Let’s face it, as a single mom of four boys, I need all the help I can get. I am not too proud to admit that I make my children do chores and help around the house. I am also not ashamed to say that I do not pay them to do it.
My parents never gave me an allowance and I think it teaches them that cleaning is a responsibility that must be done in life, and that you will not always be given something in return for doing it. With that being said, I do not criticize anyone who chooses to give allowance, everyone has to do what is right for their family. However, here are some tips that I use to get my children to willingly help around the house with a minimal amount of crumbling.
Let Them Do What They Like
There are no chore charts in our home. Instead, I just know by trial and error that there are some jobs that each child enjoys doing more than others. For instance, my oldest actually likes to clean is bathroom. Yep you heard me, that is always the first thing he requests to do when it is cleaning time. My second oldest likes to vacuum, my third oldest loves to sweep and the youngest doesn’t really like to do anything, but will at least pick up his own toys. By allowing each child to do what they enjoy instead of forcing them to do what I want, I eliminate a lot of whining.
Divide and Conquer
I learned years ago, that if I put my two oldest in their shared room together and tell them to clean the mess up, they are going to do nothing but scream and fight with each other. It is a constant battle of “you are not cleaning” and “no, you are not cleaning.” If I want their room to get clean, I place one on a chair at the dining room table and let the other clean for awhile, and then I switch. We do this a few times until the room is done. Of course, if you have only one child this probably wouldn’t work for you lol.
Make it Fun
Yes, I have been known to do the MC Hammer dance around the house. Making it fun and giggling through the work makes it go a lot faster. Now, sometimes I am not in the best of moods and fail to do this. I cant tell you that is sure does go a lot faster when I make it fun for everyone involved. *Hammer Time*
Have a Light at the End of the Tunnel
While I don’t pay my children to clean, I will offer them a little incentive. For instance, I won’t take them to the park until the house is done. Or, we won’t have Popsicles until they finish their rooms. By offering this glimpse of fun or a treat, I offer them a reason to not fight and quickly get the work done.
I am by no means a slave driver, but I believe that all children need to be taught basic life skills. My children don’t clean everything in the house, but they do have to clean up the messes they specifically made, and the tips above help us and I hope they can help some of you as well.
Feel free to leave your tips on how you clean around your home with the kids!