“PICK UP YOUR AGE!”
OK, HERE’S THE SITUATION:
The kids are home,
the house is messy,
there’s laundry to do,
dishes to wash,
dinner to make &
You. Feel. Rotten.
What is a Mom striving to be positive and not let it all get her down to do? We’re breaking down how to get the kids to help with everything in this five-part series, “Your kids will start helping you clean today!” Try it and see how easy it is.
Here is a little tool I came up with when I had four little ones at home and the place always seemed like a toybox had exploded. Using this tool, not only will the kids help you, but they’ll know that they’re going to be doing some cleaning eventually and might not leave as many things out to begin with.
THE TOOL IS CALLED, ”PICK UP YOUR AGE.” This is how it works: if your child is 4, he picks up 4 things in each room, if she is 10, she picks up 10 things in each room. It’s that easy! You can start this as young as two years old! Here’s how it goes….start in the room you are in. Tell each child that they will pick up their age and that they will put things where they go, not just in another place. It’s easiest for little ones to pick up toys and put them in a toybox or another receptacle. Older children can pick up things that go into other rooms. Explain that every person in a home has work to do, not just parents. Their jobs are (for example) to be kind, loving, do their schoolwork, and help around the house.
When you are starting this, you need to be in each room with your child. Explain exactly what you expect. Just do one or two rooms the first day. Then expand a little every day until they can do it on their own, without you watching. Now I’ll tell you that the younger ones can usually only do this in a room or two and then they fizzle out, but I have the older ones (6 and over) pick up their age in most rooms. Some rooms, like the bathroom, don’t have that many things out, and that makes their job easier. It’s that easy! You will have help today! It might just seem like a little thing, but every little bit helps.
HELPFUL HINT–The more fun things are, the better attitude your children will have doing jobs** around the house. Present this as a fun thing, it will be a lot easier. You can also have a motivator such as, “when you are done picking up your age we will play a game, (or color, or have a snack, etc.) A sticker chart for jobs is also nice, if your child understands getting something later for a job done now-this will be discussed later this week.
**At our house, things kids do to help are called jobs, not chores. Everyone in a home does a job, whether at the office or in the house, and “chore” just has a negative connotation to me.