Keeping every nook and cranny of your house pristine when you have little kids around is like saying that an amateur can beat the world’s greatest boxer in a professional match. It sounds great, but you know that there’s an extremely high chance that it won’t become a reality.
It’s in a child’s nature, after all, to only concentrate on having fun and not worry about anything else. If they want to jump on the couch and throw all the pillows all over the place, they’ll do it. If they decide to run around, they’ll also do so without thinking of tables or vases they can knock down in the process.
Despite how impossible it appears, though, you can still keep your home clean even with children there. Below are a few insanely doable tips we can impart to you.
- Schedule Playtimes
The instant you realize that your little ones can comprehend everything you say, you need to serve some playtime rules to them. That can include what toys are OK to play with inside the house, as well as when and for how long they can do the activity. Without learning this arrangement early, you may honestly not be able to stop the children from making a mess at home 24/7.
- Give The Kids Responsibility
An intelligent thought to hold on to is that youngsters of any age love to think that they are old enough to function on their own. Rather than getting upset about it, you are free to use that information to encourage your kiddos to take on the responsibility of cleaning after themselves.
You can’t ask them to cook their meals or finish the laundry, no. But when the children can carry toy trucks or doll houses all over the room, that means that they’re also capable of bringing those items back to the storage without your help. It’s one less job for a parent, for sure.
According to Fred Provenzano, Ph.D. of NCSP University of Washington, Seattle, “In general, the progression of chores moves from simple to complex, and also from chores that focus on self-care to chores that help the family in general. First demonstrate the task: provide some pointers and, as the task is learned, offer more recognition and support rather than direction. Even if their work is barely adequate, they’ll feel more motivation to improve the quality of work the next time, if they feel proud of and appreciated for their effort.”
- Turn Cleaning Into A Game (With Rewards)
Once the kids are at the age wherein they can handle a broom, a mop, or a portable vacuum cleaner; you may tap into their competitiveness and make the chore a contest. Say, whoever cleans their bedroom well will receive cookies or play with their favorite toy a bit longer than usual.
“Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game context. So how do you take a task that is typically considered “not a game” and turn it into a game? Think like a game designer. Think of your favorite game. What makes it fun? What keeps you wanting to play?,”explains Kirsten Milliken, Ph.D., PCC,a clinical psychologist and ADHD coach.
Although parents should teach kids not to expect a price for every single thing they do, they warrant a reward for their hard work. Besides, the cleaning game can help them see that there are other ways to get what they want apart from throwing a tantrum.
- Stick To A Routine
The last tip is to make sure that you will stick to all the rules you impose at home. Consistency and patience helps children take on new chore responsibilities, so stick with the family plan,” says Holly Tiret, MA, a Nutrition and Social and Emotional Educator, at the Michigan State University Extension. You may show some flexibility from time to time since kids will always be kids, and that’s alright. However, you can’t allow laziness to get the better of you and let the mess grow into a massive pile before you clean it up.
Remember, children tend to copy their parents’ behavior. If they notice that you don’t care much about the clutter, then they’ll do the same and put more stuff in total disarray.
Yes, it isn’t easy to keep the house completely mess-free when your kids still play with toys. There’ll be times as well when it seems like the untidiness is too much for you to handle. Despite that, things will be better once you get the children to clean with you.