Children are little creatures of fun and playtime, but these habits eventually create a mess that can be a nightmare to deal with. Cleaning is a task unknown to them, believed to be boring and completely difficult to do! They despise the mere notion of cleaning, as what could ever come close to blissful playtime under the sun? This leads to parents tidying up after their children, which can eventually lead to problems, especially if they’re capable of doing it themselves.
It adds to a long list of already overflowing tasks, and it’s also telling your children that it’s alright to have someone else clean up after them. The sense of responsibility is lost, which is why Catholic schools all over the world adopt a “clean up time” policy that teaches children the importance of cleaning.
For one, a beautiful and orderly environment is a space conducive to peace and learning, and it allows more and better movement. A clean community also gives children a sense of purpose, allowing them to realize that they’re part of a family that needs help—even if it’s just cleaning.
It can be difficult to teach children how to clean, especially if it’s a task they are unwilling to do. Luckily, there are ways to teach them the value of the task. Here’s how:
Focus on the little things—keep things realistic!
As adults, you understand that the very notion of cleaning can be tiring to think about. It’s difficult to manage household chores, as things can quickly become overwhelming. To banish the overwhelming feeling of “too much”, break everything down into bits and pieces. Instead of saying “let’s clean everything up”, focus on small tasks. In the case of teaching your children, allowing them to do one task at a time.
Simply picking up their toys can help bring about a sense of accomplishment, which later eradicates the sense of cleaning dread entirely. It’s best to start with something simple and personal—allow them to handle their rooms, and eventually, they can help you accomplish bigger household tasks.
Make it a fun family time
Sending your child off to clean their room can eventually lead to negative feelings. Clean up time in Catholic schools consists of children grouped together, where they are tasked to accomplish certain chores together. This creates a feeling of togetherness and teamwork, traits from which your children will benefit from.
That said, make sure they’re not alone as they clean. Opt to clean alongside them—as they put their toys away, sweep and mop their floors clean. You allow a sense of community to foster, letting them know that there is value to get from the task—they get to spend time with people they love.
Teach them the value of letting go and generosity
Your children will likely have accumulated too many belongings. Rather than allowing over 60 pieces of toys to clutter their rooms, teach them the importance of letting go and giving things away. Explain how other children will find the need for things they don’t touch anymore, which could include toys, books, and clothes.
Allow them to go through the process of decluttering—by doing so, you not only foster the sense of responsibility but the significance of charity. Consider doing this every Christmas or summer, where they’ll have more time to ponder on the joys of giving.
One Step At A Time
Like with most things, teaching the importance of cleaning to your children will be challenging. You’ll need to remain patient and persistent, especially when it comes to cleaning schedules and giving things away. Being there every step of the way can help instill values in them, however. Remember that children imitate what they see—that said, be a role model, and the rest will follow!St. Aloysius Regional School is a Catholic faith community in New York that believes in academic excellence and moral growth. We inspire our students to become the best they can be, including all the little things such as cleaning. Our culture and curriculum have been designed to strengthen emotional maturity, moral character, skills, all of which help them achieve confidence. Allow us to help your child make a difference—reach out to us today to learn more.