Mother’s Day is just around the corner and if you ask any busy Mum what she would like to receive on the one day that honours the mother of the family, the answer is often “just a day off and the chance to put my feet up” with an aspirated sigh.
Now, before you start, it doesn’t matter what age you are, it seems to be a collective thought that Mum’s are often taken for granted and that their efforts to keep the house looking sparkling clean are ignored by the rest of the family.
Whilst we all wish they existed, there is no such thing as the cleaning fairy and the household chores often fall on the adults’ to-do list!
But it doesn’t have to be that way, with some gentle persuasion and a little bribery you can get all the family involved in the clean-up – even the kids!
Here are some tips to get the kids helping you with the housework without having to nag and scream, so you can put your feet up not just on Mother’s Day but on other days throughout the year too.
Find their competitive streak
To some parents “competition” is a dirty word. In fact, it helps kids to learn that it is not always the best or the brightest who are successful, but rather those that work hard and stick with it.
So, why not bring a bit of healthy competition to the clean-up and turn tidying into a fun game with siblings or a friend who’s over for a playdate. Give them one simple direction and see who can complete the task in the quickest time. Whoever is the crowned the winner, make sure you reward them with a treat
Put on some tunes
Cleaning is so much better when you have your favourite dance track playing in the background. Stick on your child’s favourite tune and get them swinging their hips and grooving to some Justin Bieber.
Create a chore chart
A chore chart will help people see who should be completing each task and when, it will also act as a reward board. Get them to create the chart and once complete, stick it somewhere visible in the home. Encourage them to earn stars for helping to keep the house looking neat and tidy and once they have accumulated so many, treat them to a small gift.
Start ‘em young
Make cleaning and picking up part of your family’s routine. Kids catch on quickly and will soon accept that they play an important part in ensuring that the household runs smoothly and neatly.
For a toddler, it could be as simple as picking up their toys or putting away place mats after tea time. Not only will they be able to give you a helping hand, they will also feel a sense of pride.
Introduce the toy fairy
One way to get kids to pick up their toys, is to establish a new rule and introduce the toy fairy. Explain to your little ones that any toys that are left on the floor after a certain time, will be collected by the toy fairy, put into a bag and given to the local charity shop.
You’ll have to follow the rule through at least once and like magic the toys will never be left on the floor again.
Ok, so we know that bribery is seen as a bad thing, but sometimes when it comes to kids, it is the only option. If they are dying to watch a new DVD or aching to play out in the garden, tell them that they have to tidy first. Before you know it, the job will be done in a flash.
Visit a magical land
Children love to role play and dress up, so give them a hat, apron and some rubber gloves and get them to create a name for their cleaning team.
By making the children part of the solution, rather than the problem you’ll have more free time to yourself.
We hope our tips will help get the kiddies in on the act!