How to Encourage Your Child to Clean up After Themselves

Have you ever walked into the house and immediately felt overwhelmed by the items that were lying around?

Getting children to clean after themselves is something that many parents struggle with. It either ends in tears, or you are compelled to do it on your own because you get tired of nagging.

How to Encourage Your Child to Clean up After Themselves

Why Do Kids Seem to Make a Mess All the Time?

Children live from one moment to the next. As soon as they are tired of one activity, they are off to the subsequent one without thinking twice about it. While you find the visual chaos they left behind unsettling, they aren’t bothered at all.

How to Encourage Your Child to Clean up After Themselves

Here Is How to Encourage Your Child to Clear Their Messes

Kids love making messes but hate cleaning them up. Picking up toys not only leaves the house looking great, but also instills a sense of responsibility. Although it is easier for you to do the cleanup, that is a short term solution that breeds a feeling of entitlement in kids.

How to Encourage Your Child to Clean up After Themselves

Here are some tips on how to make your little one more responsible:

Explain the Importance of Cleaning Up

While it’s evident to you, a kid doesn’t understand why putting away their toys matters. Explain that if things aren’t put away, one could easily trip, fall, and hurt themselves. Also, some pieces may be lost, and playing with that toy won’t be fun next time.

Set the Rules

Explain to your kids that you have decided to not clean after them. Share your expectations with them. For instance, “When you are done playing with something, you must put it away before picking another.” “If you forget, I will remind you once, and if you forget again, I will put it away for a month, and you won’t access it until the month is over.” You can also allow the children to decide the consequences of not picking up.

Choose Your Words Carefully

If you say, “Clean up,” it is easy for a kid to be overwhelmed by the big mess. Instead, you can say, “Put away the books and then move to the cars.” When you break chores into smaller tasks, you will make it manageable for your little one.

Reward a Job That’s Well Done

How to Encourage Your Child to Clean up After Themselves

Keep a chart in the kitchen or any other noticeable place in the house. As soon as your child finishes cleaning up, give them a sticker to place on the chart. You may also promise a more significant reward once they earn a certain number of stickers. Remember to compliment your child verbally for their hard work.