Knowing how to clean your home efficiently and effectively is an important skill and you should make sure to teach it to your children as well. Keep in mind that this is a great responsibility since you need to know how to introduce cleaning chores to them without making them seem too complicated and demotivating.
At what age should children start cleaning?
Teaching your child to clean from an early age has many benefits because this is the time when they can acquire new knowledge much faster and easier. On top of that, performing such tasks may help accelerate their motor skills development.
However, to achieve maximum results and keep your kid interested, you need to give them age-appropriate tasks and introduce new challenges gradually. Here are some useful guidelines that describe what chores are the most appropriate at what age:
Children age 2 and 3:
- Picking up their toys under your supervision
- Taking their dirty laundry to the bathroom and putting it in a basket
- Helping you clean spills
Children age 4 and 5:
- Making their bed with your supervision
- Picking up their toys and storing them in their toy box
- Helping you set a table
- Helping you dust (your supervision is needed)
- Sorting their laundry by color after being washed, etc.
Children age 6 and 7:
- Making their bed on their own
- Mopping the floor in their room
- Putting dishes in the dishwasher
- Emptying indoor trash cans
- Setting a table with your supervision, and similar.
- Helping you wash your car
- Washing dishes
- Cleaning the bathroom and kitchen with your close supervision, etc.
While these are some general guidelines that can help you determine when to introduce new cleaning chores into your child’s cleaning routine, your need to understand that every child develops at its own pace. If your kid needs more time to learn how to hold a duster and use it properly, you should be patient and help them overcome any difficulties along the way.
How do you teach kids to clean?
Teaching your child to clean is not an easy task, but doing this while they are still young will make things much easier in the future. Take a look at these handy pointers and use the right strategies to achieve maximum results in the shortest possible time:
Model a positive attitude
Children love imitating their parents. So, if you want your child to be willing to help you with household chores and learn how to clean their room and the rest of the house, you need to model a positive attitude from an early age. Instead of letting them hear you complaining about dirty dishes and unvacuumed carpets, you should try to present cleaning as something fun and focus on its positive aspects. If they see you dusting with a smile on your face, they will surely want to join you.
Give clear instructions
If you confuse your child with too many instructions, they will get frustrated quickly and start avoiding cleaning whenever they can. Instead, try to divide more complex tasks into smaller chunks that they can complete successfully. This will give them a boost of motivation and keep them interested.
Show your appreciation
If you show your child that you appreciate their work and really need their help to finish something on time, they will be more inclined to take the task seriously and do their best to impress you. So, instead of redoing their work and criticizing every little mistake that they’ve made, make sure to praise them for all the good work they did.
While being too pushy and demanding is not good and can be counterproductive, you should still make sure that your child understands what is expected from them. This particularly applies to older children and teenagers who tend to evade household responsibilities whenever they can. Be clear about your expectations from the very beginning to avoid any confusion and misunderstandings later on. Click here to find out more about creating a proper cleaning schedule, and make sure that your children participate as well. Happy teaching & cleaning!