Attempting to clean your home when you have toddlers (or any young children for that matter) is a lot like brushing your teeth while eating a packet of Tim Tams. You’ll never get ahead of the damage being done.
If you have any desire to achieve similar success in your home, making the dream of drama-free cleaning an actual reality, then give these simple hacks a try:
Sean Szeps tells Holly Wainwright how he tricked his twins into loving cleaning
1. Show don’t tell.
When my twins started crawling, I began purposefully cleaning in front of them. I never asked them to join in or even explained to them what I was doing, I simply cleaned.
They were, like most impressionable children, very intrigued. And as they got a bit older, I capitalised on that interest by placing towels in front of them so that they could join in.
I never told them what to do or forced them to participate, I simply set a good example. Almost immediately, my daughter began copying me as I scrubbed the floor or picked up their toys. And my son, feeling left out, joined in a few days later.
Now when I start cleaning they demand that I hand them a towel so they can help too.
2. Play a song (or two).
When I was a kid, my mum often sang “The Clean Up Song” from Barney & Friends while she cleaned around the house. When I became a parent, I decided to pass down this musical tradition. Every time I clean, I either sing or play the song on my phone.
Music is known to help strengthen the connection in the brain to help children learn and remember things, so I wasn’t surprised when my kids started picking things up the moment they heard the music kick in.
And if your kids love the addition of music to their cleanup routine, create a Clean Up Time playlist as I did. Your kids will let you know which songs resonate with them the most, so you’ll be able to use those songs to make the task much more enjoyable for them (and for you).