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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Kids and the housework

I read a post earlier over at The Life of Spicers. I have followed this blog for quite some time, a good chunk of the content i can relate to and this post in particular got me thinking, do we as parents encourage our children to clean as often as i should?

I'm assuming all parents fall into this trap at some point. We start with good intentions, make the whole cleaning experience exciting, have even maybe bribed our kids with sweet treats or money. I personally though find pushing them to do something when they are distracted and clearly not interested can be frustrating and i end up caving in and telling them ill do it myself! I started encouraging them to clean when they were little, around 2-3 years old maybe. I would encourage them to put toys away, put books back on the book shelf. I was convinced it would teach them about respecting the place they lived in, their toys and give them some independence. I was right in some ways, they loved helping out. At 4-5 years old my girls would want to do some polishing, help me wash up, and loved wiping the kitchen doors down with a damp cloth. What i didn't do however was follow it through. My youngest is so lazy when it comes to cleaning, she will start and obviously spurred on by the positive reasons behind cleaning. but gets very distracted by the pile of my little ponies she finds in the box ive put in her room to put away! My oldest is at the age where she prefers to live in her own mess of dirty washing littering the bedroom floor, she hisses at me like some kind of vampire if the curtains are opened and the slightest bit of sunlight touches her! and god help anyone if you open her draw stuffed with drawings and bits of paper titled "i love you blah blah" Im sure of course this is a phase, my oldest is in all other circumstances is very prim and proper, she hates being dirty and will always make sure her hair is neat before leaving the house. But the constant battle to get them interested in doing the smallest jobs drives me mental! At their ages though they are more than capable of tidying up after themselves and i think it wouldn't hurt to maybe do abit more to help out and teach them responsibilities.. They do make their beds in the morning, hang their coat and school bags up after school and take cups or plates out to the sink. This earns them a little bit of pocket money each week alongside following our other household rules.

I sat down with my kids today and asked them what chores they would like to do each week. I offered a little increase in pocket money for them taking on a couple of chores each. I am not physically able to take on every household chore any more so i appreciate the help more than ever from both my kids and the hubby. I am hoping by them choosing the chores they want to do, it will encourage them to actually do them and not make cleaning a negative experience for them.

These are the chores my kids have now decided they want to do each week.
  • Make beds each morning
  • Hang coats/book bags up each day
  • Put box of toys away each day. 
Kirsty then chose: 
  • To sweep down the stairs
  • Pairing the socks
  • Dusting
  • Loading and unloading the washing machine (i suspect this will not happen as i do washing while they are at school - i just appreciated her offering)
Kaycee chose: 
  • Wiping the kitchen unit fronts
  • Cleaning the playroom
  • Washing up (she wont be doing this one! maybe a little bowl with some plastic cups) 
  • Hoovering her room (another one i do while she is at school)
In return for their help i asked them both what treat they would like at the end of the week. They had a choice between a movie night with some pop or popcorn, a trip to the park  or an extra hour on computer each. I'm betting the extra hour on computer is the most popular although I'm secretly hoping the choose a movie night :D 

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