Teach a Child How to Clean for Life

Teach a Child How to Clean for Life

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You can convince your child to do some housekeeping. It might not be the easiest sell, but with some clever reasoning, a chore chart, and some rewards, the cleaning thing will eventually catch on. Cleaning this way is good—it teaches a child to self-motivate—but there's more you can do to make sure the cleaning habit continues as they grow up.

The difference is subtle: don't just teach a child to clean, teach them how and why to clean. Learning all three of those things at a young age will make it personal to them and stay with them in years to come.

Take Pictures of “Clean”

The next time you've finished cleaning or right after your cleaning services leave, take pictures of each room. Print these out and use them as a reference for yourself and your children of what “clean” really is. For young children, especially; the ability to picture what the room looks like when it's clean can be difficult, so give them the advantage.

The bonus of this is that you will also have a reference, so that dusting you've been putting off will seem a little more important when you remember what your house could look like!

Encouraging Cleaning

If you're using a chore chart or a reward system, you're already doing some of this, but encouragement goes beyond rewards for doing chores. Encourage by praising jobs well done, and more importantly, by appreciating initiative. 

When your child decides to clean their room or sweep the kitchen or vacuum the living room without being told or asked or cajoled, let them see your appreciation—even if they didn't do the job you would have done. Praising the initiative rather than just the cleanliness will encourage them to take the initiative more often!

Set the Example

Even when your children are old enough to think they aren't under your influence anymore, they're still watching you. They learn from you and your behavior, so set the example for them. Show them the how by cleaning up after yourself and making cleaning a priority. 

Show them the why by commenting how wonderful it feels when the house is clean, how you love to invite friends over when everything looks nice, and how nice it is to have fun when the work is done.

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