As parents, we want to spend time with our kids and help them develop into adults that can think for themselves and have successful, happy lives. Unfortunately, there are many aspects of our lives where parents and children have to operate separately. While the children are at school, the parents are often at work, and much of the day is spent apart. However, when both come home, that should be an opportunity to spend time together.
Now, many families start on their chores once they arrive home, but that doesn’t have to be a time for children and parents to operate separately. Your kids may live busy lives and have things they want to do, but you can involve them in the housecleaning with these handy tips that will get you working together.
One of the best ways to get your kids involved in cleaning is to give them a reason to clean. Don’t just tell them, “Because I said so”. That may get them to do the work, but they are not likely to have a good attitude or to look forward to getting their chores done. Instead, try to tell them the benefits of doing their chores. Tell them it helps to build character and prepare them for a job. Tell them it keeps their house cleaner and provides more breathable air and a less stressful environment. Tell them it makes you proud to see them cleaning up after themselves and take the initiative to clean their rooms and help with cleaning around the house.
Once your kids are motivated to clean, they may have a good attitude about it and they may even clean without being told to. You just have to find what motivates them. In some instances, you may want to reward them for a job well done. Perhaps, you can set up a reward system that pays off at the end of every week or month. If they do all their chores each day, for example, then you can reward them with a treat of some kind or pay them allowance. Giving your kids allowance is a great motivator, as long as you let them know they only get their allowance if they do their chores. If they complain that is not fair, then tell them the allowance is to help them prepare for a job and that they would not get paid at a job if they did no work.
Work with Them
You can also encourage your kids to work in cleaning the house with you. One of the big reasons why kids fail to do their chores or fail to do them properly is because they simply don’t know how to do the work. You can’t assume that your kids know how to do something that you have never personally taught them, so work with them the first few times they do a new task. Even something as simple as sweeping a floor needs to be taught, and once your kids know how to do something well, they will be more likely to do it cheerfully and do a good job with it.
Keep It Interesting
You are your kids’ own cheerleaders and sometimes even their entertainment. Kids may not know how to have fun while working until you show them that it is possible to do so. You can put on some music for them while they work or sing a song with them as you work together. You can make a game out of it, depending on the age of the children. A lot of parents find success in getting their kids to do their chores by making a contest out of it. If you have a couple of kids, then you can ask them who can clean the fastest or the neatest. Kids love to be competitive, and they will often respond to this motivation by working hard and fast to become the winner. You don’t even need to provide a prize. If you just tell them that one will be the winner, they will work hard to beat their siblings.
You can also keep your kids interested in cleaning by telling them story while they work or giving them parts of the story and only continuing it when they finish a task. Little by little they will hear the story and do all their cleaning.
What works for one parent or child may not work for another, so you will have to experiment and see what works with your kid’s personality and temperament. If you only have one kid, then you can still make a game out of it and make it a contest of parent against child. Diamond Cleaning’s Richard adds “Give them a fighting chance to keep them interested and ensure they are still interested in having fun with the cleaning”.
Give Them a Break
We talked about reward earlier, and it is important to let your kids know that their work is appreciated. Be sure to compliment when they do a good job or when they put in their best effort. You can also give them break from their chores from time to time. You can do the work for them if they are very tired or if they have been doing an excellent job with their chores all month and you want to reward them. You can also hire a cleaning service to come and do the cleaning for you. Take the time you both have free to spend with your kids and savor your time together.
It may cost a bit to hire a cleaning service to take care of some home chores, but it can be a great way to reward yourself and your children and give them a chance to rest from their work. You want them to know that doing their chores is important, but that taking time to rest and reward one’s self is also a good way to stay motivated and enjoy your work more.