5 Tips For Getting Your Kids To Clean Their Rooms
September 12, 2014
Mr. Perfect Dad (MPD): Greetings! I’m Mr. Perfect Dad. The last time that I was here, it didn’t go so well. However, I am a parenting EXPERT. My methods are proven and I’d love another opportunity to show you all!
Mike (M): What’s up! It’s your boy Mike here. I’m always open for help, even from this guy, so I invited him back. See, one problem I’m having is that my kids are slobs. B and J love making messes, but they hate cleaning them. It’s a huge pain in the-
MPD: But of course, Mike! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of parents have issues with tidy up time. However, if you take my advice, soon tidy up time will be your children’s favourite part of the day!
M: Really? No lie? Sweet! B and J are upstairs reading some books. Wanna put your tips to use?
(Mike and Mr. Perfect Dad go upstairs and see this):
MPD: Great. Googly. Moogly (heavy sigh). Let’s get to work.
MPD: Make cleaning up fun! I like to create silly little songs. Haha. Hoho. Do you kids know “Faith” by George Michael? (starts singing) Because I got to just clean, clean, clean!
M: I don’t think many two and four year olds know that song, or who George Michael is.
J: George? (she picks up a stuffed monkey).
M: Ha! I wonder if Curious George’s last name is Michael. Hey B, did you like that song?
B: I don’t like George Michael, I like Shawn Michaels (starts singing) I’m just a sexy boy! Sexy boy! I’m not a boy toy!
M: Shawn Michaels. The wrestler. It’s his theme song.
MPD: I’m not quite sure how I feel about little boys calling themselves sexy.
M: Let’s go with emotionally conflicted. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about this tip. What else you got?
MPD: Try to instill a sense of pride and ownership in your kids, so they’ll be more inclined to want to clean up their rooms! I’ll show you. Ms. J, come pick up these books. Don’t you want your room to be so spiffy that Cinderella would love it?
J: No. I’m scared.
MPD: Scared of what?
J: A mouse! (She runs off and hides in the playroom)
MPD: You neglected to inform me of a rodent problem.
M: You know what they say….when in doubt, blame the mouse.
MPD: No one has ever said that!
MPD: OK, B, how about you pick up some books? I’ll even let you choose which shelf to put them on.
B: No thanks. This room is too dirty. I’m going to mommy and daddy’s room. It’s cleaner there.
M: Good call. Let’s go.
MPD: EVERYBODY GET BACK HERE!!
MPD: Children can be too smart for their own good. Some good ol’ reverse psychology can alleviate that.
M: Reverse psychology! Ygolohcysp!
MPD: Huh? No. Just……no. B! I bet that you can’t put 10 books away. You’re not strong enough to do that, are you?
B: I think that I need to think about that first, by watching some TV (Leaves room).
MPD: Fine! At least J is here. She’s just a baby girl, though. She can’t tidy up like a big kid. Right?
J: I’m sleeping! (Immediately drops to the floor, starts to snore).
MPD: Is she really asleep? Wake up! Putting books away is easy! Look! (starts placing books on the shelf)
M: Uh, El Perfecto, I think that they flipped the script and got you to clean up for them.
MPD: Silence! I am the expert!
M: Right. Expert book stacker. Nice job. Are you a librarian?
MPD (now sobbing): What happened to me?
MPD: Deep breaths. Compose yourself, Mr Perfect Dad. We’ll win them over yet.
M: Who are you talking to?
MPD: Next tip. Children get overwhelmed rather easily. As such, I recommend breaking up tasks into chunks so they don’t seem too taunting. I’ll demonstrate. B, can you pick up the books off your bed? Only those ones?
B: But she made that mess, not me! Let her go first, tidying up!
J: Let go?! (Starts dancing and singing ‘Let it Go’)
MPD: BLARGH! I HATE FROZEN! Please, J, just put one thing away. Can you do that? Then after that, put one more-
J: One? OK! (Puts a book on shelf). All done! (Dances off, singing ‘Let It Go’)
B: Well I’m just putting one book away, too. There! Can I have a snack now?
MPD: Did all of that hard work make you hungry?! What about the rest of these books? WHAT ABOUT THEM?
M: Uhhh…. yeah, what about them? What do you suggest, now?
MPD: Bribery time! You guys want snacks? If you clean this room up, I’ll take you to the fair! You can eat all of the candy and junk food you want, and then you can stay up and watch the demolition derby after! Does that sound good?
B: Well……….junk food is not healthy and I like healthy snacks. The derby would be past my bedtime, too. So no thanks.
MPD: Are you serious? You gotta be freakin’ kidding me! That’s it! I’m out of here! I’m going to the fair. I’m going to drink some beer and eat some deep fried pickles. Then, I’m going to ride the Tea Cups until I barf, hopefully all over some kids who look like they’re two or four years old.
M: That’s harsh, dude. Can you bring me back a candy apple, though?
MPD: Because of my last visit here, my reputation has been ruined! I don’t have children. I don’t even like them. That’s right, my career is a lie. And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for your kids!
M: Dang. Sorry about your luck. You sound like the bad guy in those Scooby Doo cartoons, who just got caught. Now about that candy apple –
MPD: No apple! Goodbye! (runs out of the house, slams door, gets in car, squeals off)
M: See ya. Thanks for the tips! Man, that guy is not happy. Whatever. Yo, B and J, go pick those books up. I’ll make some popcorn and we can watch Frozen after.
B: OK! (starts singing) I’m just a sexy boy! Sexy boy! I clean up my toys!
Note: while mainly a fictitious post, the actions depicted by B and J, when asked to tidy up, have actually occurred at various times in our house.