One thing that has really stressed me out in the last year or so is getting my kids to clean the family room and other areas they play in.
I have tried everything such as…
Putting all the toys in a big box and they have to “earn” them back one by one. I saw this idea on Dr. Phil. Did not work with my kids. They joyfully helped me put all the toys in a box. Out of sight. Out of mind. They did not really miss them.
I tried being more laid back.
I tried being more of a drill sergeant.
I set timers.
I attempted to make “cleaning” fun with jumpy peppy music.
Yesterday we picked up my oldest from school and I told the kids three areas needed to be cleaned before supper: the family room, eating area, and upstairs playroom. No TV watching would occur of any kind until they were cleaned. They cleaned from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM with very little assistance from me. They did a wonderful job. Wow. How did this happen?
The only solution I have found is
#1) Our kids are a little older. I used to have too high expectation for three year olds and even four year olds.
A couple weeks ago my husband started having the kids clean every single day. They like to play in the eating area because naturally there is where my husband and I spend most of our time. This area needs to be cleaned daily. It is part of their route around 4:00 PM to clean it and get ready for supper. The family room gets cleaned around the same time every two to three days. Bedrooms get cleaned about twice a week.
We used to clean right before bedtime. I found everyone was too tired including me. We settled for a half effort job. It often turned into a battle of the wills. For now, after breakfast and right before supper are the prime cleaning times. It makes the evenings after supper more relaxing for everyone. They expect it now and it’s part of their routine. And the house is staying cleaner.