They say a house full of children is a happy house. While we don’t object that at all, we would also like to add that a house full of children is a messy house. And it is the truth, many of you would confirm. Those half-terms and the school holidays can turn into a nightmare if the weather is bad or you haven’t planned enough entertaining activities. The chances are your house will be turned upside down and there’s little you could do to prevent it. However, you may be able to minimise the cleaning you have to do afterwards if you manage to get the messy players fix their mess. Since it is half term and the International Children’s Day, we thought there’s no better topic for the blog but to give you a few ideas how to get your children involved in domestic cleaning.
Set expectations early
Let your children know that they can play as much as they want, however, they will have to clean up any mess afterwards. No toys left on the floor, no scribbles on the furniture or walls, no spills on the carpet. Of course, if you have really young children you must set some precautions for real damage to occur. Teach them to complete age-appropriate tasks as part of domestic cleaning.
Children love being rewarded for doing something right. It doesn’t have to be something big or expensive. From our experience, most kids are over the moon when they receive just a sticker. You can create charts (especially if there are two or more siblings in the household), which will create a fun competition between the kids and will prompt them to complete their domestic cleaning tasks every week. Teenagers, probably won’t care much about coming first on the leaderboard for house chores, but you can keep them involved in domestic cleaning by rewarding them with some extra change or more screen time, extended curfew, and so on.
Work together as a family
Tell your children that everybody at home has to work together as a family. Use the opportunity to bond with them or introduce family traditions that will last for decades. Perhaps your children will pass them to their own. Make it fun by structuring domestic cleaning as a game. It could be something like a treasure hunt or a quest. You can introduce point system and form different teams. The winner gets a special treat in the form of something they like doing, eating or having.
Teach but don’t preach
The most important thing for involving the children in domestic cleaning is to be an example of what you expect them to do. If they see you throwing your clothes on the floor after work, their school uniform won’t go neatly in the laundry basket. Children are very perceptive. They learn better when you show them how to behave rather than tell them what to do. Want to get your children involved in domestic cleaning? Show them it’s fun with your own attitude towards it. If they see you frowning every time you have to wash the dishes, they would see the activity as something tedious. As a parent you have the amazing opportunity to shape a person into a well-rounded individual. Use that opportunity wise.