Sometimes when I ask my children to help me clean up the drama is exhausting. My son can even be found hiding under the bed in an effort to avoid being forced to clean up after himself. He once told me he is going to be like his dad and NOT clean. Needless to say I did NOT agree with that one. I miss the days they were all the toddler’s age and more than willing to help me out even if their help was not the best. To get my drama queen, big kids, to help clean I had to pick up a few tricks.
Knock out the drama and get your kids to help clean
A great way to get everyone willing to clean is to make it fun. We turn up the music and dance through the house. This really helps with spring cleaning with my busy bees. Sometimes costumes like superhero capes make the perfect addition to make cleaning fun for the kids. Worst case the music playing helps block out the whining from kids not so happy to be given a chore.
Kids love games and competing with each other. I will often give children a small laundry basket and an item they are to collect. One grabs trash, another dishes, clothes, toys etc. The first kid to fill their basket running through the house wins. When I need one child to work on a task I “bet” them that they can’t get it done. Young kids love to prove adults wrong and They love the reward of knowing they did. I may have learned this from “Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” Hey even homeschool moms are learning.
Kids love sensory play. This si why it is so easy to get kids to help wash the dishes. Water and suds are just the coolest things when you are young. I have been known to find fun ways to get the kids to help out with cleaning that satisfy their sensory needs at the same time. Shaving cream is a great cleaner that can be used on walls, floors, cabinets, and the bath tub. They do all the scrubbing and then you can wipe it away with a towel when they get board. Microfiber cloths make great skates for dusting and even mopping the floors and works gross motor skills at the same time.
Find chores that are a good fit for your child’s development. If a chore is too hard for your child they will often fight doing it. Young kids are great at wiping and dusting at their own height. As children get older they can help with chores like folding towels, and helping with the dishes. Buying kid size cleaning tools is a great way to get the kids willing to help clean and make it easy for them.
Sometimes a good old reward is the best way to get your kids to stop fighting chores. If the kids help with spring cleaning without a fight why not do something fun to reward the whole family for their hard work? It can be as simple as an afternoon at the park or pizza for dinner.
Dealing with root issues to get kids to clean
The biggest issue we have is that my kids love to leave things laying around. Floors being picked up and clear is a big deal for me due to my visual impairment. I am always on them about picking up their stuff from the floors. My ADHD daughter is the worst because she will drop things, get distracted and walk off. I stop everything several times a day and demand everyone gathers together to pick up the floors to get the toys, clothes, and odds and end that end up everywhere up. Small dollar tree laundry baskets are great for this.
Sometimes a big to-do list can be overwhelming for us adults. The same goes for kids. Breaking chores down into small chunks helps take the stress away. Instead of telling the children to do the dishes try telling them each step one at a time. Sort, Wash, dry, put away. As each bit is finished have them report back. Eventually following all steps becomes less stressful and they will break it down themselves.