If left to their own devices, my boys bedroom would look like this everyday. They see this as "clean". And I can not, in good conscience, do this to their future roommates and wives. As their mom, it is my job to teach them. And I think there are several schools of thought on this.
1. Chores are just a part of growing up. It teaches them responsibility.
2. I can't do it all. They live here, they need to help out.
3. It teaches them to be good stewards of the their things and not take them for granted (read also entitled).
I happen to fall into the camp of "all of the above" are correct. And, I think we, as parents, are missing out on a huge opportunity to teach and grow our children's character if we see bed making and tidy rooms simply as chores. Yes, chores are important. Please don't misunderstand me. I think chores around the house for littles shows them that they are a part of something bigger. A team - where everyone plays an important part. They are needed to make the team machine run smoothly. Because it's true, I can't do it all. None of us can. And I also believe it's an opportunity to teach them about material things and how to be a good steward of all God has given us. I don't want my littles growing up entitled and I definitely don't want them thinking that there is a bed making fairy that swoops in daily to make their beds and change their sheets every two weeks. What a tragedy that would be - for them and me.
Now before I go tooting any horns, you should all know that my kids, until recently, haven't made their beds daily and have thrown fits when having to do so. This summer I just realized that I was doing them a disservice by not expecting this of them. Even though they are only 5 and 8, they CAN do this and I want them to have confidence in themselves and their abilities. So recently I set some ground rules (after consulting friends) that they will not play wii, watch tv, go outside to play or any other fun activities until their beds are made. Yes, days are still had with pajama jammy jams on the wii and silliness at every turn, but getting the day off to a good start with the accomplishment of bed making is good for everyone. (Yes, I practice what I preach. My bed is made mostly before coffee.)
And no, their bed making is NOT perfect. Far from it. It looks nothing like the bottom bunk above. Sadly, it doesn't even look as good as the tidy beds below (close though). I have determined to have peace about semi-made beds with sheets that aren't straight and don't cover the mattress fully. "Perfection" will come with time and practice. For now I am just loving the confidence boost they're getting each day.
How about you? What's your bed-making camp? Oh, and how do you accomplish the task with your littles? I'm always looking for advice and growth in the mommyhood arena! xo