Experts Share their Top Cleaning Habits to Teach Kids
Today we wanted to talk about the top cleaning habits to teach kids. Let’s face it, if you are a parent, you have probably experienced many of the things we will talk about below. Kids are great at making a mess – there is no one better. They can be like a mini tornado spreading toys and dishes throughout a room. Without good cleaning habits, having them clean up is much harder. You are unlikely to see results without much cajoling, effort and, yes, sometimes tears. It’s not always easy to make your kids clean up after themselves.
Fear not. We’ve pulled together expert advice in this article. We’ve got the experts to share their top cleaning habits to teach kids. It’s important that you are teaching your kids positive habits. Without focussing on positive habits, you may find that you end up teaching your kids bad habits. For example, if all you ever do is clean up after them, this is problematic. Especially if they are old enough and capable enough to do it themselves.
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Top Cleaning Habits to teach kids – why it’s important.
Before we go through a quick discussion of what cleaning habits you should teach your kids, and what chores are appropriate for your children, we wanted to first cover why we think it’s important to teach your kids these habits.
It helps teach them important life skills – Teaching your kids cleaning habits and other skills, like cooking, whilst they are younger, gives them positive skills for their adult life. They’ll be able to look after themselves. They may even be able to keep some plants alive.
Engagement in family life teaches them other soft skills – For kids, engaging with family as part of their chores can also give them other important soft skills. These can include skills like communication, cooperation, negotiation and working as a team.
It will reduce stress on you as a parent, meaning more quality time – Teaching your kids is good for your own mental health, and means you get to spend more quality time together as a family. If you, personally, are spending less time cleaning, because your children have jumped onboard, then you will all have more quality time to spend together as a family.
Teaching Kids Cleaning Habits – here’s where you should start.
Now that we have touched on why you should teach cleaning habits to kids, let’s look at some of the habits you should be sharing with your kids.
Here are the two key places you should start:
Make a schedule – The best chance for cleaning success comes through consistency and organisation. You should make a schedule for your own cleaning that your children see you stick to. You should also help your kids develop good cleaning habits by helping them create their own cleaning schedule. Help them come up with a day and time to complete their own chores.
Manage clutter – Clutter is the enemy of cleanliness. Too much “stuff” makes it hard to keep your house clean. If you have too much clutter, your children may end up modelling their behaviour on you – too many toys etc. This can create difficulties for them later in life.
Not all chores are created equal and the cleaning habits you teach kids will change as they grow older. We thought we would share with you some appropriate habits delineated by age group.
Preschool Age – For preschoolers you should encourage their curiosity. Preschoolers like to mimic what mum and dad are doing. They also like to ask a lot of questions. You should allow, and encourage them, to follow you around whilst you are cleaning. Further you can encourage them with simple tasks – for example putting their toys away, putting dishes in the sink or putting their clothes in the laundry basket.
It’s important to remember that they are preschoolers though and will not always be perfect.
Primary School Age – The cleaning habits to teach kids once they hit primary school age change slightly. When they get to this age you should focus on boundaries and rules. At this age you can assign your children more regular chores. Some examples of appropriate chores at this age include – stacking the dishwasher, taking out the rubbish, making their bed and perhaps even some help in the laundry.
You still want to be mindful though that this is also an age where your kids may be trying to push boundaries. Don’t get too frustrated with them if they aren’t always perfect. Just make sure that you are persistent.
Teenagers – As your kids get older, it’s time to increase their responsibility. For example, instead of just “making” their bed, they can take full responsibility for it – changing the sheets etc. They can also help with vacuuming, dusting and other chores that are more complex. You may also encourage them to teach younger siblings how to do their own chores. In teaching their younger brother or sister, a teenager will begin to better understand who good cleaning habits are important as they have to explain them to someone else.
Tips To Make Your Life Easier
It doesn’t matter how old your kids are. Here are three extra tips that we would like to share with you that will make your life easier.
Be Patient & Consistent – Your children will make mistakes, and they will ask a lot of questions. Be patient with them as they are learning how to do their chores and if they make mistakes. You also need to be consistent with your own cleaning. If your kids see you cutting corners, this won’t encourage your kids to develop good cleaning habits.
Focus on Education – In the beginning you want to get your kids to follow you around and learn from you. Teach them how to do different chores, and teach them that everything in the home has its own place.
Consider Toy & Book Rotation – We know you love your children and we know you want them to have the best of the best. But too many books and toys will make it harder for them to develop good cleaning habits. To counter this, you might want to limit the number of toys and books they have on their shelves at one time. You could have a certain number of books and toys easily within reach and the rest stored away in containers. You can rotate these toys regularly so they don’t get bored.
Offer Rewards – Make cleaning a positive experience. Don’t berate your children if they are not perfect, reward them for completing all of their chores. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
The Benefits of Teaching Your Kids Good Cleaning Habits
There are a number of benefits you can get if you focus on the cleaning habits to teach kids that we have mentioned in this article. We just wanted to reinforce a few of them below before we finish up – you can even use these on your kids when teaching them positive cleaning habits:
You will all be healthier – Regular cleaning, including dusting and vacuuming, means there will be less allergens and less bacteria throughout the house. All of you are less likely to get sick. There have also been studies that have shown that mess creates anxiety. So, if the house is clean, you will all have less stress and just generally be happier.
Everyone will know where everything is – As we mentioned earlier in the article, a good habit to teach your kids is that everything has it’s space. This means there’ll be less yelling out from the kids “Hey, where’s my XXXX.” They will know where everything goes because they have put it away in the right spot before.
Never again will you freak out about uninvited guests – A common anxiety that many adults have, especially after they have kids, is uninvited guests coming over. They are worried that they will be judged about clutter or mess. If everyone is doing their job and making sure the house is always clean and tidy, then there is less stress here.
It is important to teach your kids great cleaning habits, but it is also okay to engage the experts to get help with your cleaning needs. If you would like a no obligation quote about cleaning for your own house, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to show you how we can help you out.
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