Participating in chores contributes greatly to growing into a balanced self-sufficient adult. Many parents don’t let their kids do housework because it’s just easier and quicker if they do the cleaning themselves.This is a short-term solution to their housekeeping problem, but in the long run it only serves to increase their work load and therefore contributes to their stress. Not only that, but it teaches kids that they are exempt from family obligations.
Children can gain valuable life skills from being taught common chores such as cleaning the kitchen, mopping the floor, cleaning bathrooms etc. Doing household tasks is also wonderful for the nervous and the sensory system, and therefore their brain development. It helps the brain regulate itself through pressure and movement. In the end, it does not matter if they do it right, it matters that they are expected to do their share and held accountable for it. Their skills will improve through repetition and mentoring.
When teaching your kids how to clean, it is always a good idea to use non-toxic cleaning products. I often clean with a white vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle. You can add a few drops of essential oil for a more pleasant scent. Want to get your children more excited about an afternoon of chores? Have them help you in formulating the natural cleaning mixture, and let them choose which essential oil scent they prefer. I will write more in depth about making your own natural cleaning products soon, in the meantime here are some ideas for you to try.
Another way to sprinkle some fun into cleaning activities is to let them pick some music to play while they work. My kids have put together their own compilations. We always play their music while we clean the house together. We often sing along to the tunes. It makes doing chores feel fun and communal.
Want more tips about parenting with less stress? Check out 10 Ways to Decrease Stress.