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There’s no way mom can do everything around the house – nor should she! Get the kids involved with these easy tips and tools.
There comes a time in every mother’s life when she realizes that she is basically just a maid. Eventually all the little people just start assuming mom’s gonna do everything (because she always has) and mom slowly goes insane from all laundry-dishes-toilet-scrubbing.
The trick, of course, is to get the kids to actually HELP around the house, but as any mother who’s ever passed her 6 year old a dust cloth can attest, this is easier said than done. Read on for some tried and true tips for getting small children to not only pitch in, but LOVE doing it!
- Give them kid-friendly tools for the job. None of my little kids can handle the vacuum by themself yet, so we pulled out these Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Rollers to help pick up crumbs and junk around the house. They handled the inside of the couch cushions and the living room rug like a breeze! And I’m telling you, my kids were FIGHTING over using them; they thought it was the most fun ever.The rollers picked up small dirt and crumbs easily, but also grabbed bigger debris, like pumpkin seeds that my kids had dumped inside the couch. They were even sticky enough to grab glitter on the rug from a broken Christmas ornament. Yep, you read that right…they clean up GLITTER. The nemesis of mothers everywhere.
(I got mine at Target in the aisle with all the cleaning supplies)
- Add music and/or a reward at the end. My kids clean up the playroom in record time when T. Swift is blasting, and they work extra hard and fast when there’s a treat or some electronics time waiting for them when they’re done.
- Allow them independence. There wasn’t much instruction needed to show the kids how to use the lint rollers, so I just handed them over and got out of their way. If you struggle with control freakish tendencies like I do, you can be tempted to micromanage every little job, but nothing kills kids’ enthusiasm like a mom who keeps correcting them!
4. Praise the steps along the way. My little ones mostly just want to make me happy; if I can give them positive reinforcement as they’re learning a chore, they’ll remember that chore as a fun experience. That means they’ll be more likely to do it in the future – score!
5. Turn it into a game. Next time I’m going to tell each kid that it’s a race to see who can get their lint roller to lose its stickiness the quickest. The quicker they fill up their roller with crumbs and junk, the quicker my (er, our) job is done! We also loved using them on our upholstered bar stools, cause those things are always covered in crud. Then I’ll put someone on the couch downstairs, and on the Christmas tree skirt, and on the carpeted stairs…
Teaching kids to work (and enjoy it) is not always an easy thing, but I find that my younger kids always want to be involved in what mom is doing. If we can help them learn basic skills and then get out of their way, they just might surprise us in what they can do!