Many parents struggle with the question of ‘how do I get my kids to clean?’. Let’s face it – not many people out there actually WANT to clean (parents included), and the last thing you want to do is tidy up after the kids as well as cleaning the rest of your home without their help. So, how can you get your kids interested in keeping their home clean, and help them form good habits for later in life?
Read on to find out…
1. Remove cleaning as a punishment
Cleaning can easily develop a negative association in our minds when it is used as a punishment. By removing cleaning as a punishment, children are far more likely to want to help and get involved with tidying up and won’t be associating it with bad behaviour.
2. Teach children about cleaning on a hygienic level
Children, especially young children, may not understand the reasons behind why we clean and keep our homes tidy. Explaining to children about how germs travel, how bugs can nest in that pile of dirty clothes, insects can crawl all over the dirty dishes, and how bad smells can be avoided could be the key to them understanding why cleaning is so important.
3. Make cleaning a competition
If your kids are competitive, this could be a healthy way to help develop that aspect of their personality. You could give the child who tidies the most a little extra playtime or a treat to encourage the kids to get the cleaning done.
4. Give your children different options
Providing different options to your children can be a great way to encourage your kids to tidy up. Try suggesting a one or the other method – for example, they can either put their toys back into the toy box or clean off the kitchen table after lunch. This can help them feel like they’ve made the decision, rather than you telling them what to do.
5. Clean as a family
Cleaning as a whole family ensures that no one is singled out to do the chores, and everyone is pulling their weight. When children see the rest of their family involved in the household chores, they’re far more likely to get involved and help as to not feel left out.
6. Don’t try to ‘fix’ what your child has done
If your children have worked hard to tidy, the last thing they want to see is you going and fixing any small mistakes, such as a toy placed back in the wrong box. If your child sees you doing the work afterwards, why would they want to do it in the first place? Instead, show them that you’re grateful for the hard work they’ve done in cleaning up. It’s really not a massive deal if the doona has a few creases in it after the bed is made.
Children can be stubborn - especially when it comes to more work and less play! Following our tips may give you some great ideas to try at home if you’re kids aren’t big fans of keeping things neat and tidy.