One job I feel is important for me as a parent and a homemaker is making sure my son knows how to clean. I don’t expect him to clean our house, but I do expect him to keep his laundry cleaned and put away along with his room tidy. I'm not his maid. Jamie has been given the chores of vacuuming all the floors, washing the dishes three nights a week and putting the dishes away daily along with carrying out the trash. He tends to the grass cutting, blowing the leaves, and the snow removal on the walkway. All of these chores are on top of caring for his rabbit and helping with our dog. If there is anything else I need help with, he does it.
Homemaker, You're Not a Maid
Just because we are a homemaker doesn’t mean we are the family maid. Children need to be taught how to pick up after themselves. Since my husband works very hard so I can be at home, I pick up for him. While he normally doesn’t leave things out, I do find an occasional pair of socks lying around. I trained him well. ;)
I find it disturbing when I hear a mom state she can’t get her 3-5 years old to pick up their toys. Learning to pick up after oneself isn’t an overnight miracle; it takes time and it takes training. You can’t expect them to be running amok one day and then the next day to be picking up toys. You have to train them, the earlier the better.
6 Tips on Teaching Children to Clean
Make Cleaning Fun. In the early stages of teaching your child to clean, make it fun. Let them see and hear you with a joyful spirit while cleaning.
If Sticker Charts work for you, use them to help track your child’s progress in learning to clean. Sticker charts didn’t work for us, but the penny jar did. For every chore my son did when we were starting out he received a penny. Over time, he cashed his pennies in for silver money and then dollar bills.
Keep the Toys and Books Confined To One Area. Don’t let the house become the playground.
Don’t Clean for Them. Let your children know what is expected of them and that you mean business. When they make the mess, they have to clean it up.
Explain the Rules. Set rules and consequences for cleaning. Be sure your children completely understand what is expected of them and they know the consequences if they don’t follow through.
Be Persistent. Don’t give up on training your children to clean. It takes time - be persistent.
While your children may not be too happy with learning how to clean right now, they will one day thank you for it. Their future employers will thank you and your future children in law will thank you.
Dear Homemaking Friend, you are not a maid. Don't fall into that trap, teach your children to clean.
Do you have any tips you would add?
Have you missed any days of the 31 Days of Homemaking Series? You can catch up HERE.