A child’s brain subconsciously loves structure, routine, and stability. So the best way to get your child to help with cleaning is to be consistent, make it a part of your routine, and have fun with it! Follow along to learn some easy secrets to getting your child to clean and have fun all at the same time.
It is essential to create a consistent routine for our children and teach them to clean up after themselves, but we need to make sure our expectations are realistic. Cleaning up after your child when they can do it themselves tells them that they don’t have to do it because someone else will. And truthfully, this will only create more work for you now and in the long run. On the other hand, if your expectations are too high and they cannot complete the task you’re asking them to do, they will feel frustrated, hurt, and discouraged when you have to redo their hard work.
I know very few people who enjoy cleaning for hours on end, and I have never met a child who would be capable of cleaning for hours, let alone enjoy it. So ensure not to overload your child with too much at once. Create a routine that includes cleaning daily or every other day. By doing this, you will keep the cleaning intervals shorter, and you will find much less resistance from your children.
Children will become overwhelmed quickly when you ask them to tidy up a room if they don’t know where to put everything (even if you have told them 500 times where something goes). This reminder brings our conversation back to the importance of organization and decluttering your home! Make sure that everything in your home has a place; this includes toys. You can label bins accordingly to accommodate the child(ren) that will be cleaning up. Make sure to include pictures on your labels for children that can’t read yet. Keeping everything organized and labeled will help ensure their toys make it back to where they belong and leave your child feeling independent, confident, and competent.
If you have two or more kids, then this will be something you probably see them often do all on their own. Now, it’s time to use it to your advantage! Set a timer and see who can pick up the most toys in said time or split the room in half and see who can get their side put away first. Sometimes adding competition into cleaning will add a new element that makes it a bit more exciting.
Make cleaning a little more enjoyable for everyone and add some music! Listening to upbeat music that your child enjoys can make cleaning more pleasurable, but it also helps us complete the task quicker. Let your child sing and dance to their favorite tunes while cleaning, and it will decrease cleaning time and leave them in a better mood than when they started.
We know as adults how daunting a huge list of to-dos can be. We shouldn’t be surprised that a child will also feel overwhelmed by a long list of tasks or a mess that spreads from one end of the living room to another. Sharing the job and helping guide them can make it feel less overwhelming to all people involved. I am not suggesting that you clean the mess for your child, but there is a lot of benefit to you offering to help them. I think you may be pleasantly surprised by the result. Soon enough, they will reach out and ask to help with your tasks, such as drying the dishes after you have washed them, or join in and help you fold and put away the laundry. Most children tend to mock the behaviours they see, so if you’re often offering to lend a hand, they will likely repeat this behaviour in the future. You will also get to spend valuable time with your child and them with you. Quality time seems to be hard to find in a world moving so fast all the time; take advantage of it.
Doing the same chore over and over can become redundant quickly and feel more like a punishment than a chore. Give your child the ability to choose which chore(s) they would like to do. Unfortunately, you may need to gently remind them that “none” is not an option on the list. You can allow them to choose between jobs that you have already predetermined they are capable of doing. Most kids love to help, and they love feeling like they are contributing to the household.
Set a timer and challenge your child to beat the clock. Suggest a specific task and set the timer for a predetermined amount of time. For example, “Can you pick up all the dinosaurs in one minute?” or “Can you clean your room in under one hour?” You get the idea; Make it fun! If you want, you could even offer a reward if they can manage to accomplish the task in said amount of time.
Cleaning does not have to be the daunting task that we sometimes make it out to be. Make it a family affair where you can engage with each other and have fun. Having your child do chores consistently will also teach them critical skills that will be valuable to them now and for the rest of their lives. Remember that sometimes even with help, you can still feel overwhelmed by your space. If you lack space due to clutter and find it hard to function in your home, let us help! Check out our website to see our storage solutions available and see which options can help you have the space you deserve! At Crate It Storage, we provide our customers with affordable small storage services with the most value.