Are you a parent who has tripped over one too many of your children’s toys lately?
While many moms and dads would like to see their kids clean up after themselves, they find the idea of trying to enlist that help a daunting task.
Belinda Lies, director of Kiddie Campus in Yorkville, has some tips on how parents can create calm in the chaos.
One way is to make getting organized seem enjoyable to kids.
“Many times it helps to make cleaning up fun,” Lies said. “Songs, poems, games and praise can help.”
Another way: lead by example.
“Parents need to be great ‘cleaning up’ role models,” said Lies. “Children will learn their habits from watching their parents.”
When are children able to start helping around the house? Often, those as young as 3-years-old are able to help with chores, said Lies. And if kids who are younger seem eager to help, embrace it.
Besides making life a little easier for parents, there are many advantages to involving tots in household tasks.
“Children can gain life skills by helping with chores,” Lies said. “Doing chores willingly requires mature judgement, less impulsivity, and more awareness of others' perspectives and needs. Chores also help to develop self esteem as children begin to contribute to the family and take care of themselves.”
Household participation also helps children begin seeing themselves as an important part of the family dynamic.