Here’s why I think it’s a good idea to have your children help clean the house from an early age. This is a picture of my son as a 2-year old using the vacuum. He could barely push the thing, it didn’t amount to any actual cleaning, and it resulted in making my chores taking just that much longer (especially since I had to wrestle the vacuum away from him; he was surprisingly strong for a little guy).
Anyway, my point is that even though it made my job a little more difficult and frustrating and annoying and take a little longer, I feel like it was worth it, because here is a picture of that same little boy, five years later, vacuuming. Of his own free will! He even got under the table and couch, then proceeded to use the attachments to vacuum the actual furniture! The best part is, he did such a great job I didn’t even have to vacuum up after him!
Now I do have to disclose that these teaching moments where you show your children how to be helpful are much easier with your first child. For the second child, there’s a lot more “just let me do it because it’s easier and if you try to ‘help’ it’ll take three times as long” going on. I gather the same goes for third, fourth, fifth, and so on. So don’t be surprised if that second child may not be as quick to volunteer help, or help you when you ask, repeatedly, day after day, every day, till the end of time, I’m assuming.
I would also like to note that this whole “volunteering to vacuum” is not an every day occurrence in our household. At this point, I barely volunteer to clean anything. But when it actually does happen, well, those are the moments I cherish right up there with first smiles, first steps, and first words. And I have the pictures to prove it.