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How to Make Cleaning the House Fun

30 Sep 2014 – 02:49 PM EDT

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Do you ever struggle with keeping your house clean and organized? Especially when you have young children running around pulling every block and book off the shelf. Whether you stay at home or you work it can be difficult to find time to clean up. Cleaning the house as a family can make things go faster. You can also teach your children valuable independent living skills when you clean together. Here are some simple tips to making cleaning more fun for everyone.

  • Add Music. Turn on your favorite music and sing with your family as you straighten up the living room or do the dishes. Kids will be more likely to help when you add an element of fun. Your whole family will be smiling when you sing and dance as you clean.
  • Start Early. Even your toddler can help straighten up the house. Start with small tasks such as putting the blocks away. Be specific when giving your toddler a cleaning task. Consider starting with a one-step task and demonstrate the skill before you expect your toddler to complete the task independently.
  • Praise and Encourage. Praise your children for helping out around the house. Make them feel good about their accomplishments. Encourage them to make their bed every morning and give them a high five when they do it without any reminders. Even your significant other may feel good about you praising his or her efforts.
  • Pretend Play. Many young children love to play pretend. Pretend you are running a restaurant and ask your kids to help set the tables and serve the dishes. You can also pretend you are the kitchen staff and create a fun atmosphere to wash the dishes after dinner.
  • Give Choices. Children love to be independent and you can foster this skill by giving choices. Give them a choice between two desirable tasks. Make sure you are okay with either task they choose. For example, “Do you want to empty the trash or unload the dishwasher?” Kids will feel ownership over the tasks when they are given a choice.

As your children get older they may ask you for an allowance. Before you decide to pay your kids for household chores consider your options. Some parents decide to pay their children and use the payment as an opportunity to teach money management. Other parents decide against this because they want their children to learn responsibility and self-help skills without focusing on being paid.

How do you get your family involved in cleaning the house?