Research conducted by a cleaning company claims that, on average, parents have to clean up after their children almost 28 times a week. The reason is that, usually, children are reluctant to tidy up after themselves. However, a bigger reason is that some parents are happy cleaning up because they want to do it the right way. A child makes a mess and is not bothered about cleaning it because they know that someone else will do it for them.
However, this should not be the case. Dr. Tamar Chansky, an author of several famous books and a well-known psychologist, wrote in his book, "Freeing Your Child from Anxiety," that a child who participates in little chores at an early age can build a sense of confidence and leadership later in life. According to the psychologist, children can handle small chores as early as 3 or 4 years of age.
Children who are given responsibility early on are good at keeping strong relationships with their family and friends, they do well in academics, and are usually successful in their careers. The lessons taught to children at an early age are critical to personality building, and they play an immense role in their adult life. It is not wrong to say that teaching your child the value of cleaning up after himself is as important as teaching him the value of managing time or money.
Given below are 8 ways to teach your children the value of cleaning up after themselves.
Be A Role Model for Your Child
How can you expect your child to clean up his mess if you or the other adults in the house are not doing it, either? It is impossible to motivate your child to clean up after them if we don't clean up too. Kids copy what their parents do; therefore, make sure that you always clean up after yourself to encourage similar behavior in your kids.
Tell Your Child Why Cleaning Is Important
A child will never be interested in cleaning unless they know its importance. Being a parent, the first step you should do is to communicate to your child the importance of cleaning and its importance in personal hygiene.
Britta Gidican, communications professionals, explains that most parents don't think about giving reasons to their children because they believe their children won't understand. However, that's not true at all. Children are very intelligent, and if you explain the benefits of cleanliness, then they are sure to clean up after themselves.
However, do try and make the learning fun for the children. If you start giving a boring lecture, no child is going to be interested. On the other hand, if you make an activity out of it, they are sure to enjoy and remember it! You can teach a child about his hygiene, cleanliness around the home, and cleanliness of surroundings.
Exclude the Concept of Cleaning as Punishment
Never ask you, child, to do chores if you want to punish him. Chansky says that the parents should make children understand that cleaning and participating in house chores is not a punishment, but routine work. If you make it a punishment, kids are going to develop an aversion for it. Motive your children to want to clean, rather than forcing them.
Give Them Choices
Giving your kids options would incline them to participate in cleaning chores more willingly. Give your little helpers some alternatives in the process. For instance, you can let your youngster choose the chore they want to do - putting the blocks back in their box or stacking your books - which do you want to do? Giving your kids limited options to make them feel like they are in control of the situation, and they will end up choosing one of the two options.
Participate with Your Child
Rather than sending your child alone to do a cleaning chore, always join them. Children don't like doing things alone; they will likely get bored within minutes. Carpet Cleaning St Albans suggests scheduling parent-child 'clean sweep' times, where the parents and children set 30 minutes on the clock, and everyone does their chores. When your child sees you cleaning the carpet or dusting the book rack, they will want to continue doing their chore as well.
One of the most widely used techniques by parents to make their children learn the habit of participating in cleaning chores is positive reinforcements. It's a method in which the parents reward the child for cleaning up after themselves. Positive reinforcement may include praise and acknowledgment, which is good when teaching your kids to develop a habit of cleaning.
Give Perks for Cleaning
An adult receives money only if he works; the same should be the case in the children's world. A child can be given perks like chocolate, candies, a small toy, or even more play or TV time after he is done cleaning. Once your child understands how to clean and why it is important, you can start making his allowance or perks, that depends if he has completed his task or not.
Don't Look for Perfection
Kids are not perfect at doing chores. Insisting on perfection is the lead cause of discouraging them from cleaning. Give them time to grow and learn the art of cleaning on their own time. Don't try to dictate how to do things or berate them if they do something incorrectly. Their skills will improve with time. Do not assign them tasks that are not according to their age. Appreciate them for whatever they do, or else they would never want to clean at all.
Cleaning up after your kids can be frustrating, especially when a parent is tired. It is time to encourage your children to participate in cleaning chores. However, never force them or assign chores as punishment. Instead, involve them in cleaning activities by telling them its benefits and making cleaning fun and shared activity.