While you might think that no child can ever be made to enjoy cleaning (and you might be right!), they can certainly be made to help you do it effectively, but you’ll need to be patient, understanding, and generous with your praise!
Follow these 7 simple steps for getting your kids involved in cleaning:
1. It’s child’s play!
Younger children love to play games and get involved in role-play, so try to make each cleaning or tidying task fun, and you’ll achieve better results. Whether they’re learning where their toys go to sleep after playtime or are mimicking an adult, games are fun even when they involve something as potentially un-fun as house cleaning!
2. Set a good example
If you don’t keep a clean home and put your things tidily away when you’ve finished with them, how can you ever expect your child to? Show them how you clean the home, and you stand a much better chance of them following by example.
3. Praise their efforts, don’t belittle them
Even if your child hasn’t performed a cleaning task to your standard, if they have put in the effort and tried, then thank them and don’t redo any tasks in their presence. If they continue to not clean to a good enough standard – provided they can be reasonably expected to achieve it – you can show them again how you want it to be done, calmly and kindly.
4. Tackle it together
This can not only ensure that the cleaning gets done quicker, and to a higher standard, but can help strengthen your relationship with your child, too. Also, if your child sees you helping and understands that you don’t expect them to do it all, alone, they’ll feel less dispirited about each task and keener to help out in the future.
5. Choose a good time
Even if you really want your child to tidy up a mess that they’ve made, or want them to help you clean at a time that’s convenient for you if they’re not feeling up to it for any reason, then they’ll simply perform the role begrudgingly, and probably not well enough, or it’ll create an argument.
6. Turn it into a friendly competition
If you have children that enjoy competing against one another, why not have them earn rewards for each successfully completed task, keep a tally, and give them targets and rewards to motivate them. Remember that it should only be healthy competition, anything else will probably result in fights and arguments!
7. Give plenty of praise
Provided your child has put effort into helping you clean up, even if they didn’t finish the task quite to your standard, be sure to thank them and encourage them so that they feel as if they’re genuinely helping you.
If, after following the above advice, your kids still aren’t playing by the rules and you’re finding yourself cleaning the home alone, remember that you can always hire a cleaning company to help you.