What Is That Smell?!
|Written by: Pamela Cole Harris |
Submitted On: 2/13/2004
|"WHAT'S THAT SMELL?!" WHEN IT'S TIME TO TEACH A CHILD TO CLEAN!|
Copyright 2003/2004 Pamela Cole Harris
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
When you call 9-1-1 because there is a distinct and
suspicious odor about the neighborhood, and the culprit
turns out to be two pairs of sneakers, three pairs of under-
wear and a dozen or more hot dog remnants of unknown
origin and vintage found under your child’s bed, it’s past
time to get your child’s room organized!
When your child gets lost in the mounds of clutter on the
journey from the bed to the door, it’s past time to teach
your child to organize himself!
But if you haven’t reached that stage yet, there is still hope!
Here are some tips to help you teach your children tidiness
1) Your child learns by example. If the only clear area of
your home is the path from the sofa to the television to the
refrigerator and back, then it’s time to commit to organizing
your home! Make the process a family project so that your
children can learn that everyone must pitch in to keep the
2) Establish a routine and stick with it! Teach your child that
beds are made and toys are picked up every day. It is easier
for a child to keep a room tidy a little every day, rather than
be faced with a huge mess all at once.
3) Provide plenty of storage -- shelves, plastic storage
containers, hampers, etc. Use a plastic storage unit made
for storing garden tools in the child’s room. Attach laundry
bags in colorful colors to the hooks meant for rakes and
shovels. Spray paint in a cheerful color to match the room.
Voila! A fun storage area!
4) Reward your child’s cleaning and organizing efforts with
fun! Make a checklist of tasks with a reward when the tasks
are completed such as permission to watch a favorite show,
listen to a favorite CD, time to play a favorite computer game
or a special story time with you. Simple rewards such as
these will provide an incentive to keep up the good work!
Make a game of cleaning! This works especially well with
young children. A game of “Pick Up” to see which of you
can pick up more clothes within a certain time limit or a
game of “Hide the Clothes in the Hamper” will make
5) Be specific. Telling a child to “clean that room” can set
the stage for failure and frustration. The task may seem
overwhelming! But telling your child to pick up the clothes
which are on the floor allows your child to focus in on a
specific, achievable task.
6) Limit the amount of “stuff” your child has. Once a month,
go through your child’s room together and give toys that
have been tired of and clothes that have been outgrown
and are no longer needed to those less fortunate. Not only
will your child’s room stay cleaner, but they will learn a
valuable lesson in sharing and giving.
Although you may think it inevitable, the process of keeping
your child’s clean need not be a war! If you are consistent
with the rules of tidiness, your child will learn what is
expected and do it (eventually!). If you are inconsistent,
you have already lost the battle! Better stock up on flash-
lights and compasses in case you need to find your way
to their closet!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
--Pamela Cole Harris is an editor and writer with 35 years
experience. Visit http://www.all-homeandgarden.com for
casual decorating ideas for a kid-friendly home. Or for
unique content for your website, written especially for
your keywords and audience, visit her online at: