Clever & crafty ways they cope with your commands to clean

By How to Be a Dad

What most parents fail to understand is that most kids have an extreme aversion to tidying and cleaning. They also appear to have a very high tolerance for living in a land of junk and garbage (which is, unfortunately, NOT a land of make-believe).

So, it should be no mind-blowing plot twist that they come up with some pretty nutty methods of dealing with an order to clean up their room. It’s admittedly tough as a parent to stay firm with your child when their outlandish excuses and commitment to theatrics combine for a hilarious and almost impressive attempt to avoid your calls to clean.

Here's what some "tips" for cleaning up a room would probably look like, if kids thought them up.


Fake an Injury or Illness
The fastest way to get a chore done is to get out of doing it. Lay a hand dramatically against a forehead or sob at an invisible boo-boo on a finger to play on the concern or hypochondria of parents. As long as you don't overuse it, this is often a very effective cure for room-cleaningitis.


Cover It Up
Why just "sweep things under the carpet" — creating an obvious mound — when you can shovel and cram EVERYTHING into closets or under bedding, furniture, and crafty stuffed animal arrangements.
Send everything into hiding from the Mommy and Daddy Mob in the messiness relocation program.


Make Believe
Parents love fostering creativity, so power up the reality-distortion field big people commonly refer to as your "imagination." When they come to inspect the dirty bombshell blast of your room, take them on a delightful tour of the magnificent, sparkling-clean palace you've transformed it into.


Create a Diversion
Parents can suddenly become miraculously disinterested in the cleanliness of your bedroom when they hear the sound of a living room lamp shattering, or the need to suddenly fight the flood of suds spewing from a laundry machine that's been "mysteriously" overdosed on detergent.


Use a Sibling
If you have a brother or sister, you should, of course, be collecting blackmail material and tracking the jealousy-fuel you own. When needed, you can exchange room sanitation favors with a trade agreement or a threatened tattle about who ate all the cookies a week ago (Wasn’t me!).


Play with everything you lay eyes on, and dump out even more toys. Ultimately, parents will tire of asking if you're done yet, and it will be time to leave somewhere or do something else or go to bed. Often they'll just give up on you and your filthy living quarters out of frustrated exhaustion. Victory!


Wait a little while and then tell them it's all cleaned up. If they insist on an inspection, be prepared to throw yourself like a human barricade against the door and say, "I did it but you can't look yet." Explain that you want to make them reeeeally proud and clean it up even more.

How to Be a Dad is a paid contributor to Clorox's SpinCycle, helping you navigate the messiness of parenthood.