Getting Back To Our Daily Routine:
After a lovely and relaxing long weekend, it is not always easy getting back into our daily routine. They were doing a lot of complaining and resisting. I wanted at the very least get them back into our morning routine because I had company coming over today and we weren’t going to do much after lunch. My plan for today was name writing activity and then they would clean up their very messy room.
This mornings activity is a game of memory. Francisco keeps saying “this game is not good for me. I’m too busy to play.” He refused to play but he was not allowed to leave table, he had to watch me and Sofia play.
During the weekend I don’t stress the kids about cleaning up their room as much as I do during the week. This means on Sunday evening or Monday morning we need to clean their room. When I say we I mean I give instructions and they clean up. It has not always been easy to get my kids to clean, and sometimes we still have a bit of a struggle but like everything else its about consistency and patience.
There are several things you need to think about when cleaning with your kids:
- Their age, you can start cleaning with your kids as early at 18 months. They understand basic directions and they can pick up toys and put them in baskets or a toy box. Of course you can’t expect them to clean up large amounts of toys, its about teaching them the habit of putting away toys after using them.
- You need to have their toys organized in a simple way so it is easy for them to clean up.
- Be consistent, always make them clean up after playing with a toy or at a certain time of the day.
When my oldest son was 3 we went through a time when he had a full on temper tantrum every time we had to clean up. He would cry and lay on the floor and refuse to clean. I knew if I gave in and just did it myself he would always throw and tantrum when it was time to clean, so I was patient and I would calmly help him clean. He wouldn’t be allowed to do anything else until he cleaned up. (I never bribed him, you shouldn’t give them rewards for tasks that are everything responsibilities) I would sit with him and hand him toys and ask him to place them in the bins. Sometimes it would take 5 minutes to clean up 15 blocks, sometimes it would take a half hour. After about a week of never, and I mean never backing down the tantrums stopped. Again its about consistency and patience, if you fight the hard fight from the very beginning and stick with it you will see progress.
Monday Morning Clean Up:
These days when its time to clean up their room I start by sweeping all their toys that are on the floor to the center of the room. I put on some upbeat music and we dance little. Then I have a seat and I start giving them instructions. It can be overwhelming for young kids to clean up a lot of toys, and just telling them to clean up is not enough. I give them small tasks and clear instructions. This weekend they played a lot with their new table top stove, there were kitchen toys and play food everywhere. The first thing I had them do was pick up all the play food and place them in a basket, then they picked up all the kitchen toys and put them in the crate. Of course they got side track a couple of times but I reminded them of their tasks and they got it done. Yes it would have been much faster to clean up their room for them but I am not their maid and at ages 3 & 5 they need to have responsibilities around the house.