(Written by Grace Bailey) Most of us usually leave our kids away from the cleaning chores around our house when we are spring cleaning or during any other time of the year. We can turn that around and combine giving our kids useful life lessons and having them assist us in the tasks by taking the load off us. Making them part of the solution and not part of the problem is key to long-term success. Here are a few tips on how to make our little ones our best little helpers while keeping them safe and sound:
- Be a good example
Toddlers are much smarter than you think and they often love to emulate the actions of grown-ups. You can always begin with something small like placing their toys back in their toy box and having them watch you. Kids are always curious about new things and they are eager to learn, so giving them small tasks they can easily do will award them with a sense of accomplishment and they you will find it easier down the line to have them assist you in many ways.
- Be patient
Coordination and manual skill is something we perfect with the years, so be patient with your children and praise their efforts even if they don’t do it flawlessly. Practice makes perfect right? Have them do small tasks with growing complexity as they grow and you’ll be surprised at how that stimulates their decision-making and problem-solving skill sets as they learn.
- Use specific, clear instructions
The more specific you are when explaining what kids need to do, the easier it will be for them to follow them. Ever heard about the genie in the bottle using the bottle’s user against them, because they said something they didn’t give them a clearly defined wish? Its the same thing with kids if they don’t know what they’re doing and they’re given unclear instructions.
- Use visuals
You know the reason why kids love kiddy books right? The pictures stimulate their memory and help them adapt to the new ideas faster. After all we humans think in symbols and when you think about it our brains process visual data with instinctual ease. Consider drawing them some pictures on what goes where with cheerful colors and they will most likely interested. Parenting is not exactly an exact science, so expect the unexpected.
- Trim down the number of toys
We’ve always wanted to have hoards of toys, but one of the ways we can keep the clutter to a maximum is seeing what toys our kids use and weeding out a small number of the ones they aren’t as interested in to keep things under control. If they are grown enough we can always attempt to explain the need for what we are doing and how there are other kids that might have no toys to play with. Teaching them to share and donate is a great way to allow them to grow socially.
- Use your imagination
Pretend you and your child are starting a business and so on. Trust in your inner child and don’t be afraid to switch the roles between grown-up and child. Depending on your presentation you might spark an immediate interest in a certain activity if you do it right and you have a clue on what attracts your child to a given task.
Treat this as a game rather than a chore and give them rewards for a job well done. Help them learn colors by putting away anything in their pile of toys of a certain color for example.
* Photo Courtesy of Pinterest
About the author: Grace Bailey is a desperate housewife and a passionate writer. She enjoys writing about Home Organizing and Cleaning.