Me: Micah, what’s your favorite color?
Micah: Ummm . . . I wike . . . ponies.
Kid logic is awesome, isn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t want to live in a world where octopus arms are “testicles,” muscle scouts means brussels sprouts, and duh-boo-boo stands for the letter “W”? If you ask me, it makes perfect sense that seagulls should formally be recategorized as “beach chickens,” and pistachios should become mustachios.*
The thing is, with all the awesomeness going on in their brains, kids may find certain tasks like, oh, picking up their toys, a little boring. No fear, here are 16 steps you can take to help them get things done.
How To Get Kids To Clean Their Rooms In 16 Easy Steps
Step 1: Kindly ask the children to “please” clean their room.
Step 2: Remind them that the room WILL be cleaned, either by you or by them. Let them know that you charge $15 an hour. If they can’t afford your services, offer to help them sell their toys at a steep discount to pay for your labor.
Step 3: Sing your freshly written lyrics for the Frozen song “Let it Go” in which you tell them to put away their blocks or they’ll have to let them go.
Step 4: Dress up as Mother Gothel from Tangled and tell them they can’t leave the tower until the room is clean.
Step 5: Briefly lay out your plan to sell off all of their prized possessions to pirates. Draw a treasure map showing their toys dangling above a pit of hungry crocodiles.
Step 6: Pull any children’s book down from the shelf and read your child a story about children who love to clean their rooms. Make up the words as you go.
Step 7: Padlock their favorite movie inside a transparent box. Tell them that the clues needed to unlock a special movie night will appear as they clean their room.
Step 8: Take a break and draw together. Draw pictures of big, smiling faces and sad, frowny faces. “Guess which child has cleaned their room?”
Step 9: Mention that once the toys are picked up you might go out to buy some grass-fed ice cream and a new pet goat. Get creative here.
Step 10: Hire a neighbor to dress up as your favorite child’s superhero. Have your child audition for sidekick with the test being super room cleaning powers.
Step 11: Ask them if they heard the news story about the giant mice that are taking over dirty playrooms across the country.
Step 12: Put on a sweatband and a coach’s whistle. Get your game face on. Help each child visualize a clean room. See the goal. See yourself, spiking the nerf ball on the ground in triumph…
Step 13: Put on a puppet show of Hansel & Gretel. They are lost in a dirty room forest, unable to find the gluten-free breadcrumbs back home.
Step 14: Ask your child to recline on the sofa. Sit across the room with notepad in hand. Ask them about their childhood, and their relationship with their mother.
Step 15: Print photos of Ikea rooms and tape them to the toys and clothes that need to be picked up. “Oh, my! That is such a beautiful room! And so clean!”
Step 16: Leave dirty dishes on every chair and flat surface until the children complain about sitting room. This is even more effective if you have hardwood floors. Once you start dolling out soup into their cupped hands, they may consider negotiating room-for-room cleaning.
If for SOME reason these steps fail . . .
You could always try bribery! Just kidding!
What additional tips would you recommend? Please share below!