Teaching my kids to clean is high priority to me, for many reasons.
In my youth, though my parents assigned chores to me, I don’t recall ever doing them, aside from clearing a few plates from the dinner table. Home ec class was not an option at my high school, so I never really learned the basics of domestic living there either. Basically, I went to college with a laundry bag that had the instructions printed on it, learned how to surface clean once a month and lived off sandwiches and frozen foods until becoming a mom at age thirty-four. It was then, and only then, that I realized my life of microwavable food and a messy house, wasn’t gonna cut it. The domestic learning curve has, and continues to be a challenge for me. I didn’t know how to use bleach in my washing machine until last summer. True story.
With all the above knowledge, you can imagine how hard I laughed when I was offered to do a sponsored post for a cleaning supply website called GreatCleaners.com.
I could write a post called Really Sucky Cleaning. Would that work? I thought.
But then found out that the blog post topic was “How do you teach your kids to clean?” Now THAT is something I can talk about, because, number one, I am not above child labor. I learned the hard way that it doesn’t do kids any favors later on in life to not know how to scrub a toilet or that tangerine flavored cleaning spray attracts ants (I just learned that one yesterday). Secondly, I SERIOUSLY want help around the dang house so I’ve already begun teaching them how to clean. I’m pretty much an expert in this arena.
Here are five methods I use to get my kids to help clean around the house:
1) Wipe Out:
I couldn’t live without disinfectant wipes. I love them for quick, surface cleaning (translation-the only way I know how to clean). They are also a great way to introduce kids to cleaning because they are easy! Also a significant amount of satisfaction can be gained from wiping the thick layer of black gunk off of a library book, regardless of your age. My three year old thinks it’s fun and funny, meanwhile, I hold onto to my gag reflex for dear life.
2) It’s a Family Affair:
I establish a particular time that’s going to be Family Clean-Up time, before or after a meal usually. I divvy out the chores, even to my husband if he happens to be home, giving each of us a tangible, manageable list of just a few chores, like “put the puzzle pieces away and put your shoes in the cubby.” My girls are much more willing to clean if they see me helping them.
3) Mission Possible:
To add another layer of fun to the Family Clean-Up Time, I dub it a “mission” with special secret agent steps like jumping jacks while saying the alphabet. I come up with five or six steps to the mission, some include cleaning, while the rest entail something fun. Once they complete the mission they have to yell “Mom’s the best!” followed with a big hug ‘n’ kiss, and THEN they can get dessert or a treat or a star on their chart.
Which leads me to my next tip . . .
4) Incentives, Rewards, and Bribes, Oh My:
Whether it’s offering my kids a quarter to rub lotion on my feet, or offering a trip to McDonald’s for a milkshake if they behave well at the doctor’s office, I am all up for some good bribing. We bought a star chart from Target awhile back which is where I log all of their bed-making, teeth-brushing and chore-completing. Unfortunately they’ve discovered Chuck E. Cheese via TV ads, so that is typically their desired reward for a fully completed star chart. But hey, as long as I can lube up in anti-bacterial juice before I go, a trip to Chuck E. Cheese is tolerable in return for help around the house.
5) Whistle While You Work:
The GLEEk in me LOVES this tip (I’m doing jazz hands while I type this). Whistle, sing, or make up a song about cleaning, while you’re all doing chores. I understand there is not a chance in hell that most of you reading this would actually do that, but, try it, your kids might like it. I guffawed at the first person who told me to try a Michelada, but that gal was right on, those things are good. Moral of the story, sing while you clean, or at least put some lime juice in your beer after the kids are down.
If these tips work only 30% of the time, that means they are working. I don’t think little ones are wired for housework, but it’s great to at least try starting them young.
So, now it’s your turn. Tell me how you have taught and encouraged your kids to clean and be entered to win one of two prizes*:
- First Prize: House Cleaner for a day plus $100 in product from GreatCleaners.com.
- Second Prize: A Copy of the Book Over 100 Helpful Household Hints
*Note: In order to qualify your comment must be in the BlogFrog comment window below.
Considering how much I don’t like cleaning, I love this idea of GreatCleaners.com because they help me pick my products and they deliver them to my door. Now if only I could get them to include a housekeeping robot like the one on The Jetsons, then I’d be all set. Click here to join the Clean Club today!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GreatCleaners. The opinions expressed by me do not necessarily reflect the view of the Arm & Hammer Brand.