My kids know I have no problem delegating. I’m not being lazy, I just feel that there is a lot of good that comes out of teaching your kids to pitch in.
They understand that making the mess is way more fun than cleaning it. I have learned over the years that my children had no concept of what it felt like to clean up their messes until…(the horrors!!) I made them clean up after themselves. Oh, the tears!! As toddlers, my Nerd Herd began to understand that it’s incredibly fun to make messes, but not so fun cleaning it up. As they learned this valuable lesson, I was able to introduce the idea of, “When you’re finished playing with this toy, put it away before you move onto the next”. In Utopia, this works quite well, but Reality has a way of slapping us all in the face. That’s okay–the idea of putting something away before we retrieve something else still needs to be introduced. Hopefully it sinks in before adulthood.
They learn responsibility. That’s a hard word for some grown-ups to choke down, let alone kids. However, this is an important part of growing up. It can lead to all kinds of dangerous things like maturity, organizational skills, even compassion. After all, when your kid has to clean up garbage that blew onto your lawn, they might feel for the elderly neighbor who has to do the same. I have taught my kids how to do their own laundry and clean their own rooms. Sure, I’ll help them when they need it. After all, their arms are only so long and have only so much muscle strength. Also, kids have to be taught how to clean and organize. If this isn’t your strong-point, there are all kinds of great resources to help you out.
They learn how to take care of themselves. Will I be laundering my son’s dirty socks when he’s pushing 30? Geez, I hope not. I will launder his clothes until he’s pushing 12 and then I think he’ll be tall enough to reach all the supplies necessary for washing his own clothes. I keep the Kiddos’ chore list age-appropriate. Everyone pitches in with dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, and bathing the dogs. When they become young adults living in their own space, they will have a leg up on how to keep clutter down and their area tidy.
Teamwork makes Clean work! There’s a feeling of pride and accomplishment after chores are completed. This translates to most ‘chores’ in life, even when it doesn’t involve cleaning. Delegating the work and cleaning the house as a family helps the process to move quickly and efficiently. At the end of it all, you get to relax and enjoy your fresh, clean space with the ones who helped you to clean it!