“Go clean your bedroom, or you will be grounded for a week!” How often have you used the threat to make your children do their chores? We’ve all been there at one time, with different levels of success. And while I would never suggest letting your kids off the hook (especially the teenagers), you should consider all pros and cons of regularly involving them in home cleaning.
Kids Cleaning The House – The Pros
The most obvious one – whatever they do is off your chore list. Any help, whatever the quality, means you have more time for other, more important stuff. Of course, you have to manage expectations carefully depending on your children’s age.
Advantage number two – life lessons. Regularly doing something they don’t like will teach your kids discipline and responsibility. It will also be the first step to showing them that life is not always fun and playing games.
Advantage number three – build a relationship of respect. Some kids take it for granted that their moms will always clean their mess. In my opinion, such notions are toxic and erode the respect your children should have for you. They should never forget that you are their mother, not the maid.
Kids Cleaning The House – The Cons
Arguably the most important disadvantage is the results you get. My mom used to say: “It’s the effort that counts, not the results.” I tend to disagree. What’s the point in asking your children to clean if they will do it half-heartedly? So be on the alert and carefully monitor what they do.
You do not want cleaning to turn into a bargaining chip. Lay down the law that doing the chores and keeping their room neat is an obligation and does not entail any extra benefits. If you give in on this, your kids will use it more quickly than a Wall Street stockbroker!