Lesson 36 - Clean Up Time

Be The Dad You Wish You Had - Ryan Roy

The video below is NOT a word for word reading of the book. It is the author giving a different perspective on the text to help YOU get a deeper understanding of the material

Clean up time.

He puts his things where they belong. Everything has a place. Clean up after you play. Respect your possessions. It’s easier for him to know where his toys are.
I will preface this particular lesson with this: I am not the most organized individual on the planet. This lesson is attributed to my wife. I love that our son does this. My wife takes great pride in a clean home.

Our son knows how to pick up after himself. He normally cleans up after playing but if he doesn’t, there is always a time of the day where we pick up his toys together. My wife has put a lot of energy and effort into teaching him to respect his toys and to put them where they belong. He has become very detailed as to where everything goes.

All of his toys are in great shape, as if they were just taken out of the package; and he knows where everything is. If anything is missing, and I do mean anything (I’m talking one Lego piece here), he questions it and wants to know where it is. He respects his toys not only by the way he plays with them, but also by putting them back where they belong each and every day.

I know some of you are thinking, but aren’t toys supposed to be played with and broken? Aren’t kids supposed to be kids and play recklessly? I remember having a battle with myself, wanting to tell my wife, just let him be a kid. My wife ultimately won, and I have to say that I believe it has instilled a level of appreciation and respect in him that will last him a lifetime.

How has this translated into the real world? When we visited his elementary school as a family, going into kindergarten, there was a tour of the library. There were several other families present. While other kids were taking books off of the shelves and throwing them on the floor, our son was going around picking up those same books off the floor and putting them back on shelves. That was a proud parenting moment.

To watch fifteen other children, disrespect a space, and to watch my child not only respect the space but clean up after the other children, that let me know what my wife and I have been doing over all these years is working. That brought an immense amount of joy to both me and my wife. He chose, amongst his peers, to respect and do the right thing. It’s because we’ve taken the time, and given the energy and effort at home to teach and instill those lessons of respect.

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