A clean home and children don’t always go together. Sometimes it is much easier and faster to do everything yourself rather than have your kids help you clean. Not only will this frustrate you, but it prevents you from working side by side with them and teaching them new skills at an age when they are eager to help and excited to learn. Having your kids help out around the house teaches them responsibility and the value of hard work. These are important skills that they will use throughout the rest of their lives.
So how much help should you expect from the little humans making the most mess in your home? Here are some cleaning tasks that your children can pitch in and help with:
Various laundry tasks can be adjusted depending on the age and ability of every child. Start with having them put their dirty clothes in the hamper, then work toward them helping you load the washer or dryer. Little kids love to help so let them! When they get older, they can fold their own laundry and be able to put it away.
Having your children help wash dishes or load the dishwasher is a wonderful opportunity for them to learn how to pick up after themselves. A great start is to have them help load the dishwasher or rinse their plate after dinner. They will also be able to learn important safety lessons like not letting knives soak in soapy water where they are hard to see.
3. Pick up Toys
Removing clutter and keeping a tidy area is a challenge even for adults but making this a habit when your children are young will help them continue this pattern later in life. If your child can pull toys out of the toy box, they can put them back in. Make it a fun game to ‘beat the clock’ at clean up time to help motivate them.
4. Clean the Floor
Sweeping the floor with a broom and dustpan may be something you reserve for older kids or you do together with your child. Perhaps they hold the dustpan while you sweep into it or they work with an older sibling. Learning to use a broom often takes practice but it is a good skill for them to learn.
5. Make the Bed
Learning how to make the bed is an art that is valuable for your kids to know. If they never do it as a teenager, at least they know how. Simply start by showing them how when they are toddlers and let them re-arrange their stuffed animals. Praise your child for the good effort, positive attention goes a long way in creating that habit.
As with anything in parenting goes, the cleaning tasks you assign depend on the child and their ability. Find what works best for you and your family.