It's so much more fun to play in a clean room. And less stressful. And no one trips. And it's easier to get tucked in at night when the bed is made and sheets aren't in a big wad on the floor.
But...getting Reid to clean his room is a whole other story. Or make his bed. Forget it. I have nagged, pleaded, threatened, and bribed. It doesn't work.
And when Reid's room is a messy junkyard, it stresses me out. Plus, he doesn't enjoy playing in a messy room, so he avoids it.
So, this week I gave up the battle. I decided that, while it may go against the grain of teaching him to be responsible for his own space, I will do it. Myself. Every day. And I have.
Every morning, after he goes to school I make his bed, put away his toys and clothes, and open the drapes. It is so refreshing when it's all tidy and clean.
And, when he comes home from school, his attitude is much improved. He enjoys playing in a clean space, and he enjoys reading in his bed at night when the covers are all tucked in how they should be instead of in a jumbled mess. He appreciates the kindness and thanks me and it breeds positive feelings and reinforces the fact that I love and care for him. At 8, I think that is more important than learning "responsibility".
The bottom line is less stress = more joy. If I get to enjoy my kids more, and they get to enjoy their space more, it is totally worth the 5 minutes it takes.
I am confident that he will eventually learn to make his bed and clean his room. If it happens at 10 or 11 or 15 instead of 8, I am totally fine with that. I don't plan to waste my precious time with him arguing over a made bed or a clean room. I'd rather spend my time enjoying him instead.