Today I want to talk about how to get your kids to clean up without yelling. Yes, it is possible. I wanted to talk about this because everyone is home, houses are getting messy, and anxiety levels are rising (if you’re anything like me).
These are very basic things, but it will take some will power on your part. You can do it!
How to Get Your Kids to Clean Up Without Yelling
Set rules and expectations for every room in the house.
For example, our kitchen and dining room table are covered in school supplies. At the end of the night, all of that has to be cleaned up. The school day will be done, and we’ll have dinner at a clean table.
Make it clear. I want nothing on the floor. Nothing on the tables. Nothing on the counters. “Clean up” is super vague so get specific, write it down, do pictures, or even just take pictures on your phone so your kids have a visual.
Give positive and negative consequences.
Consequences aren’t always bad, they’re just the result of an action. A consequence of turning in your homework is you’re done! If you put away your toys, you’ll be able to find them in the morning. If you don’t put away your toys, I’m going to collect them and throw them all away. Set the consequences for every room of the house. Again, be crystal clear.
You can set these expectations and consequences at around 5 years old. It’s going to be hard, your kids will push back, but you can do it.
Follow through to get your kids to clean up without yelling
This is hard because you don’t want to be a nag or repeat yourself over and over again. You’re only going to say it twice. You’re going to say it the first time: the initial ask. Then, you’re going to do a follow-up. And then, you’re done and the consequence comes.
The timing of this sequence depends on your kids’ age. Younger kids need the asks to be condensed. Older kids can have the initial ask separated from your reminder.
First, set rules and expectations for ONE room. Write down 3-5 rules or expectations for that one room. Then, you’re going to talk to your kids about the rules. You’re going to come up with consequences for that one room and share those with your kids. Tell them you’re not going to yell or ask them multiple times. You’re going to ask them twice: your initial ask and then the follow-up. After that comes the consequence. No yelling.
Tip: For younger kids, I suggest starting with one expectation: nothing on the floor. For my kids who are a little older, I say nothing on the floor, nothing on the table, and tidy lego shelves in the playroom.
Go, start right now!