Getting kids to help with the cleaning is a very hard task indeed! Here are a few suggestions to help get them to comply. Kids view doing household chores differently than adults do. What you see as an easy, few minute task looks like a big scary job for them – depending on the age of course. It is always best to break down chores into very simple projects that will only take a few minutes. Give them specific easy tasks like, pick up all the toys on your floor and put them on this shelf right here – instead of clean your room, or pick up all your stuff, put away the laundry and get rid of this mess. Kids need you to tell them exactly what to do and where to put things. It is a good idea to be very organized. Children seem to do better when everything has a specific place and they know where that is. You can color code things for very young children and for ones that can read, you can put peel-off sticky tags on shelves and organizers.
Another little tip is kids seem to work more efficiently when they have a time limit so if you have a timer, give them a fair amount of time to get the job done and be sure to reward them for their efforts. As adults, we clean and our reward is a clean room and a clean house. Kids don’t care about such things so they need a reward that is motivational to them. Try to see things from their point of view while teaching them.
Try to set aside a time of the day Monday through Friday for cleaning with your children. Make a part of their daily routines and they will get used to putting their toys away and not making such a mess. At the end of the week, reward your child for their efforts. It can be anything that you know they enjoy. I found a neat little chore game online for those of you who may be interested in using this. You can print this out and use the chore cards that are included or make up your own. It’s pretty cool so here is the link to check it out and see if you want to give it a try. The Chore Game