For any task that I really don’t want to do, I simply spark a bit of healthy competition between brothers, set a timer and watch them run around frantically trying to beat the other one at ‘pick up all the towels in the house’, ‘gather toys’ or my personal favourite ‘match the socks’. Seriously, that sock basket can sometimes hold enough lone soldiers they could rebel and take over the entire house.
Fellow parents, are you aware that there are actual parenting yodas walking around among us? It’s true. They might look just like us (dishevelled, sleep deprived and on the edge of losing it in the supermarket) but these parenting ninjas have unlocked the secrets to getting your kids to do stuff you really don’t want to do – without them even realising it. Bow down!
Over my six-year parenting career, I too have picked up on some of these genius ideas and would like to do my part for the community and share them with you. You’re welcome, use them wisely.
Oh, and before you check out my tips, take a look at Instagram sensation Celeste Barber’s latest Life Hacks For Real People video with Mamamia above. It’s all about cleaning. GOODIE!
1. Baby wipes in every room of the house.
I discovered a long time ago that if household chores involved any more effort than the bare minimum, they just wouldn’t get done. Well, I mean, they would but it would be down to me and me alone.
A friend gave me the tip a while ago to keep a packet of baby wipes in each room of the house and teach your kids (and partner) to use them. Not only are they perfect for wiping bums, but they do a great job of cleaning up toothpaste spit and shaving whiskers from the bathroom vanity. You’ll also need to invest in a bathroom bin for easy disposal because, you know, a walk to the actual bin would just be too much.
2. Become a hard task master.
Once upon a time, I was a nice mother. Well, maybe for about a day. And then I just got jack of picking up other people’s stuff. I once heard it said that parenting is like cleaning up after a party that you never went to. Too true.
My kids know that if their bedrooms are not packed away by dinner time, anything that’s left on the floor goes straight to the bin. I’ve actually done it once and it was very therapeutic.
3. Competition is healthy.
The great thing about having multiple kids close in age is that competition in our house is rife - especially with my boys.
For any task that I really don’t want to do, I simply spark a bit of healthy competition between brothers, set a timer and watch them run around frantically trying to beat the other one at ‘pick up all the towels in the house’, ‘gather toys’ or my personal favourite ‘match the socks’. Seriously, that sock basket can sometimes hold enough lone soldiers they could rebel and take over the entire house. Enjoy kids! The winner gets to beat their PB of putting away the rest of the washing. Lucky devils.
4. Disguise the task.
Recently, I noticed that the grout in our bathroom tub was looking a bit worse for wear.
Being eight months pregnant, I wasn’t all that keen on scrubbing it myself so I invented what was possibly my greatest parenting game of all time - bath tub scientists. Basically the game consisted handing my kids an old toothbrush and a bowl of baking soda. Once they had applied it liberally to the grout lines, each of them let loose with a spray bottle of vinegar. They loved watching the chemical reaction of the bi-carb fizzing up, I loved watching them not fight for 20 minutes (and clean the grout at the same time).
What tricks do you use to get your kids to clean? Come on, we want to know, share them below!
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