Yesterday on Facebook I read an argumentative saying: (Our house is lived in, it is not for show, if you don’t like mess you know where to go).
One might misunderstand this saying, and think it is a call for messy homes in order to make them more intimate and cosy.
Here we must use our sense of balance and judge the saying moderately. Neither absolute chaos nor obsession for cleanliness should be acceptable.
This might be difficult for most moms, as they are generally the ones responsible for the house chores.
As a mother of four children, expat for 13 years so far and as an architect/interior designer I had lived the dilemma of presenting my home in the best way and allow my kids to play and have fun.
To explain my point view, I will give an example; if we take a look at any successful school, you will find that children from Foundation stage up words, will have time in almost every school day to play with various materials, including colours, sand and water, they will spend part of the school day in their classrooms, or outside in the playgrounds. Yet, at the end of the school day you still can see that the child leaves his class clean and tidy. You might wonder how? Is it possible that janitors are cleaning all that?
Indeed, I did not see this! But what I discovered that children in these schools learn that after having fun it is their obligation to clean any mess resulted from their actions.
Children will learn to be humble and participate with others in cleaning and tiding up process, even appreciate its result.
Mothers should take advantage of this and encourage the child -from an early age- to do so in order to absorb the concept and get use to it in their life.
Chaos should not be synonymous to comfort or happiness, rather it should be allowed for specific time and place to achieve some kind of activity or creativity.
Make children familiar with cleanliness and order and not to think of it as restriction to their freedom and happiness, and this will reflect positively on the household and releases the mother of a small part of her duties.
It might be a good idea to explain to them that there are some types of activities that are most suitable in specific area in home. Such as playing with water guns in the garden, or colouring can be in the kitchen not in the living room. Do not worry of restrictions; they will face them sooner or later in life.
To help them, especially the young ones of age 3-5 years to complete these tasks, use baskets or plastic boxes as storage which will make it easy to collect the toys after each play time. Use more than one basket to help them organise their toys and label them , for example, a basket for crayons and paper, one for Lego and one for of balls … etc.
There must be a waste bin in every room in the house so it would be easy to collect waste and deposit it. This way cleaning will be less stressful for them.
There are some songs or stories about tiding up, to encourage children to participate cheerfully in the process. At the beginning parents might want to join their children in this routine for encouragement and support until they get used to it.
On the other hand, parents can keep celebrating the creative achievements of their children moreover engage with them in these activities. This will help to connect the family in the house and transfer it to a HOME.