Do You Know How
To Get Your Child
Around the House?
By Madonna Behen from Parents Magazine
1. Start them young.Start children from a young age do what they can to clean up their own messes. The younger they start, the more natural it will be to them as they get older. They will accept it as a part of their role in the household.
2. Have realistic expectations. Young children cannot do the same things as older children can do; be proud of their efforts and do not expect their cleaning to be perfect.
3. Be specific. For younger children, a broad statement like
"clean up you room" may be overwhelming, so start with
something like "put all of your cars in their box" then move
on from there.
4. Use a picture. Visual aids may be helpful for young children. Put a picture label on their toys bins so they know what toys go in which bin.
5. Limit toys. Cleaning is much easier and quicker when there is less to clean up. Get rid of toys your children no longer play with and limit how many toys they play with at once. Have them clean up when they are finished so they can pull out something different instead of trying to clean it all up at once.
6. Visit the land of make-believe. Try giving your youngster a hat, apron, and gloves so they can be part of the clean-up crew!
7. Work, then dance. Challenge your child to have
everything clean before the end of a song!
8. Play the color game. Have your child put everything
of a certain color away. Then move on to the next color.
9. Cleaning contest. Assign each child toys to put away then see who can clean up their toys first! The winner may win something at the end!
10. Make a list. Or use a chore chart… something visual. List a realistic number of chores for your child to accomplish. This way they are able to see and check off what they have accomplished!
11. Liven up the chore chart. Get creative! For example, use an Olympics theme and have your child earn medals for accomplished tasks. When they reach a specified number of medals, they can earn a bigger prize.
12. Plan yard sale. Go through your child's toys a category at a time, weeding out all of the toys no longer played with. Maybe your child can keep the money earned from his or her toys! And any toys not sold, can be donated.
13. Give kids a time frame. For younger children you
can set a time (ex. 5 minutes), or countdown slowly from 10,
etc. For older children, it may be more helpful to give them
a time frame such as "before dinner" or "before bed" or
"by the end of the day/weekend."
14. Don't redo their work. This will send the message that their work was not good enough and they may be discouraged from helping later. Remember they are children and that it may not be perfect.
15. Show your appreciation. Thank them for their effort rather than insincerely praising them for a less-than-successful execution, and then practice the task again together and offer helpful hints that will result in more success.
Children love to feel helpful and useful!
(I see this at The Learning Playhouse daily!)
Be enthusiastic- "Can you do this for me?!" "Thanks!!"