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I don’t know about you, but I cannot stand begging my kids to clean their room. There is nothing worse than fighting your kids tooth and nail to get them to clean their room, only to give up and go in and do it for them in the end. Who has time for that? Not me! My husband’s dad used to go in and clean his room for him while he was at school, he would come home from school and the “cleaning fairy” had come and gone. Well, there is no cleaning fairy in my house but I will share how to get your kids to clean their room without a fight.
Don't Fight Your Kids To Clean Their Room
I have tried it all! I have tried timers. I have tried bribing my kids with stickers and treats. I have locked them in their rooms and told them “you cannot come out until your room is clean” and guess what? None of those things worked. Kids have a some serious stamina and have the ability to outlast their parents on any battle. Well, aren’t you sick of fighting with your kids just to get them to clean their room? I know I was.
The first thing I do to prevent the battle of the clean room is to make sure the kids pick up a little before bedtime each night. It’s important to establish routines that will promote cleanliness in the first place. My kids hang up their towel, put their clothes in the hamper and pick up toys before bedtime. One of my kids is great at this and the other, not so much. Even still, a little bit of routine during the week will go a long way.
Weekend Means Motivation
Then the weekend comes and you now have something to hang over their heads! The first thing my kids want to do when they wake up in the morning on the weekends is to head straight toward the television. During warmer months, they head straight for the trampoline. Here is how you get your kids to clean their room without a fight. They have a checklist that must be completed before they have access to any electronics or are allowed to play outside.
Here’s why this is genius. I don’t have to beg my kids to clean their room. In fact, I don’t even have to ask them to do it. They might ask if they can go play with a neighbor, or might ask to play nintendo and my answer is “as soon as your list is done”. Suddenly, they are motivated to check off their list! Now, sometimes they may not be motivated right away to get cracking at that list, but that’s okay because when they find something to motivate them they will be chopping away at that list before you know it. It really is that simple.
If my son is feeling particularly contrary and wants to dig his heals in, that’s his choice. He is ultimately punishing himself by not completing his list. He can’t be angry at me. I didn’t take anything away from him; he chose not to earn his playtime. You see, it’s kind of like reverse psychology. In the past, he would have privileges taken away for not cleaning his room or following requests. Now, he is rewarded for doing so. It’s the age old positive behavior reinforcement system. It really does work. If it isn’t broke, why fix it?
The key is to keep the list short. It is important that your child can feel success from completing their list. If the task is too daunting, they will feel like it’s impossible and won’t engage in the process. For some, just the pure joy of being able to check something off the list is enough intrinsic reward! Good luck! Grab your free printable below and get your kids to clean their room without a fight.