Kids and Parenting (The Mommy Blog Portion of This Shitshow I Call a Blog) · Uncategorized

Kid Focus January: Clean Up

I was going to do a post about my Parenting New Years Resolutions, but I feel like I need to improve on EVERYTHING. It’s easier to focus on one thing at a time. Instead of dragging out my laundry list of “To Dos” and getting overwhelmed, I’m going to Gretchen Rubin this thing, and deal with one behaviour/project/endeavour a month.

January is “Teach My Kids to Clean Up After Themselves” Month, chosen  because an hour ago I was literally yelling at my oldest who refused to mop up the water she (intentionally) spilled all over her bedroom floor. I gave her this whole guilt trip  about how Mommy has no time to play because I’m always cleaning up after her. I was screaming, sighing, jabbing my finger in her direction… It was bad, guys. It was bad.

I am fairly consistent with making my kids clean up any big, obvious messes they’ve made. Real messes – slop on the table, cheerios on the floor….


But for things like cleaning bedrooms, picking up toys, etc, I am not on the ball at all. We have a Toy Jail for things that are left lying around, but I use it randomly. More often than not, I follow my children around like a martyr, tidying up the messes they make. I’m tired of it.

January’s focus,then, is essentially to remove myself from the task of cleaning up after my children. The baby is obviously going to need some help tidying up, but the 4 year-old is more than capable of taking care of herself. I’m on strike.

By the end of January, I want my children to:

  • Clean up after themselves without being reminded or nagged to death before they do it.
  • Have a set list of chores they are responsible for completing each day.
  • Incorporate a “tidy up” time into their daily routine.

The Idea behind this “Kid Focus” thing is to check in once a week to let you know what I’ve been doing to achieve these goals, and how we’re doing. My first step is to sit Butterbean down and CALMLY explain that I feel mad and frustrated when I have to clean her messes, and come up with some solutions together. I’m hoping if she has some input into her role in this project, she’ll be more enthusiastic about putting it into action. Wish me luck!

How do you encourage your children to tidy up/do chores?


4 thoughts on “Kid Focus January: Clean Up

    1. Alyson Schafer is my hero. Thank you for “introducing” me to her! I used “looks like you have a job to do” on Whitney once, and she ate it up. She even told Chase she had a job to do. So cute! I need to get back to my Adlerian tricks…

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