You may ask yourself, “How can I motivate my kids to clean their rooms?” You have tried a few different ways to spark your child’s interest, and it hasn’t moved the needle. It may seem easier to clean up everything on your own and hope that down the road, they will decide that they want to help. It’s possible but not probable.
What options do you have left? Asking yourself, “How do I motivate my child to clean?” means that you haven’t given up and are open to suggestions. That’s Awesome! I hear you that it would probably save you time to do it yourself. I have done that too.
But if you aren’t in a time crunch with guests coming over, the extra restraint you use to NOT clean up their room will benefit you and them in the long run.
If they are used to someone doing things for them, and you choose not to cave in and clean their room, it will signal that they are in charge of making it happen. That sounds harsh and demotivating, right?
However, in the hundreds of kids that I have worked with in my classes, many of them tell me that even though they don’t like the process of cleaning, they love the way it feels when it’s done. That’s the same for all of us, isn’t it? That is a motivator for the result. Next is to find motivators to get them started and then stay consistent.
Here are three ways to motivate your child to clean their room and help you out.
Keep it easy
If your child’s room hasn’t been deep cleaned or organized in some time, it can feel overwhelming when they stand back and look at the room as a whole. Have you ever felt like that as an adult? You looked at a space and wondered, “where do I even start?”
The best thing to do is to break down areas that need to be cleaned and keep it as easy of a task as possible. If kids feel overwhelmed, they won’t want to continue.
- Break down tasks into easy and small steps
- Write tasks down or use pictures/visuals
- Work in small time frames, like 10-15-30 minutes
- Take breaks to stay fresh
- Keep cleaning sessions focused
Keep it fun
Is this a trick? How can cleaning and organizing be fun?!?
If we change the way we look at tasks, either they seem difficult or ones we have had a negative experience with, it can change everything. As adults, if something that we didn’t enjoy doing or seemed frustrating, why would we do it again? Why would we expect our kids to feel any different?
Changing our perspective on tasks from negative to positive can change everything!
Most humans like having fun. What if we tried to make everyday tasks and chores fun? I admit there will probably always be tasks I truly despise, like cleaning a bathtub or emptying a vacuum cleaner. But if we break these challenging tasks down, make them more manageable and tolerable.
- Play music while cleaning
- Set a timer and play beat the timer
- Make a game out of cleaning
- Clean together to make it easier
- Use creative rewards
Keep it consistent
It’s typical to start a new habit with momentum and enthusiasm. We all do it at every age. The key to creating a new habit that lasts, like keeping our room picked up, is to be consistent.
- Have a specific day to clean or a specific routine
- Be consistent with keeping tasks fun and easy
- Use a chart to help stay on track and know what needs to be done
- Take a cleaning class each week!
It may not always be easy to get our children to clean, organize, and help us at home. It is worth the effort in the end to find ways to encourage our kids, hold them accountable, AND not expect perfection. Kids’ ideas of being clean and organized may not be the same way we visualize things being clean and organized. It takes time.
We can be role models and good influences by taking care of our own space. I loved it when I would take on an organizing project, then see my kids decide they wanted to do their room.
Keep it easy, keep it fun, and be consistent. This will help to motivate your child to clean!