It’s never too early to teach your kids the power of self care, not that they understand the topic quite yet. But teaching kids healthy lifelong habits from a young age will ensure that they maintain them through adulthood.
Creating a zen oasis will not only help your child, but quite honestly it will take a lot off of your plate as well. Here are the five varying methods to give yourself, and your family, peace of mind and a relaxing oasis in every space of your home, hidden or not. The key of all these is consistency and descriptiveness.
1. Keep clothes and toys off the floor
Now, this will vary depending on your parenting style, but there are two methods that have worked for others: reward versus punishment.
Tell your child(ren) that for every article of clothing, or every toy on the floor, found at the end of the day will result in an earlier bedtime. You should get rather specific with this: one sock is 5 minutes early, a pair of pants is 10 minutes early, and so on. Many children have a fascination with their bedtimes and hate going to bed early– of course many of them also can’t tell time.
An alternative is to offer a reward, if their room is clean at the end of the night they get a dollar or a dessert of some kind– this is totally up to you! All you need to be sure of is that you are consistent, otherwise your kid will find the loophole– as they normally do!
2. Work side-by-side
As you probably know, you are your child’s favorite role model. Teach them to keep a clean space by showing them that you do too! Have them help you when you clean your own room or their room, giving them more and more responsibility each time. You’ll want to be as specific as possible with your instructions - pick up your yellow shirt and put it in the laundry basket, and definitely make sure that the tasks are age appropriate (i.e. don’t have your toddler fold your laundry). Praise is especially important here as they look up to you! This method is slower, but has long term effects.
3. Delay gratification
For children who love bouncing around and running through toys and games like a tornado, or who have a favorite TV show, delayed gratification can be an extremely helpful method.
Simply set aside certain games, shows, activities that they can only do when their room is clean. This will push them to keep their space clean because as we know there is nothing children like to do more than their favorite things.
4. Write it down & offer stickers
Set up a chore chart, either in your kitchen or their room. Write down daily tasks your son/daughter needs to do such as picking up toys, picking up clothes, organizing their shoes– easy things. Then the chart itself can have stickers that they can put up when the task is complete. This will keep them accountable and is great for visual learners.
5. Keep it or give it
Keep the mess from becoming too overwhelming by teaching your child the importance of minimalism. They often want new things, this we know, but by establishing a rule that for every new item an old item has to be donated, they may think twice! This method will teach them the importance of cherishing what they have.