Article Contributed by Izzy Smith
Cleaning is difficult, no doubt about that. And not only that, but it also tends to get really tedious mainly because it has to be done on a regular basis. That is what makes it one of the most annoying household chores. However, there is a way to change this. Everything can be better, if you have a helping hand available. Whether it is your spouse, sibling or a friend, each task becomes easier when you work in a team. Working in a team can even turn your task into a fun activity. However, the best option is to have your children lending you a helping hand with whatever they can. This way, you will not only perform the chore faster and easier, but you will also teach them a thing or two about discipline and assistance. What could be a little difficult, on the other hand, is actually making your kids help out. A lot of kids do not enjoy cleaning, and that is why you will have to be smart and think of a way to make them WANT to help, instead of forcing them to do so. A couple of psychological methods can come in handy in a situation like this.
The younger the children, the easier it will be for you to deal with them. Or actually, to trick them into helping. Children up to the age of ten are usually like clay, that is, easy to work with. You just need to find the proper approach to do so. As a matter of fact, a lot of them would be glad to help because they like the feeling of being relied on. This makes them feel like grown-ups, and everybody knows this is what children want more – to be viewed as adults. However, always give your kids cleaning tasks that are relevant to their age. For instance, do not let your seven-year old son climb up a ladder in order to wipe the tall windows, or make your six-year-old daughter handle electrical appliances.
A smart way of making your kids help out with some of the cleaning duties is to present them with a small gift when they finish. Nothing too big, just something to let your kids know that you appreciate their input. Consider taking them to the zoo or to the cinema, giving them extended TV/PC times or simply some treats in the form of everybody’s favorite candy.
Bear in mind, however, that what you are aiming for is a HELPING hand, not somebody to do the whole work for you. Set a good example and let your child know that he/she is expected to take up only a small proportion of the overall task.
There is, however, one thing you need to MAKE your children do, and that is to clean after themselves. Let them realize that whenever one makes a mess, he/she is to take care of it. Nobody else is responsible for doing so. This way, as a parent, you not only make it easier for yourself, but also teach your children an important lesson in life.
Cleaning together can be fun; you just need to know how to approach it. For example, why not turn it into a game? Each kid enjoys playing games, so try to turn cleaning into a competition. For instance, who will manage to clean their room the fastest. There could be a prize for the winner, a small one, like the aforementioned. And, of course, let your child win. This way, you can ask for a ‘re-match’ – another room cleaning competition. This is how you will be sure that your child’s room is always clean and tidy.
Long story short, do your best to try to present the cleaning as something fun and entertaining rather than a tedious chore. Once you’ve managed to do that, your children will insist on cleaning their rooms by themselves rather than be ordered to do so.
Community Contributor: Izzy Smith is a working mom, writer and adventurer, loves to travel, smile and enjoy every minute of her life
Thanks Izzy for your contribution!
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