5 Tips to Get the Kids to Help You Clean the House

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child cleaningLet's face it -- kids love to make messes whenever they can, but convincing them to clean up afterwards can be kind of a challenge. Cleaning and de-cluttering just seems so, well, boring to children (gee, I wonder why?), but if you get a little bit creative, you can teach them that cleaning can actually be pretty fun.

And in addition to that, developing routines and giving kids household chores has been shown to teach them a strong sense of responsibility and self-worth.

I do the best I can at keeping chores fun for my son, and a tip I use to get him involved with cleaning is to hand him the duster, which he absolutely loves. He'll run that thing all over every piece of furniture in our house simply because he loves to see the dust attach to it. I get nice, clean surfaces, and he feels a sense of satisfaction, so it's always a win-win.

Dr. Laura Jana, a pediatrician and mom of three, definitely knows a thing or two about getting kids excited about helping with household chores. She partnered with Lysol to promote a line of kid-friendly cleaning products, and here are some tips they offered on how to get your children interested in keeping your house neat and tidy.

Make cleaning a game everyone can enjoy -- Set a timer in the house for each chore and then celebrate when it gets done in that time frame. Or turn cleaning into a hide and seek game, and have your kids hunt down the dirtiest spots in the house. You can even play things really simple, and set up an assembly line in your house to get chores down.

Use a rewards system -- Make a chore chart for your kids, and each time one is completed, reward them with a sticker. Once they get a certain amount of stickers, have a prize they can achieve at the end, such as a fun activity, allowance, or even a new toy.

Germ warfare -- If kids understand how important it is to kill harmful germs so they don't get sick, they'll be more likely to want to get every last germ out of your house.

Give them "promotions" as they get older -- It's always important to choose family friendly cleaning products, and to teach your kids about safely handling them. Start younger kids out with simple tasks like putting away their toys, and then as they get older, "promote" them and let them do things like scrubbing and vacuuming.

What kinds of cleaning chores do you give your kids?


Image via Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr



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godde... goddess99

my dd is 10, she vacuums, and helps with laundry.

dusky... dusky_rose

My 5 year old son cleans his bedroom and puts his dishes in the sink after eating. He also likes to help me with chores that I am doing.

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

My girls each put their own dishes in the dishwasher, make sure their rooms are cleaned every night before bed, take care of their animal...*I have 4 girls and they each have a pet...we have one dog that's my 12 year old's responsibility, and 3 kittens who are my 13, 11, and 10 year old's responsibilities...they have to make sure they are fed, watered, the dog has to go out, the litterboxes need cleaned every day*, and they have to do their laundry every weekend.

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

Oh!  My 4 year old son helps me or Daddy with putting his dishes in the dishwasher and cleaning his room.

Bmat Bmat

I like the promotion idea.

count... countrygirlkat

My 7 year old collects the dirty laundry, makes his bed and picks up his toys and sometimes helps with other things. My 5 year old feeds the pets, makes his bed and picks up his toys and sometimes helps with other things.  My 1 year old is starting to find it fun ro help. 

elasmimi elasmimi

Mine is only six, and her room is the cleanest in the house. However, she keeps it that way by throwing everything into the clothes hamper, or into the spare room. She likes doing new chores once, then she is done with them. We need some serious motivating.

timon95 timon95

my kids have a list of chores they need to do. they also know that the more they help me clean and the less i have to do (i am disabled) the more i can relax and play with them. if i am spending all my time cleaning then go to sit on the floor and play with them, i usually end up in pain (back and leg)

sukainah sukainah

I have a hard time getting my kids to pick up their toys.  These are great tips, thank you!

Miche... MichelleK41

Four our kiddos we do use the reward system a little but rule is if you're going any where or company is coming you have to clean.

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