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How can I get my children to clean their rooms?

Read to them, of course! Before bed, children love a good story. Older children enjoy longer volumes. Reading to them while they tidy their rooms and organize their belongings is much softer than, “Clean your room, or else!” If they get distracted, just stop reading as a cue for them to keep at it until the chore is finished. When they are done, they can snuggle up to you for more reading. The academic benefits of reading aloud to your children have long been documented: reading ability, vocabulary, and family relationships are strengthened. In terms of math, reading aloud improves reading and listening comprehension needed for solving word problems. Bedtime reading can also help the children’s bodies know that it’s time to sleep. So how can you go wrong? Just try not to fall asleep while reading like I sometimes do... “Mom, wake up!”

For more (an easy read) on reading/writing instruction, see Smart Answers to Tough Questions by Elaine Garan (2007).

Article on the bed-time-story-sleep connection:

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