The never-ending battle between not cleaning the house and keeping it clean is real in all families, especially if you have children. It is not impossible to teach your children to clean whatever they can - you can cultivate this habit in children from a very young age. However, making children understand the importance of cleaning is not always easy, even when you make them do the job. The important thing to take care of while engaging kids in cleaning is to avoid the growth of a resentful attitude towards cleaning.
You can do this easily by doing the upfront work and making children engage in the activity consciously by starting with a positive attitude, thereby making them part of the solution. You don’t have to do everything alone, so show up and teach your children to be part of the solution. Here are a few things that can help you while you teach cleaning skills to your kids.
Approach Your Children with a Positive Attitude
Seeing the mess lying around the floor irritates us, but scolding your child and pressurizing them to clean them up will not work to cultivate a positive attitude towards cleaning. The most important piece of advice one could share while dealing with children is this - do not give them the feeling that cleaning and doing the chores at home is a task that you and everyone hates. It will only make them stay away from it as long as they can.
Communicate about the benefits of cleaning while asking your children to help or clean the mess they made. Reinforce the things you expect from your kids while talking to them and avoid talking negatively about it to your kids about cleaning at all costs. This attitude helps to cultivate a positive attitude in children about cleaning.
Make Them Engage in Cleaning With You
Cleaning your home with your child around trying to help is challenging, but rewarding in the long run. By doing so, you are making them part of the solution. Have a clear idea that your child is not doing you a favour - this can help you refrain from doing the tasks all by yourself.
Start The Practice From The Time They Are Young
Make sure that your children engage in cleaning chores under your supervision from a very young age. Ask your children to pick up their toys when they finish playing. Children often love to participate in cleaning activities from a small age, so it is up to us to channel their enthusiasm correctly. Toddlers too love to be around adults while they clean. So ask them for small help as it helps to cultivate a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Establish cleaning expectations in your family so that your kids can catch on quickly - this also gives them a sense of importance that they contribute even more in making your home run smoothly.
Set Realistic Expectations to Avoid Disappointment
Refrain yourself from asking children to do heavy tasks and do not get disappointed if they get tired after completing some tasks. Giving them space to rest and not asking them to help until they exhaust themselves is something you will have to take care of. Most times, children end up doing everything you ask them to do only to feel sick by the end of the day. Keep in mind that children will refuse to be a part of cleaning next time if they find it to be a task that is only tiring. Do not kill their excitement to be part of cleaning as they are in their stage of development.
Be Specific Regarding the Tasks You Ask Them to Do
Avoid assigning too many tasks for your kid. Have a clear idea about the tasks a child can easily manage to complete at their age. For instance, asking a toddler to clean up the clutter they made while playing with toys is too much for them. Try asking them if they can bring the block back to the container and see the results. This way, they clearly understand what you want them to do more specifically. Give only a single and clear instruction at a time.
Make Cleaning as Much Fun as You Can
Cleaning must be a fun activity. Putting on some music or making it a game with your children helps you do the job more interestingly and easily. Try to make your children think that these tasks are less of chores and more like games. Use a timer and make it a healthy competition for as many chores. Reward the member who wins at the end of the day with a gift or a special dinner that includes their favourite dish. Overcome their resistance by incorporating interesting and rewarding activities if you feel that they are starting to find cleaning as a boring task as they go.
Talk to Them Confidently
One important thing to keep in mind is to avoid asking for help from your kids in the wrong format that could make you look demanding and needy to them. Do not ask them to do a task assertively that they tend to feel irritated. Request them genuinely so that they will feel like doing it all by themselves.
Break Down the Tasks to Make it Easy
Break down big tasks into small activities so that your children won’t feel overwhelmed just by hearing what they have to do altogether. You can have your kids begin with one task and keep directing them to the next. Teach them to work on big jobs by breaking them into small ones without stressing out.
Refrain from Redoing Their Work
Avoid redoing the tasks you asked your kids to do as it sends a signal that what they did is not enough. Doing it often will, in turn, make them rely on you to get a job properly rather than learning to do it. Take enough time to teach your kid to accomplish a task successfully and then assign it to them. Correct them if they go wrong, and do not give them tasks that are beyond their capabilities.
Give Older Kids a Choice
Home works and other extra-curricular activities also increase as they grow up. Always give your older kids the choice of choosing a time frame that works best for them to do their part of chores at home. Make sure that you do not stress children with the time that suits them best just for you.
Always Show Appreciation
Thanking and appreciating your children for the efforts they put in to run your home smoothly will boost their confidence level. It will also give them a sense of realisation that cleaning is something one has to offer willingly to one’s family. Make sure that you also take time to correct them if they completed a task in a way less than successful. Share helpful hints and hacks to complete tasks you assign to them to make them do the job correctly.
Cleaning with kids can be fun and fulfilling at the same time.
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