Summer is approaching, and for us here in Hawaii we feel it’s already here! The sun is out, and it’s HOT! Nothing will beat a refreshing swim, splash around the pool, or out-back play with the hose. We have beach days, BBQ’s , family fun events, late nights playing. But on top of all this fun, life can get a little messy. Feeling frustrated with the toys all over the floor in the living room, the kids room, oh and the bathroom play toys? The clothes from yesterdays beach day are still sprawled out all over. Did I just step on that leftover gummy snack I gave the kids this afternoon? Now that your regular schedule with school is coming to an end, this may look like a familiar dilemma and a headache!
Cleaning up is a hard task to get kids to do, especially when summer rolls around as they JUST WANT TO PLAY! Here at Speech Solutions, we know that a messy day develops into a messy week, and hence the cycle continues. We believe there might be a very strong correlation between good behavior and an organized lifestyle. We’d love to offer a few reminder tips to keep the kids organized, and hopefully encourage positive behavior-and hey, less work for you!
1. Keep yourself organized! Nothing like leading by example to help your kids understand that clean-up time is serious business. If your life is a mess, why would they want to clean up their mess?
2. Be consistent! Don’t ask them to clean their mess one day, then let the next five days slide. If they are going to learn the discipline of being an organized child, it needs to be clear that this is a lifestyle!
3. There is nothing wrong with rewarding your child for cleaning up! Non-material rewards are always favored by us…beach time, movie night , reading their favorite book, etc…But, hey if a sweet treat does the trick that works too.
4. Try to stay away from clean-up time as a negative task. Avoid threats “If you don’t clean your room right now, you get time out. “ Try instead, “Once you clean your room, we can watch the last episode of Dora the Explorer” . Maintain the concept that keeping clean can lead to a good life, with good outcomes.
5. Some kids work best with schedules. Some work best with categories. Some work well with timers. When it comes to your child with special needs you may need to find your child’s learning style- and use that to help them learn to clean-up. For instance, if your child works best with a schedule, create a checklist of things to clean. If your child needs motivation with a timer-set it 15 minutes and yell go! Help them clean everything up as fast as you can! Or maybe, cleaning all the red things, all the blue things will be more fun. The options are endless.
6. Say NO to tantrums-from day one! This requires some tough love! Most kids associate cleaning as a negative chore. As soon as they hear “clean-up”, often a tantrum follows. The more you give in, the more they learn how to take control of the situation. Give praise, reward and help them understand that tantruming is not the way to get out of something they don’t like. Offer to help, but it is strongly discouraged to clean up for them!
6. Patience is a virtue! As adults, we have figured out (well sometimes) how to efficiently clean up after ourselves, our significant other maybe, and of course our kids. We are professional cleaners compared to the little ones. But kids need to be taught….and it may take a little longer than normal for them to get the job done. Be patient and forgiving!
Check out our Pinterest Board for some great ideas and tips from parents all over!