I recently listened to a recorded seminar called, "Raising Large Families," from the 2008 Seminary Wives Institute Seminar Saturday. One main point of the speaker's message was "don't do anything that someone else in your household can do."
This got me thinking: am I doing things for my children that they really should be doing themselves? I realized I was tidying Calvin's room every day, sometimes more than once. If he makes the mess, can't he clean it up?
So I've added to Calvin's list of responsibilities, which I wrote about back in October. He now is responsible for tidying up his room every morning.
I've walked through this process daily with Calvin over the past few weeks:
- Books don't belong on the floor. Put your books in your book box or on the shelf.
- Neither do clothes belong on the floor. Are they clean or dirty?
- Dirty clothes go in the laundry hamper.
- Hang clean shirts in the closet.
- Put clean pants, shorts, underwear, pajamas, and socks in the correct drawers.
- Close the dresser drawers.
- Close the closet door.
- Put your pillow and blankets on your bed (he's not to the point of actually making the bed, but this is a good first step).
- Look around. Did you do everything? Doesn't your room look good now?
I see some progress. Cleaning his room is now an expected part of our "morning jobs," and, for the most part, he has been doing it without grumbling.
Of course, I like his room to be clean. But I hope that I am instilling in him a sense of satisfaction from orderliness and a job well done.
I'm finding out that, yes, a three-year-old can clean his room, though teaching him how is tedious.