How I got my children to tidy their rooms

Getting children to tidy their rooms, to listen to your requests and do something you ask can be a challenge. We have tried so many different techniques, approaches and rewards. Most work for a while, then they wear off. Children have an uncanny knack of cooperating the first time you introduce something new, then suddenly develop selective hearing there after.

The children’s bedrooms were in a terrible mess. There were clothes everywhere and goodness knows what else. I didn’t even want to enter the room, so I kept the doors closed. I needed to think of something.

Thinking about what motivates my children most? Hmm….food! They love their food. I told them that if they tidied their rooms, they could create their own cake. They could put on it whatever they wanted.

After a little consideration from each of them, they headed straight for the door and got stuck in. They took quite a while, but they did it! It was amazing…it actually worked!

I know they shouldn’t have to be bribed to tidy their rooms, but, sometimes as a parent, you just have to break the rules too, bad parent I know, but, hey, don’t most of us do this every now and then?

Once the tidying was completed, they each sat down with pen and paper to design their cake. I was rather taken aback with how elaborate their designs were, bearing in mind they recently had a minion cake for their birthday…yes, they were thinking along these lines.

I was dreading, the final request. How much work have I created for myself? But a promise is a promise and I have to stick to it.

The cake for tidying their rooms

Much to my relief, in the end, they wanted a chocolate cake, covered in chocolate icing, with kitkats round the edge, then marshmallows, sprinkles and a cherry on top. Although it sounds rather extravagant and very sweet, it is easier than making a whole minion, so I was relieved.

Chocolate cake

The children each helped bake the cake and add their own features. It was lovely baking together and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they liked, they certainly loved it.

I’m not sure this would get them to tidy their rooms every week and I don’t think I would want to let them eat a cake like that every week, but occasionally it’s ok. They enjoyed it and the job got done.

Now to get my thinking cap on for the next time I need to take drastic action.

5 thoughts on “How I got my children to tidy their rooms”

  1. Oh wow that cake looks delicious. My son is four and has limited understanding and my daughter is only 2 so wouldn’t quite understand either but when they are a title older and they begin to understand more I will definitely use this idea but for now I may just make the cake with them because I want to eat it, lol!

  2. What a great idea! Think I’m going have to steal this and try it out on my two. I would do anything so I can see their floors again!

  3. Positive reinforcement is such a great way to motivate kids. It works so much better than yelling does! The cake turned out gorgeous – well done you!

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