How many times have you said to the kids; “Put your toys away or throw your dirty clothes in the laundry?” How many times have you said; “I wish you would all pick up after yourselves?” How many times have you said: “I am tired of doing all of this all by myself, why can’t you help a little?”Plenty!! If we had a nickel for every time that we, as moms, and wives, have said this we would be millionaires. But, nothing ever changes; we still don’t get the help that we so desperately need.
Why?Because of these simple reasons:
1.No one really knows what it is that you want them to do.
2.How do you want them to do it, do they need something special to clean it with etc.
3.It isn’t fun.
4.No one seems to see the same ‘dirty’ things that you do.
5.It will probably take too long and they will miss out on something that they really want to do.Okay, so how do we take care of this little problem!
There are a few ways that you might want to try that will possibly get your family on the right track and make your life a lot easier.
First of all, don’t make it harder than it really is, you may have to change your thinking a little in order to get to your ultimate goal.Yes, it is true, the living room isn’t going to be polished as nice as if you would have done it yourself, but it’s polished..Right? It will get better the more that they do it, so give them time.Let’s explain the reasons it’s not getting done first; just to give you an idea of what the full picture really is from their point of view.
1.They really don’t know what it is that you want them to do.
You say; “I tell them what I want them to do, what do you mean they don’t know?”Well, you are telling them to throw their dirty clothes in the laundry, does that mean the hamper, down the laundry shoot or put it next to the washing machine or in the laundry basket? The one thing that you have to learn is to be exact in your wording or they don’t get it at all! Now, if I say; “Put your clothes in the hamper, I am washing this afternoon, if the clothes aren’t in there you will have to wait until the next time I wash in order to wear your favorite ________. (Fill in the blank with their favorite item of clothing)Now you have told them where to put the dirty clothes, why you want it put there and what will happen if they don’t. If their favorite pants or shirt are dirty they will make sure that it gets into the wash.
2.How do you want them to do it?
If you say something like, “polish the furniture for me.”Does this mean the whole house, the living room furniture and what should I use to polish it with? You need to tell them to go and get the furniture polish and the dusting rag, under the sink and polish the furniture in the living room. Sounds ridicules doesn’t it? Well, that’s because you do it all of the time and at some point and time in your life, whether you remember it or not, someone told you all of these things in order for you to learn them. If you feel that they may overlook things that you want polished you may have to be a lot more specific. You may have to say it this way: “Get the polish and the rag from under the sink and polish the end tables, coffee table, bookshelf and the T.V. stand and make sure that you polish all of it, not just the tops. Now you have told them where the cleaning items are, what to polish and how to do it.
3.It isn’t fun!
What you would really like to say is: “Of course! You think that I have been having fun all of this time!”So, now is the time to make it fun for everyone, including you. Everything is a lot more fun if you make a game out of it. Set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and see who can do the best job with a certain chore in the fastest amount of time. This person gets to pick out a favorite T.V. show for everyone to watch or gets to stay up a half an hour longer.Hide a quarter someplace in a room, but don’t tell anyone that you did it and the first one that finds it gets to keep it or gets a special treat. Make up your own games as you go along and sooner or later, the kids and your husband will make a few games of their own.Yes, you and your husband get to play too. If he hides the quarter and you find it while cleaning, you get a half hour in the bathtub without any disturbances. If you hide the quarter and he finds it, he gets a half hour without anyone bugging him about something. When it works its way up to a extra half an hour at the golf course or fishing, he will be all for this game.
4.No one seems to see the same ‘dirty’ things that I do.
That’s true and always will be true! So, you make a list of everything that needs to be done and as it gets done, you cross it off of the list. The more times that they clean and the more times it gets crossed off of the list; they will eventually know what is expected in a room and what needs to be done before they are finished with that room. But, since they are having fun doing it because of all of the games you are all playing, they will look for another room to clean and be asking you what they should do next!!
5.It will probably take too long and they will miss out on something they want to do.
No one really ‘likes’ cleaning but if you make it fun and then set a time limit on it, everyone will know that there is an end in sight. The only thing that can change that time frame is if they are wasting time and the job isn’t finished. Then they only have themselves to blame. You could say; “Here is our list, we have until 11:00 to get it finished so, Billy can go bike riding, Sarah can go to the mall, Dad can go golfing and I can have some piece and quiet.” This way they know that if it is all finished they can go about the things that they like to do and you will be happy with the fact that the work is completed.
Now that you understand where your family is coming from and how they need to be told everything; who, what, when, where, why and how, it will make your job a lot easier.Just make it fun for the whole family and you will get a lot of rewards that you weren’t expecting.Get their ideas for more rewards that they would enjoy,You will be surprised how many they can come up with. You can write them all of paper and put them in a bowl (one for mom and dad and one for the kids) and then pick a reward . If you pick the reward before the project you have something to work for or maybe the winner can pick their reward out of the bowl. Have fun and “Happy Organizing”
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