run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Wednesday 16 May 2018

How to Turn Your Toddler into Your Cleaner

OK, not quite. No tot is gonna be Cif-ing your loo or anywhere near any dangerous cleaning products, and frankly if I could get mine to put the Duplo BACK IN THE BOX once a month I'd be happy. ("Duplo Foot - Standing on a Killer Piece of Duplo in a Dark Bedroom at 2am: more painful than childbirth? Discuss...")

But cleaning powerhouse Zowie Ashton got in touch to tell me her tips can turn any pre-schooler into a tidy chore-doer. I was intrigued... So here's her advice on how to get a little assistance with the chores from your small uns... 

"Do not try to be the superhero who does everything around the house and do not refuse some help. Including your family (yes, looking at you, children) in part of the cleaning process means you'll soon see the difference. 

1. Start when they are young
Young children love to be part of the home duties and take pride in their achievements. If doing the chores becomes part of the daily routine, your kids will catch on very quickly and accept the fact that they are actually part of turning the home into a clean and healthy environment. They will be proud to make the home run neatly. It is extremely important to find chores which are appropriate for their age. If you have a toddler, teaching them to pick up toys and putting them where they belong is the first step towards involving them in the home duties.

2. Be realistic

Preschoolers might not have the handiness to make their beds, for example, so the right first step is to make them pull the duvet up to the top of the bed. With time, they will learn how to make the bed in a more proper manner. You need to be realistic about their dexterity and you need to show them that you appreciate their efforts.

3. Make yourself clear

When you are giving instructions, be specific. You cannot say to your three-year-old, “Tidy up your room” because they will not understand you. Instead, you can try saying “Put away your toys in the bin” or “put your dirty clothes in the basket”. You will see for yourself that the way you say things can actually makes a difference.

4. Draw a picture

For example, paint a picture of the toy which goes inside each container and attach it where your kid can see it. This way, your kid will know where all the toys should go. You can also spend some time together to paint the pictures. 

5. Set limits

There is no doubt that cleaning is a lot easier and prompter when there is less mess to deal with. Store toys in boxes and bins. If the box overflows, that screams that it is high time for you to get rid of some toys. Spare some hours to help your children decide which toys to keep and which to donate to charity. It is an ideal way to teach your kids to develop their organisational skills. 

6. Make it fun

Make the chores fun. For example, give your children a task to collect the toys from the floor and put them where they belong to. The tricky part is that they are supposed to do it by the end of song. If they succeed in doing it, award them with candies or more time for playing outside.

7. Appreciate their efforts

You need to be supportive and you need to encourage them for even trying even though the tasks are not always done precisely. Do not forget to thank them for helping you and practice the job together till it is done in more efficient way. Be helpful and be patient."

Thanks Zowie- more about her cleaning services here.

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