Posted on July 31st, 2020
As parents, we understand the importance of teaching our kids good habits early in life. We know that encouraging them to eat healthily and exercise will lower their risk of obesity in adulthood, for example, and that instilling good manners will help them thrive socially. There is, however, one area that parents all too often overlook: The value of imparting good cleaning skills. According to a survey conducted by Braun Research in 2014, just 28% of modern parents regularly ask their kids to help tidy up around the house. By contrast, roughly 82% of children did weekly chores during the 1980s. If you’d prefer not to have anyone in your family clean, our professional cleaning service is here to help you.
Though today’s parents have good intentions – they want to leave their kids more time for studying and extracurricular activities – forgoing household chores does kids a disservice. Not only do kids need to be shown when, where, and how to clean for the sake of maintaining good hygiene but doing chores in childhood has profound developmental benefits. Studies have shown that kids who clean have better teamwork skills, a stronger sense of personal responsibility, and they’re more likely to excel academically and professionally. Doing chores with your children is also a great way to spend more time together as a family, especially if you and your partner both work. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite tips for teaching kids essential cleaning skills:
Teach your toddler to tidy up after himself.
When it comes to cleaning, kids under age four are somewhat limited by their small size and poor motor skills, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help out at all. Around age two or three, you can start showing your child how to keep things tidy and organized. Set up plastic bins for your child’s toys and use pictures to label them, so your child knows where to put different items. (E.g., put a picture of a building block on the bin meant for blocks.)
Very young children are easily overwhelmed by complex tasks, so you’ll need to give your child simple, specific instructions for tidying up. Instead of asking him to “Clean up his toys,” for instance, say, “Put the blocks in the block bin, then put your play-dough back in the container.” If your child seems confused about how to complete a step, show him exactly what you want him to do.
You should also help your child make his bed each morning, put his dirty clothes in a hamper, and clear up his dishes after eating. Even if he needs your assistance doing these things, he’ll be getting valuable practice he can use later on.
Show your school-aged child how to do laundry.
Laundering clothes properly can greatly extend their lifespan and keep them looking fresh and professional. Despite this, a staggering 90% of adults don’t know the correct way to do laundry.
To avoid having your child become part of this statistic, teach him how to fold and sort his own laundry starting at around age six. By age eight, he should be ready to load his laundry into the washing machine and dryer (with your supervision) and learn how to read basic laundry symbols.
(Note that you should never let a child iron his own clothes, as he could get burned. Wait until your child reaches adolescence before you let him handle a hot iron.)
Make doing the dishes a family affair.
Whether you use a dishwasher or do your dishes by hand, enlisting your child’s aid can make the job go faster. By age six, most kids are tall enough to reach the sink and coordinated enough to scrape off, rinse, and dry dishes. Still, to prevent accidents, you should have your child wash only plastic dishes, cups, and containers while he gets accustomed to handling dishes. Wash glass items and metal cutlery yourself until your child is eight or nine years of age.
If you use a dishwasher, remember to teach your child how to load it correctly. Using improper loading techniques is the most common cause of poor dishwasher performance, and it can even damage certain types of dishes. As such, it’s vital to show your child how to make the most of your dishwasher from day one.
Teach your older child how to sweep and mop the floor.
Wielding a broom or mop requires a certain level of strength and coordination, so sweeping and mopping are tasks best suited to kids older than age eight. When your child is old enough, walk him through the process of sweeping up debris and disposing of it, then show him how to prepare a mop and bucket to clean the floor. Emphasize proper mopping techniques to ensure your child doesn’t make a mess: Show him how to wring excess water out of the mop before placing it on the floor and mop using a circular motion. Remind him to rinse the mop head frequently and refresh the bucket as soon as the liquid in it looks dirty or cloudy.
Consider purchasing a toy vacuum so your child can practice vacuuming.
Vacuuming is one chore that most kids actually want to try. The idea of using a noisy, powerful machine to suck up debris is often fascinating to small children, but alas, they just aren’t strong enough to use these devices safely. You can, however, get your child in on the action by purchasing a toy vacuum cleaner for him. For best results, choose a toy vacuum that has a bit of real suction power, like the Casdon Toy Dyson Ball Vacuum. (This way, your child will feel like he’s really “helping.”) By age 12, he should be ready to switch to a real vacuum cleaner.
Having your kids help out around the house can make cleaning a lot more manageable, but it isn’t always enough on its own. If your family is struggling to balance a hectic schedule with housecleaning, our team of professional maids can take some of the load off your hands so chores don’t become a source of stress. (Remember: If you resent having to clean, your kids will learn to perceive cleaning in a negative light, too.) Simply use our convenient online booking form to inquire about our affordable housecleaning services in Indianapolis.