among my own eight children,

Ricky’s room was always in order. Even the inside of his backpack was organized

Natalee, on the other hand, had to dig through layers on her floor to even find her backpack.

But they can all be trained! Our homes are one of the great training grounds of life.

Q: When are kids old enough to start doing household jobs?

As soon as they can “walk and chew gum,” they can help with little tasks.

I tended my 5-year-old granddaughter last weekend, and at bedtime she went into her room that was full of toys and play dresses; she emerged 10 minutes later with an absolutely orderly room. She’d put every item away in its place. That wasn’t necessarily inherent for a 5-year old, but her mother had taught her that at the end of the day, we clean up before bedtime. It was as natural as brushing teet.

“…kids raised in clean homes-regardless of their intellectual ability or parents’ household income-stick with school longer and earn more money as adults than those raised with dust bunnies.” University of Michigan, School of Social Work study.

Q: What are some guidelines when assigning jobs?

Kid’s need to learn they are responsible for themselves. Cleaning up their own mess, and helping with family cleaning as a team teaches an important life lesson, that somebody isn’t always going to fix your own messes in life (whether it’s money, school, job, health, or government).

Some of us spend more time getting our cars detailed, or Christmas shopping done, than teaching our kids to clean!

How many Jobs? The child’s age divided by two. Round up if needed. So if the kid is 12 years old, he can be expected to handle 6 household jobs.

Never give jobs as punishments because work forever after will be a negative.

Q: What are the basics of teaching our kids not to be messy?

First, we need to work with them to get rid of all the extras in their rooms!

In 1907 kids had this many toys (show just a few toys); in1957 kids had this many toys (show even more toys); in 2007 kids have this many toys (show many, many toys & things)

Q: What do we do if we already drowned our kids in stuff?
We need to pare this down and find places (an address) to put every single item!

Work with the children on their stash of things: give and throw away the duplicates, move things that should be elsewhere, clothes that don’t fit anymore; toss things broken or outdated, etc. (show egs.)

In this sorting process, they learn to analyze, place value, and to distinguish the important around them in life later on as well.

There’s much more information on this topic in her book A Clean Break, available on line at Live-Right.com
and at Don Aslett’s Cleaning Center Stores in South Jordan or Logan.


For more tips and information on this subject go to her website at www:live-right.com

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