Strategies to reduce the “clean up your bedroom” meltdown
Breakdown this task into small steps then attempt one step at a time.
Things can easily seem very overwhelming for children when they are asked to complete a task. They don’t have the ability to stand back and put things into context. When asking your child to clean their bedroom, this can seem like an insurmountable obstacle to some kids. It can feel overwhelming to adults too looking at all the mess that can accumulate.
So we are just going to do one swap Instead of giving one instruction “clean up your room” x10 we are going to break it down into steps 1. “Pick up your clothes”.
Once this is done then give step 2.
“Put your clothes in the laundry basket”.
After each step stop and acknowledge what they did, “you picked up your clothes That’s a great step! Now lets look, what’s next? It’s time to put them into the laundry basket.”
You can give your child a time limit, there are visual timers that make tracking time easy and fun for children who can’t yet understand time. Playing a song and doing the task until the song ends is another good way of creating a time limit for a task. If your child loves playing with your phone allowing them to set a timer on the phone can be helpful. So they know how long they will be completing the task for, this can help reduce their resistance.
This step-by-step, time limited strategy is a non-judgmental way of stepping through a task that actually does have many mini steps. It helps reduce distractions. How many times have you asked your child to clean up and come back to find them playing with their toys in the middle of their mess?
You are breaking one big overwhelming task into steps. You are building self-care skills for life and developing your child’s independence.
If you find your child struggles to complete daily tasks like this I recommend taking photos of each step and make a visual support for them.
It might be easy to do this for your child but you’re teaching them how to complete a complex task, how to break a big job into do-able steps, how to take care of their things, how to take pride in their work. You are giving them skills for life.
For more tips on reducing meltdowns and tantrums so your child can get back to having fun in their life, I have created a free course: https://sensorymadefun.com/free-three-video-course/
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