Did you know that messy people have a more developed I.Q. than others?
It’s true, a messy environment is stimulating for the brain: it helps to make connections between the visual information and its memory to find the sought after objects.
However, it is important for children to learn how to tidy their room from a very young age. A clean space is a safe environment which promotes discovery and creativity; in addition, tidying up your room teaches the child to take responsibility and feel useful.
Children and storage: to keep in mind
First of all, if you want to avoid a messy room, you must also avoid accumulating unnecessary objects. Do your children really need dozens of toys? Bet on quality rather than quantity, and regularly make a shift to create a sense of novelty.
Your little ones need to tidy up, but do they have the tools to do it? Make sure they have bins, shelves and drawers within reach to make it easier for them to work and avoid wasting time. Identify each container or box according to the toys that need to be placed there.
Let’s be honest, nobody likes to spend their day tidying up. Why not define a clean-up time period for the whole family? That way, your children will learn how to organize their time and how to differentiate between playtime and clean-up time.
In addition, children learn by looking at their parents. If you have a negative attitude every time you have to clean up, you will send your children the message that doing the housework is an unpleasant activity. So stay positive, and your kids will learn to do the same!
Finally, we must put aside any aggressive attitude, such as cries, threats or punishments, which will be useless and will harm the esteem of the child. Instead, bet on a positive approach based on self-help and self-confidence.
A technique for every age
Yes, teaching a child how to tidy up a room is possible, providing you adapt your teaching method according to your child’s age.
1 year: Learn by example
Show your children where each toy should be put away, and do it with them so they can learn by mimicking your actions.
2 years: Offer choices
Suggest to your children that they choose which toy they want to put away first; they will feel responsible and in control of the situation.
3 years: Offer help
Doing it together is faster and more fun!
4 years: Give one instruction at a time
“Tidy up your room” can seem dizzying; ask your children to start with their Legos, for example, and then continue with the dolls, books, etc.
5 years and older: Solidifying good habits
Your child now understands the importance of tidying up their room, but that doesn’t mean they always want to clean up! The key is making clean-up time a fun moment!
How to make storage more fun for kids
Nothing is more entertaining than a good old fashioned race; will they be able to store their toys in less than 5 minutes?
Transform your children into pirates who must collect treasures (toys) in their trunks, or put music and ask them to tidy up as the song plays, and freeze when it stops.
Instead of sorting by type of game or toy, instead, suggest that your children sort by colour or shape.
With a little patience, teaching your children how to tidy their room is a lot easier than you might think! Adapt your approach according to the age of your child, make the moment fun and stay positive, and you will see immediate results!
What are your best tips for teaching your kids to tidy up their room?