With three kids and a husband, I’m massively outnumbered in our house, which mean that I can not clean faster than they can mess up. There’s just no way. I can either play the martyr and spend my days cleaning and nagging, or I can teach my kids to help keep the house clean (and avoid all of that extra frustration and resentment).
The problem is, teaching kids how to clean can often be harder and more time consuming than simply doing it yourself.
I keep reminding myself that one day they actually will be able to clean on their own, without me micromanaging every little detail, but that’s only going to happen if I take the time to teach them now, while they are young.
So how do you get kids to help clean?
1. Break each job into smaller tasks. If I take my kids into their bedroom and say “clean it”, they freak out on me. Why? It’s just too large of a task for them to comprehend. Not that they can’t do it. They are certainly capable of cleaning a room.
The problem is that mentally, they can’t wrap their brains around the enormity of the task so they shut down. Now, if I send them into their rooms and say “put all the dirty clothes in the laundry basket” — THAT they can handle.
Hand kids one task at a hand and you’ll teach them how to tackle things that seem overwhelming and help make sure they get the job done.
2. Teach as you go. Teaching does generally take longer than doing, at least in the short term, but it will be well worth it in the long term. If you want your child to clean the toilet, first, have him watch you do it, then have him do it with you watching him. It will make each job seem more manageable to your kids and you’ll make sure that they know how to get it done right.
3. Use child sized tools. Some cleaning tools are simply too much for small kids to handle. Rather than handing a child a full sized broom, try using a dustpan and small brush. Besides using child-friendly tools, I always make sure to use child-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products. You can make your own cleaning solution with vinegar and water. Add a bit of Tea Tree Oil for some extra fragrance and cleaning power.
4. Create a cleaning routine. You’re going to get less push-back if you’re kids know what to expect than if you just spring a task on them. Create a cleaning routine to fit your family’s needs. Maybe you can get everything done first thing on a Saturday morning. Maybe you need to clean up a little bit each day. Whatever you decide, make sure you talk to your kids about what you expect and stay consistent.
5. Make it fun. Turn on some music and dance around the room while you clean. Turn the lights off and clean up by flashlight. Race to see who can get their area clean first. Chores don’t have to be such a, well . . . chore.
Enter to Win
Want to hand over cleaning to the experts? Tell us how you have taught and encouraged your kids to clean and be entered to win one of two prizes!
- First Prize: House Cleaner for a day plus $100 in product from GreatCleaners.com.
- Second Prize: A Copy of the Book Over 100 Helpful Household Hints
With GreatCleaners.comClean Club, you’ll never have to shop for cleaning products again. With the simplicity of automatic shipments that fit your schedule and free shipping on every order, plus 25% off your first order, you’ll never have to be without your favorite, essential cleaning products. Click here to join the Clean Club today!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GreatCleaners. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Arm & Hammer Brand.