Do you feel like you repeat the same things over and over and over again to your children, and still see no change? This is the case for me with the children in a number of areas! It’s driving me nuts! This is of special concern with the boys picking up after themselves and putting things back where they belong.
A friend of mine recently told me of a woman who has 6 children and was sick of picking up after them! Looking for a way to illustrate the seriousness of the problem to the children she said to them: “What would happen if each of you took out 5 things a day and did not put them back in their place?” This of course would leave 30 items for her to pick up everyday! This is not including the dishes, cooking, laundry and everything else she has to do, AND homeschool!
As most moms can understand, there is only so much a human being can do!! When my friend told me that it gets even worse when they are teenagers, it got my mind running! My oldest is 9! Something must be done now 😀
This issue of training my children to be organized and tidy is not only necessary for the sanity of everyone in our household now, it is a virtue that will improve the quality of their lives in many areas as they grow older. The Lord values orderliness. We see order in nature and even in the Bible in the way God instructed Noah to build the Ark and Zerubbabel to build the temple. 1 Corinthians 14:40 says “Let everything be done decently and in order”.
In training my boys I have learned that the key is finding a strong enough incentive…usually competition does it! 😀
So, for the next 2 weeks each of my sons starts off the day with 50 cents. Every time they undress, finish eating, finish playing, I go right behind them to see how they left the area they were in. Did they pick up after themselves? Every time they leave behind a mess, they loose 5 cents. Not only do they want to keep their money, but they also don’t want to end up with less money than their other brothers 🙂 What I love best about this method is that the incentive is strong enough that I don’t have to nag or micromanage ..all I have to say is “you just lost 5 cents”!
I know it is not great to use money in certain situations…but I was desperate! So far I am enjoying the results…a cleaner house, with less work from me 😉 I have 2 weeks to implement a better system.
I am working on visuals in different rooms. My favorite that I am working on now is one that will go in their bedroom. It clearly displays what is expected of them in the morning before they come down for breakfast. The incentive here will be food, another strong one. If they want to get food when it is being served they must complete these. I have learned throughout the years that kids need things clearly spelled out! I think this does it!
What methods have worked for you in training your child to be more orderly?