[twitter]As with any behaviour, if you want your kids to pick up your habits, you have to model them. Be nice to people, your kids will be nice. Eat healthy, your kids will eat healthy. Clean up around the house, your kids will clean up around the house.
You see it a lot with toddlers and their make-believe brooms, lawn mowers and, of course, phones. They want to be just like mom and dad.
If you want to get your kids to pitch in around the house, you have to show them to pitch in around the house.
When I was a kid, I learned how to do chores by doing them. We had a nightly schedule, my brother, sister, and I, for who would do dishes. We each had 2 nights on, 1 night off pairing up to load the dishwasher, and wash the pots and pans. Weekends we would be cleaning our room, and taking turns on a bathroom, or vacuuming, or dusting. It was scheduled for us.
I have yet to achieve this level of military precision with my kids. I’m still choosing the path of least resistance – doing it myself.
According to a 2015 Merry Maids Father’s Day Survey, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of those surveyed agree that dads share the home cleaning responsibilities with moms. And last weekend, I nailed it. I pulled my weight, and then some, while inspiring my kids to get on board with Team Clean.
Jen was away for her high school reunion, and it was just me and the boys. I did my usual routine of messing everything up all weekend and then doing a mad scramble to clean up on Sunday afternoon as my wife was coming home. And I enlisted the help of my team. This was a team effort. We needed to clean up for Mama. She wasn’t here to pick up our slack, so we had to make her proud.
The boys emptied dishwashers, picked up LEGO, cleaned rooms, and drew on their Mother’s Day experience to get some vacuuming done.
It was perfect.
And I didn’t stop. Momentum was on my side, and I rode it. My car had been a disaster over the winter and needed to be cleaned out badly. After Zacharie wiped his drippy ice cream hands on my backseat, I decreed his punishment would be to clean out my car.
This is the other way my parents taught me to do chores. Extra duties were lumped in as punishment.
The best part? Zacharie LOVES cleaning out my car. We have a mini vacuum, and he climbed in and got it done. He took the cleaner and polished the back of the seats he and his brother are so fond of kicking. And there was no complaints.
In fact, he asked if he could cut the grass (usually my wife’s task) so that it would be done when she got home. We recently bought a rechargeable lawn mower for this specific reason – to let Zacharie start doing the work. The mower is light, has no cord, and shuts off the moment you let go of the handle.
Off he went while I kicked back and smiled. Dad win.
This kind of team cleaning inspired by dad is not new. It’s becoming the norm. More than one-in-five (22 percent) dads in the 2015 Merry Maids Father’s Day Survey, say “no way” to the myth that they are messier than moms. (I’m not one of them).
And dads certainly have some tips to teach kids to clean when it comes to tackling home chores, whether indoor or outdoor. Respondents said they learned a lot from their dads about cleaning, with reminders to keep outdoor spaces clean and organized
To celebrate the roles dads play in our homes and all the fatherly cleaning advice they impart, Merry Maids is hosting giveaways throughout the entire month of June on Facebook. Visit the Merry Maids Facebook page to share your dads’ best cleaning tips and be entered for a chance to win a Merry Maids cleaning and a tool kit.
Disclosure: This branded content appears in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes Canada.