Do you make your kids’ beds? I thought this might be an interesting discussion on larger themes — what we do for our kids, what “chores” we teach them, what housekeeping tasks you conflate with mothering/parenting, and more.
Plus, it’s always interesting who makes their OWN bed and who doesn’t — we had a discussion a year or two ago at Corporette and it was really interesting! I’ve been on both sides over the years but am now firmly on Team Make My Own Bed Daily.
I will say right off the bat that NO, I do not make my kids’ beds on a daily basis — we change their sheets weekly, but that’s it. I never have made their beds because — and I swear this is true — whenever the thought occurs to me, it is always followed by the thought of, “What am I, their mother?” And then I remember, “OH, WAIT, I AM,” and then decide that I’m still not going to do it. (This is probably far too revealing about me as a mother in general. I swear I do some nice things for them, like pairing their socks!)
The crib years were easy enough — and then there were years when it was a mattress on a floor, or one of those child safety sides so no one fell out of the bed.
(Pictured at top: What a cool little boy bed, available for $250 at Overstock! There’s also this fun “boat” bed. We always kind of meant to get one of them a cool bed and were always too sleep-deprived in the moment to do anything but stick them in a regular size bed.)
Isn’t it funny how kids need to be taught how to sleep with a pillow and a blanket? As they grew into little boys, we would find them in all sorts of funny positions — sleeping with their feet on the pillow, sleeping only under the cover but not the sheet (very European of them, obviously), sleeping half off the side of the bed… I was joking to my mother recently that my eldest son must be fighting bears in his sleep or something, gauging from the state of his sheets.
WELL, she said… we always made your bed.
But — even though I make my own bed — something about me rebels so totally against the idea of taking time to make their beds.
Now, my kids are 6 and 9 (almost 7 and 10!), and at this point I more or less demand they strip their beds, and offer chore money if they change their own sheets — as well as some chore money if they make their bed on a daily basis — but the kids normally do not take me up on it, and honestly I normally have bigger fish to fry with them in terms of nagging to truly care about their beds. So their beds are in a constant state of dishevelment.
Funnily enough, the urge to rebel against these tasks is so strong that I’m even hesitating in phrasing my questions to close the post. I’m not going to ask, “Are there mothering tasks you refuse to do?” because heLLOO in my mind this bed thing isn’t mothering, it’s more of a caretaker/housekeeper task. (And, of course, why aren’t fathers having this discussion!? Regarding the “We always made your bed” comment — did my father ever do it, or was it just my stay-at-home mother?)
I don’t know, readers, let’s discuss — do you make your kids’ beds? Are there tasks your parents did for you that you do not/do not intend to do for your kids? (This is also leading into a bigger discussion about chores and your kids, which may be another post (or two). How do you get them to DO chores, and what chores are important enough to you to be a stickler about?)
I want to get my kids into this habit, mainly because I like it when I do it myself but it isn’t a daily habit. (And I wasn’t told to do it daily as a kid). But, it’s also not worth some huge struggle to me. So, hopefully kids seeing me do a quick straightening of their beds in the am will get them used to doing it later?? (At 3 and 1, the most I’m expecting is “helping” now). Anyone successful in getting their kids to do this without a huge power struggle?
If you keep all the covers tucked in along one edge of the bed, they can easily smooth out the covers. So much easier than straightening and pulling up covers that have been kicked around and thrown back.
I learned the tucking-in trick from a lazy roommate in college. She would pull the covers up while she was still lying in bed, then slither out from underneath, et voila! The bed was made. I could never handle tucking in the covers on the side, but for small kids it’s fine. As a bonus, it keeps them from kicking the covers off at night and yelling for you to come cover them back up.
I only started making my OWN bed once the bedroom became my home office, so no way am I making my kids’ beds (or insisting they do it). Also it seems sort of useless…they’re only in their bedroom to sleep, so why bother making the bed?
