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Should Children Tidy Their Own Rooms?

I just had to write about a post I read on Facebook last week. It was posted by my beautiful cousin Jade. It was a post that not only intrigued me, but made me laugh yet also got me thinking about my responsibility as a parent. 
Should Children Tidy Their Own Rooms?
Jade like most of us Mums had got a little fed up of the state of her sons Loui and Harvey’s,(aged 8 and 6) bedrooms. She had repeatedly asked them to tidy, but like some of us Mums, didn’t get results. So she decided to take the boys X box remote, and left them a note asking them to tidy their room, in return she would give them their remote control back. 

We all watched out for Jade to update her status with the results of her note. When she got home from work she was greeted with a reply from the boys. 
Should Children Tidy Their Own Rooms?
Hoorah success, it seemed the thought of being unable to play Fifa 13 or Mine Craft to just too much for Loui and Harvey to endure. So they set too vacuuming and tidying their room.   

My question is would it have been easier for Jade to tidy the boys room herself? Every Friday morning I look at Jack and Joe’s bedrooms in despair, they are both so untidy. They seem unable to grasp the concept of putting toys, clothes, shoes, games and books away. It is so frustrating, and every week I begrudgingly re-tidy and organise their rooms. But actually, am I doing them any favours by doing this? I have brought this on myself.
What they need, is to learn a bit of responsibility. In many ways they are very independent boys. However when it comes to tidying and cleaning they show no interest, or intention, of ever tidying up their own mess. If I don’t take action soon and make them responsible for their own mess, they could become cognitively conditioned to be untidy for the rest of their lives.  
I hope I have many years until they go to university, or want to settle down in a relationship. By tidying up and hovering behind them, will they be able to look after themselves? They are going to have to learn the hard way. I am so lucky that Chris was well trained at as a child at home. So is able to cook, clean and iron. He takes 50% responsibility for all household tasks. 
However I do have the odd friend, whose husbands were so pampered at home as children, that they are literally useless. To be honest, they are downright lazy around the house. For them life is a constant battle of trying to get their husbands to help out with even minor tasks. I don’t want our boys to grow up like this.

Thank you Jade you have inspired me to teach the boys that they are responsible for their own mess, in much the same way they are responsible for their own actions. Surely that’s our jobs as Mums?  Equipping our children to be able to cope with adulthood and all that comes with being a well rounded, caring, and responsible adult.

Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

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  1. kateonthinice
    21st July 2014 / 12:55 pm

    I have tried similar but hate all the confrontation so end up giving in and doing it myself with a fair degree of resentment

  2. Lisa Moore
    21st July 2014 / 8:51 pm

    My two started cleaning their own rooms at 12 years old. I still have to hand E the duster and polish and he does it, not to my standard but he does, every now and again I go in and bottom it and he always says thank you. G I dont need to tell anymore if it gets to messy for her she bottoms it of her own accord but she is a mums girl…

    • 22nd July 2014 / 1:53 pm

      Well done Lisa, I am going to follow your example, you have done a fantastic job of bringing your kids up. They are lovely young adults x

  3. Expat mum
    22nd July 2014 / 4:57 pm

    I would definitely advise having them do something, if only putting their stuff away. As they get bigger the room will get smellier and they get more belligerent when you ask them to do anything. Mine will be off to college next year and I dread to think how he will cope. I have told him he’s going to have to do his own laundry this year (gap year) and it’s partly because I want him to know how to do it. I’m just glad I’m not going to be his room mate.

    • 22nd July 2014 / 7:10 pm

      Ha ha, lets hope his room mate is well trained, and thank you great advice, start small. I must say I have had some great results this week with them tidying up after themselves. It is getting better x

  4. Mrs Fox
    24th July 2014 / 9:09 am

    Yes, they have to do their room but I do a quick whizz round with the hoover when they’re at school. They have to make their own beds too – am I a mean mummy?

    • 24th July 2014 / 10:00 am

      Great idea, I might do this at least they don’t know I am doing it then x

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