My children have chores, as you know from reading various of my past posts, and one of their chores is to clean their bedrooms. This is a do-every-day chore.
Now, I’m sure that your kids are NOTHING like mine, because I’m sure that your kids know how to clean their bedrooms to spic-n-span without any help. But, my kids apparently can’t see things. They apparently don’t notice some of the mess. Well, this led to some not happy kids and some not happy parents. You see, a parent telling my kids that they need to work some more doesn’t always go over well. Sometimes, my kids get frustrated and upset. But, I found a fix! I found a way to ensure that my kids rooms get clean, without a fight. In fact, they work harder than they ever have. They know what’s going to happen. This is my simple tip: take pictures of their work.
So, my kiddos have to report when their room is clean. It used to be that reporting meant that one of the parents would have to go check, and say “Ohh, I think that the area around your desk needs to be cleaner”, or, “I notice that your bed isn’t made”. And, sometimes, that led to arguments. “My desk IS clean!” “My bed is made!” Now, I know that your kids aren’t like mine, and they would never do that, but mine do.
Now, instead of sending a parent up to do the dirty work, I just take the camera up, and take pictures. I then invite my child to come ‘look’ at the pictures with me. I normally start with good things. “Oh, see how nicely your bed is made.” “Yay, there are no clothes in your dirty clothes hamper.”
Then, I might have one or two pictures of an area that needs improvement. Instead of me telling them, the conversation goes like this:
“What do you see in this picture?”
“What should you see in this picture?”
I do that with the areas that need improvement. Notice, I didn’t tell them what they needed to fix. They told themselves. And, then they know that it has to be fixed.
This has worked wonders for us. The kids work to make sure that I won’t be able to find any ‘needs improvement’ areas. They want me to only find ‘excellent areas’. And, when I do find a needs improvement area, they know what it is and how to fix it. They then hurry to to fix it, because they know that I will check again.
This one little trick has helped my family A LOT. My kids don’t argue with me or Mommy Crusader about cleaning their room anymore. They do better the first time around, and they know how to quickly fix the ‘needs improvement’ areas.