From cleaning their rooms to cleaning up after the pets, we tend to assume our kids would rather eat a heaping plate of steamed broccoli than do their household chores. But with a few savvy parenting skills, you can get them on board at an early age. Not only will they appreciate the sense of responsibility it gives them – they also might enjoy it!
1. Start When They’re Young, and Make a Game out of It
It’s hard to imagine – as your toddler flings toys around the house – that you’ll ever be able to teach them how to tidy up. But the truth is, the toddler years are actually the ideal time to get kids involved in chores. The trick is to make cleanup into a game. Sort and put away toys by color, and have a competition to see who can gather the most blocks, marking up reward charts with silver and gold stars as you go. This helps make cleaning up a part of playtime.
2. Use Milestones as a Way to Introduce New Chores
Landmarks in your children’s growth, like moving into a bigger bed or starting a new school year, can signal an opportunity to give them more responsibility over keeping their rooms clean. Get their help in choosing a special desk or bookshelves where they can keep things organized, and remind them that it’s their job to make the most of this beloved new piece of furniture or storage.
3. Get Them Involved at Meal Times
You can also involve them in preparing and cleaning up after meals from around age 2. Make post-meal chores like doing the dishes a treat by turning on some music and having an impromptu dance party while you scrub, rinse and dry. After you wash the dishes with Dawn, they can help dry unbreakable items with Bounty DuraTowels. The process might take a bit longer than usual, but you’ll create a fun routine for cleaning up and teach them valuable skills in the process.
4. Create Pet-Care Habits
Agree on regular times to care for pets – whether it’s a Saturday morning or a midweek family event – and stick to them. Give kids a chore appropriate to their age, from washing pets’ dishes, to removing pet hair from the floor. Arm them with a Swiffer Sweeper – they’re safe and easy to use, but also highly effective at trapping and locking pet hair. Swiffer 360 Dusters are also kid friendly and great for cleaning dust and dirt from furniture surfaces and baseboards.
5. Let Them Choose Their Chores
List all the household chores and ask each child which ones they’d like to do. This can include organizing and lining up schoolbags at the front door the night before, keeping toys organized, sweeping up a few times a week, and more. Assign each chore a value on a reward chart – read our new take on chore charts here. You likely won’t have trouble enlisting them for the higher-value tasks!
Every parent has at least one fail-proof method of getting the kids to help around the house. What’s yours? Share with us in the comments section!