I admit, cleaning with kids is not my idea of a good time. I love my kids. I dislike cleaning and somehow putting the two together seems a bit overwhelming and not my idea of a good time.
Most days it’s easier for me to just do all of the things myself. Clean the kitchen, the bathrooms, pick up the toys and even on occasion, clean under their beds… because we all know that’s where they put everything when I asked them to “clean” their rooms.
But now that they are getting older, I know that it’s my responsibility as their parent to give them some consistent chores around the house… well, at least that’s what all the parenting books say. Ha! But honestly, isn’t our goal as parents to raise capable, responsible and self-motivating little humans in hopes that those characteristics will stick as they grow into adulthood? I can say, as a adult (most days) I’m so happy that my parents made me pick up after myself, gave me responsibilities, and instilled some work ethic into me!
Make a List with Rewards
For my older boys who are just a year apart I handed them each a list and said get this done. I gave them a few instructions and specific directions but for the most part they can independently do things like:
- Donate Clothes that are too small
- Go through books and fix them or giveaway
- Vacuum/Sweep rooms and bathrooms
- Sort Toys and donate
- Scrub toothpaste off the bathroom door that’s been there for about a month
- Dust bookcases and ceiling fans
- Rack gravel and remove trash or old weeds
My youngest becomes my sidekick. Wherever I go, she goes. I can help her go through clothes and she can decide what is too big or too small. She can also use small sponges and a mini broom to sweep dust off the baseboards, while I do the vacuuming.
Be Patient and Check Your Expectations
With my three, my standards are high, BUT I still know they won’t get it perfect. Taking into account their attention span and the lack of passion when it comes to cleaning, I give them a break. I focus more on the effort and the heart more than the actually cleaning itself.
Their Own Supplies
It’s funny how one thing makes the entire spring cleaning experience fun for them. Handing them their own set of gloves, their own spray bottle and sponge really makes them feel like they are helping. I guess it’s theirs something about having your own set of tools to tackle the job that gives them some ownership over the tasks at hand.
Music is life in our house. When we blast the music. Things get done around here. SO being the cool mom that I am I turned on the 90’s station and blasted that thing so loud. So not only where the kids getting a lesson in how to properly clean around the toilet, they were also getting a lesson in classic 90’s music. Win. Win.