Cleaning with teens, it's easier than you think

So, how can you teach a teen to clean? 

House cleaning chores are a great way to train teens to become responsible and manage time at an early age.

Admit it; it's a struggle to convince teenagers to clean up without nagging, without the usual threats to take away their most prized possessions. We’ve come to expect the usual I'll do it later or I'm not doing it each time you request that their room be cleaned.

Well, rest easy knowing you are not alone, it's every parent’s struggle. Not just yours!

On the other hand, a little bit of sweet talk can make cleaning with teens that much easier!

In this article, we'll discover ways to make cleaning with teens as easy as possible. And hopefully, lessen some arguments in your household!

Continue reading to find out!

You can't spontaneously ask a teen to do some cleaning. You'll end up getting this answer I'm not doing it.

Plan ahead by laying out the house cleaning chores for your teen to complete. Assign regular cleaning chores such as cleaning the bathroom, dusting and mopping the floor, and cleaning under their beds.

It will help if you create a simple cleaning schedule to ensure that they’re guided on the tasks to be done and how each cleaning task should be completed.

It's okay to ask for extra chores, but not too often. Your teenagers are just starting to navigate the world, so expect resistance, for sure!

We all find it annoying if someone keeps on bugging you to do things? It’s no different for your teenagers

The goal is to make your teen clean without offering a reminder. If the cleaning has not been completed yet, it's okay to remind them once or twice. 

If still not done, it's worth trying the if then… statement. If you don't take out the garbage, then you can't watch TV.’ 

It's a long shot, but it could work! Rewards encourage positive behavior, plus it feels good to reward your teen for hard work. It doesn't have to be monetary or tangible. Sayings of thank you or i'm proud of you goes a long way.

Here are a few reward ideas that you should think about after your teen has finished a cleaning task:

  • Movie night
  • Favorite meal
  • Gadget time
  • Extended curfew
  • Sleeping in (if not on school days)
  • Sleep over at a friends house

Lastly, a hug! You'll be surprised just how beneficial this gesture is.

Teenagers need a bit of tough love sometimes.

Make it clear what will happen if the cleaning chores are not done. It is essential to make let your teenagers know that cleaning needs to be done. 

What if the cleaning is not done? Well, you've got to follow through the consequences, without any warning. In that way, you can teach your teen to become more responsible and committed to finishing a particular task, an important life lesson for him or her. 

If you want to inspire a teen to finish cleaning or to establish a cleaning routine, letting them know their privileges can be somewhat uplifting. The lessons of resourcefulness, hard work in finishing their task, plus the time management skills will be invaluable to their upbringing.

On the other hand, it is also important to give teens the freedom and flexibility to do their cleaning chores. Teach them to become independent and to discover things alone, as much as possible.

Again, leave the cleaning up to them and be clear on what they can gain from it when it's finished.

Start with the basics such as dusting, mopping the floor and cleaning their bedroom. These tasks need to be learnt, especially if you're sending your teen off to a college dorm.

Demonstrate everything. Don't expect your teen to learn how to professionally clean your home in one sitting. Cleaning is a process, and like all processes practice makes it perfect.

Teach them while they're young and be sure to practice often. Setting good habits and routines is proven to be positive in a teenagers upbringing.

Shaming is not an effective parenting technique, it can lead to social issues such as low confidence and low self-esteem. Do not embarrass your teen or intentionally make them feel bad because they did not clean the dishes properly.

It could work at the beginning, but it's not a healthy way to teach your teenager about life. 

If your teen did not clean to your standard, don’t be too quick to become angry or disappointed. Comfort them and give them reassurance that they’ve done their best. 

End your struggle in teaching your teens to clean! For parents, cleaning with teens can be quite fun and a bonding experience as long as you open your mind to it.

One thing is for sure… forcing a teen to clean will not work!

On the other hand, implementing the ideals will make cleaning with teenagers are breeze, to reiterate:  

  • Plan ahead (create a checklist if necessary)
  • Try not to nag
  • Offer a non-tangible reward
  • Establish consequences of not completing tasks
  • Teach them to clean
  • Don’t shame or put your teenager down.

If you stick by these principles and methodologies you will teach your teenagers: 

  • To understand the importance of finishing a specific task
  • Responsibility, consequences and time management.
  • The importance of cleanliness in the household.

Lastly, accept their mistakes and help them improve!