How To Involve Children In Cleaning
Which parent can say about their child that their child cleans up after him/herself? Probably not many of us. Although older children understand why they should clean up, they don‘t force themselves to clean up. Moreover, they don't mind the mess as much as their parents. But how do you explain to children that maintaining order makes sense?
How To Teach Children To Clean And Help You?
When you have a small baby, some of us have everything clean and tidy at home. However, the older the baby, the worse the situation. The child gradually begins to discover the world around him or her. During their discovery expeditions, they take everything from the shelves, out of drawers and cupboards. And worse when your child most often wants to eat there by themselves. And then you just get up and you clean up again and again.
Young children naturally imitate their parents, and when they see us vacuuming or wiping dust, they want to do the same. But their help is often counterproductive. Although it is often more to the detriment and cleaning will take a long time, thanks to the fact that you allow children to help you from an early age, you build and support them to take these activities for granted and eventually it comes to them completely naturally. However, many parents do not have the patience and will rather do it themselves.
Cleaning helps the child gain a sense of his or her own space and contributes to the development of their independence. Every child needs a little guidance to find their things, but also to find themselves. If they have all their toys spread out on the floor and on the table in their room, there is nowhere for new games and new activities. Only where there is free space and order something new can arise.
How To Lead Little Kids To Order
Children need to be taught that everything has its place. In order for children to stay organized, they need to know where things belong. This also applies to storing clothes. Let's lead children to order and independence, for example, just by preparing a hook for hanging a jacket at their height. Also set aside their own place for shoes in the shoe cupboard. Stick a cheerful sticker with a name tag there. They will feel important. Let the children put their clothes in their wardrobe from an early age.
There is definitely no point in cursing children and forcing them to clean up with threats or punishments. They would get resistance to cleaning. Yes, they may clean up for fear of punishment, but we certainly won't get the effect we want. It is far better and more efficient to explain what can happen... For example, the sentence "It is necessary to clean up because things are wrong and look a mess." "It's good to wipe the dust off the room. Dust can cause a cough. ” "It is necessary to throw rubbish in the bin. There are various nasty bugs in them that cause diseases. And when you're sick, you can't go out and play with friends. " "If we don't clean up this toy, we can step on it and destroy it or get injured/hurt. And we don't want that… ”It takes a lot of patience, but it's definitely better to try it in a good mood than for children to clean up for fear that we are screaming at them.
Create rules right at the beginning to avoid later discussions. Are you angry that kid´s toys are everywhere in the house? Agree with your children that the toys only belong in their bedroom or in their playroom. Your little one doesn't like cubes anymore, but he wants to paint with watercolours? It's not a problem, but in order to have a place to paint, you first need to clean up and make room. Even cleaning can be fun. Get creative and tell kids a story about toys that need to be cleaned. What would such a dinosaur say that there are no lizards in a box with their friends. And how sad would a cube tucked under a bed be that no one was playing with them? You will definitely come up with something original. There are no limits to imagination. This is the best way to teach children to clean. The sooner you teach your child to clean their toys one after the other, the easier it will be for them to clean them gradually. In addition, children are tired in the evening and the level of willingness to cooperate is reduced to a minimum. Definitely do not leave the cleaning to the last minute in the evening. This will prevent possible conflicts.
Clean Up After Children
A common mistake that parents make, is to clean up after our children and not let them clean up after themselves. If this happens several times, it is very likely that the child will not want to get involved next time. Let the children help you as best they can. You will see that in time they will learn well. And they will clean up on their own. But when they know that you will always clean up after them, why should they do that themselves?
Children under the age of three cannot concentrate on cleaning on their own. It's really hard to get them to clean up, using threats or arguments. They don't understand it yet. Help them and do it together. At least you will have fun together. Kids will see how fast and easy it is. They will learn where things belong and will be proud to be able to help you. In addition, they are mostly competitive. You will see that sometimes they will even race with you to clean things up faster. For older children, helped at the beginning. Start together, and then after a while go to do something "urgently" and let them continue alone. They will gradually learn to clean up without your help.
What Work At Home Should Your Little Ones Do Alone At What Age
Are you thinking about what your children can already do? We divided work at home into 6 age categories. Of course, every child is different and children of any age can make work at home easier. But we think that this list can give you some ideas when to ask your child to give a helping hand.
2 - 3 years
Clean up toys (with your presence), take dirty laundry to the laundry box, line up books on shelves, tuck in chairs at the table, sweep with brush and dustpan, wipe up spilt water on the floor, sort toys, spread butter or jam on bread with a blunt knife, turn the undressed T-shirt inside out, put pyjamas under the pillow on their bed.
4 - 5 years
Refill toilet paper, wipe up spilt water, on the table, floor, water the flowers in the house or garden, clean the dining table, prepare a simple snack/cut with a knife, engage in cleaning the bedroom, vacuum and sweep, wash dishes in the sink instead of the dishwasher, sort socks by the same colour/pattern, fold towels, prepare table place settings
6 - 7 years
take out garbage, swipe floors, tidy up the clean dishes from the dishwasher, make a bed, help in the garden, prepare a salad, a cold dinner, sort clothes into the washing machine, put clean clothes in drawers and cupboards, take care of pets, unload shopping bags, iron clothes (under supervision).
8 - 9 years
Stack the dishwasher, put the laundry in the dryer, wipe the dust, brush the carpets, clean the bathroom, polish the mirrors, bake a simple cake/gingerbread, wash the car, help with shopping, bring some ingredients from the other side of the store, change the sheets
10 - 11 years
Independently buy small things, cook simple food, clean the area in which the food was prepared in the kitchen, routine household cleaning (dust, vacuuming, wiping, bathrooms), sew a button, sew small holes, sort laundry into washing machine according to colours, distribute ironed laundry to their owners, bake a cake for themselves, be able to sort and discard unused things from the closet, grow plants from seeds, take care of a piece of the garden
12 years and older
Iron, cook, wash the pool, clean the windows, mow the garden, prepare a festive board, turn on the washing machine with clothes, replace the light bulb with parental supervision, involve children in all work around the household.
And how are you doing with your children and cleaning? Share with us your tips on how to motivate children to clean.