by Mary Fischer
Let's face it -- kids love to make messes whenever they can, but convincing them to clean up afterwards can be kind of a challenge. Cleaning and de-cluttering just seems so, well, boring to children (gee, I wonder why?), but if you get a little bit creative, you can teach them that cleaning can actually be pretty fun.
And in addition to that, developing routines and giving kids household chores has been shown to teach them a strong sense of responsibility and self-worth.
I do the best I can at keeping chores fun for my son, and a tip I use to get him involved with cleaning is to hand him the duster, which he absolutely loves. He'll run that thing all over every piece of furniture in our house simply because he loves to see the dust attach to it. I get nice, clean surfaces, and he feels a sense of satisfaction, so it's always a win-win.
Dr. Laura Jana, a pediatrician and mom of three, definitely knows a thing or two about getting kids excited about helping with household chores. She partnered with Lysol to promote a line of kid-friendly cleaning products, and here are some tips they offered on how to get your children interested in keeping your house neat and tidy.
Make cleaning a game everyone can enjoy -- Set a timer in the house for each chore and then celebrate when it gets done in that time frame. Or turn cleaning into a hide and seek game, and have your kids hunt down the dirtiest spots in the house. You can even play things really simple, and set up an assembly line in your house to get chores down.
Use a rewards system -- Make a chore chart for your kids, and each time one is completed, reward them with a sticker. Once they get a certain amount of stickers, have a prize they can achieve at the end, such as a fun activity, allowance, or even a new toy.
Germ warfare -- If kids understand how important it is to kill harmful germs so they don't get sick, they'll be more likely to want to get every last germ out of your house.
Give them "promotions" as they get older -- It's always important to choose family friendly cleaning products, and to teach your kids about safely handling them. Start younger kids out with simple tasks like putting away their toys, and then as they get older, "promote" them and let them do things like scrubbing and vacuuming.
What kinds of cleaning chores do you give your kids?