Teaching children to clean is not a simple task. It appears to be more hassle than it is worth! Here are some ideas for getting your kids to help you with chores.
I entered our laundry room and came to a halt in front of the avalanche of clean clothing piled up on the floor.
I might have cried on another day.
“No,” I told myself, “I will not lose my mind because of the state of this room.” I’ll just have the kids assist me.”
I tossed the Mt. Everest-sized mountain of towels, washcloths, dish towels, and undergarments on the living room floor.
“Alright, kids, it’s time to fold these towels,” I said, gathering the kids around myself like a good mama hen.
There was flailing, whining, and some remarks about how having to do all that labour isn’t fair. So I wised up and divided the massive pile into smaller, more manageable piles.
This aided them in getting into the game.
While the boys folded, I went about my business folding other items in the laundry area. I didn’t see the need in hovering because they already know how to do the job well.
Furthermore, one cannot properly hover over 5 children, hence it is a futile practise.
Then I returned to the room…
I return to the room a few minutes later to find a very proud 4 year old smiling at me as if he’d just won the sack.
“Look!” he said, pointing to his stack of folded towels.
Except they weren’t folded. They were all carefully folded into something resembling jelly rolls. There were around 14 of them.
I was at a fork in the road.
I could have him rework them all into squares so he’d realise how towels should be folded properly. Or I could just store them as they are.
Let’s just say the linen closet was intriguing for a while.
How To Teach Kids to Clean
When it comes to training our children to clean, we all have the best intentions as mothers. And we know that whether or not children grew up performing chores is one of the most important indicators of success, according to study.
This is HUGE!
So, now that we know how vital it is to teach children to clean and do duties around the house, let’s look at some of the roadblocks and how to overcome them.
Make It Difficult For Them To Help
It’s no surprise they can’t help if we just clean with bleach and don’t have any child-friendly cleaning supplies. When we want to involve children in cleaning, we also want to make it easy for them.
This includes utilising child-safe cleaning materials and tools. It means we discover ways for them to contribute and aren’t paranoid. Get a cleaning caddy particularly for your kids and fill it with safe items they are familiar with. This will also aid in the formation of an association with chore time.
We Expect Perfection
Let’s face it. Some of us don’t want our children to clean because they don’t do it correctly, which irritates us.
Mama, let me tell you what’s even more aggravating: doing it all on your own. Children are not born with the ability to clean.
They must be taught what to do and must learn the household norms. This will be easier if your standards are lower.:)
The key is to modify your expectations. We can expect contributions from toddlers and preschoolers, but this will be a learning phase. You will continue to educate your child the abilities required for the career on numerous occasions. This is fine. This is what produces children that are self-assured in their abilities.
Recognize that demanding perfection causes your children to be disappointed and depressed since they realise their work isn’t “good enough.”
Progress is made via practise.
We Don’t Clean Around Them
One of the main reasons children don’t learn to clean is because they never see it done. We miss out on both observation and practise if we leave all of our duties for nap times, after bed, or while the kids are at school. Save some chores for them, even if it is more work intensive.
This is a significant issue for me. Chore time may quickly devolve into chaos if I have all of my older children performing their duties individually and in different rooms.
Here’s how I deal with it. I’ll either work with one child at a time to finish a set of duties, or we’ll all work on one room at a time to keep everyone together.
I took my three-year-old to the bathroom for some chores the other week. My bathtub is always filled of dirt because I promote outside play. I’m talking about the bottom, which looks like we created mud pies. So my son got in the tub to wash away the grime. He worked hard for a few minutes and finished.
Aside from that, doing tasks with one child at a time while the other children are occupied is a terrific opportunity for individual time.
We Forget About The Outcome
As parents, we are frequently forced to choose between something excellent, better, or best.
Of course, the problem is that we don’t know which is which.
We want our kids to learn how to clean, but we also want peace and quiet.
Also, we want our houses to be clean, but we also want our children to be happy in them.
We want to take the time to properly educate our children, but we also don’t want to spend the entire day teaching chores that only take a few minutes.
It Can Be Hard At First, But Gets Better
When we find ourselves floundering in this area – or any area of parenting, for that matter – the trick is to remember our ultimate purpose.
One of our long-term aims in this area is to create children who can handle duties and care for themselves. This will require a significant amount of effort at first.
However, as time passes, that work will be rewarded with children who gladly contribute to the running of the family.