Cleaning is an important life skill for a child to learn. But getting a child excited about cleaning can be difficult. With the help of Sears Clean, Here are 10 tips to teach your child the skills to clean properly in the future.
Make it a game
One simple way to get children excited to learn these skills is for the parent to turn the task into a game. This can be easy for things like sorting, by challenging the child to sort everything properly. This is helpful for chores like laundry, where a child can sort things by color before the clothes go in, or by family member after the clothes are finished. Turning tasks into a game can help make them fun and engaging for children.
Start them young
Show the child the importance of helping around the house from a young age. Demonstrating that everyone in the home has a part to play is important in encouraging them to do their chores in the future. This tip can help parents avoid many future arguments about helping out around the house, as the child gets older.
If you do start having your child help out from a young age, make sure each task that you give them are manageable. For example, it wouldn’t make a lot of to have a four year old do laundry all on his or her own. This would be too complicated because they would have to remember to sort the clothes, read clothing labels, set the machine properly, clean the lint trap, and fold the clothes afterward. The sorting example from earlier is a great place to start here, because children are able to identify colors and other physical parts of clothing.
Break chores down into individual tasks
Give the child a step-by-step guide on doing the task. For doing dishes, describe how they need to rinse the plate, scrub it with dish soap and a sponge, and then dry it with a towel. Make sure the task does not have too many parts to it, so that the child can remember them and do them properly.
Give them gradually harder tasks as they grow
As they grow up, parents can start to teach children more complicated tasks. By the time they are a teenager or approaching young adult-hood, they are probably ready to take on tasks like laundry supposing they have worked their way up to it. This is easy, just add putting the clothes into the washing machine and setting it properly as a step after sorting the clothes, and so on and so on. Gradually add on to tasks until a child is able to perform all of it.
Let the child observe someone else doing the task
A key element in this is letting the child understand that it is important for everyone to lend a helping hand. This starts with parents by showing them that they are helping as well. Letting a child watch you clean will also help them learn how to it themselves. Seeing a task being done properly will help the child understand their role as helpers, and help them understand different tasks. It is also important to demonstrate a chore for them before asking them to complete it.
Work with them
This will help your child learn about teamwork by breaking down tasks that are for the child and yourself. Back to laundry, let them know you are there for help, and what you will be doing after the child’s task is finished.
Teach them failure is not a bad thing
Failure is a part of life, and overcoming it is an important life skill. This starts with the parents by keeping a positive attitude in the face of failure, as well as giving the child constructive criticism and advice on fixing the mistake. Remember, many of these tasks will be new to your child, and learning them can take time.
This last reason is why repetition is important. It is rare for someone to get a task done perfectly on the first try, so parents need to make sure the chore is repeated over time to properly learn it.
Patience is one of the most important parts of this process. Parents need to stay positive and encouraging: remember to the child none of this is common sense. This is especially true for children with autism. An autism spectrum disorder can make learning a new skill difficult for a child and can lead to frustration. In this case, it’s important to keep your head and be encouraging.