Being clean does not come naturally to children. Helping to clean up around the home, being part of the family team, is a behaviour that can be taught.
- Make a game of cleaning up. Write jobs on pieces of paper and put into a hat. Each family member picks a job out of the hat. Put music on and dance around the house while cleaning. Make the jobs reasonably easy for a child to do, such as cleaning the basin or dusting a table or two. It’s more about modelling teamwork to your child.
- Cleaning up is a great time to spend time together flicking a duster over shelves or revving up the vacuum cleaner and ‘brrr-ing’ around the house.
- Put a timer on and see how quickly your child can beat the clock at putting their clothes in the cupboard and drawers.
- When packing toys away, come alongside your child and show them where the blocks are to go, which box or basket the zoo animals go, the area for the stuffed toys to be put. Kids are more likely to clean up if their parent shows them the place for items to go. This also becomes a time of conversation where your child may tell you what’s happening in their life, which promotes connection with your child.
- Your child could help with shopping, learning to choose fruit and vegetables. When you get home, your child could help with small tasks in food preparation. These are important life skills.
Consider your family’s routine over the week to see which specific time would suit for all the family to be involved in contributing to the smooth running of the home. Once the routine is implemented, it will become a habit for your child.
It may seem easier if “I just do it myself”, but in the long-term, your child will learn social skills, how to use initiative, and learn the importance of teamwork. As parents, our ultimate goal is to grow our children into mature, responsible and loving adults.
If you would like to learn more about understanding and supporting your child’s development, please contact The Northern Centre on 9334 0111 or email@example.com to arrange to talk with one of their experienced Family Workers in a confidential setting.
They also welcome you to join their Dads&bubs supported playgroup which is on Saturday mornings in West Ryde.