Monday, June 6, 2011

Training Littles How to Tidy

Children are not born knowing how to tidy up a room. Don't laugh; that was a revelation for me when I only had littles!
I noticed something when I told my kids to tidy up: they would look around at all the mess and have no idea where to start. So I taught them.
Try this:
Take them to their bedroom and plop yourself on their bed. Then tell them, "You put away all the books and you put away all the shoes." When they finish, they'll probably stand in front of you, silently asking: "What next?" So tell them.
"Now, you straighten up the books and you put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket." (The more kids in a room, the faster this goes. ;) )
Keep telling them what items to put away until the room is clean. Plan to sit on the bed and do the same thing every day for a week or two. Try to avoid a sarcastic tone that says: Good heavens, aren't you picking up on the pattern yet?
No, no, that won't help. (I'm ashamed to admit how I know this.)
After awhile of you training them to break down a room into parts, they are no longer overwhelmed by the huge mess, because they know how to tidy it up! Once you see that they are consistently doing it on their own (which you know because you're still supervising them), then move onto another room for new training.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23-24


Nealy said...

You can also make it a different kind of learning game. Annie, you pick up all the red shirts and put them in the hamper. Bobby, you pick up all the blue shirts and put them in the hamper. Carla, you pick up three toys and take them to the playroom. Doug, you pick up four toys...and so on.

Bobbi said...

Hi, Ginger! Great post and OH SO TRUE! Once they get the hang of it, life is so much easier! After mine have been trained and have either themselves learned to read or have a sibling who can, I give them a detailed list of what should be done to have a 'clean' room (I have a list of what starting with 'decluttering', moving into what is to be dusted with what products, what is to be organized, etc. It spells it out and then they put the initals of what child did what job in the room. It takes the guess work out for the kids, and also allows me to see who did what to make sure it is done well...and everyone did their share!

MommaofMany said...

Baby steps for baby people!