Clean your room! PLEASE

Teenage Boy Choosing Clothes From Wardrobe In BedroomDoes this sound familiar? Always nagging, always having to ask your kids to do their part… and then complaining when they forget? Not only do you complain; you DO what they were supposed to DO while mumbling & even perhaps cursing under your breath! I wish the kids would just happily do their chores. Is that too much to ask?

However, if I really think about it… it makes “some” sense that my kids don’t like to do chores or work around the house. Neither do I! I am not one of “those” people that find cleaning a stress reliever. I would much rather be doing something else… anything else. But alas, certain things just need to get done.

When the kids were young, I pulled all the tricks out. I made tidying fun!  We would sing songs like the von Trapp family and tidy up… the kids would help in the kitchen and they would set the table. Everything was turned into a big fun learning experience.

However, things changed.  No matter how loud I play the music, the kids have caught on to my tactics. You would think that habits stick right? Well life gets busy & honestly I’ve become lax. We are in a rush most days and it’s just easier if I do it.

Or is it? Am I quietly becoming resentful? Am I depriving them of learning much needed life skills? Oh we certainly can’t have this!

I’ve decided that even if I have to ask, I mean remind them to help; everyone is going to have a role to play, kids included! family of three with  boy cleaning  in  room

I think my “ah ha” moment was just recently when after a great family dinner the kids retreated to the family room… It struck me hard like a lightening bolt… “How is this that they are sitting and we are left to clean up?” I call the kids over to help (I should add calmly… although I wasn’t feeling all that calm!). They actually didn’t really put up a fuss. We finished quicker and then got to all relax together. Uh! It works…

These reminders are now part of my everyday vocabulary. “Come set the table”; “Please put the utensils out”; “Would you like to clear the table or put the dishes in the dishwasher?”;  “Do you want to dust or vacuum?”

I find if I provide choices or we chat about what needs to be done, the kids are more likely to DO the chore (…with less complaining) and be more successful at it.

I’m doing pretty well lately. Why just last week my son remembered to bring the recycling boxes in before I had to remind him. I am still hopeful that my reminders will be less and less… but I’m not really worried about it.

Chores helps kids understand that being part of a family involves contributing to the smooth running of a home. Here are some tips to help to get your kids to help around the house.

  • Give simple reminders in a calm manner.
  • Include the kids in discussions & give them choices.
  • Allow for flexible time frames. It’s not always necessary that chores be done immediately. Giving kids flexibility within time frames helps them be more successful.
  • Praise them. Kids want to feel like they are contributing to the family.
  • Do not expect perfection. They are still learning.
  • Be consistent. Otherwise, you may find yourself back in the situation of doing all chores.
  • Think of using charts. These can be useful to some & used as a reminder.

What has worked for you?

  • Leave us a comment below
  • Tweet with us @haltonparents
  • Email us at haltonparents@halton.ca
  • Call the HaltonParents line for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for almost 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 10 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my teen son & pre-teen daughter with my hubby in Halton.
This entry was posted in Mental Health, Parenting, school health, School-aged Children, Teens and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Clean your room! PLEASE

  1. Pingback: Considering the collapse of parenting | HaltonParents

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