The question always is, are you bribing the kids to do their chores? At least, that is what my husband always says to me. I respond by saying, “there is a difference between bribing and incentivizing honey!” Spring cleaning is an annual task that almost everyone dreads. Fortunately, spring cleaning can be the perfect time to help your kids develop a good work ethic and enlist extra hands for the job.
Try these ideas to get your kids involved in your spring cleaning efforts and teach them the importance of hard work:
1. Play an Easter Game. It would be rather cruel to enlist the help of your kids on Easter Sunday. However, you can use the day before or after Easter to entice them into spring cleaning by playing an Easter-themed game.
- Be Creative: Hide a few chocolate Easter eggs under piles of clothes and shoe boxes in their closets and tell them that if they can neatly pass folded clothes to you to put into the storage bins, they’ll find several Easter chocolates to munch on.
- Be Unique: To your kids, it will be an Easter egg hunt. To you, it’ll be a way to start a new spring cleaning tradition while creating a mutually beneficial situation for both you and your children. Ensure that all the candy is accounted for, lest you have a surprise during next year’s cleaning.
2. Be honest. Older children, especially teens, won’t be tempted by a few pieces of chocolate. Rather than dressing the day up as an Easter egg hunt, be honest. Tell the older kids you need help getting some spring cleaning done and offer a fun ending to your busy cleaning day.
- Incentives: Offer to end the day by getting their choice of takeout and renting a movie. Not only will this give your family time to bond, but you’ll also get some spring cleaning done. In all aspects, this is a winning situation!
- Plan: Refrain from approaching your teens on your spring cleaning day. They may already have plans. Approach them a few days before and set up a convenient day for everyone involved.
- Prioritize: Older children can handle bigger tasks. It’s best to let them choose a task (from a list that you’ve created) and tackle it on their own. By doing so, they’ll feel as if they had a say in the task at hand.
3. Rewards. Kids of all ages respond well to rewards. As mentioned above, a piece of chocolate or a slice of pizza will help entice your kids into spring cleaning. However, a larger reward will have your kids jumping for joy on the day of your spring cleaning adventure.
- Offer to purchase your child a game for their gaming system if they help you spring clean the house and keep their room clean for a month after that.
- Sweeten the deal for yourself by offering them a subscription to a favorite game, music or something they really wanted for a while. Offer the subscription in exchange for spring cleaning and keep the subscription active as long as their room is kept tidy and their chores are done.
Remember, there’s a difference between bribing and incentivizing. Incentivizing consists of providing a reward as motivation for completing a safe and beneficial task.
Kids respond tremendously well to all types of rewards, and only you can judge what rewards will properly motivate yours. Treat your kid to a reward and earn yourself an extra set of hands for spring cleaning.