School is back in session, which means your kids are out of the house part-time and you can get some big cleaning jobs done while they are out. But what about all those little jobs that need to be done regularly? Can you get your kids to be part of the solution and not the problem? Absolutely, yes! The truth is, it’s possible to keep your home clean and in order with children at home. Here’s how:
Starting When They are Young
By establishing the ground rules for the family – like cleaning and picking up – while your children are small helps them not only understand your expectations, but also teaches valuable lessons. Begin when your children are toddlers, but always select tasks they are able to accomplish. Start small, like picking up toys and putting them back where they are kept after play. Your children will not only catch on quickly, but they will start learning to take pride in job well-done.
Keep in mind when cleaning with children, you must have realistic expectations. As coordination develops, they will get better and be able to accomplish more cleaning tasks with ease. For example, your preschooler may not be able to make the bed perfectly, but he or she may be able to pull the comforter up or put the pillows in place.
Make Cleaning Fun for the Kids
There are lots of ways to encourage your kids to join in the cleaning effort when you make it fun! Incorporating games into a variety of tasks is a great way to start. Have kids clean up a space before a song is done. The reward, you spend time with them after doing something they enjoy – a dance, a book, a quick game. Make cleaning the game – the color game. You shout out a color and kids race to pick up and put away anything they can find in the chosen color. You can even have more than one round as long as the kids are enjoying the fun. If the whole house needs cleaning, consider a cleaning contest if your kids are old enough. Each child is assigned a room to clean, the one who finishes first with the best results gets the prize.
Assign Chores Clearly and Specifically
If your children are young, only assign one task at a time. Rather than asking them to clean their entire room, have them put blocks into a container or their clothes in a drawer. If your kids are older, consider a list. You can start using a to-do list when your kids begin to read. Make sure the list includes age appropriate chores and a time frame in which to accomplish the tasks. And remember, don’t add so many items that your kids are overwhelmed. For older kids a time frame is important because they may be concentrating on one of their interests. With a time frame they can complete what they are doing in the moment and still accomplish the task ‘before bedtime’ or ‘after dinner.’
Never Re-Do and Always Show Appreciation
When your children put forth the effort and do their best, don’t follow behind and re-do their work. If you do, you children with believe their efforts weren’t good enough and they’ll stop trying. For all their efforts, show your appreciation with support and encouragement even when everything isn’t done perfectly. If they fall short, work alongside them, offering helpful hints to result in greater success in their next attempt.
For all your cleaning needs, call on the team at Signature Maids and discover the difference.