Friday, October 10, 2014
My son as many of you know is a "Mr. Mom." He has 2 boys that he has living with him and he is doing a fabulous job of caring for them. The other day he asked me , "how do I teach my boys to clean?" He then talked about the frustrations that come at his work place when several of the employees there do not seem to know how to clean. Really clean. They do the jobs but just to get buy. I reminded him of when he was young and had jobs to do. He said he did but how did I get him to do them? Many years ago and many frustrating cleaning days ago I realized that my children did not know and understand what really clean was. I would tell them to go clean their room, bathroom, kitchen only to go in and see they had done it but not. I decided that I was lazy and needed to take the time (and a lot of patience) to teach my four children how to clean. I first took note cards and listed the job and then step by step how to do it. I then laminated the cards so they didn't get destroyed in the first cleaning. I took each child with their list and took them step by step through the card. Some of them were pretty young so had to gear the cards to their level. I then would supervise them for the next few cleaning so they understood what needed to be done. The steps to take so they were not having to clean up messes they made when cleaning. Often I would hand them out their cards on a Saturday morning and have them race. When that didn't work the next things was no playing with friends until all of their work was done. That would often involve teamwork.(especially when the Talbot Twins would be riding up and down the drive way on their BMX bikes shouting and having a lot of fun.) Or we would have a fun outing planned for the afternoon. It worked well and eventually they were able to do all of that on their own. Plus their own laundry. After thinking about my sons question I decided to make him some of his own cards. Today I took them out and spent some time with his boys. They were very interested and worked together to get as much of the work done as they could to surprise dad. One thing I had learned as a young mom was it did not work to share the cleaning materials. So I gave each of the grand's their own cleaners, rags, and off they went. I had them look at their work after and see how nice their house looked and how it made them feel. They were pretty proud of themselves and so was I. The icing on the cake was when dad got home and did many WOWS! AWESOME! and WAY TO GOS! They were like proud little peacocks.