I’m a mom of three children.
My two teenage girls share a bathroom and I want them to be responsible for cleaning it. I was taking the hands off approach until it got so bad that I would loudly tell them that I couldn’t stand it anymore and they had to clean it. I knew they liked it when it was clean yet left to their own devices, they would wait as long as they could until I couldn’t stand it. My husband and I talked to Cynthia about this problem.
First, we needed to approach it as a joint problem because I wanted the bathroom to be cleaned. I was embarrassed when friends came over and saw the awful bathroom. This meant that I couldn’t leave it up to them as I had been. I realized that I wanted the bathroom cleaned twice a month and Cynthia, my husband, and I decided that Saturdays were the best day.
Here is how I approached my daughters. I told them that I needed their help; that the bathroom needed to be cleaned regularly because it mattered to me. I started with getting their input. I asked them what their strategy for sharing the cleaning was now that was working. They decided on the distribution of chores. Some places were hard to clean, such as the ceiling, so I helped a little. At one point one daughter wanted a ride somewhere so I used the after – than approach and said, I’ll drive you after the bathroom is cleaned. She grumbled and said, “This is a fun thing to do on my day off.” I didn’t respond even though I was thinking, this is what we do on our day off.
Overall it was a good experience. I took a picture of the clean bathroom. They know that in two weeks they will clean it again. I realized that they need me to provide structure to get it done. I’ll provide the structure as long as needed. Emilie
Learn more about the After-Then Director Parenting Strategy
Contact Cynthia Klein at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, 650.679.8138 to learn how to set structure or invite her to speak at your organization.