Great Ideas For Getting Your Kids To Work
By Heather Johnson for "The Idea Room"
shared with permission by author
Is work a scary word at your house? Does it immediately elicit moans and groans from your children? It doesn’t have to. Here are three quick tips for getting your kids to work, with a attitude. The last one is our family favorite.
1. Listen First–Is there complaining when you mention it is time to clean up? Children don’t always feel like they are heard. So, listen to them for one minute. What do I mean? Give your children one minute to complain. Let them whine and complain as much as they want for those 60 seconds. Once the 60 seconds are up, it’s time to get to work.
2. Use Labels –Do you ever hear your kids say, "I don’t know where that goesssssss?" Kids are very visual. Take pictures of the toys that go in each bucket or space. Post the pictures on the front of the storage spaces so it makes it really easy for your kids to SEE where things go. You don’t have to take pictures of every toy, just a few of the toys that can represent. You can also include the name of the object for older kids who can read. If your child likes to draw, have them draw pictures of his or her toys.
3. MAGIC ITEM! My FAVORITE!–when it is time to clean up, I pick a MAGIC/SECRET ITEM in whatever space we are cleaning. Our kids RACE to find and put away the MAGIC ITEM. Whoever finds and puts the MAGIC ITEM away, gets to choose what’s for snack or dinner, or which park we will visit. If it is Monday, the one who finds and puts away the MAGIC ITEM gets to choose what dessert to have for FHE. I always make sure that what they get to choose benefits and affects all the kids. They love this game. It is like a scavenger hunt. I have fun picking new MAGIC ITEMS every time we clean. If the room really needs attention, like our playroom, then I will pick a few MAGIC ITEMS. Sometimes I announce the MAGIC ITEM right when it is put away. Other times I wait until everything is put away and then announce with a grand "ta-da."
Remember we can’t expect our kids to work at the same speed as we do. The best way to get your kids to work and clean is to slow down and work and clean with them. And if we groan about work, so will our children. We have to have a good attitude about the work to be done.