Getting kids to clean up

Few things are more frustrating for a mom than feeling like cleaning the house is a one-woman show. Here are some tips on how to teach kids to be helpful around the house:

  • Start early. If kids are old enough to dump out a box of toys, they're old enough to put them all back. It's easier to teach them early to put their things away than to try to teach them later that mom is not the maid.
  • Be mindful of their ages and abilities. Children can probably handle more responsibility than you give them credit for.
  • Take advantage of eagerness and energy. Little legs are great at fetching and putting things away.
  • Use a timer. This will help keep kids motivated while turning household chores into a game as they try to beat the clock.
  • It's okay to pay. When kids get older, consider paying them for chores, especially if the task is more complex or time consuming.
  • Let go of perfectionism. Kids will easily get discouraged if you nit-pick how they do their chores. Kids also need to be instructed on the right way to do the job, but they'll be more likely to be helpful around the house if you allow them to feel good about what they accomplished.

About the Author...
Annie Payne
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