Tue | Aug 14, 2018

Raising tidy tots

Published:Monday | June 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Students at El Centro eagerly turning in their tidy up basket.
Tamika Clough

Executive Home Management (formerly Executive Housekeeping and Laundry) recently launched our Tidy Tots Workshop at El Centro Preschool.

The aim of Tidy Tots is to teach children cleanliness and responsibility - cleaning up while they play.

Children and cleaning are not words that usually go together, but if you don't teach your children how to take care of a home and laundry, who will? They need to be prepared to go to college, live on their own, and they need to help at home, starting when they are young.

Children require training to learn how to be clean. Start by letting them watch you do it, talking about it as you go, then let them help you on appropriate chores.

Eventually, allow them to work on their own with close supervision. Be sure to give praise and positive feedback. At first they won't be perfect, but save the criticism for the next time. When they go to do the chore again, encourage them with positive feedback about doing it better and faster. No one wants to help if they are criticised every time.

At what age should you start having your children help around the home? As soon as possible - even a two- or three-year-old can assist in some chores. Give your children chores that they can succeed at. Failure is not encouraging for anyone. As they master the simple ones, add more complex ones.

Here's a chart of age-appropriate chores to help you and your children get started, taken from an article by Linda Cobb, the Queen of Clean.

You are the best judge of what your child is capable of - these are just guidelines, a place to start. Giving kids responsibility while they are young builds self-confidence and self-esteem.


AGES 2-3


- Replacing toys, books and putting away dirty clothes in the laundry each day

- Help set the table

- Fold washcloths


AGES 4-5


- Feed the pets (supervise)

- Assist in wiping up spills - do not allow them to use cleaning solutions that contain harsh chemicals

- Make their bed

- Tidy their own bedroom

- Prepare basic snacks


AGES 6-7


- Gather up the trash

- Fold towels

- Help empty the dishwasher

- Match up clean socks

- Help make a salad


AGES 8-9


- Help with laundry

- Hang and fold clothes

- Dust the furniture

- Hose off the patio (a fun chore - dress them to get wet)


AGES 10-11


- Clean the bathroom (this is a good reason to use natural cleaning products that are safe)

- Vacuum rugs and carpet

- Mow the lawn

- Get the mail

- Sweep the garage


AGES 12 and up


- Mop floors

- Wash and vacuum the car

- Trim plants and hedges

- Help shop for groceries with a list

- Bake bread or a cake

Positive reinforcement is important. Praise, don't tear down. Say thank you and show appreciation. Compliment your children on what they have accomplished - even if it's not quite right, find something positive to say. These things are huge motivators.


For more info, contact:


Tamika Clough

Executive Home Management Ehlcleaners@gmail.com