Sometimes getting our kids to help clean or organize seems like a task from another planet.
It seems I've tried almost everything to get my kids involved in family cleanup and organization....and having done almost all of it for them when they were younger -- well, this did not help things.
But here we are three weeks before summer break with me being a stay at home, work at home single mother of two in a two bedroom apartment. So one can just imagine. My ex will have my kids for part of the summer, but I can see that some organization is going to need to be in order.
The first step we've taken is to put a white board and cork boards up in the kids bedroom.....along with a set in the main living area. This way each day I can put a list of things for them to get done by a certain time....this has been a challenge in our house. We've also attached a card with a short list of everyday things that need to be done. I've found that writing things down helps on the frustraion level of getting my kids to help out and they know what is expected without me having to re-tell them.
The next step was to clean their room -- how many mothers can make their way to the laundry basket in a two child room? A few hours were put aside each day after school for getting their room clean and organized...but not too many hours as to where they would have no playtime. After all, kids do not get enough playtime at school these days -- or at least to my way of thinking, but fun is a "big" thing to us...so I guess playtime is too.
Then organizing the schedule and time....which takes looking at the summer schedule. I like to get my thoughts organized ahead of time and get a mind-set for things...putting things down on paper seems to help a lot too -- not only for organizing time but also events, items, grocery lists, chores, almost everything. I have found if I can sit down at the beginning of the week....have some "free think" time and just write things down that need to be done -- then divide out of that list what "needs" to be done and the "wants" -- then schedule what "needs" to be done on what day, when....then I can put my wants in.....this is usually really helpful. But my main thing is "to have Peace"....I don't like a bunch of clutter, even in my day because it takes away the Peace....and I have found that Peace and Joy are the most important. I like to keep things fun, plain and simple.
After school and evenings go so much smoother now....especially since I like to have lots of freedom at our house...but I've also found I like my kids to clean up after themselves and to help out too.
Sometimes it's hard to find new ideas to get the kids involved in cleaning and organizing.....especially when they want to do other things. We always like to look for new, fun ways to get everyone involved.....plus other ways to just plain have fun.
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