Cleaning the house, and keeping it that way, is already a challenge when you’re living on your own trying to balance your work life with your personal life.
Throw in kids into the mixture, and you’ve got yourself a never-ending task of wiping, washing, and picking up after them.
Truth is, kids are amazing at making a mess, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be equally helpful when it comes to cleaning up.
I know what you’re thinking; “there’s no way they’ll willingly help”. However, this is one of the times you’ll be happy you’re wrong!
Below, our end of tenancy cleaners in Battersea a guide on how to include your kids in cleaning the house, so keep reading to find out how to get those extra little hands on deck.
1. Don’t Treat Cleaning as Punishment
If your idea of punishing your kids is to give them cleaning chores, then you need to change that concept. I mean, ask yourself, how many times were you sent to wash the dishes or mop the bathroom floor as punishment?
Now, think of how much that act made you hate cleaning? Yes, our parents may have had good intentions and all as this was their idea of discipline, but it certainly didn’t make us actually want to clean.
So to get your kids to like cleaning – or at least not complain about it- and do it willingly, establish that cleaning is a ticket. Remember if you treat the idea of cleaning as something negative, your kids will also feel negative about it.
Instead of being a chore or a form of punishment, send the message that cleaning will earn them points that they can later redeem for getting things they want like a toy or an extra half hour past bedtime.
2. Make a Cleaning Schedule and Remind them of it
No one likes to be “surprised” with a task like cleaning, and the same goes for kids. Pulling them out of a play session or a certain activity because they “have to” clean up their room or take out the trash will make them want to get out of helping whenever they can.
A better approach is to set a cleaning schedule, for example, a cleaning Saturday, and letting your kids know it’s coming up a few days earlier.
Talking about cleaning before it happens makes everyone more open to doing the task. Not to mention, no one can pretend they didn’t know about it!
3. Work as a Team
One of the most effective ways to get your kids to want to participate in cleaning, and even be willing to do bigger cleaning tasks, is when all the family pitches in.
This helps you get over the “fairness” obstacle. You know, those inevitable complaints about “whose turn it is to clean what” and “who’s cleaning more than the other”. When everyone is working at the same time, there’s not much room to argue about fairness.
Cleaning as a team also nurtures the idea of being part of the family. Not to mention, the kids will feel like “grown-ups”, which is something that I’ve found to appeal to many kids once they hit a certain age.
4. Let them Choose
When you give someone options to choose from, they’re more likely to stick to what they’ve picked because it feels like their decision. You can apply this very technique to include your kids in cleaning the house by giving them some freedom to choose what cleaning task they want to do.
A huge part of what makes cleaning chores off-putting to kids is that parents often make them feel like they get no say in what they’re supposed to do or how to do it.
Presenting your young ones with a couple of options not only helps build their decision-making skills but also makes them feel responsible for coming through the task.
5. Keep your Expectation Realistic
One of the main things that cause parents a lot of frustration when it comes to cleaning is expecting too much.
Most parents have an “everything is messy and has to be cleaned” mindset. So, when that doesn’t happen, they become grumpy about cleaning and take out their frustration on the kids either by giving them too many tasks to handle or by implying they didn’t do enough.
Counteract this issue by setting realistic goals for every cleaning session. Give your kids a few simple tasks or just one bigger task, as long as what you’re asking can fit within the designated cleaning time and isn’t too complicated for the younger ones to complete.
This way, you and your kids will feel accomplished instead of disappointed or frustrated.
6. Put the Fun in Cleaning
There’s no fun in the word cleaning, but the action can sure be! When you treat cleaning tasks as games or associate them with a fun activity, your kids will be more eager to get involved. Here are a few fun ideas for you to try:
- Pretend it’s a cleaning commercial
- Dress up like real maids and butlers
- Make cleaning tasks into “challenges” or “missions”
- Play “Cinderella”
- Provide kid-sized tools
7. Praise then Offer Positive Feedback
Most of the time, kids won’t do a perfect job when it comes to cleaning. They’re young and bound to make a few mistakes, but your first reaction must never be negative criticism.
Telling someone they did a good job when they’re doing something they’re too fond of makes them open to repeating the task in the future. This is true for both adults and kids.
So when your kids finish a cleaning task, praise them first. Tell them they did well then follow up with a feedback comment. Make it sound like a piece of advice or a tip instead of criticism.
There you have it, 7 tips on how to include your kids in cleaning the house. It takes quite the time and effort to get the cleaning job done, so be sure to celebrate with your kids afterward with some ice cream, a movie night, or whatever serves as a reward for the family.