Are you fighting this fight almost everyday? It’s a constant battle, right?
I have asked nicely, yelled, cleaned it for them, begged, bribed…you name it, I’ve tried it! You too? So why do we still go at it asking them to please clean their room? Is it because we are neat freaks? Because we want them to be neat freaks? Do we want to have control over their room? What is your real reason??
For me, I just felt like I was supposed to make them clean their room everyday because I’m the parent. Back in the day, that’s how it was. You woke up and make your bed, put your clothes away, and cleaned up your toys. When I was a kid I hated cleaning my room! Actually, I still don’t like cleaning!! Cleaning is not fun for us, so it’s probably not fun for them. But the nagging on top of it makes the process even less fun.
So, I finally stopped asking them to clean.
You know what happened, right? They still didn’t clean it 🙂 But it helped me when I let go of the need for them to do it. I saw that in their head, the game or story they were playing hadn’t ended yet. It continues tomorrow so why would they want to start over? Of course I also don’t want them to get hurt or lose things, but they love to play and use their imagination. And that gets messy.
Do you now what happened the next day? The game/story was over and they cleaned up all on their own. Because they wanted to.
I’m not suggesting you never ask your child to do a chore or clean up after themselves. I’m offering my story because it might inspire a new way of handling things in your home too. Maybe we ask our kids to at least condense the mess until tomorrow. Or decide that on Sunday they clean up everything to start the week fresh. Find what works for you AND your kids. Include them in the discussion and teach them to compromise. This helps them think about what they want, consider what you are asking, and learn to come up with solutions. Be on your child’s team!
So I hope this also motivates you to look at other areas that could help your relationship with your children. Allow them to express themselves. Encourage them to be who they want to be today. It will give them the freedom to find who they are going to be in this world and it gives you freedom to enjoy watching their journey.