“Your kids will start helping you clean today!” Part II, Details for Mom to remember

Before I write more posts about your children helping you out at home, I need to share a few thoughts with you:

  1. You are doing your children a favor by teaching them how to take care of the house.

  2. You are not doing your children a favor by turning them into your maids and putting excessive pressure on them.

  3. You need to have a realistic idea of how clean things should be, and make things fun so that they will want to keep helping and keep a good attitude.

Here are some details about that:

YOU ARE DOING YOUR CHILDREN A FAVOR BY HAVING THEM LEARN TO TAKE CARE OF THE HOUSE.  When they grow up, they need to know how to take care of themselves and their surroundings properly. If you start early, picking up after themselves will become a life-long habit, which only benefits them.

The three adult children of mine who have always helped out at home were astounded when they moved to college at the lack of self-sufficiency of their fellow students. Many of them didn’t know how to pick up after themselves or do their own laundry. A majority didn’t know how to cook themselves basic food. You do not want your child to have those problems.


YOU ARE NOT DOING YOUR CHILD A FAVOR BY TURNING THEM INTO YOUR MAID AND PUTTING EXCESSIVEW PRESSURE ON THEM.  Seriously, I am not teaching you how to get them to help so that they can be your servant. They need to know basic skills, and if you’re not feeling good it’s great to have someone in the house who can help you, but kids need to play and be kids. Please remember that.

It may take a while to find the right balance of helping and doing too much or too little. Start small. Have them learn one small task at a time and then when they’re confident teach them a new skill. Keep going and teaching them new things. That doesn’t mean that the child does every skill they know every day. In our home, the five and seven-year-old have three things they do each day, and those things are separated into morning and afternoon jobs so they don’t get tired of doing too much at once.

Home feels good when everyone both pitches in and has time to relax.

YOU NEED TO HAVE A REALISTIC IDEA OF HOW CLEAN THINGS SHOULD BE, AND MAKE IT FUN SO THEY WILL WANT TO KEEP HELPING AND HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE.  Let me start here by saying something that is VERY important, if you want your child to want to help you, please let go of your insistence on perfection. You need to have a realistic idea of how clean things will be, and make things fun so that they will want to keep helping and keep a good attitude

When your child was learning to walk you didn’t tell them that they were wrong every time they struggled or fell. Now, as you are teaching them more new skills, please let them learn with confidence, give them a chance to feel the success of a completed job many times before you expect it to be done like you want it to be. Trust me here, I didn’t do that with the older two, and it made them not want to help as much, the young ones, however, LOVE helping because it’s fun and not filled with unnecessary pressure.


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