I am a huge believer in teaching your kids that there are real life things happening around them – like laundry, picking up, sweeping and cleaning in general. When you make that big mess, it has to get cleaned too. It isn’t a magic fairy or elf – it is Mom and Dad. The same Mom and Dad that haven’t been able to watch their ONE TV show in weeks. The same Mom and Dad who haven’t had a second to talk about anything non-kid related since 2014. Yes, toddler child it WAS us that picked up 100% of your messes. But, now that you are a “big kid” we are so excited you can help. If you do a good job and listen, there may even be a special activity or treat for you later!
This approach was quickly adopted by my 2 year old who eagerly exclaims during her vigorous water wiping sessions on the floor “mom, look I cleanin with two hands! I clean it faster and faster!” Seriously – she loves it. She loves being like her parents and loves helping even more. She also has started telling me when I am making a big mess. While eating something extremely healthy (I wish), chocolate and cold – I put a wrapper on the deck. Well, immediately I was told that belongs in the trash – right away. My little helper then dispensed of my tasty treat wrapping.
I know free time is so limiting, and that some of you might be thinking – yeah right – I am not going to spend my rare time with my kid cleaning. To that I say, I understand. This time cleaning though can be a fun activity together that leaves your house in a better spot then where it started. It is certainly more of a bonding experience then giving them an iPad or TV time. In a few years when your child accepts and understand that they are responsible for their toys and space to stay clean you will be so grateful.