Growing up, I was very familiar with the saying,
Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
that had more to do with the upkeep of your home, rather than the upkeep of your soul. Spiritual purity is very important as you strive for a genuine relationship with God. And though the latter wasn’t used to explain this saying, it’s meaning growing up meant that we were getting up every weekend and cleaning our home because that is what you were supposed to do! Have a clean house! So now that I am a parent, I strive to teach both meanings to my boys in my actions. Spiritually in how I talk about my faith and trust in the Lord, and how I teach them the word of God. It is in the morals and values I instill in them and the unconditional love that I give them daily as they do their best to be their best.
But let’s talk about cleaning with your children! 🧼🧹🗑Many moms spend countless ours a day straightening up and cleaning up after their children. And let me tell you, it gets exhausting! You feel like it is a never ending cycle, and many just end up giving up and live in toy and book clutter indefinitely. I am not apart of the “many.” 😂
Ever since my oldest, Duce, was about a year and a half, he has been given the responsibility of cleaning up his toys and books. At that young of an age he did it more willingly than he does now! 😂We even bought him a broom 🧹and dustpan, after watching him trying to use ours to help clean when we were cleaning. Once he got his own he was sweeping🧹 ALL THE TIME! And we welcomed and encouraged it, because it is important that you teach your children to contribute to the upkeep and beauty of their home. As he got older he showed more interest in unloading the dishwasher! This was fun! Watching a 2 year old help unload and sort dishes is not only hilarious and even a proud moment for this momma, it was also a learning opportunity. Duce practiced his fine motor skills by learned how to sort dishes and put them in their right home. He also learned counting and colors! We would count all his special dishes and identify the names and colors as we put them up! Cleaning and learning in one task?! That’s a win-win!👏🏾💪🏾 🥇
Model the behavior you desire to see.
So what can you challenge your children, young and old, to do to in your home to teach and promote cleanliness and collective responsibility?
- Pick Up Toys 🦖🥁🏀⚽️🎹🎮🧩- If your children are like mine, clean up time is NOT their favorite time. They rather play and walk away with it’s time to transition to the next activity
- We use a TIMER and SONG to help this process go smoothly
- Give your child a heads up when it is time to clean up instead of springing it on them and forcing them to stop their fun and clean up.
- Clean Bedroom 🛏🧹- This can be making up their bed, taking out their trash, and putting away any toys and books they keep in their room. Making up their bed is a daily habit that they can adapt early on.
- Laundry 🧼🧹- This one is fun for both of us! Duce helps me load and unload the dryer. He runs to go get his chair to stand on so he can help and goes full speed into completing the task with so much pride!
- He even enjoys folding-we’re still working on the quality of his folding.😂
- Task your child with putting up their clothes after you fold them in the right drawer or location.
- Kitchen Clean Up After Meals 🧹🥛🍴🥄🥣🍽- Get them a broom and allow them to sweep with you! Unloading the dishes, starting with them sorting silver and plastic ware in the drawer, grab all the big bowls and stack them
- Take Out the Trash 🗑💪🏾- For some reason, maybe because he wanted to be like Daddy, Duce loves taking out the trash and carrying it to the door. Obviously he needs help, but he loves it nonetheless. So challenge them to be responsible for their own bathroom trash-taking it out and replacing the bag.
- Yard work 🍁🌳💦- Whether they are helping you rake or put leaves in the bags, water the grass or plants, clean up their outdoor toys, or help organize the garage. Get them them involved! It’s great exercise and shows pride in their outside appearance of their home and community.
- Meals 🍽- They can clean off their tray when they are done eating, throwing away any left over food and putting their dishes in the sink.
- I tell Duce all the time:
I’m your Mommy, not your maid.
These are just a few ways that you can get your children involved in keeping your home clean, as they learn pride and responsibility. Remember it is never too late to start! If their interest is sparked at 1, be intentional and explore it! My 11 months old, Elisha, can’t do much cleaning now, but he loves to put objects in buckets or baskets, so we put one next to him and encourage him to throw the toys in their when we clean up our playroom. He loves the big deal we make and I’m sure there is some since of pride stewing up in that litter heart of his.
How are you teaching your children cleanliness and responsibility of their home? Share below! 👇🏾
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~Soli deo Gloria 💜
Copyright © 2020 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the writer.
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