Today I’m sharing how I involve the kids in cleaning our home – how we do it, why we do it, and what we use. We are going beyond picking up or tidying and addressing things like scrubbing toilets and mopping floors.
(My kids are ages 9, 7, 5, and 2.5 for reference, but this is something I’ve done with them since they were babies)
Here are the four phases of getting kids to clean at home that we use:
- Watch me do it.
- Do it with me.
- Do it with me watching you.
- Do it yourself.
Working through the phases starts when my kids are crawling around on the floor and pulling themselves up on the dyer to “help” put wet clothes in. Doing it themselves emerges years later.
This process is a long game, but also about more than just making sure the house gets clean. We use the time to talk with each other, sing songs, and instill values of working together, putting our “big rocks” first (from 7 Habits of Highly effective people), and contributing to our family.
It’s important that my kids know that cleaning at home is just part of life – no matter what your family situation or job is.
But don’t think that things are going perfectly in my home. My kids are still kids and get lost on their way from their beds to the kitchen to do their jobs and end up fighting with their siblings before they have food in their stomachs.
Most mornings, I find myself saying, “If you are in the right place at the right time doing the right thing, you will avoid a lot of problems.”
This is a principle that applies to so many life scenarios, but one that I use throughout the day to remind the kids that instead of engaging in whatever the problem is, the problem literally goes away when they are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
It’s also one I use to encourage myself when I feel like escaping or hiding instead of sticking to our family rhythms and routines – and then reward myself with more time outside.
Tune into this week’s episode to hear more about what’s working in our home and some tips you can use today.
And, on a practical level, I have switched to using Force of Nature for the last 1.5 years for all cleaning – from washing toilets to mopping floors to wiping baseboards and door knobs – because it’s safe for my kids to use. You can get 40% off a starter bundle with the code LOVEFON here.