Does just the thought of that bring you a happy feeling or one of frustration and a deep thought of how you can motivate them to clean? I sent my children to go clean their room and the game room and here is what I hear after 30 minutes. My two youngest are playing around and laughter and eventually crying due to someone getting hurt. Then my two oldest are silent. I hear absolutely nothing from them. They have learned that mom will get focused on something else and have high hopes they are doing what they are supposed to and proceed to go in my room and watch television quietly.
As a parent it is always nice to hold out hope that your children are learning cleaning skills and you can focus on another part of the house and things can get done quicker. We might be holding out hope for a very long time. As I have looked for tips on how to motivate my children to clean in a positive way instead of the garbage bag, loss of rights, grounding, tears, screaming, frustration, fighting and then just giving up I once read that it is best to work with your children. To put a focused effort into making things look good as a family. It is teaching them to work together instead of a punishment and sending them away from you. Most children want to spend time with their parents and family when they are young. This can instill family together time as they become teenagers. The bottom line might be that they don't know where to put things or what to really do to make things clean and they might have just as many frustrations.
I remember reading that and thinking that was just a frustrating tip. In fact, I closed down the article and felt that didn't apply to me and they were living in an idealistic world. Then as I think back on my memories as a child of cleaning and working in the yard some of my fondest memories are working together. The laughter, stories and learning to work as a team are things that have stuck with me. Then I think on the better times of getting my own home clean and it seems to me that when we have worked together it has seemed to be the most positive experience.
So, as I am sitting here typing this blog with most frustration of getting the house clean I am realizing it is time to take my own advice and go work as a team and see what happens. More than likely it will turn out to be a positive experience. Maybe I can make positive working memories for my children like my parent's did for me.
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