Cleaning is a task that can be daunting even for adults. Working full time and being a parent full time doesn’t leave much space for house chores at the end of the day. To make things more efficient, involve your kids to participate in maintaining an orderly home. They don’t have to do anything too complex – just them simple, easy-to-do chores to make this a fun experience.
When it comes to managing chores, even adults need to practice a few basic habits. Once you become an expert at doing chores, by utilizing those habits, you can teach them to your kids to be better.
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1. Structure a Weekly Routine
It may be too early for children to learn order and structure since they will be learning about these things anyway once they are a little older. We personally feel like they should enjoy their lives when they’re young before adult responsibilities overwhelm them.
Anyways, create a Weekly Routine, setting up weekends as the Cleaning Day. Your kids may not be able to understand the purpose of having a routine at the beginning, but you can slowly introduce them to the world of structure.
Show them how they can clean easily and in less time. Smile, sing and have fun while you’re cleaning so that you give out the impression that it is a fun activity. Don’t make a sad face as they will feel discouraged and refuse to take part in the cleaning process.
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2. Provide a Proper Explanation
Before kids can pick up on your good habits, they need to understand the purpose behind them. Explain and demonstrate to them why they should practice these cleaning habits.
If they understand the value of maintaining hygiene in the bathroom, kitchen, etc they are more likely to do their chores properly. Also, help them differentiate what needs to be cleaned often and what not. A separate lesson may be required when dealing with electronics and appliances.
It’s always a good idea to provide them with the right tools and materials for cleaning. Don’t just point and tell to clean. Show them how it’s done the first few times. Don’t confuse them too much, and build their confidence slowly. It’s a developing process and later on, they will be able to handle even bigger chores on their own.
3. Define What a Clean Room is
If you don’t show them what a clean and tidy room looks like, they won’t know what it is. Children learn from pictures better than words. You can take a picture of their rooms when they’re tidied up, and hang them somewhere. So that they can refer to the pictures when they are cleaning their rooms.
Another way is to make a checklist of all the chores they have to follow to clean their rooms.
In the checklist, include chores such as
- make your bed
- organize the wardrobe
- put away clothes that are lying around
- separate dirty clothes for laundry
- organize the toys and books
Unless your kids are old enough, you can do the vacuuming, since some vacuum cleaners can be too sophisticated. You can also ask your older kids to do the vacuuming and lead the way for the younger ones.
4. Chores are More Than Just Cleaning
House chores are not limited to drying the clothes, scrubbing the tiles and vacuuming the floor. Simple chores set the stage for becoming an active member of the household. To be able to be an active member of the family, kids have to participate in doing different errands. Not all tasks are the same and you might have to adjust them accordingly.
Let them know that if something is too difficult to handle, they can just inform you, and you will show them how it’s done.
Your older kids can lead the way once again in demonstrating the appropriate way to do complex chores. Even sticking around with the older kids can teach your younger ones about assisting others. Simply holding the tools and watching siblings at work can go a long way.
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5. Cleaning as They Go
The best way to avoid mass cleaning at the end of the week is to clean as they go about. Once they are playing in the yard, request them to pick up the toys and place them uniformly in the right boxes.
Ask them to clean themselves after coming home and remove the mud and grime from tires after biking to minimize workload at the end of the week. It’s not only efficient but also frees you to make other plans and outings on weekends.
People often put off work for later, and that causes a great number of errands to pile up. Hence, be an example of ‘Cleaning as you go’ for your kids so that they can follow you. This way, you can prevent a lot of careless accidents and delay.
Your kids won’t grow up into a model citizen unless you’re one and you’ve taught them to become one. But before they go out to conquer the world, teach them to perfect their daily habits. Since kids are more absorbent than adults, they learn faster. They learn just by watching you and copying you. Therefore make use of this ability.
This will not only lighten your workload but it’ll also teach your children an important life lesson, be diligent and disciplined, and bring them closer to you.