Do your kids help with the cleaning? I hate cleaning up, but love a tidy house! So it is important to me that the boys know what is expected of them and one of those things to to be involved in cleaning. So yes my kids do the housework and no they do not moan about it all the time!
Here in The Mad House we have rules, they are for the smooth running and good of the family and we all have our roles in this. The MiniMads are under no illusion as to the fact that we do things that we don’t always enjoy for the good of our family (I HATE ironing)!
So since the boys have been small they have heard the phrase “for the good of the family” when they ask why they have to set the table, make their bed or load the washing machine!
Yes, sometimes they moan and whinge and that is when we sit down and talk about the fact that we all have responsibilities to make our lives run smoothly.
Yes I have to reinforce their responsibilities, but hey they are ten and eight and I don’t have an issue saying things over and over again. But if you are going to get the kids involved in housework and ensure they stay involved you have to do one thing.
The unbreakable rule when it comes to getting kids involved in cleaning
Yes it will take your child longer to do something, yes it would be quicker and often easier to do it yourself, however, you want them to do this. So let them do things, let them get it wrong, let the, do it their way. As long as the outcome is acceptable, leave them to it! This rule also applies to husbands too!
5 Tips to get the kids involved in cleaning
- First up, I have always involved them, even from when they were small. I would give them a cloth and a small spray bottle of water and encourage them to follow m round the house when I was cleaning or when the husbeast was. We have always made helping out with family stuff non-negotiable, however, there are times when they need a reminder that we are a family and we all do things for the good of the family.
- Make it a game – when the boys were much younger we had a “tidy up” song. We would sing it (I say sing in a very loose term) and try and get everything put back where it belonged before we finished it. Now we set a timer and all try and get as much done in 5 or 15 minutes.
- Make sure they know what is expected of them. When you say “tidy your room” what do you mean. I know I need to give specifics to my boys so make sure your clothes are all away, books are off the floor and on the book shelves and any water bottles down stairs in the sink.
- Let them use the vacuum – OK, I know it would be quicker to do it yourself, but the long term goal here is to get the kids doing the cleaning, so let them vacuum, let them clean the windows. Accept that it may take longer in the beginning, but encourage them. Show them where the tools are so they can get them when they need them. We recently received a Bissell Multi reach cordless vacuum to review and it is wonderful. It stays in our conservatory where the boys can see it and they have been using it unprompted by me! It is great as it is compact and lightweight and perfect for them to use on the hard floors we have downstairs. It also has an edge each facility so it collects right to the skirting boards. For the last couple of weeks they have been busy playing football and making the most of time with their friends outside and have use the vacuum to clear up mud that they have brought in unprompted by me.
- Give things a place and make sure people know where things below. We have a shoe cabinet at the doorway for the boys shoes and a box for hats and gloves etc. I try and make sure that everyone knows where things are kept so that everyone can make sure they are put away. I want to empower my children, not to do things for them all the time.