5. Divvy up responsibilities (divide and conquer). Have a chore list and allow each child the privilege of having responsibility for a particular area of public use (not his room) for the week, along with taking care of his own room, of course. I never had to clean a bathroom once the children were old enough (6 or 7) to do them. Then they began graduating from high school and I found myself asking, what is this brush for? What do you clean the toilet with? How did you keep hard water minerals off the sink? Well, it was almost like that. It sort of shocked me when I realized how unfamiliar it felt to scrub a toilet!
6. Don’t micromanage. Train, then act as a resource person. Encourage creative cleaning and allow the child to do it his/her own way as long as it gets the job done to a minimum standard. Encourage your child to feel truly in charge of their area, so they gain a sense of being grown up and responsible.
7. Praise a job well done, or if not done too well but the attempt was in earnest, praise diligence.
8. Once a day, or however often you deem it productive, set a 15 min. timer, take a break from school and straighten up as much as possible for 15 minutes only. You won’t believe what gets done! The children and I liked knowing the interruption from school (or play time) was limited. We would all work really hard and then no matter what we had or hadn’t done, we quit when the timer went off. Kind of turned it into a game too. Always put on music when you clean.
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