Courtney is the perfect blend of 1950’s housewife and modern housewife. She keeps things simple. On her website, Homemaker Hero, she features tips and tricks of how things were done “back then” and applies them to modern living. You can also find Courtney on twitter @HomemakerHero.
Cleaning for Kids
For anyone with kids, I’m sure you understand what it is like to have your little tornadoes follow your cleaning path and destroy everything you just put away.
With three young girls in the house it got so frustrating to me that I decided it was easier to get used to the mess than it was to try to remember what a clean house looked like. I wanted so badly for my children to age to preteen years so I could start giving them chores and making them clean up after themselves.
What I’ve learned in the meantime of raising these three girls is that I don’t have to wait till the preteen years. Children are actually capable of cleaning at a very young age.
Children learn by example. If you’re always nagging them to do something, they’ll often reciprocate the gesture with an equal or worse noise. If you complain about cleaning, you can’t expect them to get excited about it either. However, if they see mommy and/or daddy having fun while cleaning, they’ll often want to join in and help.
5 Easy Tips for Teaching Your Child How to Clean
- Think age appropriate. Young children can’t keep focused as long as an older child can. For a two year old, find a two minute task such as dusting the lamps or picking up books instead of asking them to clean up their entire room.
- Let them choose. Instead of demanding them to do something, give them choices. Ask them if they would like to pick up the books or the puzzles? The clothes or the shoes?
- Show them how it’s done. You can’t expect any child to understand how to clean if they have never done it before. Pick up a toy and put it in the toy box. Then hand them a toy and ask them to do the same. Tell them, “This is how you put your toys away.”
- Let them help. If your child isn’t quite old enough to understand how to do an entire task by themselves, show them ways to help you. When you unload the washing machine, give them an article of clothing to put into the dryer. They will have a sense of accomplishment for “helping” with the laundry. As kids get old enough to not drop dishes, allow them to help dry the dishes after you wash them.
- Make it educational. Instead of trying to get your child to put their toys away, turn it into a counting game. Ask them to count each toy or tell you what color the toy is as they put it into the toy box.
Even if some tasks take a little longer with your child’s “help,” you are still teaching good habits. Remember to be the example. Don’t expect your child’s room to be cleaner than the rest of the house!
Next, read Housekeeping Heaven’s “The L Word – Laziness”.