Keeping your home neatly clean and organized when you have children is challenging but not impossible. Make your children part of the solution and get them involved.
Make it fun
Children involved in domestic chores are thought responsibility. Don’t make housework look like it’s something to be avoided and make it fun for kids. You can promote good behaviour together with cleaning by using fun reward charts for chores. We found a few great ones online, have a look. You could make cleaning a game – how quickly can they tidy away toys, who can hoover their room in record time etc.
Your 5 year old will not be interested in cleaning for hours. Set a realistic goals and focus on small tasks that your child can easily complete. Doing little each day will make them enjoy it rather than get bored. Make them tidy away their toys, help you with dusting, washing up, filling the dishwasher etc.
Starting at an early age
Toddlers love to muck about, “helping” you to put away the washing or organize your drawers and cupboards. As soon as they show an interest in what you are doing get them their own duster. They pick up very quickly that they are an important part of making the household run smoothly. Children as young as 2 can understand the importance of tidying away their toys, taking their used dishes to the sink. Praising them each time will make them want to help out even more.
If you tell a 5 year old to clean up their room this make be overwhelming for them. Give them simple instructions – put away all cars in their containers; which they will understand. You could even attach a picture of what goes inside each container to give small children that don’t read yet a visual aid; helping them to succeed in completing their tasks.
Role – playing
Is your child in the “role-play” stage? Why not encourage them to start a cleaning company where you play the part of the customer. Buy them outfit including a hat, apron, child-size rubber gloves and let them play.
Don’t re-do their work
This would send a negative message to your children; that their work isn’t good enough. They would be discouraged, not wanting to learn how to do the task the right way and would let you do it. Don’t give your children tasks that you know would bother you if not done just like you want it.
Be supportive and encouraging, even if the job is not as precise. Praise them and thank them for helping you. Keep practicing the task again, offer some helpful tips and with time they will learn how to complete the task successfully.