Raise Cleanie Kids Even If They Don’t Have the Clean Gene
Out of all of my children, I have one that was born with the clean gene.
Obviously, odds are not in a parent’s favor when it comes to birthing naturally clean, organized children, but that doesn’t mean that you have to wade through piles of dirty clothes and candy bar wrappers to tuck your child into bed at night. It just means that you will have to work at it.
Of course, the most important thing is that you set an example of cleanliness and organization. It’s a sad truth that for every degree of disorganization you allow in your own life, your kids will take it ten times further.
Before you decide to lower the boom, you might want to give yourself a month to get yourself on a schedule. Once you have developed good habits, then you can more easily encourage those habits in your kids.
You’ll also want to take time to check each and every chore. Chores that aren’t inspected consistently (at least during training) will usually be done sloppily more often than not.
Take a few minutes every day to do a quick check on rooms, dishes, and other chores that you want your kids to do. If they aren’t done well, have them redo the chore. If they are done well, give your child plenty of encouragement and pats on the back for a job well done.
It’s best if you start early. Teach your toddler to pick up and put away the toys that he is finished playing with. Let him help you with your own chores by giving him a dust cloth and letting him dust everything.
Kids at this age love to copy their parents and cleaning is still fun. It will develop into a habit and you won’t have to do quite so much training later on.
If your kids are older, it just means that you will have to work a little harder at getting them on board. Be consistent and you will prevail over time. After a few times of missing a favorite TV show because they had to redo a chore, they will be more careful about getting the job done right.
Help the entire family by creating a place for everything and teaching them to put things away as they are finished with them. Bins for toys, pencil cases, hooks for coats, and other organizing tools will make it easy.
Make it a rule to leave the bathroom cleaner than when you went in. It only takes a moment to wipe up splashes of water from around the sink and off of the faucet. Spots on mirrors can be quickly buffed off and toilet paper rolls can be replaced by anyone – not just mom.
If everyone does a quick tidying up as they leave the bathroom you would only need to really clean it once a week.
Finally, keep your expectations realistic. If you have kids at home, you are probably not going to live in the live version of one of the images in your favorite magazine. If you are too strict, your kids will lose patience and just not do the chores.
Be consistent but be fair and realize sometimes the house will be a mess.
What are your techniques for teaching children to clean?