Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why We Should Clean While Kids Are Awake

Earlier this year Roo at Neon Fresh posted about 7 "game changers for parents" and I read her suggestions. One really caught my eye - clean while your kids are awake. I've been doing some of both - vacuuming while awake obviously because well, who wants to wake a sleeping kiddo with the vacuum.

But reading her reasoning really resonated with me. As adults, as parents, one of our goals is to teach children how to "do" life. If they don't see a chunk of life (i.e., cleaning) they won't realize it exists and won't get to learn how to be involved.

"Dustpan And Brush" by Grant Cochrane
Little Sweeper for your Little Sweeper
Now you're probably saying, "My kids are too little to help" and I hear that. My kids are 3 1/2 and 18 months, so cleaning on the sly without "help" sounds so nice. Sage likes to get in the dishwasher. They both follow the vacuum around like the dogs do. But there are things they can do.

Silas loves to help with laundry. I give him four or five clothes to carry to the washer while I carry the basket, and I show him how to put the detergent in (but keep it up so he can't reach it). I ask my kids to pick up their toys so we can vacuum. I help to make sure it gets done, but they know the process. I put Sage in the Ergo baby carrier to do dishes and to sweep and/or mop.

As they get older, I'll get them their own brooms to help sweep and get them to put their clean clothes away. If we take their developmental abilities into account, we can figure out ways to help with the cleaning. Eventually, we can assign certain chores as their own, and they'll know how to do it because we've been doing it all along.

How do you get your kids involved in cleaning and household chores?

Photo "Dustpan And Brush" by Grant Cochrane downloaded from FreeDigitalPhotos.net