Train Your Children in the Way They Should Clean…and when they’re older, their spouses will thank you
by Michelle Medlock Adams
OK, be honest. How many of you have ever said, “What do you think I am, your maid or something?” as you picked up scattered toys and discarded candy wrappers from the floor of your child’s bedroom? Oh yeah, we’ve all been there. So, is it possible to turn little Johnny or little Susie into a tidy tot?
“Yes,” says Keely Stutz, who has owned and operated her own cleaning company for over a decade in Southern Indiana. “Kids should definitely participate in cleaning activities. I’ve found that limiting chores to one or two tasks a week works well.”
Stutz says simple things like folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, picking up toys, and making their own beds are great ways to get the kiddos cleaning.
But, if your children are less than enthused about cleaning, Stutz suggests turning their assigned tasks into a game. Janet Nelson, who ran PR for The Maids International group for over 14 years, agreed. The following cleaning games are ones that Nelson developed over those years, adding that they have been tested and proven with her children.
- Musical Chores (for ages 2+): Designate a project—dusting, scrubbing the floor, picking up toys— to each child and start the music. Every time the music stops, the children switch chores.
- Puppet Dusters (ages 3+): Make sock puppets for dusting and start a contest to see whose puppet gets the dirtiest.
- Puppet Shiners (ages 2-5): You and your child each wear a sock puppet to clean the patio door window. You’re on the outside and your child is on the inside. Make it a game to follow one another’s hand movement as you clean the window.
- Baseboard Race (ages 5+): Start two children next to one another in the same room. The child who gets to the end of the room first wins a prize.
- Dash for Trash (ages 2+): Designate a laundry basket for each child. Start a timer for 30 seconds and see which child can put the most trash in his/her basket before the timer goes off.
- Hide and Seek (ages 4+): Hide five spoons in various spots (under cushions, on windowsills, under pillows) and see if your children can find all of them by the time they are finished cleaning.
Using this game plan, your maid days are numbered! Soon, you’ll have a whole house full of capable kiddie cleaners.
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author of more than 90 books with close to 4 million copies sold. When not working on her own assignments, she ghostwrites articles, blog posts, and books for celebrities, politicians, and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers. Michelle is celebrating the recent release of her two latest children’s books, Cuddle-up Prayers and I Love You Bigger Than the Sky. She and her husband, Jeff, are looking forward to the birth of her fourth grandbaby. To learn more, check out her website at: www.michellemedlockadams.com online.