Thursday, March 10, 2011
Guest Post: Tidy Up Those Kids!
5 TIPS ON HOW TO TEACH YOUR KIDS TO BE TIDY
It is hard to maintain a household with kids and pets, parents would all agree. Cleanliness doesn't have to start and stop with adults in the household, however; it is the parental right to get their children involved in the chores and housework. Not only does it promote good habits, it provides the child with more responsibility and accountability in the family and the house.
Here are some easy tips to get your child involved in household chores and building responsibility:
1. CREATE A SPACE FOR THEIR THINGS
Kids have toys, most often strewn all about the house. It is just as much a potential hazard as it is a hindrance to cleanliness. It is important to share with kids the positives about cleaning up their toys after they are done playing with them. Explain that slipping on a loose toy could cause injury to themselves or others, toys are easily misplaced if they are not tidied up, and that leaving toys down does not show good manners. A toy box works nicely, but is still unorganized; installing low shelving for your children's toys is the best idea. Shelves provide a neat place to store toys and helps to avoid the frustration of searching for a favorite toy in the clutter of a box.
2. CREATE EVERYDAY ROUTINES
We all sleep in beds and should all be held accountable for making them in the mornings. Though it is not a safety hazard and isn't always necessary, making a bed in the mornings is a ritual that is good to start. It teaches the child responsibility and begins building good habits that will last a lifetime. Show the child how to fold sheets and make the bed, placing pillows and stuffed animals on top as tidy touches.
3. TIDYING CAN BE USED FOR LEARNING
Children that have books should be taught to keep them neat and organized. Older children can be taught to separate their books by genre and alphabetically, an invaluable learning tool. Children who enjoy reading and writing can have a corner of the bedroom devoted to school studies and book shelves to help organize.
4. EXPLAIN THAT TIDYING HELPS TOYS LAST LONGER
Younger children love to play with small tinker toys, lego's and building blocks. Older children are more entertained by puzzles and board games, all with small enough pieces to lose. It is important to remind children that cleaning up their toys is not just for cleanliness, it is to keep pieces and games in tact. Losing a puzzle piece could ruin the entire experience, making cleaning up more of a necessity than a chore. Shelving is also a good idea for puzzles, games and buckets of small building blocks or legos.
5. TEACH THEM HOW TO HANDLE THEIR LAUNDRY
Though children may not be old enough to do their own laundry, they can be held responsible for keeping it neat and organized into buckets. Dirty clothes should go into the laundry basket and not on the floor or the end of the bed. If you would like to have the child separate by colors, label different baskets for each and teach the child how to determine what goes where. It will help set good examples for children and provide them with a feeling of success if they continue to work with you.