Back in June, my brother sent me a link to a story about getting your children to help around the house without resenting it. The title of the article was interesting to me because both of my kids show an interest in helping around the house, Ben loves to clean the kitchen floor with our mop (it’s adjustable so we can make it his size!) and Blaire loves to vacuum, do the dishes and do laundry.
Jason and I share the house and yard work with each other and since June, we’ve made an effort to share it with our kids, too. Now, I’m not saying a 4.5-year-old or an 18-month-old clean and do chores instead of us… usually they do it and we help… and sometimes we may have to re-do it. But that’s okay! It’s not the end of the world if I have to vacuum over a few spots or Jason has to rewash a dish.
There are so many chores around the house your toddler can do with your help. And with Ben being only 17-months-old we are focusing less on him actually cleaning and more on just letting him “help”. His favorite thing is cleaning the floors — whether it’s our Bona mop or the vacuum. He is also good at picking up. He knows where he has gotten something from, whether it’s his toys in the living room or a pan from the kitchen cabinet (lol). Blaire’s love for cleaning started with the laundry. She wanted to help with every step! From carrying the hamper into the laundry room and loading the washer and the dryer, then folding it and putting it away. She is actually pretty good at folding small things (like wash cloths and Ben’s clothes) and she can match and ball together socks like a PRO. She has also loved helping outside! From the time she could push her little bubble lawnmower, to now using a spade to help me dig up plants or pulling weeds. She started helping with laundry when she was about 2.5 (if I’m remembering right!) and in the last year she has shown interest in helping with the dishes. We started with letting her put away dishes from the dishwasher.
From there, we started letting her hand wash dishes. We have some of her plates that we don’t put in the dishwasher and then we also hand wash their sippy cups and Ben’s bottles. Sometimes she wants to do it by herself and those days, I do something else in the kitchen in case she needs me. And when she’s in bed and the dishes are dry, I look them over to see if I need to scrub them any more. And then the next morning we put them away together. But there are other times she wants me to scrub them and then she wants to rinse them and dry them with a towel. Seeing how proud she is of herself makes me so happy. And if I can feed Ben a snack and hang out with him in the kitchen while Blaire is entertaining herself at the sink, then it’s a win for all of us! Plus it usually ends in my floor getting a REAL intense clean from all of the spilled water. ;) Just remember: Be patient! They won’t do it perfectly and you may need to re-do it or offer a little help.
Yes, there are times when we are really in a hurry to get something done and having a little one “helping” isn’t convenient. (ex. when we have a last minute showing and I’m running around like crazy trying to get the house ready.) On days like this, Blaire can easily pick up her and Ben’s toys by herself, she can make her own bed and she can vacuum.
Whether or surprise visitors are close friends and family coming to hang out with us or people who want to look at our house last minute, we can clean the floors quickly with our Bona Quick Clean System and our home will smell clean and our floors and nice and shiny!
Really the point of the article was to let them help when they show interest. It goes on to say kids who aren’t turned away when they want to help go on to actually enjoy cleaning. They don’t expect an allowance from it and they benefit from the sense of accomplishment they get from knowing they’ve made a real contribution.
This quote from the NPR article really sums it up…
“Over time, the ‘help’ will grow in complexity. And the 2-year-old who stirs the pancake mix today could turn into the 6-year-old who makes the whole family breakfast — and feels darn good about it.”
You can read the entire article here.
I have shared our love for Bona floor products in the past and my love is stronger than ever! Their new Quick Clean System is our BFF at this crazy time of having our house on the market. The Bona® Wet Cleaning Pads are SO easy. All you do is velcro the pad onto the mop and wipe do your floor! No spraying solution (or water!) required. So. Easy. I think it’s funny that I have always had this idea that I can get things done more quickly if I clean when the kids are napping or after bedtime. But just making this effort for the past few months has really changed my perspective. AND after reading that article, it has me convinced my kiddos will continue to be happy to pitch in as they grow up, which means the cleaning will only go quicker as they get older and keep getting better at it!
Now is the exciting part! Share your favorite quick clean tip in the comments below and I’ll randomly select a commenter to win a Bona Quick Clean Kit for yourself! The kit includes: Bona® Premium Microfiber Mop for Hard-Surface Floors, Boona® Disposable Dusting Cloths and Bona® Wet Cleaning Pads.