Monday, January 18, 2016

Easy Ways to Involve Your Kids in Household Chores

by Guest Blogger Kaitlin Krull

Making time for household chores can be difficult for even the most motivated of us, but for those of us with children, it can feel like an impossible task. If you struggle to finish a load of dishes, let alone clean the bathroom, it might be time to rethink your cleaning routine. Thankfully, over at Modernize we’ve done some of the work for you. Here are a few ways you can get some of the cleaning done around the house with the help of the kids. No, really. Take a look!

Make your own cleaning supplies
For the environmentally conscious family, traditional cleaning supplies are a no-go when it comes to your household chores. Full of toxins and harmful chemicals, these kinds of products are dangerous to both the environment and your children. Thankfully, making your own cleaning supplies is super easy and can be a task that you and your children complete together (who doesn’t love a bit of chemistry?) when you get together to clean up the house. With a couple of common household items and a few drops of essential oils, you can make your own chemical-free cleaning products that work just as well as their traditional counterparts.

Set a cleaning schedule
If you’re even slightly type A, a regular cleaning schedule that tells you which jobs to complete on which days (or weeks, or months) is a must. Get the kids involved by including them in the cleaning lineup and assigning them specific tasks. If this seems too complicated, why not make them their own miniature schedule so they can keep themselves accountable for their own toys, clothes, food, and self-care items. It will most likely take some regular coaching at the beginning, but if you’re lucky your kids will take to it easily and they just might help you cross a few things off your list.

Keep cleaning jobs accessible
When you’re assigning cleaning duties for the family, make sure you keep it accessible for everyone. While I’m sure this goes without saying, it’s important to remember that your kids are, well, kids, and that dangerous and tough jobs are best left to the grown ups. Smaller, more manageable tasks such as sweeping and dusting are perfect for younger kids, while tidying up toys and even light vacuuming are pretty simple as well. If you really want to get everyone involved, consider investing in a few kid-size cleaning tools such as a Dustbuster and shorter brooms to make the job as straightforward as possible.

Give kids ownership over tasks
In our home we live by this mantra: if it’s yours, it’s your responsibility. While it’s not essential that you make a cleaning schedule for your children, it helps immensely towards their sense of ownership over their playthings. Whether or not you write it down, involving them in the regular tidying and cleanup of their bedroom and playroom helps them to remember that if something is theirs, they are responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. With a little repetition, your kids will get the hang of it and quickly learn how chores (even the boring ones) help to keep their things looking and working their best.

Don’t forget the fun!
Just because you’re cleaning the house doesn’t mean it has to be boring (easier said than done, I know). Keep your kids—and yourself—interested with incentives, rewards, and games throughout the cleaning process. Race to complete your respective cleaning tasks with a special snack or a few minutes of screen time after the job is done (or whichever reward suits you and your kids best). If you have more than one child working on chores at the same time, set them a time limit or job goal and get a real game started. You’ll be surprised at just how much gets done when a little competition gets thrown into the mix.