Mud, glorious mud. It is the curse of any mums out there, especially in the winter. Maxi plays junior football every Sunday and comes home covered in mud every week. Now that he is ten, we have made the decision that he has to help clean up. Want to see how that turns out…..
Do your kids clean up after themselves? Sometimes it can feel as though it would be quicker and easier to do it yourself and I am going to admit that I have been guilty of doing it for him for far too long! So I have been working on sitting back and encouraging Maxi to clean up after himself. Even if that means that I end up cleaning up again after the initial clean up!
How to get kids to clean up
Have a routine – I find that having a routine makes it so much easier, there certainly is less nagging from me to get things done. So now after a football match Maxi knows to come in and clean his football boots.
Be specific – rather than a sweeping statement such as clean your room, which can often be overwhelming and leave children wondering where to start, give specific instructions such as put all your LEGO in the container.
Give a time frame – rather than expecting your child to drop everything and clean there and then, set a timescale such as please do this once you have finished or before a set time. With younger children make it a game and see if they can finish before the end of a song.
Don’t redo their work. If you are going to insist on something being “just so” then do it yourself. It is so discouraging to have your work redone and as a result, they won’t bother to learn how to do the task properly and will rely on you to get it done.
Be supportive. Do not offer empty praise, thank them for their effort rather than insincerely praising them for a less-than-successful execution. Also keep offering tips and practice together.
Give them the tools. When the boys were smaller they had child sized cleaning stuff, so they could follow me round and clean. Now that they are older, I make sure that they know where everything is and how to use it.
Make it easy for them.
We were recently sent some new Plenty Easy Clean Wipes to try. They are not something that I would normally purchase. Usually we stick to reusable cleaning products, but these have been a revelation when it comes to cleaning with the boys, especially with football boots!
The Plenty Easy Clean Wipes have a unique dispensing system and PerfectSeal lid to keep wipes moist for longer, this means that they are great for Maxi to use to clean his boots on his own and even if he leaves the lid off they are still moist. The wipes stood up to being rubbed against muddy boots and do not fall apart. At £1.99 for a pack of refills for the dispenser I figure it is a small price to pay for Maxi to clean his own football boots and on occasion mine too.
I like the dispenser as you take all the branding off and it just looks like an innocent container. We have a container of the bathroom wipes in the downstairs loo and it appears that the boys are actually using them!