You know how it is…you drive your kids to school, possibly go to work yourself, make lunch, make dinner, grocery shop, take care of the finances, and all of that before the kids even get home from work! Factor in the time you have to take to do laundry, take kids to extracurriculars, and do everything else you have to do every day. Factor in the time it takes to do regular cleaning, and there’s no time left to clean up after everyone else.
Did you know that it is possible to get your kids to help do some of the cleaning (and even clean up after themselves)? We know; you’re shocked, but these tips can help you get them to help!
- Teach Them – This may sound overly simplistic, but when kids are young, they want to do what you do. So, get them some kid-friendly cleaning supplies (think a rag and vinegar water), and let them help you! Show them the right ways to do things, and although it might end up making more of a mess in the beginning, it pays off in the long run! Just make sure that you have the lid on the spray bottles closed nice and tightly!
- Make it Fun! – When you’re cleaning together, play music, turn it into a dance party, or even put on a good movie! Whatever you and your little ones prefer, do that! When they see it’s fun, they won’t put it off quite so much (plus it goes faster)!
- Assign Age-Appropriate Chores – Decide what chores will best fit your child and their age, and assign those! You can use incentives, if you wish, or you can just make it one of your house rules! If you make sure to be consistent with enforcing the chores, it will become just another part of their ritual. Encourage beds to be made, toys to be put away before any more are brought out, older kids can help with the dishes and place setting, and teenagers can help cook! You’re not only getting help in the house, but you’re also teaching them responsibility and a strong work ethic! Be careful not to overwhelm them with chores and to let them do fun things, too (and homework!).
- Create a Schedule and Use a Chart – Many kids are visual learners, so create a schedule with stickers (each child gets a color). Assign them chores (you can keep them the same or mix them up weekly) by putting their color in that chore’s box. Smaller children might need pictures showing them what the chore is, and older children can have it written out by day and chore! This will help them so that they’re not expected to just know what you want done—because they can’t read minds and don’t fully understand what it means to clean a whole house quite yet!
- Break up Big Projects – Big cleaning projects like vacuuming, dusting, and mopping the whole house shouldn’t be expected to be done all at once. Give them their projects in spurts so that it’s less overwhelming. This allows them to get their chores done a little bit at a time and fit fun things in the middle!
When encouraging your kids to help you clean—or clean up after themselves—remember that you don’t have to do everything on your own and that you’re also helping your kids learn lessons that will be very important to take with them into adulthood! Make it fun, and they’ll thank you for it down the road when they’re good at taking care of themselves!
For help keeping the parts of your house clean that take longer or that your kids aren’t cleaning, give us a call at Vantage Point Cleaning Services for an estimate!