How to get children to help around the home
With new years resolutions in full force, many of us are thinking about keeping our homes in order as a way to keep our minds happy and our families healthy. We all feel that little bit of guilt when we want to spend the time cleaning or organising our spaces when we could be spending that time with our little ones. So, let's combine these things! Let's help our little ones form healthy habits for their future well-being whilst having them help provide a wonderful space for them to grow with now. But, with all these good intentions in mind, how do we help our children want to be involved in important tasks that they believe are mundane?
Making things fun
The number one thing for making a habit of help, cleaning, organisation or anything else stick is to make it enjoyable! If we don’t enjoy something often our little ones can read this from us and therefore feel the same way. By making a task enjoyable, you're more likely to want to do it too and you’ll easily receive the help you need!
Another important element to making these things stick and become consistent is having an outlined routine to be followed. This allows everyone to know what's going on along with creating something they get used to. This also is a great learning and helpful for their development. By understanding the importance and usefulness of routine they can apply it in their future, setting them up for the greatest success.
Learning from each other
Your children have a passion for learning. Their inquisitive nature makes them ask questions and be interested in daily activities. They want to learn and they admire you out of everyone. By framing tasks as learning, there's something different about them that makes them more interesting. It's also a great idea for siblings. Older siblings can be involved in explaining and helping to encourage little ones to carry out tasks around the home. This is also great bonding for your little ones too! They’ll be learning lots of verbal skills and problem-solving skills too!
One of the simpler ways to bring motivation to help is by making your little one feel special by giving them their very own title. This positions them as an important role in the family unit and the running of the household. Instead of having to do something because they have to, they want to do it because they feel proud about how their role impacts everyone else in the home. There also learn other important skills, like empathy, kindness and caring for others.
Think of appropriateness
We want our little ones to always be the best they can but our enthusiasm can sometimes push them a little too far. Ensuring that we choose tasks that are challenging enough to keep them motivated but not so past their level of development so they don’t get bored, is a fine balance. We don’t want to bore them and we want them to feel positive to continue with the home tasks. Considering a plan of as they become more independent and competent they can take on different roles is another great motivator.
Another way to continue the positive movement you’re seeing and the help you receive is to bring in types of rewards for them. From spending time with you to having their favourite dinner, choosing to continue the positives is a great way to keep motivation up whilst they learn healthy habits. Hopefully, with their help, you’ll have a little more time at the end of the week or month to spend with them!
Include as a healthy habit
For both you and your family, including this as part of your healthy habits is a great way to keep everyone accountable for the things they have to do to keep the family home running happily. With everyone working together there's a bigger sense of an overall goal that everyone is working towards making little ones feel included and wanting to help more.
Thinking about how you feedback to your little one is also important. They aren’t always going to be able to help in the exact way you might have requested, but if they’ve tried of course they deserve praise and acknowledgement. Giving them constructive feedback is also important. This helps them to learn and develop these skills so they can keep doing better and better!
There are many benefits to including your little one in helping around the home. They learn important life skills, work on their fine motor skills, incorporate healthy habits, develop their gross motor skills, work on their verbal skills amongst learning many other things. It's great for you too and not just because you have others helping with running the household. It helps you value what you do because you’re seeing others help you. It reminds you of the importance of what you do and why you do it all whilst keeping everything feeling positive because you’re all working on the same happy and healthy goal.