Why It’s So Important To Teach Kids To Clean Up After Themselves

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Raising responsible children, whether autistic or not, is a challenge in modern times. Our lives are very different from the rest of human history, and the way we conduct ourselves is not the same. 

 

 

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That’s particularly true of how we grow up. Historically, kids would have been employed on the farm, helping the parents sow crops and grow food. Today, though, there probably isn’t a single instance of that in the whole country.

 

While new approaches to life help to educate kids, they’re not particularly good at fostering things like responsibility. And that’s a problem. If children don’t get that type of nurturing when they are young, it’ll create problems as they’re growing up, and when they become adults. 

 

In this post, we take a look at why cleaning up is so important for kids and what they can learn from it. 

 

They Learn About The Impact They Have

 

Parents in many western countries wait on their children hand and foot. They see it as their responsibility to do everything around the house. Their kids are like guests. 

 

This approach generates a lot of mess. Kids are happy to leave toys, food and dirt everywhere because they know that one of their helpful parents will clean up the mess. It’s like having a maid service. 

 

When kids clean up their own mess, though, they learn about the impact they have on other people. There’s a cost to tidying up: time and effort. So they begin to associate the two. Once this happens, you may find that they start to generate less mess in the first place. 

 

You Keep Pests At Bay

 

Nobody wants creepy crawlies or, worse still, rats, scurrying around their homes. They bring disease and cause damage. Termites in particular are disastrous because they can chew through and weaken the timber in your home. 

 

Unfortunately, messy kids are a problem here. If they leave food or crumbs around the house, they will naturally attract wildlife. Creatures will want to come and live with you to take advantage of all the free food on offer.

 

Teaching them to clean up food, therefore, is a must, particularly if you have an older house. If insects or animals can smell food, they’ll set up residence in your abode and could even spread disease. 

 

Companies, such as Terminix pest control, list some of the creepy crawlies that you could attract. There are termites, ants, spiders, wasps, mice, bed bugs and many more. 

 

They Learn About Teamwork

 

There’s another major reason why it’s critical to teach kids to clean up after themselves: the small matter of teamwork. Kids need to understand that to function properly, families have to work together. It’s not right that parents should do all the chores because they also have paid work to do. Children need to appreciate that running a family is a bit like a business. You need to manage time effectively to make the experience profitable. 

 

Start encouraging your kids to clean up from about the age of two onwards – around the time when they begin to understand vocal instructions. Turn it into a game and try to avoid forcing the matter where possible. Just make it a part of their routine and they will soon get used to the idea. 

 

They Won’t Become Messy Teenagers

 

Once the teenage years hit, kids can become much messier. The change in hormones leads to a kind of internal chaos which manifests in the outside world. 

 

If you can program your children to be tidy around the house from a young age and really drum it into them, you’ll prevent yourself from experiencing so many problems in the future. Over time, kids will develop a strong sense of responsibility and pride. They’ll learn how keeping things tidy is actually rewarding and a pleasant experience, and they’ll apply those principles in their bedrooms. 

 

They Learn New Skills

 

Lastly, many people reach adulthood without good knowledge of how to clean. If they don’t have a dishwasher and a maid, they’re stuck. 

 

Kids who grow up cleaning, though, don’t have to worry about this. They usually have all the skills they need to keep their homes ship shape. 

 

Teach your kids how to clean the bathroom. This way, when they get older, they can make sure that theirs is spick and span. Also teach them how to wash the car by hand. Negate the need for them to go to expensive drive-through car washes in the future. You can also teach them how to wash up or load the dishwasher, freeing up your time. 

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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed neurodivergent mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, and coach; Kori shares neurodivergent life in a neurotypical world while helping others to do the same. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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