Depending on which part of the country you live in, I’m fairly certain that I’m not alone in saying that I feel like my kids have gone to school for a collective 6 days since mid-December. Whether it’s been because of Christmas or Hanukkah break, New Year celebrations, snow days or the inevitable quarantine-inspired day off due to the flu or strep throat – I’m right there with you.
Over the last week, the temperatures have warmed up and the snow has melted – which means that the house is no longer our prison. We’ve gotten our troops back to a healthy status and are making a vigorous attempt at getting everyone back on track and into that ‘rhythm’ we parents love so much.
The rhythm that I’m talking about are those few hours before and after school. In the morning, it’s getting dressed and organized, but at the same time, cleaning up after themselves. Scooping up the yard sale of towels and washcloths left behind after showers and baths, the remains of breakfast and the explosion that occurred around the vanity (in my room of course) while brushing teeth and combing hair. Once they’re home, it’s schoolwork and taking care of the dog, cats, fish and turtle.
This is all stuff that I did as a child – it was a rite of passage… and a super sweet way to earn a few bucks for allowance.
New research by Clorox though, shows that cleaning is more than just a way to earn a buck, cleaning as a kid helps you learn responsibility, empathy and even willingness to help others – the skills kids need to thrive in today’s world.
Acquiring these traits will not only help them make friends or attain a job, but I’m hopeful that my kids will be overwhelmed by how being a good person can have such a positive effect on their lives and the lives of others around them.
I’ve always felt as if there was something inspiring and rewarding about cleaning up after myself – keeping my space tidy and fresh. This is an idea and concept that my wife and I have been trying hard to instill in our three little ones by way of a ‘sticker reward program’ instead of frothing at the mouth and screaming at the top of our lungs for them to clean up their rooms.
Clorox’s research shows how ‘clean’ impacts how we feel, act and engage with others. This nationwide survey and statistical modeling helped uncover connections between cleaning habits and attitudes and five key emotional and mental states. But these findings go beyond just what people said to how they subconsciously reacted by using biometrics – they measured the impact of clean and dirty rooms on physiological responses, and how that translates to our emotions.
While we don’t allow our kids to use actual cleaners just yet, we still view what we’re doing as a team effort. If I can get them to set me up by loading the bases with dirty clothes in the hamper, toothbrushes and dishes in the sink – I can step up to the plate, point to the right field fence and call my shot… knocking in a handful of runs by taking out the trash, scrubbing cutting boards and countertops, while choking back stomach bile while wiping down those toilet seats that look like a carnival port-a-potty.
A clean space also impacts a kids’ behavior. 59% of parents say their kids study better and 49% say their kids behave better in a clean room. I believe this – As an adult (or at least someone who masquerades as one part-time) I know that I actually function better when my home office is clean.
For me, the most significant part of the Clorox research is that the likelihood that an individual will exhibit higher empathy increases by 64% when they did chores involving cleaning as a child. Coming from someone who began taking care of his dog and mowing the lawn at age 7 and 8 and working as a farmhand by age 11 – I feel as if this research holds its weight in water.
I know that adding that extra layer of responsibility to our kids’ daily routine and making sure that they meet our collective goals is definitely putting a larger value on their free time. They’re genuinely excited to begin the day or come home from school to relieve themselves of these tasks and take advantage of being a kid!
How do you encourage your kids to clean up after themselves?
Check out www.clorox.com/cloroxisthebeginning for a fresh start AND if you happen to be attending the Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans February 1-3, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton, stop by the Clorox booth to say hello….chances are that I’ll be there, too!
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Clorox, who wants you to keep it clean! Check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.