Clean Your Room: A Guide to Teaching Kids Responsibility
Maintaining a clean room is important for kids’ health and development. Their sense of independence and ability to handle responsibility can also be tied to how neatly they keep their living spaces. When kids are able to clean and organize their rooms, they’re refining the skills that are necessary to live independently when they become adults. Participating in chores can also teach kids about choices, consequences, hard work, and financial responsibility. With so many advantages to introducing children to chores, the decision to teach children about the importance of cleaning shouldn’t be swept under the rug.
Ideally, parents should begin instructing children about how to clean their rooms when they’re about two years old. One of the fastest and easiest ways to teach children how to pick up after themselves is to lead by example. Kids pick up behavioral cues from the adults in their environment, so if you’d like to raise a tidy child, you should adopt regular cleaning habits. Consider creating a list of chores that will result in a clean room. Give your child choices of which tasks to perform, and then clean together. A benefit of this technique is that it can result in active instruction and help kids learn the right way to keep their living spaces tidy.
Cleaning a room can improve a child’s self-esteem. The sense of accomplishment that comes from taking an active role in cleaning and finishing the job can give kids the impression that they’re capable of completing important tasks. Since cleaning is an activity that most adults engage in, children who take on and finish cleaning chores may feel like they’re coming into their own adulthood sooner, rather than later. This can increase their perception of independence and can also give them a sense of pride in a job well done. To help encourage good self-esteem in your child and increase the chances that chores will be looked upon without resentment, offer verbal praise when a job has been done well. Avoid expecting that kids will perform their chores perfectly, as this can result in less enthusiasm for the activity later.
If you reward your kids with money for maintaining a clean room, you’ll have the opportunity to teach your kids fiscal responsibility. Rewarding children with allowances for chores can instill a respect for hard work and an appreciation for money. Kids who are introduced to these concepts at a young age are more likely to spend conservatively and less likely to suffer from entitlement. These two things can make surviving the teenage years easier for both parents and adolescents. Should you prefer to reward your kids without the use of money, consider granting them more freedoms. Small children may be allowed to change their rooms’ looks as they please, while older kids may enjoy later curfews.
Psychologically, a clean room may have a welcome, unintended affect on contrary or challenging kids. Studies have shown that clean and orderly environments inspire morality and good behavior. They have also been linked to clearer thinking. Given this, instilling the importance of a neat room in children can be a direct investment in their social makeup and decision-making processes. When kids have clean rooms, they’re more capable of making good choices for themselves and good decisions about their environments.
In addition to teaching kids about responsibility, requiring that they keep a clean room can help protect their health. Children who suffer from respiratory problems like allergies or asthma can only benefit from having a tidy room in which to live and breathe. Maintaining a dust- and irritant-free living space can help kids realize that their actions can have a direct and immediate effect on their health. When they recognize the connection between good health and a clean environment, they’ll be more apt to maintain it. When this habit follows them into adulthood, they’ll be able to take responsibility for every aspect of their surroundings.
To learn more about how chores can teach kids responsibility and independence, visit the following links:
- Teaching Responsibility to Your Children Through Chores
- Responsibility: Raising Children You Can Depend On
- Advice on Teaching Children Responsibility
- 10 Great Ways to Teach Children Responsibility (PDF)
- Why Parents Should Assign Chores to Kids (PDF)
- Chores and Responsibility
- Parenting: Raise Independent Children
- Age-Appropriate Chores for Children
- Lack of Household Chores Makes Children Less Responsible
- Chores Teach Kids Responsibility
- Simple Chores Can Teach Kids Independence
- Positive Reinforcement and Rewards (PDF)
- Tips for Getting Kids to Clean Their Rooms
- Creating an Asthma-Safe Home
- Research Shows Clean Smells Promote Moral Behavior