A lot of parents have given up on ever having a clean house again…or at least until their children have grown up and moved out on their own. But your child can help you have a cleaner house.
Most kids want to help, at least until they reach their teen years (but by that point you can usually motivate them with rewards).
Here are some ways to get your child to help you clean your house.
- When you give your child a task to do, make your instructions as specific as possible, and not open to interpretation. “Clean up your room” is a far different instruction from “Take all the dirty clothes from your room and put them in the laundry hamper.”
- Help your child break larger jobs down into individual steps. Using the above example again, “Put away all of your books and video games in their proper places,” will have far better results than the amorphous “Clean up your room.”
- When possible, give your child a choice. For example, “Would you like to put away your books first, or put away your video games first?”
Here are some considerations for you to make.
- Do you have enough storage space? Often people fail to clean when they become frustrated at not having places to put things. If this is your problem, you may need less stuff, more storage, or possibly both.
- Do you practice what you preach? If your room is a mess, your child will think that is the norm and will be hard to motivate to keep their own space clean.
- Is your quest for clean getting in the way of more important things? No one ever looks at their child as they leave home and say, “I wish I had spent more time cleaning.”