Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Clean Your Room - for kids

I was wondering when my next creative boost would hit...but it seems that creativity breeds creativity. I didn't have to wait long.

When Ender and Scarlett are supposed to clean their room, it nearly cripples them with anxiety. Um...okay, just Ender. Scarlett doesn't care. But Ender feels so daunted by the task because he can't help but feel like I'm asking him to climb Mount Everest. He'll try to start, and after putting ONE thing away, he gets lost in la-la land, and it can take almost the entire day to really get the job done. I so wish I were kidding.

The thing is, I understand. I'm like that myself, and I get very distracted in the middle of tasks like that (or at least I really did as a kid), and I do tend to blow things out of proportion when I'm stressed. Like anyone, right? We usually offer our help to Ender, helping him pick things up and giving him game ideas ("pick up everything red!" or "pick things up with your toes!" or "grab everything you can in 30 seconds, GO!"), but it never seems to work well enough. He was still stressed...and then we were, too. Because it's annoying to try and help your kid when they won't DO anything.

My "creation" for this month is, hopefully, a solution. Ender hasn't seen it yet--wish me luck. The idea is that he will be excited to move from one thing to the next, almost like a race (and I have seen this method work REALLY well for him with other things). And my plan is to have him cleaning his room nearly every day so that it won't get too galactically catastrophic from cleaning to cleaning.

These were drawn on the backside of an old calendar. The pages are a little difficult to turn, so Ender may need my help between steps (doesn't bother me yet). It would be easier if I had some sort of easel stand; that's what I'd recommend to anyone else. As with many of my projects, you may copy my work. I really don't mind in cases like this because I understand that there is a need to minimize the daily potentials of power struggles between parents and kids. 

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