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List: Posted: 03/28/11
Teaching your children how to be responsible and keep their home clean is an important part of parenting. Without your instruction, they will be at a disadvantage when they finally get out on their own. Rather than letting common responsibilities come as a horrible surprise, you can teach responsibilities now, by teaching your children to use the most common household products.
For instance, let your child read the instructions for use on the bottle of dishwashing liquid, and load and fill the dishwasher with the detergent as instructed. Make it seem like a privilege rather than a chore. Glass cleaner is another of the most common household products that children can have fun using. Let your teens use the cleaner on a variety of different surfaces (other than just glass) to find out how well it cleans (it cleans pretty much anything).
You can also teach your kids put away the leftovers after dinner using plastic wrap. Make it into a game to see whose wrap stays 'done up' until the next day, and they will quickly become familiar with the chore. You can also use this as an opportunity to discuss things like wasting food, food preservation and more that will come in handy when your teen gets out on his or her own and has to start budgeting for food.
Another fun game is to aware a weekly prize to whoever has the cleanest bedroom. It need not be a big prize, it could be something as simple as a late night up to watch a favorite TV show. Set a day and time for the weekly 'judging', followed by the awarding of the prize. It could become a fun family tradition (as it was in our household!)
Teaching your kids to be clean early in life is a lesson that will stay with them as they grow up. You can be assured that their future roommates, and eventually their future families of their own will be grateful to you!
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