Teaching Children to Clean

I’ve tried hard to suggest to my boys that they should tidy one game up before getting another out and that they should put things away at the end of the day, but my words always seem to fall on deaf ears, so when Schar Ward contacted me, to see if I would like a free e-copy of her book “Teaching Children to Clean” to review, my answer was definitely yes please.

Don’t get me wrong, they both do a few chores. Son1 usually brings the bins back after the dustmen have been. And he pairs up clean socks. And they both sometimes remember to put their plates in the dishwasher, son2 is better at this than son1. But they were horrified when we got them involved in washing-up on holiday recently, a task that I can remember regularly helping with myself from age 3.

Teaching Children to Clean by Schar Ward

Here is the book blurb.

By the time a child is sixteen, they should be able to clean every room in the house–Schar Ward

This book contains step-by-step instructions for teaching children and teenagers to clean an entire house. Plus many other life skills such as doing laundry, loading a dishwasher properly, and making a bed.

Cleaning is not an option, it’s a necessity! If your child doesn’t learn, it’ll plague them the rest of their lives. According to the latest research, teaching your child to clean may be the most important thing you ever do for them! You want your child to learn basic life skills, but finding the time for accomplishing this seems to get more difficult each day. What’s the answer? A new approach, that practically does it for you! You’ll find it in these pages and even more:
* The research on children & cleaning
* Proven tactics to get the job done
* Chore charts for every age
* Room evaluations for easier cleaning
* What tools they need
* Safe green cleaning solutions, you can make yourself
* Checklists for detailed cleaning in every room
* How to clean appliances
* How to do laundry, set the table and everyday chores
* How to take care of pets
* Fun cleaning games

Knowing how to take care of yourself in your everyday environment is a skill no one should be without!

my son's untidy room

This is usually what I see in both my sons’ rooms and it tends to start spreading round the rest of the house, so I dived into the book to see how to change my tactics as my current approach is obviously not working.

I’ve picked up lots of tips from this book, so I’ve started by ordering 4 drawstring bags from Amazon – 2 white and 2 black. I have hung one of each colour in my sons’ bedrooms and explained that they are for their dirty laundry. White for white clothing and black for coloured clothing. Hopefully eliminating the need for me to pick up their dirty laundry from all over the floor. And if that goes well, I hope to progress to them bringing the full bags downstairs and then to them loading the washing machine, a task that son1 has carried out occasionally. However, so far son2 has put nothing in the bags, but son1 is remembering to use them sometimes.

The book has certainly highlighted why my current tactics haven’t been effective. And I like the room evaluation guide for making the rooms cleanable. Making beds is something the boys have been taught but ignore. However for instance the book suggests making it easier by moving the bed away from the wall, so that will be my next plan for son2’s room.

One area of the book that is not for me is the chapter on making my own safe cleaning solutions. I certainly don’t have time for this, so I’ll be sticking to buying my usual brands, although I do like the idea of pretending we’re making magic potions.

I think the younger your children, the more you will get out of this book, particularly with regards to cleaning games. I don’t think a game would win my boys over, when they would much rather be on their gadgets.

I do plan to attempt to implement some chore charts and it is a very useful starting point that the ones shown in the book can be downloaded here.

Also it is great that other life skills have been included too. I know this is going to be hard work as far as my boys are concerned, but hopefully I haven’t left it too late to get them to adapt. And I’ve learnt quite a few things myself too, so it is not just all about children.

Teaching Children to Clean is available  on Amazon, currently priced at £15.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A very useful parenting guide, aimed at those with children age 3-16. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

22 thoughts on “Teaching Children to Clean

  1. Margaret Gallagher

    Makinģ your own cleaning products sounds interesting – we havec routine on Saturday
    – we all clean together then we go out!
    No clean = no day out
    Bribery works well


  2. A S,Edinburgh

    This sounds super-useful. It’s very helpful to have suggestions of other tactics, because while it’s a good idea to give one time to pay off, continuing with an approach that’s not suitable for the individuals involved can just create resentment and rebellion and no positive. I think that I too would find this book useful for myself as well!


  3. fionajk42

    this sounds like a really useful book with some helpful tips and techniques. I definitely agree that the younger you start with children, the easier it is to form good habits. One technique that was used with me when I was a child, that I then successfully used with my kids, is a strict rule that at bedtime, all toys and games have to be put away in their proper place. Any that are not put away by bed time are gathered up by the parents and put into “quarantine” (a locked cupboard). Toys can be redeemed from quarantine by the child doing an extra chore or some other useful activity. At the end of the month any toys still in quarantine go to the charity shop. This really works as an incentive to tidy toys away each evening.


    1. mumjd Post author

      I love the idea of a quarantine cupboard and will give it a try here, although don’t think I’d dare follow-through to the charity shop


  4. BookBairn (@BookBairn)

    I’m a bit of a tidier so it’s great that BookBairn enjoys tidying up too! She’s only two and she puts her laundry in the hamper, tidies away most of her toys before bedtime and helps hoover with her mini hoover! #readwithme


  5. Sarah MumofThree World

    This sounds really good! I could really do with getting my kids to clean a lot more. My parents never taught me to clean and it’s something I’ve always struggled with as a result (although our house is pretty clean and tidy). I shouldn’t make the mistake my parents did and should teach the kids to clean.


    1. mumjd Post author

      reading the book was one thing, but I’m now faced with a child who tells me he will eat out every night and he will have a cleaner!


  6. Samantha O'D

    My girls could do with educating, we are packing up to move house. What’s annoying me the most is all the games with missing pieces


  7. shelllouise

    Kaycee and Ella are in their room as I type, cleaning it up, again. They seem to find it impossible to keep it tidy. I reckon I need this book!


  8. Catherine @ Story Snug

    This sounds like a great book. I’m somewhere in between messy and tidy but I’ve also realised that if I don’t practise what I preach I can’t expect my daughter to tidy up after herself either!! The laundry bag idea is so simple but also brilliant!




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