This is a topic many parents and kids struggle with…how do we get our kids to help clean up around the house. Over the years of parenting four kids, here is what we found is better to make “clean up” fun and a team sport.
We found that chore charts and expectations supported by lectures or consequences lead to tension between the kids as some things were easier than others, as well as motivation issues with getting the tasks done.
Just like with adults, kids prefer to do things with others. How many of us prefer tackling a project, working out or some mundane task with someone else, rather than alone? In general kids are more cooperative, work harder and find it easier to get started cleaning up if they do not feel alone. Something individual assignments and chore charts tend to lead our kids to feel.
So how do we make cleaning up a team sport? Sit down as a family and talk about a clean up schedule where on Saturday or Sunday we have a time that flexes with events and outings where we clean up together. What does this look like:
- Sitting down together and talking about what needs cleaning this time.
- Each person taking on two tasks (such as vacuum the living room and kitchen, and sweeping the garage)
- Setting a time window where everyone works with the goal of getting it done well, but as quickly as possible. Then starting and ending together.
Yes dad’s this meant I to had cleaning tasks to do as well. The kids loved making sure I had them. From time to time I would even let the kids assign me the task they thought was worst. I found that they may have seemed like the worst but were often less work then the ones they left for themselves! We found that this approach lead to:
- A sense of working together and teamwork
- Better, faster work taking place
- Far less conflict
- People helping each other
- Laughter and fun in the cleaning process as we battled over the vacuum and other resources to get done quickly
So on National Clean Up Day consider a different way to involve your kids in the mundane task of cleaning. Make it an exercise of friendliness, teamwork, togetherness and fast rather than one of that is isolated, leads to frustration and is forced. It will be more fun for everyone, especially for mom and dad.
So start having fun cleaning as a family today! We invite you to our website ReviveFamily.com to find out more ways to connect with your kids.