You trip over shoes.
You pick up the wet towels.
You spend your night putting the house back together.

There’s a better way to get your kids to help clean without you losing your mind. Let us show you how to get your kids to clean!

1. Teach rather than yell

“Put away your shoes! Put away your clothes! Put away your toys! {insert yelling} Get out of here and let me do it!”

Yes, you can do it faster. Yes, you can do it better. But your resentment will build up and everyone in the house will feel it. Instead of yelling demands, speak commands. “Your shoes go here! Your clothes go in the laundry basket by the bathroom! “These toys here and here, go in this box.” Sometimes your kid may just not know and maybe other times they just need someone to focus their attention and direction.

2. Clean together

Whenever I think of the worst tasks I have to do, I call a friend. “You want to come over and help me paint?” “Would you come over and help me move- I’ll have pizza and beer!” It changes the task because life is better shared and cleaning is no exception.

3. Stop making it a punishment

Maybe it was SuperNanny or Pavlov’s dog but some genius told me not to put your kids in a time out, in their room or they may learn to hate it. This is for sure the easiest way to get your kid to hate cleaning. Cleaning is its own reward, don’t make it a punishment.

4. Give them something to look forward to afterwards

I’m all about outsmarting children to get what you want. #sorrynotsorry

5. Turn on some music

Cleaning is so much better when you can dance to it. And in 4 songs you’re probably half way finished!

6. Keep the tasks age appropriate

One of the best ways to make your children resilient is to give them age appropriate chores.

Currently, we’re teaching…

  • Our 1 year old: to put shoes by the closet door
  • Our 2 year old: to bring dirty clothes to the laundry basket
  • Our 4 year old: how to do the laundry
  • And both the 2 and 4 year old: put dirty dishes in the sink

Cleaning is a lifelong skill start with any any simple task, practice with them using some of the pointers above, and reward in lots of bear hugs and slobbery kisses just don’t make a mess.