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Tired of always picking up after your kids?  Kids can be a mess but they can also be a real help around the house if they can follow a routine and you work with them.  Children need a routine to help them get through each day effectively.  Simply “telling” your kids to “clean their room” or “clean the bathroom” may not produce great results.  You need to show them how to tidy up, work with them and then continue that routine on a weekly basis.  The age of your child does make a difference in your approach but here are some basic guidelines to help your child develop responsibility while keeping your house tidy at the same time.

  1.  Keep a hamper in the bathroom for dirty clothes.  Encourage your child to use the hamper.  Consistency in your approach is always important.
  2. Encourage your child to make their own bed on a daily basis.  Tell them Mom will be really proud of them if they change the sheets too!  Actually, the changing sheets part may be more appropriate if your child is 22 and living at home.
  3. Work with your kids to clean up on a weekly basis.  Show them how to dust furniture and pick up after themselves.  The key is that you have to work with children and encourage them.  Simply telling a child to do something and not working with them will result in frustration for everyone.
  4. You may even want to show your child how to use a vacuum if he is old enough!  If you have pets, let your child sprinkle a little “pet deodorizer” on the carpet while you are vacuuming.
  5. Remind your children to always put things back where they belong as soon as they are finished using them.

Like most things, getting your kids to clean up after themselves is simply a habit that must be positively reinforced.  Work with your children, encourage them and reward them for excellent results.  Even ten minutes a day is enough to establish a good cleaning routine with your children.  Not only are you preparing them for life in general, you are also strengthening your bond with your child.

Take a positive and consistent approach and you may be pleasantly surprised at what a great helper your child can be around the house!

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