Earlier this week I set the timer and started speed cleaning the kitchen (you know, that 5 minute thing). While quickly grabbing everything off the counter and filling the dishwasher, my oldest son was in front of me every step of the way. When I moved right, he was there. When I moved left, again he was there. He was walking under my feet every step of the way. Basically, he was in my way.
Frustration started to set in.
And then it hit me…
It’s okay to slow down!
Time in the kitchen (or folding clothes, or cleaning out the garage, anything really) can be used as time (we often think we don’t have) to focus on our children.
While children are young they love to help. Unfortunately, we all know they often outgrow that helpful attitude. Seizing the opportunity now is a great way to turn everyday activities time spent focusing on them. Something as simple as wiping the kitchen counters can be used as a way to have fun with your child. Cleaning the counters can magically turn into a racetrack when you both grab a dishrag and start wiping!
Older children don’t always enjoy hanging out with adults but they’ll often open up as more time is spent with them. Even if that time is spent leisurely washing and drying the dishes, you can use it to talk about the day, dreams, or even fears. It’s far less intimidating for older kids to give you a peak inside their world if their hands are busy instead of sitting face to face with an adult.
The key is to do the task together, not delegate. Yes, it may take longer to get that to-do list crossed off, but it really is okay to slow down every once in a while.
Cleaning may not be the first item on our “fun list” but when it’s turned into a family affair, cleaning can be used as an opportunity to involve kids in your daily activities…to give them a peak inside your world. The main goal when slowing down is to just spend more t.i.m.e. together. The best part will be that your family will bond together, but your home just may get a bit tidier in the process.
Do you involved your family in daily cleaning activities? Or do you split up the tasks and go your separate ways?
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