When people fight for gender equality, they always focus on the workplace. But there’s one place where equality for women still lag: in the house.
While men pretend as if there are no smelly clothes or dirty socks lying around, women have to take on the bulk of housework. Poor them, they also have to pick up after their kids’ messes.
While it might be too late to get your husband involved in housework, how about getting your kids to learn a few chores?
It’s not about snatching your kids’ childhood freedom and fun, but more about teaching them the value and responsibility behind cleaning up. The sooner your kids start doing chores, the more likely they’ll have educational, career and relationship success.
Now, this idea sounds really good in writing, but when it comes to practical application, it gets down to this:
“Get down here! Why in hell haven’t you cleaned your room yet? And, who’s going to pick up those dirty socks?”
While your kid’s on the couch: “I’m busy, I’ll do it later!”
The idea here is not to make you feel as if you are constantly yelling after or nagging your kids to do their chores. It’ll have to be their choice.
Ask Them to Help Instead of Cleaning
By getting children involved in housework, you give them a huge set of life skills that schools don’t teach, but you cannot expect a three-year-old or even a five-year-old to clean an entire house by himself.
If you want kids to form early good cleaning habits, ask them to help in some minor cleaning activities. For example, sorting out socks, picking up toys, dusting the sofa or pushing the power on button on the washing machine.
Make It Clear That Cleaning Is Not a Form of Punishment
Parents usually ask their kids to do chores as a punishment for misbehavior or for being disrespectful. Previously, that was totally fine by me. Kiddo, if you have the energy to argue (a lot) or be a pain in the ass, you’ll have the energy to clean.
Well, the key here is to get rid of the concept of ‘cleaning is punishment.” Don’t stick that negative tag on cleaning.
Make It Realistic
Just like how you’ve taught your kids it’s wrong to talk to strangers or how to go to the toilet when they’ve got to pee, make it seem as it’s completely normal to always clean up when there’s a mess.
Talk About the Hygienic Part
Get your kid involved in housework by explaining the importance of cleaning on a hygienic level. Explain how spiders can lay webs, germs can travel, dirt can affect health and flies can lay eggs and infest a whole area if there’s no cleaning.
The trick is not to give them a lecture but to explain the “why” behind the need for cleaning – some even try the scaring technique.
Cleaning Should Be a Family Affair
Leave them in the cleaning world and kids would feel bored and lonely. Instead, I suggest making it a family affair.
For instance, if mom is going to clean the kitchen (she’s always in the kitchen), dad is going to clean the living room while the kids get to tidy their rooms. To have more family fun, have all the members clean one specific room together –while mom and dad pick up clothes and rearrange them in the closet, kids make the bed.
Make It a Racing Competition
At the phase, kids usually have that innocent competitive spirit.
So, the idea is to use a timer for racing your children to clean up – pick up dirty clothes faster, put them in the washing machine faster, help dad to clean the living room faster.
This super competitive attitude will prevent your kid from getting bored of housework.
I know the most obvious tip for getting your kids involved in housework is to give a motivation like a new toy. But, once the motivation is gone – they’ve got their new toys or watched their favorite movies – they will stop or will be less motivated to do housework. So, follow these new tips and tell me how effective they were.