Have you ever stepped on a piece of Lego while walking barefoot at home? You just want to scream and shout and let it all out 🙂 How about wanting to lay down on your own bed for an afternoon snooze but you can’t because gazillion of stuffed toys are occupying your space? How about trying to search for some personal items like a hairbrush or highlighter and find it in your daughter’s basket of toys? How on earth did it get there? When you ask her, she will just say, IDK or I Don’t Know!
When you have school-aged kids, your house will surely be cluttered! If you don’t then I seriously envy you. Since the kids are homeschooled, they spend more time at home which means more time to make a mess! Don’t get me wrong, they do have their own daily chores to do like tidying up their bed and packing away their toys after use. But this has not been done on their own initiative, I still have to remind them. But Coby, who is now 10 years old, can sense my tone when I’m about to reprimand them, so he instinctively gets up, stops what he is doing and says, “It’s okay, Mama. I’ll clean it up.”
We start our day with a clean study table. The books are piled on the shelf and they will only get a book for a specific subject. I don’t like books piled on the table because they take up too much space. Our table is not that big for two kids to share.. During break time, Coby will work on his projects or play with his cars on the table while Jianne would be slumped on the floor playing with her tea sets. I go out of the room to prepare for lunch and after a few minutes, I will come back to see a disaster. Cut out papers on the floor. Toys on the floor or on the bed. Towels hanging on the chairs. Study table filled with origami planes, robots etc. Wasn’t this a neat room when I left? Am I in the same room?
Waaaah! I couldn’t stand it! There are times I just back off and do something else but most of the time I show my irritation right away. The kids would then hurriedly clean up as they see smoke coming out of my ears hahaha! Then it got me thinking…would I want a clean and clutter-free house with kids always on their best behavior? Or would I rather have a messy abode because the kids are exploring, busy with imaginative play or creating something out of nothing? A part of me want the former, I just want some peace and quiet, some order. But then again, I have kids who are active and intelligent who would always be busy tinkering in one corner of the room. Unfortunately, that would mean more time for clean up for me but that’s okay. At least they are busy thinking rather than having their eyes glued to television, the laptop or the iPad.
They know what is expected of them, they have to help me with the chores. They can’t rely on me or their Papa to do everything around the house. Each member of our family has his/her share of the tasks at home. Sometimes Jianne would complain why she has to clean up always and I would gladly reply with, “If you were part of the mess-making then you have to be part of the clean-up too.”
I love the sixth chapter of the book of Ephesians where it reminds children and parents on how to behave…
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,[a] for this is the right thing to do. 2 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”[b]
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. Ephesians 6:14
They would be more responsible when they get older I know it. I trust that the whatever traits my husband and I instilled in them while they were young will be embedded in their hearts until they become responsible members of the society.
I’d like to know how you teach your kids to clean up? Would you share them here?