Spring is only a few weeks away and child care experts say, if you have kids still at home, you have help with Spring cleaning.
Gigi Schweikert is President of Lightbridge Academy, an early education and child care brand with a location in Virginia Beach. She says there are a few ways to go about getting kids involved in housework:
- The earlier they start helping, the better down the road. "Babies who can't even walk, but are sitting and playing with you, can very easily hand you toys as you're cleaning them up," she said. Once kids reach the toddler stage, they can take on other easy jobs, like bringing in a small bag of groceries. If you start early, Schweikert says, your children will be used to helping out as they get older.
- DO give your kids praise for helping out. You can put their picture on the refrigerator, Schweikert says, or praise them to other people in the family. Let them know they're part of the family team in getting the house cleaned up.
- As kids get older, add in consequences for work that isn't done, like being unable to leave the house until a chore is finished. Schweikert suggests NOT using food as a consequence.
- It's okay to reward a child for a job well done, but don't do it all the time.
"It shouldn't be the norm. It should be something that's a surprise. It should be something that's really fun," Schweikert said. "You shouldn't want to help and do things just because you're going to get something."
Another suggestion? Try dedicating a day each week or month to cleaning, like "Cleaning Saturday," so children can see the family working as a team to accomplish a goal. It also allows them to get used to the idea of a designated cleaning time in addition to daily chores.