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Newsflash:
Monday, 29 November 2010

Getting Kids to Clean

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Getting kids to help clean up is a daily challenge for parents. We parents need all of the help we can get. Appealing to our kids' sense of humor, empathy, or surprising them by throwing them a curveball, can all be effective in the battle against chaos.

Here are some ways to increase your repertoire.

HUMOR

Dear Children,
I have been a faithful cook but I need to give you my resignation, effective today. I am sorry to say that the other kitchen staff has not being doing its job and cooking has become too difficult when every time I enter the kitchen, I have to clean up first.

There are ants in the kitchen and there's crud on the bottom of the garbage pail. To put it simply, my working conditions have become insufferable.

Don't worry about writing me a letter of recommendation. I have decided to change careers. Love,MomSample

letters written by Sherri Lederman Mandell, of Under Sherri's Hat.

SERIOUS

Dear Brad,
I don't like fighting with you. I know you don't like to listen to me scream and I certainly don't enjoy getting angry.

I want you to know that I feel upset when I don't get the help I need from you. I know you are a thoughtful person. You feed the dog and walk him without being reminded.

I would like you to remember that in this family we share chores and the dishes need to be done every night. I would appreciate it if you would do the dishes on your night and when you can't, that you ask somebody else to take your place that night.

I love you and know that we can keep the kitchen clean without either of us feeling grumpy about it.

Love,
Mom

CURVEBALL

My Dear Hungry Children,
When I took the job of chief cook and bottlewasher, I thought I would have the help of the other people who live in this house.

But whenever I ask you to pitch it, you look at me as if I am clueless.

"I'll help," you answer. But I have to wait.

We need a watchmaker to come fix the clocks in this house because something is seriously wrong with them.

When you say, you'll start the dishes in five minutes, it means an hour. Or two.

When you say you'll clean your room soon, soon means:

A day. Or two. Or never.

So tonight be warned. When you ask for dinner, and I answer five minutes, if you're hungry, I suggest you start cooking.

Because from now on, I'm using one of your watches.

Love,
Mom

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