Every parent knows that kids tend to be a lot better at making messes than they are at cleaning them up. However, with the right explanations and proper encouragement, your children can turn out to be surprisingly good household helpers! Here’s some tips the Mini Maid team put together to help you inspire your kids to help out a little more around the house.
- Make it a Request, Not an Order — Many times, housecleaning comes across as an unpleasant chore and inconvenience for kids who would rather be off somewhere playing a game. By cheerfully inviting them to clean with you, you can make your children feel helpful and cleanup time will seem more like pleasant “together time” than a punishment or dreaded chores.
- Be Clear — Children love to feel helpful and they understand the concept of receiving praise for their accomplishments (and that it feels great!). What they may not understand as well is how to execute an effective strategy for cleaning the house. It’s helpful to keep in mind the easiest way to explain how to complete a cleaning task and to break down the process into a series of simple steps that your child can understand.
- Be Consistent — If you don’t care about toys, food and other messes being left on the floor, it’s very unlikely that your kids will. If you want kids to learn to clean up after themselves, be sure to provide them with the proper behavior to model.
- Keep on a Schedule — Children are creatures of habit; by making cleanup time a part of their regular routine, you’re less likely to receive pushback. Make it a rule that everyone will pitch in and cleanup for 15 minutes after school or before dinner, and your kids will get used to the idea and come to expect it as a matter of course each day.
- Make it Fun! — Housecleaning will most likely never become your child’s very favorite activity, but by tossing in some elements of fun you can at least make cleanup a bit more appealing. Try turning tidying up into a fun “cleaning contest” to see who completes their tasks the fastest, or set an upbeat mood by playing songs your child enjoys and encouraging everyone to sing along while cleaning up.
- Appreciate Their Efforts — Let’s face it, kids are probably not going to be the most accomplished cleaners in the family. From time to time, you may have to go back over certain spots that they cleaned less than perfectly. However, as long as they are doing their best and are at least willing to pitch in, it’s best to be positive and offer up praise to keep them from getting discouraged and giving up on cleaning all together.
We hope these tips come in handy when trying to enlist a little help with cleanup around the house! And, when you’re ready for some serious cleanup assistance from people a bit more experienced than your kids, give the pro cleaning team at Mini Maid a call (352) 374-4141.