It's no secret that the older they get, the more your children's room looks more and more like a natural disaster zone. Even those that are brought up with daily household responsibilities start to slip a little in their later years (at least we did!). Instead of threatening them with punishment, try these 5 proactive tips instead!
1. Sincere Praise: Although it sounds cheesy and a little June Cleaver, sincere honest praise is our first go to strategy. At an age where everything seems slightly negative and most are extremely self-conscious, telling your kids they did a great job or simply saying thanks... goes a long way.
2. Bribery: Although our first suggestion was heartfelt and honest, skipping straight to bribery feels like a bit of a cop out, but lets be honest, there's a time and a place for everything and sometimes a clean room without complaint is a great thing... even if it only cost you a few more practice runs when it comes to driving or a few movie tickets (pre-bought and stuck to the refrigerator for reinforcement).
3. Organizational Incentives: As kids mature, they really start to come into their own. The baby toys are for the most part gone and "cooler" things are starting to come into their lives. Having a great place to store or display such things can be a big motivator. Try a new shelf, desk accessories or super funky mirror! It works for adults, why not teens?
4. Encourage Reduction: Although kids of the teen and tween era are more into keeping things and having "stuff," teaching them the art of de-cluttering and detaching can go a long way to keeping a space tidy. Even when some weeks feel like a blur between practices and clubs, meetings and sports, when there isn't much stuff in a room to dirty up, things stay relatively tidy, leaving little work to do.
5. Mega-Breakfast: Even though sleeping in becomes a fine art once you hit Jr. High, that doesn't mean their bodies don't need fuel for the day. Promise a super-star breakfast (or nostalgic one) if said chores, acts or things to be cleaned can be done before morning. It's amazing what a 16 year old boy will do for sausages and a short stack of pancakes (even if you threw in a few with smiley faces just like old times).
Do you have a great tip or persuasive method that works in your own home? Do you offer to let them have sleepovers? Restrict TV watching? What got you motivated when you were that age? Share your thoughts in the comments below!