Chores are a crucial component of raising responsible children, and making the bed is a fantastic place to start! By making their bed each morning, your child will acquire character-building skills that will last a lifetime.
Although it is never too late to teach your child how to make their bed, the sooner you start, the better. Experts recommend children should learn how to make their own beds from age four to six, but even younger children can help with arranging the pillows.
Here’s how to teach your child how to make their bed:
- Provide your child with detailed instructions for making the bed. This could include anything from pulling up the sheets to organizing the pillows.
- It can be beneficial to demonstrate and explain each process to your child, saying things like: “First, we pull the sheet up and straighten it. Then we pull up the blanket and tuck it in. Then we make the pillows look all neat and pretty”.
- Have them straighten the bedding on one side of the bed, then on the opposite side. Demonstrate how a bed should look once it has been made.
- It’s okay if things appear a little disorganized at first. They should concentrate on a particular skill each time they make their bed. For instance, instruct them to begin by drawing up the sheets to cover each corner. Next, they can focus on smoothing the bedding to eliminate wrinkles.
- After mastering that, your child can go on to the comforter and then devise a method for organizing the pillows. Once they begin to grasp the fundamentals, you can supervise them as they attempt the task.
- For young children with a mountain of stuffed animals on their bed, allocate a box or space in the room for storage. In the morning, demonstrate how to pick up and store each toy. Explain that it is much simpler to make the bed when the clutter has been removed. When it comes time for bed, children may visit their designated “bedtime toy” area and select the ones they want to cuddle with. Remember that it is not important that everything be perfect; what matters is that they tried!
- If you have a stubborn child, use a task and reward system rather than nagging them. Grant them privileges only after they have made their bed. For instance, they may not be permitted to use electronic devices or watch television until the bed is made. At that point, it will be up to your child to determine how frequently they will receive these privileges.
- You can also make a motivational chart using stickers. Give your child a sticker daily for making their bed. Allow them to choose a “reward” when they have earned a particular amount of stickers.
- Try to be patient, understanding, and complimentary whenever possible, no matter how you approach making the bed. Remember that it may seem like a minor work, but to children, it is a major undertaking!