Good hygiene and cleaning practices are one of the best ways to teach kids about responsibility and self-confidence. At a time when cleanliness is incredibly important to you and your family’s health, there is no better time to start introducing positive cleaning habits than early development. Here are some of the ways to reinforce positive cleaning practices and how they help your child’s development.
The Science Behind Teaching Cleaning Habits
So just to be clear, we’re not talking about giving very young children chores. We’re talking about including them in the cleaning process, teaching them about the importance of cleaning and positively framing housework. These practices can create good habits, reduce the workload on parents, and give children ‘a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance’.
Dr Tamar Chansky, a psychologist and author draws this conclusion from a study by the University of Minnesota. The study followed 80 children throughout their lives and discovered that children who started chores at a young age (around 3-4 years old) were more likely to be successful in academic, professional, and social pursuits.
How Can You Educate Kids on Cleaning Habits?
A poll in America found that parents tidied up after their child 28 times a week on average. This isn’t a surprise given the way toys can find their way into washing machines, suitcases, chest of drawers, and just about anywhere else. 2 in 3 parents also admitted that their children’s messiness left them in a bad mood. It can be tricky, but changing the way you talk about cleaning and involving your little one can go a long way to making kids tidier. This means less time spent cleaning up after them and a happier child who is confident and well-informed.
Explaining how dirt, bacteria, and other nasties spread in unclean environments is key to understanding how important cleaning is. Nothing too complicated. Just a simple understanding of how dirty environments can lead to sickness or smelly environments help your kids make the connection between clean environments and health.
Another way to help create good habits is to start small. Children as young as three-years-old can’t really do chores. However, they can learn through activities like pressing the buttons on the washing machine when you do a load of washing. They can also do things like pair socks when they’re dry or put their toys away after playtime. Toddlers are intrigued by the world around them. By letting them participate in daily activities, you can begin to associate cleaning habits with exploration.
Develop their Independence
When you’re kids are old enough to be a bit more independent then give them a few simple options. Simple, realistic tasks that they can complete will give your kids a sense of accomplishment and build their self-confidence while at the same time teaching them good habits. You can give them options for tasks. By giving them two or three options; it frames the chores as their decision instead of something they are forced to do. This approach can go a long way in preventing the connection between chores and punishment.
Try To Be As Positive As Possible
Reinforcing cleaning as a fun activity can help embed healthy cleaning habits. Make cleaning a family affair and reward cleaning time instead of using it as a punishment. This may mean putting on a brave face occasionally and being upbeat about cleaning tasks which can understandably be difficult to muster after a long day. Don’t be tough on yourself. Just try to make cleaning as fun and free an activity as possible and your little one will become more independent and tidier which will only help them as they develop.
Who We Are
At Stepping Stones Day Nursery, we work hard to provide the very best education and lifestyle for our little ones. Our team of expert nursery nurses have years of experience helping nurture minds and we love helping families in Nottingham create memorable moments with their little ones.
Contact us today to find out more about what Stepping Stones has to offer and how to get placement. We can’t wait to get you and your little one started on an extraordinary journey.