New Year, new beginnings! It's time to get our beloved homes looking fresh and ready for 2018 but with a little help from our young ones! From tidying their rooms to cleaning up after the pets, we tend to assume our children will run a mile from doing household chores. But with a few savvy parenting skills, you can get them on board - not only will they appreciate the sense of responsibility it gives them, they might even enjoy it!
Start when they're young and make a game out of it
It's hard to imagine - as your tiny tot flings bright-colored plastic around the house - that you will ever be able to teach them how to keep things tidy. But the truth is, the toddler years are actually the perfect time to get kids involved in chores. Make clean up as much fun as possible - sorting and putting away toys by color and having a competition to see who can gather the most blocks, marking up reward charts with silver and gold stars as you go. This helps make tidying up a part of play itself. You can also get them involved in cooking from around age two, then make post-meal chores like doing the dishes a treat - they'll enjoy playing with the bubbles and sloshing around the water. It might take a bit longer than usual, but you'll create a fun routine around cleaning up that will help keep the house sparkling for years to come. For more clever ways to keep your house clean with less effort, read on here.
Use milestones as a way to introduce new chores
Landmarks in your children's growth, like moving into a bigger bed or starting a new school year, are the perfect opportunity to give them more responsibility over keeping their rooms tidy. Get their help in choosing a special desk or bookshelves where they can keep things organized and remind them that it's their job to make the most of this beloved new piece of furniture or storage.
Create pet-care habits according to age
Agree on regular times to care for pets - whether it's a Saturday morning or a mid-week family event - and stick to them, with even the tiniest children getting involved. Give them a chore appropriate to their age, from washing pets' dishes for the younger kids, to helping clear out hutches or removing pet hair from floor and furnishing as they get older. Arm them with a good, old reliable broom - they're safe and easy to use for kids of all ages, but also still highly effective for cleaning up pet hair and any dust that may have entered the home.
Let them choose their chores
List all the chores and ask each child which ones they'd like to do. This can include organizing and lining up schoolbags at the front door the night before, doing the daily dog walk, sweeping up a few times a week, and more. You can even have them do the dishes every night. Try using a tough dishwashing liquid like Joy which easily removes grease and stains from plates. Give each chore a 'value' on the reward chart - whether that's a perk like going to bed a bit later or an actual monetary amount. You likely won't have trouble filling the higher-value tasks!
Every mom has at least one fail-safe method of getting the kids to help around the house - what are your tips for moms who are finding this harder than they thought?