Cleaning - Other

Tips to Teach your Children to Clean up after themselves

Jane Demerica's image for:
"Tips to Teach your Children to Clean up after themselves"
Image by: 

You can spend endless hours picking up after your children. From clearing the dinner table to cleaning their rooms, kids are notorious for not wanting to clean up their own messes. This is where the motivation factor comes into play. Everyone needs some motivation to get things done. Why should our children be any different?

How to Motivate Kids into Cleaning up after Themselves

From the Beginning

It is important to teach children to clean up after themselves as soon as they are old enough to walk. This will teach them responsibility from the start so that you don't have to break bad habits later. Children are more likely to follow through as they get older if you make it a habit for them now. Not all habits are bad ones.


Toddlers absolutely love to see a sticker chart fill up. It's even better when they get to put the sticker on themselves. After the chart is filled up, take them for a special treat. This is a great motivation factor for little people.

Good Role Models

Children learn from watching their parents. If they see you cleaning up after themselves, they are more likely to follow suit. If they see you "putting it off", they will follow suit and leave it for later. This is a good way to teach your child procrastination at an early age.


You don't have to offer them the world. All you have to do is offer then an activity or the chance to go outside and play if they clean up their mess. It's easy and everyone wins. Your child will learn that if they complete their task it leaves time for the things they want to do.

Dancing With the Dishes

A child will respond better to doing chores if there is fun attached to it. Turn on the music and they can dance while they clean off their plates. Encourage them to make up a song about picking up their toys. Anything that adds a little spice to their tasks will make a child excited to clean up their messes.


Getting an allowance is an important learning tool for children. They learn that in order to get the things they want, they must earn them. Giving your child a set amount of money each week to do certain things around the house will motivate them into cleaning up after themselves.

Who knows what could happen? You children could actually begin to enjoy cleaning up after themselves. They may even begin to clean up after you for a change. All it takes is a little bit of motivation and the skill to carry them through. These good habits will follow them for the rest of their lives. Future wives/husbands of your son/daughter will be grateful to you in the future for raising your son/daughter to be neat and clean. Employers will laud you for raising such conscientious human beings. For now, just be happy that you were able to motivate them into cleaning up their messes so you don't have to.


More about this author: Jane Demerica