Guest Blog: Teaching Children to Clean

Teaching Children to Clean

So many times parents wait to give chores to their children when they are much older. The best way to train your children to clean house is to start from the time they learn to walk. And even before they can walk you can talk to them about the work you are doing and what is the best way to get it done. Many studies show that children can learn to read or learn a foreign language in their infancy. It is never too early to start teaching them how to clean house as well!

I know that when I was very small my own mother would sit me near her as she was cooking or baking in the kitchen and she shared each step with me. She would also take all of us from room to room with her as she cleaned and she talked about everything she was doing. Now even though I do not recall these conversations as they took place at the time I know that I these experiences are stored in my mind. I have always known, almost instinctively, the best way to dust furniture, bake a cake, to clean a tub, etc.

Starting from the time your child can walk you can find chores that they can do. Picking up their own toys and putting them back into the toy box for example. Putting away their own clothes in the dresser or helping you to carry a few dirty clothes to the laundry room. These are things that babies can easily achieve. If you wait until they get older and more responsible, they will most likely at this point rebel against the idea of cleaning. Starting them out early making it just another natural part of life (and it is) will give them the skills they need in their adult years. It will also ensure that you as the parents will not have the entire responsibility of cleaning the home. I personally know families with teenagers and adult children that take no responsibility for the home and the parents are working and have the entire responsibility for the home as well. This should never be the case, it is not fair, but if you wait to train your children when you think they are old enough then you may find yourself in the same situation.

There are some really clever charts I have seen in several different posts lately about age appropriate chores for children. You could search the internet for these charts or just sit down and write down all the chores that need to be done in the house from the smallest on up. Write down your child’s or children’s names and start writing age appropriate chores under their names. Yes, you will need to spend a little more time in the beginning supervising and teaching but it will be well worth your time when you witness the results. Start them off small and work your way up to bigger and bigger challenges as they age. In the beginning you can work side by side with the children to train them and encourage them but as they advance in skill they can be left to work on their own.

Some people say that they have charts with stars and rewards for chores. Some children get allowances if they do their chores. Even though I do believe in giving children allowances I have never believed in giving it to them for doing their chores. I feel like everyone who lives in the home should be responsible for it and that their reward is a clean and nurturing environment. In my opinion the allowance should not be for doing the chores but instead for personal responsibility for their lives. Not just doing their chores but doing them with a good attitude. Being responsible for their homework and doing their best in school (which of course is different for each individual). One child may be an A student while the other brings home a B in a few subjects but you know they are doing their best.

And children should not just be taught to do their chores. They should also be taught to see a need and meet it. How many times have we all seen a child or even an adult for that matter walk right over something that needs to be picked up and put away or thrown away? Or you may be carrying in a lot of groceries and no one offers to help. This type of instruction is so very important for children to get early in life. We are only hurting our children when we do not give them proper training in thinking of others and noticing small things that need to be done and doing them. When they enter the workforce they will have a hard time adapting to being a team member and working with others if they do not receive the proper training at home.

Cleanliness is a big part of life and something that can not be ignored. As parents we need to look at it for what it is, a life skill, something that our children need to become successful independent adults. We only make it easier for them by starting them out from the beginning. Chores are not a punishment but a very important part of life.

Rachael Cherry is a wife, mother, and writer who is passionate about helping connect families in need with high quality caregivers. She has taken that passion and put it to work through NannyPro, a respected online nanny referral service. Learn more by visiting @NannyPro on Twitter.

Problems With Grass Stains

Grass Stain problems

For your tuff summer grass stains, here are some tips…

– For washables: Use a cleaner made from an enzyme detergent and water, and leave it to soak in a warm place for half an hour. Use an eyedropper to apply a solution of one part ammonia/white vinegar and two parts water to the bleach any remaining stain. Rinse with cold water, and then finish with a normal wash cycle.

– Linoleum/Tile: This shouldn’t be too hard. Just wipe with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water, rinse, and dry with a clean cloth.

– Carpets: Sponge the area with a dry-cleaning solvent (use light strokes and work outward). Apply the dry spotter to stain then cover with an absorbent rag made damp with the dry spotter. Let it stand, changing the pad as the stain is lifted. Keep both the stain & the pad moist with the dry spotter. Flush with a dry cleaning solvent and allow to dry. Be sure to blot up the excess liquid during the procedure and before drying.

– Leather/Suede: Mix a mild solution consisting of soap and lukewarm water. Swish to create suds. Apply only the foam with a sponge. Wipe with a clean cloth. If there is still an oily stain, powder the area with an absorbent, like cornmeal. Give plenty of time for it to absorb, then brush off the powder. Repeat as needed.

I hope these tips helped! Good luck! 🙂

Why are grass stains so hard to remove?
Essentially, grass stains are dye stains. They are a combination of protein and other organic matter that has been mixed with the grasses’ juices (which includes chlorophyll, xanothophylls, and cartenoids; if you ever paid attention in science class, you know that these are relatively stable pigmented compounds). What makes these so difficult to remove is that these pigments are so similar to natural fibers like cotton, that the stain actually penetrates and bonds to the fabric fibers. These materials don’t bond as easily to scotch-guarded fabric, as the material is incompatible with the binding process, but all the same grass makes for an annoying stain to remove.