GUEST BLOG: ‘How cleaning with kids can be educational AND helpful’, by Joanna Wilkins

The cleaning chores at home seem to be endless and overwhelming. But it can be way easier, if all the members of the household participate in the cleaning chores.

Even the kids can be of great help and this will create useful habits for their future. Don’t hesitate to include them – they need to learn these lessons and they’re often not taught this in school.

It is normal that your kid might not be eager to get involved in the cleaning, but you need to find a way to make it engaging. Start from the idea of play. Then consider how to make the cleaning chores fun and interesting.

In the beginning, don’t assume that your kid will do the cleaning and that it will be perfect. Be prepared that after their attempt, you will need to re-do the chore again. But never let them see you doing this, because he/ she will be disappointed and will lose enthusiasm.

Start with the simplest tasks which are most important to the child themselves. All children love their toys. Use this to teach them to take care of their toys and put them in a particular place. In this way, your child will start to value and take pride in the safety of their own belongings. This will also help with problem-solving… Moreover, it will save the screams that will come from your child when you accidentally step on their favourite toy and it cracks beneath your feet!

Then you can try making the bed. It is easy, but kids just don’t like to do it. Their main point is  usually, “Why should I make the bed, since I’ll use it again later?”. Show them the easiest way to do it and don’t forget the “stick and carrot” method. For each accomplished task, give them a small prize or treat.

You can also try tidying the wardrobe. With this chore, try to be patient, since it is not the easiest thing to do. Firstly, divide the wardrobe into sections, so that they won’t be confused as to where to put different items. Everything should have its own place. Show them an easy way to fold the clothes and how to use the hangers.

After all this, your child may be ready to start with the washing of the dishes. It is an easy chore, but don’t expect them to wash the dishes for the whole family. Teach them to wash their own plate and utensils after having food. This chore will save you the full sink of dishes and reduce the chance of them developing a habit of leaving their mess for someone else to clean.

Washing the floor is one of the favourite chores kids like to do. Kings Cross Domestic Clean explains that the reason for this is all the kids’ movies where they’re having fun with the broom, using it as a guitar etc. Start with showing them simple sweeping strokes. With the mopping, you need to be more careful, since the floor will get slippery. Leave the vacuum cleaning for the last, since it is electrical and it may take more time to master.

Give them enough time to get used to these chores and to perfect their skills. Don’t rush or push them, and always strive to reward their efforts. To involve them in household duties is a very important lesson in life. Keep in mind that your child will become a grown person, who will have responsibilities. This is the first step to teach him/ her to be disciplined and to prepare them for the future. 

Joanna is a writer and the owner of a cleaning business, based in London. She has two children, aged three and seven years old.

2 thoughts on “GUEST BLOG: ‘How cleaning with kids can be educational AND helpful’, by Joanna Wilkins

  1. I agree! Just today I asked my toddler help me switch laundry from the washer to the dryer and she found it fascinating. She likes to feel useful and productive so it was fun! And it’s nice for her to see what’s involved in a household at an early age.

    1. Absolutely Catherine! My daughter has recently started enjoying wiping up spills – so much so that she deliberately spills so that she can wipe it up!!!

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