8 Tips to encourage children to help with household… weelicious

I have a secret: when I see kids helping out, cleaning or participating in bettering their home I get totally jazzed. In a time when we do so much to make the world a better place for our kids, it’s fun to see them practice responsibility by getting involved with household chores. This can be easier said than done, though. How do you motivate a developing 3 year-old to clean up their toys or a stubborn 10 year-old to make their bed and put their clothes in their hamper? It can be an uphill battle but when it all comes together, the results are worth the effort. In our household, kids and cleaning go hand in hand. That is why it’s especially important that my family avoids exposure to harmful toxins and uses products that take excellent care of us, the things we love, and the environment.

I’m a big fan of nontoxic cleaning products from The Laundress. They smell dreamy and most importantly, I know the ingredients won’t harm my little helpers. When it comes to turning little ones into helpers, I’m sharing 8 ways we encourage our children to help with household chores. These have all worked time and time again for our family and I hope you find them just as helpful.

4. Sticker Chart. Make a daily/weekly chore chart that is brightly colored and looks fun. Each time your child completes a chore, they get to place a sticker over that item. At the end of the week, if their chore chart is covered in stickers, they get a special treat like going out for ice cream. The Laundress has a fun version you can print and fill out here.

5. Play Time. Make a game out of clean up time by singing a song. This is especially fun for younger kids. When we’re cleaning up a mess we sing “clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere, clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.” You can make up games out of matching socks or time older kids who may be more interested in competing against the clock. Finding something that works for your kids and their interests can really help keep the process fun.

6. Encouragement. Younger kids love doing what bigger people do. Encourage them to help, and give tons of praise when they do. Chloe has really gotten into doing dishes using The Laundress Dish Detergent and at the end I make sure she knows how much it means to me that she’s helped out. This makes her feel empowered to help again the next time.

It’s wonderful advice for young children especially children, but as for your 10-yr-old, she’ll be pulling away from all this very shortly. Bedtime? You won’t be able to drag her out of her room to be anywhere else! Sent to bed early, you won’t know whether they’re up reading or whatever, once you’ve gone to sleep. Saturday mornings, she’ll be too busy sleeping in to want her wi-fi. I’ve been both a child/teenager and a parent & the 9th thing here is to be aware that all this will soon change, they aren’t going to want your company so much or do chores to your higher standards or look after younger siblings & accept it in the interests of family unity. My big bugbear was being told to act ‘adult’ while at the same time being told to make my bed – it was my bed, only I got to sleep in it, it should be MY ‘adult’ choice to either leave it all (topsheet, blankets & eiderdown in my day) in a mess or make it just before I got in it! When my father remarried he told his wife-to-be that I hoovered my room every Saturday morning (big deal – not even 2 minutes, which at the time I thought was 2 YEARS too long); he was economical with the truth, he didn’t tell her that ‘morning’ was a few minutes before noon & he had to stand over me to make sure I dealt with the dust bunnies under the bed!! If they don’t need their bathroom cleaned as often as yours, I wouldn’t worry about it, standards differ between households. If the argument that "it’s not my job to do the (general) housework" is used, you can always point out that they live there too & dirty the toilet, sink, floor etc. If someone refuses to wash up, just stash their plates in the corner until a dinner comes when they have no plate & they have to wash one to eat. But remember that teenagers are basically young adults & don’t find joy in ‘helping’ parents, they should have a life of their own then too even if it is a good idea for them to do SOMETHING at home – I used to like doing the laundry (by hand), the ironing & shopping – my mother just let me carry on – I still find those things therapeutic. It WEElicous but they do grow up; it’s such a great article though that I’ve kept it for my own to read, boys as well as girls, I brought