How do you get your partner and/or children to help with cleaning without resulting to nagging?
What is your trick? I know I'm not the only person who struggles with this!
Quite simple really. You make a start with the cleaning, and when they ask you to do something you tell them that you will do it when the cleaning has been done. Let them know that it will happen much more quickly if they helped out.
I often offer a reward to the kids if they lend a hand. More often than not though, they will not take it. I am very lucky, my kids love helping me around the house.
My husband however will not help out unless you ask him directly to do so. Men, unfortunately do not think like women. They need to be asked or told straight out. They just do not see that the house needs cleaning, or the dishes need doing or the lawns need mowing.
I wish I did not have to ask for some things to be done. lol
I would love to hear others answers to this question. I reckon they would be quite amusing.
When I grew up kids didn't have a "choice". You did what you were TOLD to do or you got spanked. If one is against spanking there are other rewards/punishments that can be applied to encourage or discourage behavior. You really have to know what is important "to your children" and you must have the (back bone) to stick with your promise of keeping them from having what they want until you get what you want. (They're still in their formative years)
As for your spouse.... The only thing you can do is ask.
There are only two reasons why a mate will not give you what you ask for.
1. They don't have it to give.
2. They don't believe you're worth the effort to give it too.
The ball is now in your court and you have to determine.....Is this a "deal breaker"? If it is get out. If it's not learn to live without.
The truth of the matter is "People change when THEY want to change."
Sitting around nagging, begging, and pleading will only lead to frustration and disappointment on your part as well as resentment and emotional withdrawl on their part. No one wants to spend time with someone who is either trying to "change" them or "control" their behavior against their desire. A clean house may not be a top priority for anyone in your household other than you! If you believe they do care then try going on "strike". Simply stop doing anything yourself and see how far things go down hill before someonoe else starts to pitch in.
A compromise may be for you to hire a part-time maid to come in once or twice a week to help out. In the end we are much better off marrying someone who (Already is) doing the things we want as opposed to (hoping) we'll be able to get them to start doing those things down the road.
Make cleaning a structured part of your household. Allocate chores at the start of the week, e.g. one child's job is to wash the dishes for the week, another's is to water the plants etc. Couple this with a reward system. If you give your children an allowance you can make it that they only receive it if they complete their week's allocated chores. You can design a weekly timetable and rewards chart.
It's good to start off small. Give your children one small task to begin with, and then each week or fortnight increase this to two chores, etc.
As for your husband, make sure you communicate with him. When he helps out praise him, and tell him you appreciate what he's done. I know it would be nice if he just did it automatically but it will probably never happen. If you've always done it then he's not going to bother. If you show him you appreciate it he will feel good about doing it and be more likely to do it again.
If you're desperate, you can always just refuse to do anything...e.g. don't wash your children's clothes. They won't be able to cope with this for long!
My friend's girlfriend used to put notes ... on clean things such that they would be found just before use. For example, between the third and fourth plates in a stack. As the plates were being laid out there was a polite reminder that using the plate would make it dirty ... and then it would need to be cleaned.
I must admit that later in their relationship the notes became less polite:
"Now wash up, you filthy *******"
I don't know about kids (mine are only 1 and 3 so can only put their own toys away) but here's what I do to get my husband to help: (looking puzzled) "Hmmm.... there are lots of things to do around the house and I really need to get them done before lunch. I'll tackle a and b. Which would you prefer to do - x or y? - I'll do the other one." Note that I am doing 3 things and husband is only doing 1 - this is because he does a lot of yard work like mowing the lawn - that I don't do. The above method is a 'nice' way of getting hubby to do 1 thing because a) it gives him some level of choice as to what he does and b) it makes it clear to him that you're doing more than he is, so he is unlikely to refuse. Also, c) it gives a time limit to get it done - the implication that lunch won't happen until the cleaning is done.
In contrast, something that would NOT work so well would be "Hey honey I'm doing some cleaning, can you do this 1 job please?". Instead try my above method as you come off super-considerate. Yeah, he should theoretically help you no matter how you ask, but the reality is not always that way...! And don't get mad if he chooses the 'good' or 'easy' job all the time, at first just be thankful he is doing it. Start small at first!
Not sure it's really possible without nagging. However I have heard if you make a chart and give each person a duty to look after on different days that it can help.
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