Whether it’s wall-art from the little budding artists or left-over lunch from the food enthusiasts, homes tend to get messy – and cleaning this mess can be a backbreaking chore for any parent. Instead of doing it all alone, parents can, and ideally should involve their children in simple household chores like cleaning up. Moreover, it is very important to instill cleanliness as a value. By involving the kids in the process, they learn to be responsible, work as a team, and exercise their basic motor skills. Few tips on how parents can get their children to be part of this learning process.
Set an example
Cleanliness, they say, is next to godliness and it is a value that parents need to instill in children from a very young age. However, if the child hears the parent complaining about how much they hate housework, the child will naturally assume it is a daunting task to be avoided. Every child tries to emulate his parents and other elders in the family; so as parents you need to practice what you preach. Parents should focus on the positive aspects of living in a clean and tidy home.
Make a clever ‘to-do’ list
Parents should break down the chores into smaller tasks depending on the age of the child so that they can participate. Make an innovative, inclusive and interesting ‘to-do-list’ about what the child is expected to help with. Include small treasure hunts and rewards. Even toddlers can be given small tasks like picking up the toys and putting them in a box. This will instill in them the need to be organized and clean from a young age.
Keep it short and simple
No task is fun if it extends to more than 10- 15 minutes. Keep it simple, and try to fit in some music the child enjoys. Provide the right tools to clean up and keep the rooms organized. Find a place for everything and ensure that the child puts each of the things in its right place.
Make it a game
With a little bit of imagination, a parent can turn cleaning into a game. Put a timer to finish a chore and reward the child if they can beat the clock. Play dress up and clean with the child. Allow the child to take on the role of any superhero they admire and turn the task into a make-believe activity to keep them happy and focused while they are doing it.
Make it an everyday affair
Parents should ideally not wait for the weekends to come for cleaning up. It should be something that the child does naturally, every day. Parents should arrange the schedules in such a way as to fit in 10-20 minutes devoted to cleaning up every single day. The task could be as simple as the child making up their own bed, to arranging their desk, to keeping the toys in a box after playing.
In short, cleanliness begins at home and it is the first and best value that the parents can instill in the child before it steps into the big wide world. Teaching them about cleanliness is the first step in combating illness and infections caused by harmful germs. Make learning about proper hygiene fun and a priority by enforcing healthy habits at home.