|Do you see the large puddles of milk?|
Really I think he was hoping that with the milk on the floor if he added the cereal I'd let him down so he could eat off of the floor...he is smart/sneaky like that. I did get him down but only so he could clean up...yes I had my 15 month old baby cleaning up after himself...and he loved it!
Elsa ran and grabbed a towel and started cleaning up the floor first...
Then the milk on the table started to drip onto the floor so I redirected her cleaning efforts while Vinny started sweeping.
I don't have a picture of Thaddeus picking up the apricots he threw on the floor since I had to help boost his morale into doing the work (read in clapping and loud words of praise for each apricot slice put into the garbage).
Once the floor was swept and the table cleaned of milk. I put a little soap on a wet washcloth for the table and got the mop out for Thaddeus.
Soon this is what the table and floor looked like...
Honestly I don't think it took any longer for the kids to clean up the mess then it would have if I did it all myself. The reason I say this is if I had done the whole clean up I would have had to battle the kids getting in the way which makes more work. So teaching them to clean really doesn't take much more of my time, if any, and the kids walk away with a life long skill more valuable than if I had done the work myself.
While I did help with SOME of the cleaning, the majority of it was done by the kids. Vinny is 4, Elsa 2 and Thaddeus 15 months each with varying degrees of ability. Thaddeus was more than capable of picking up apricot slices and placing them in a grocery bag and pushing around a mop with a little assistance. Elsa easily cleaned up all of the milk from the floor and table and Vinny did the sweeping. All I had to do was give guidance, supply soapy washcloths, and sweep the pile into the dustpan that Vinny held. Not bad if you ask me.
I hope you're finding my X-Large pictures of real life to be inspiring, honest and encouraging. All too often we fall prey to the lie that teaching our kids to clean takes longer than it does to clean it ourselves, but the truth is all that is needed is to lower our expectations a bit and go with the flow. Children love to help out so use that to your advantage!
Well I was brave and showed you the honest pictures of my kitchen after breakfast, now is your turn to be honest and share with me. Tell me what you need to overcome to be able to let your children learn how to care for the house? Is there a topic on cleaning you'd like to discuss? Or maybe you'd like more hints on teaching life skills to your kids? Just leave a Friendly Thought and share in what we know and what we'd like to know more of.