Looking after the kids is hard work, cleaning the house is also hard work, but when you need to deal with both at the same time, then you have a serious challenge on your hands. So, is house cleaning with the kids actually possible? Yes, it is as long as you make the kids part of the solution. Here are some useful tips and advice on how to make it happen.
-start as early as possible, good habits are formed at an early stage in life, more so toddlers love helping out their parents and will take special pride in their achievements, give the child a chore that they won’t mess up – this is better for you, and them, usually picking up toys and putting them back in the toy chest is the best task for young kids.
-be realistic in your expectations, remember you are dealing with a toddler, they don’t have the cognitive and physical skills to do many things right, first efforts at cleaning might be discouraging but be a patient parent and everything will eventually fall into place.
-be specific in your instructions, give chores clearly and keep your advice short and sweet, in other words don’t say clean up your room as this is just too overwhelming, but instead say put all the toys back in the chest – clear cut instructions, no questions asked.
-pre-schoolers are much better instructed using visual cues, they cannot read or write yet but kids will grasp basic concepts when those presented visually, put a drawing of their favourite toy on top of the toy chest so that your wee one knows where to put it.
-keep things under control, if there are just too many toys and crayons scattered around the room (or house) then consider an intervention of your own, make the child choose which toys they like to keep, there will be some resistance so use your parental trickery, preliminary decluttering will make real cleaning more manageable for you.
-use your child’s interests to your advantage, five or six year olds love imaginary role play games, you on the other hand would love to clean the house as swiftly and easily as possible so kit out your child with an apron, rubber gloves and a sponge and come up with an interesting role play scenario to keep them happily cleaning away.
Building the right habits at the right time is essential for any growing child, however it is also important for you to be a patient, considerate parent during this process.