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Teaching Our Children to Clean

What does cleaning have to do with manners?  Well, it actually has a lot to do with manners. Gentlemen and ladies strive to show respect for all things.

Remember, the definition of manners or etiquette is helping those around you to feel valued and comfortable.  

So, when we keep our homes, our rooms, our cars clean, we show honor to those who live and visit these places and we create a place of comfort.  Have you ever been to someone’s home and you are afraid to put your purse on their floor or you’re afraid to place your coat anywhere?   Yes, I have. This makes for a very uncomfortable situation.

Today, I think many parents are missing the opportunity to have their children play a larger role in keeping their homes clean and tidy.  More importantly than this is the opportunities lost for children to experience pride and even joy in being able to care for things.

There is no reason that children cannot be taught to clean just as well as we clean.  

They just need to be taught and held accountable.  I always kind of grinned on the inside when my son would call for me to come and see what he had done when he finished cleaning his room, or the bathroom or when he had finished doing a special job.  He wanted me to inspect but more than anything, he was proud of what he had done and he wanted me to see it.

Parents, one of the ways to teach children how to show honor and respect for all the things that they have is to allow them to help take care of them.  

It is such a privilege to have a home, toys, a bed, etc.  Our children need to understand that these things took hard work by someone to acquire and to show our gratitude for the things we have been given, we properly take care of them.

We are missing out on great opportunities for our children when we fail to teach them how to properly clean and manage a home.  

Remember, we are supposed to be teaching our children how to be independent of us so that soon, they will be able to live without us and properly care for their own homes.  This doesn’t just happen but takes years of practice and years of being given more and more responsibility so that they can excel at these responsibilities.  Not too long ago I was speaking to my son on the phone as he was at college and asked him what he was doing.  He said, “I’m taking apart the stove to clean it.”  I thought, “Yay…he really was listening!”

Parents, teach them!  They can do it and believe it or not, it will add to their joy.

Have a great day,

Monica Irvine

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