Why it’s important to teach your Little Peeps to tidy up | Choose the 'Tude

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Why it’s important to teach your Little Peeps to tidy up

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Mess = stress for your brain.

It may not seem like a big issue, but simply having a disorganised or messy environment, whether it’s at your desk, in the kitchen or the Little Peeps bedrooms can cause your brain to release cortisol (the stress hormone) to try to cope with messy environments. That’s when things start to go a little haywire.

The topic of emotional and mental stress caused by clutter in a home is a big topic, so I’ll focus on the most common frustration cited by parents to demonstrate how a mess causes stress for your brain, and that’s a messy bedroom or toys left all over the house.

Mess = stress for the brain

Why does something so seemingly unimportant cause stress or anxiety?

On a subconscious emotional level, your brain may be interpreting the mess as disrespectful or even potentially dangerous with tripping hazards so it’s important to you at a values level that the mess is cleaned up.

At an even deeper level, you may be replaying your childhood patterns and projecting them on your children. If you were constantly nagged or punished by your parents about tidying your room, your neural system remembers that painful experience and will try strategies to avoid it happening for you and your Little Peeps. In doing so you inadvertently are reliving the feelings of anxiety or stress.

Over time, the negative subconscious feelings start to accumulate, until suddenly you can’t take it any more and burst into a fit of rage, demanding that everything gets tidied up immediately or it’ll be thrown out.

For the sake of your sanity its a great idea to liberate your Little Peeps to help around the home.

4 great reasons to help your Little Peeps to keep their rooms tidy at an early age:

  1. To avoid the dreaded arguments in tween and teen years. A little focus and consistency when they are young will pay big dividends later.
  2. To help them develop their core psychological need for competence by teaching them how to keep things organised and tidy.
  3. And autonomy, by allowing them to do it themselves and feel a sense of achievement and pride, inspiring them to do it in future.
  4. To save you time! Lots of it over the years to come. If your Little Peeps are keeping their bedrooms and toys tidy, you don’t need to, which give you time to focus on other priorities.

One last thought to ponder…

By the time Little Peeps become teenagers, habits are well bedded down and difficult to change. Would you prefer your teenager to be competent, tidy and organised or chaotic, messy and disorganised?

Check out these resources:

How to create a haven at home to support emotional health by Nicole Salmon from The Organised Life

How to delegate age appropriate chores to your Little Peeps

Are you raising competent or dependent Little Peeps?

For those who need quick access to the ‘Tude Choosing tool!

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