Cleanliness has always been an integral part of our daily lives. It’s not a responsibility but it should come naturally to keep ourselves healthy. And especially since the Covid-19 pandemic happened (although we still are), we learned how cleanliness is important to us the hard way.
In this blog, we will share with you how you can keep your house clean and teach your kids its importance.
Children Love to Make a Mess, But Cleaning?
The statement might be quite strong for many but in general, this is a fact. Probably due to their age, they still get overly excited when playing which leads to creating a mess—with their toys, food, etc. It’s not that they always intend to do it, it’s just that most often, the cleaning tasks fall on parents. And did you know that according to a study, on average parents have to pick up 28 times a week after their kids? It sounds frustrating when you read it but due to the unconditional love we have for our little ones, we voluntarily protect them from danger and clean up their mess.
Our Kids are Capable to Clean
Tidying up after your kids can be problematic on some levels. It gets in the way of our house routine or work as we have to make time to pick up their toys and/or clean up their food. But we are parents after all. We love them. We care for them. And we will clean up their toys for them. But did you know that picking up after them has its cause and effect? Doing it too much (long term) for them may make them too dependable.
That is why in most studies, it is suggested that educating your children, at an early age, about house chores and assigning them some would be beneficial. Dr. Tamar Chansky, psychologist and author of several books, states that “[giving children household chores at an early age] helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility, and self-reliance,” points to a study published by the University of Minnesota.
Furthermore, it’s like at an early age, we teach our children the value of money so why not teach them also the value of cleanliness, right?
Ways to Make House Cleaning with Children Possible
- Let them help
It’s not that in a single explanation they will thoroughly learn the value of cleanliness and why they should do house chores. Kids get excited when they see new things. There’s a high chance that your kids may get attracted to a vacuum cleaner when they see one for the first time.
They usually really want to get involved when there’s a new activity such as house cleaning. Take advantage of it. In short, make them part of the solution after they caused the problem of making a mess in your home.
- Don’t give them the idea that cleaning is a punishment
Cleaning is not a punishment, first and foremost. Using cleaning as a method to punish your children is actually not beneficial for the reason that sooner or later they will hate the idea of cleaning. And for sure, there are some of us who experienced that. Some of us took a while or already grown-ups when we finally realized that cleaning is really important.
- Set a realistic expectation
Don’t expect your kids to clean everything at once. It takes time. You have to know and fully understand that their way of thinking is not mature yet. At first, they might not have the cooperation you’re expecting. But it is okay! So give them minimal things to do first and add some more over time.
- Communicate with them while they clean
Explaining to your kids the importance of cleanliness and why we need to clean is important for the reason that it will give them a better picture of what they do. Also, it is best if you give them options on what they want to do at first until they gradually learn it. Once cleaning becomes part of their tasks and it comes naturally with them, you can add additional tasks if needed. In this way they won’t feel pressured or feel like being punished.
If you’re giving them instructions, be specific about it. For them, it means a lot, when you say “clean up your room.” But if you say, “let’s clean up your room,” it will sound lighter as they know they would not be taking a heavy responsibility. It’s true, it’s a very big task for them so they need a helping hand.
- Make it a family activity
Wouldn’t it be nice that cleaning would become a family bonding for you and your kids? You can make the cleaning interactive for them by making look like a fun game. Let’s say, cleaning would be a “race” that when you finish faster there will be a reward for them. They love role-playing, why not use this as a method as you clean the house with them?
- Give them a break once in a while
It’s good that when cleaning becomes a habit for them, they do the household chores without expecting anything, right? But it would be nice if once in a while you will reward them for being helpful with the chores.
It’s also good that in-between cleaning, you will take a break. And during this break, use the opportunity to communicate with them. Just like what we advised earlier, it will help them to feel that cleaning is not a punishment.
- Don’t redo their work
There are times that the cleaning tasks done by our kids are not as polished as we expect, it is best if you appreciate it all. Instead of directly correcting them for their not-so-good job, explain to them what happened. Remember that they are kids. There are times that they get emotional and sensitive in small things. If you insist to them that they did not do well, the chances are they might give up and not learn how to do things properly. Instead, encourage them while explaining to them how they can properly do the tasks.
Cleaning is important and so are children
Cleaning can be challenging from time to time, especially when our little ones keep on cluttering and messing their toys everywhere in the house. But it’s not enough reason to be frustrated with them. What you need is to encourage them to clean up their own mess.
And if you don’t have enough time to clean your house regularly because of work and time with your kids, you can contact us. My Marvelous Maids is ready to serve and clean your house anytime. We have highly skilled cleaners who are well-trained to make your house sparkling clean, especially for homeowners in Aurora, IL. Book an appointment with us today!