Most moms enjoy a clean house. I know I do. When there’s toys all over the floor, dishes piled up in the sink, and dog fur littering the carpets, my mind feels like it’s going to explode lol. I feel like I can function better as a productive mommy and human being, when the house is clean, and there’s
no only a few toys on the floor.
If you have more than one child (or just one super messy kid), you’re probably used to what we call “kid clean.”
Yeah, there’s not a whole lot of stuff on the floor. The dishes are *mostly* done. There’s a little bit of fur on the carpet, but I’ll just pick up the fur balls with my hands. You know the drill.
Even if you’re living in “kid clean” for an extended period of time though, it’s still better than an episode of hoarders, and it’s still better than living in complete mess chaos. Whether you’re living in clean heaven, or a kids castle, one thing’s for sure though- it’s important to teach your kids to clean.
Well number one, this is the prime time when they are going to learn. If you don’t teach a child to clean when they are little, they won’t know how to when they grow up. Which means that the messy room they occupy will one day turn into the messy house you hate visiting. Seriously.
Second, just because you’re the mommy doesn’t mean you have to do everything solo! I would never, and I mean ever, be able to get my house completely clean (the way I like it), with three kids and no help. LOL. No. Way. If they can make a mess, they can clean it up.
Here are some common questions when it comes to kids cleaning:
Q: When should they start cleaning? I don’t want to start too early and take away their childhood.
A: When your child starts understanding basic words, this is the perfect time. If you can successfully communicate “pick up” to your toddler, and visually show him or her how to put their toys in the toy box, do it! Like I said, if they can pull out the toys, they can put them away. This isn’t “taking away their childhood” either, it’s setting habits, which in the long run is teaching them how to be a functional member of the family. When they are very small, one basic request such as cleaning up the toys (example: place all the cars in the bucket) is all that’s necessary.
Q: When should I add on more “chores”?
A: For my kids, I went from “pick up your toys,” to “make your bed.” Then I added “clean your room.” Once my kids were able to clean their room successfully (probably around the age of 5 or so- and a basic “clean” at that), we moved onto other areas. From the ages of 5-7, I started adding tasks like dusting, mopping, and vacuuming, plus taught my girls basic organization skills. It may sound like a lot, but when it’s stretched over 2 years, it really isn’t that much. The important thing is to continue to add what you feel is best for your child. If you think they can handle vacuuming the living room, give it a go. Who knows, they may actually like it lol.
Q: Are they too small to do their own laundry?
A: Laundry is something we recently added onto my kids responsibility list. They are old enough now to be able to see when they need clean undies, and wash them. You can start your kiddos on laundry as early as you see fit. For us, we took baby steps. One year, we taught them how to sort laundry. The next, they learned how to fold. Now, they can operate the laundry machine and dryer on their own.
Q: How can I make it fun?
A: I think the earlier you start cleaning, the more you can make it “fun.” Adults don’t really look at cleaning as fun, so if you haven’t been teaching your child, I wouldn’t expect a 9 year old to all of a sudden be excited about cleaning if they never had to do it before. When kids are small, you can do cleaning songs, and work together. As they get older, I’ve found that providing them with cute cleaning supplies, or having a positive attitude about it always brings out the best in my kids. For my girls, it was a little easier because it was kind of like playing “house,” so they made a game out of it (I love hearing children argue over who gets to mop lol).
Q: Should I have a chore list?
A: If you think it will help your sanity. I’ve never had a cleaning chart, but used stickers as rewards for a few years. Some moms swear by charts, and if you think you’re one of those moms, go for it! For me, when they house is dirty, we clean it. End of story. We all live here, and we all make messes (even me, shhhhh, don’t tell anyone), so there really isn’t a reason to argue over who had to clean what last. If we were playing by that rule, it would never be my turn to do anything lol.
Really what it comes down to is that you are creating life long habits for your children. Do I make my kids vacuum every day? No. In fact, I’m the one normally running it, but I know that my kids could if I needed them to. The point is that they know how, and they won’t forget when they are living on their own. If the sink is piled high with dishes, they will know what to do. I won’t have to come over worried that my kids are living like piggies.
What it comes down to is this:
Keeping a clean environment for your kids to live in is the responsible thing to do.
When kids have a clean home, it gives them a feeling of security and that makes them feel good about their situation. This helps kids focus better and function better. Leaving you with happier, healthier, cleaner kids…
Do you have any cleaning tips you would like to share? Comment below!
*Blessings & Love*
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