by Phil Schmidt, Networx
Kids love to clean — just like they love sharing, eating stringy vegetables and asking only once for something they want. Every parent knows that getting kids to help with household chores easily triples the time it takes to do all of the work yourself, on a good day. But then, you wouldn’t be teaching them important life skills, including self-sufficiency, organization and how to get off their lazy duffs and share some of the load around the house. So how do you get them involved in housework? Yes, bribery, shouting and punishment are all good answers, but today we’re thinking of a more positive approach. If you try all 10 ideas listed here, one or two are bound to work. Good luck.
1. Icky Archeology
Sweep a room thoroughly, collecting all debris into a central pile. Using chopsticks or other “scientific tools,” dig through the pile to find the grossest and most perplexing items. Try to identify the origin of mysterious (often petrified) objects. This encourages kids to get deep into every nook and cranny, where the really weird-looking stuff is found.
2. Dust Gloves
Everyone dons a pair of clean, light-colored cotton or knitted gloves (tube socks work well, too) and dusts the house literally by hand. The very idea is to get the gloves as dirty as possible.
3. Swap Meet
Pick up in a room or, preferably, the entire house. As you work, select 5 to 10 valued items to keep for the swap meet; these should belong to someone else in the game. When the pickup is complete, swap the items one-by-one, taking turns and bargaining up for higher-value items (Mom’s long-lost diamond earring is worth a mint in game pieces, for example).