Back to School! Tips to Get Your Kids to Help Clean Up at Home
Do you ever find yourself rushing towards the start of school, scrambling to the Dollar Store, Staples and clothing stores, and wondering how you are going to clean up all the mess that summer can bring? Here are some tips for the whole family to get things ready, for back to school, any other occasion, or just life.
It Shouldn’t be Mission Impossible
As young as 2 years, children can start helping out with small tasks on a regularly scheduled basis. Obviously you’re not going to ask them to take out the garbage, but they can start understanding how the home works and how different items belong in different locations. As kids get older they become more adjusted to routines and are physically able to sweep, Swiffer, and take out garbage. There’s a couple of important things to remember. Children are impatient, so make sure that any tasks have a clear end and do not take too long. That way the task is rewarding instead of painful.
The Schedule is the Savior
Even if there are enough kids to get a huge cleaning job done in one day, asking children to help for hours at a time is not going to end well for anyone. Make lists of the tasks that need to be done, who can do it, and when. The key is to make sure you include your kids in this process, even using some sort of auction or draft to settle competition between siblings. Making them involved helps them feel more accountable for their tasks later on. Sticking to a schedule that they helped make and agreed to will help your kids feel more accomplished later on.
If you need your kids to help get your house ready for a Junk Canada pickup, it helps to give them some guidance. You don’t want to pile all of the items randomly. It can help to designate an area where everything has to go that is away from anyone’s individual space, allowing yourself and your kids to retreat into their own spaces and recharge away from the clutter.
Be the Clutter Coach
If you notice that certain children tend to like, or at least not hate, certain tasks, have them do those tasks! In addition, make sure things are equitable, some jobs take longer or are less enjoyable than others, so assigning the same number of jobs to each kid isn’t necessarily the right solution. Not only does this help get the job done faster, but it demonstrates that you listen to and respect your kids.
Reward, or Bribe, Whichever You Want to Call It
As we all know from our own experience, the younger you are, the less likely you are to get a strong sense of accomplishment simply from a clean room. Make sure your kids also get that sense of accomplishment with some small rewards for doing their tasks or chores according to schedule. These could be as small as screen time or a small treat for the whole family.