Same, except my home office is the dining room so I still don’t have to make my bed! If I do anything to it, I pull back the covers and top sheet to let it air out during the day, so it will be cool and fresh when we go to bed. I think I’ll start teaching my daughter that, but it won’t be a chore she needs to do regularly.
I bother with making the bed because it is so nice to turn back the comforter and slide into crisp, unwrinkled sheets at the end of the day. It is literally the best moment of my entire day.
We started forcing my son to make his bed daily when our elderly cat started to decline. She slept on various beds throughout the day and towards the end she’d start being sick/incontinent and with the bed made it was washing the blanket vs/stripping the entire bed. Even after she passed we still enforce the ‘pull up your covers and straighten up your pillows’ daily rule though he’s not making it nearly as neatly as an adult would it at least gets him in the habit.
I really got in the habit of making my bed daily in college, it just felt weird (and kind of dirty?) to have people sit on my sheets vs. on my made up bed (and god knows there wasn’t enough space in the dorms for people to sit many other places.
My husband believes that failing to make one’s bed is a slippery slope to depression, and I’m not sure he’s entirely wrong. All beds in our house are made daily before work or school.
Ugh he sounds depressing
My version of that is “the state of your bed is the state of your head.” I make my bed every morning, but I through phases whether or not I enforce it for the kids. They often do it without reminders, surprisingly enough. I never do it myself, but I do put their toys away more than I should. The mess bothers me, and they do such a terrible job tidying, even if I supervise… it gets frustrating to watch them be so slow/inefficient or put books away sloppily, so I end up pitching in.
I paid a fortune for a PB Kids duvet cover, so yes the bed gets made.
I will once we take the bumper off the side, right now it’s too much of a pain. I like a neatly made bed but my toddler is like me and wants to sleep under 8 blankets.
Nope. I also don’t make my bed. I don’t think it matters at all.
We didn’t really have many chores assigned to us growing up, and the only two I can really remember were cleaning the table after dinner – and making our beds in the morning. My sister did end up using a blanket and sleeping on top of her covers so she didn’t have to make it, but whatever works. She still does something like that as an adult. I think it did get us in the habit of making our beds for the rest of life, and its a pretty low lift task, and I like coming back to a made bed that I get to open up and get into, rather than lie straight back into my own mess.
I was your sister!
My oldest often does this! He sleeps on the top bunk, so I get it… top bunks are annoying from a making-the-bed standpoint
I’m a stickler about making my own bed, but I’ve chosen not to fight this battle with my kids. Maybe someday. I have one who will make his occasionally, and the other just doesn’t. I care more about them picking up the stuff that gets strewn across the main living areas than worrying about their beds.
My kids (5 and 8) “make their bed” in the sense that they straighten the comforter on top so it’s somewhat smooth. I don’t care much about the state of sheets and stuff underneath. It’s what I do for my own bed as well.
I view a bedroom, esp for a kid, as their sanctuary – their place to retreat and calm down, or be themselves, or whatnot. In my mind, a messy place makes my head feel messy. So since there’s a decent chance their head works the same, a smooth bed (which is 75% of their bedroom space) will hopefully lead to a less chaotic environment in their head.
I’m truly horrible about requiring my child to do chores. She is still pretty young, so I’m hoping when she is a bit older we can move to this type of routine. My bed was typically always made pre-Covid. But in a world with less childcare and more hours at work, homekeeping has been the first to go in our house.
My almost nine year old sleeps in a blanket nest on the top bunk. We make our bed but I truly don’t care about his. The baby just has a bottom sheet so she’s taken care of!
Dh or I make our own bed (usually first back upstairs after coffee to shower makes the bed). I throw any covers on the floor onto the bed of my children. My 7 y/o makes her own bed. My rising kindergartener is just now able to do it (she has a really big bed) and I help her out if she needs it.
My 3 y/o’s bed is made once every other week when the cleaners do it.
We really try. Our dog loves to chill on the beds so we do it to keep dog hair out of the sheets. Before Dog it was pretty sporadic. Kids are 6 and 9.