If you are interested in getting your kids to help with cleaning duties around the house, it’s important to remember who you are dealing with! More than just training an extra helper for around the house, getting your children to do household chores can be an act of love. Why? Because it’s an opportunity to instill the lifelong values of responsibility and good work-ethic. Even more, this may also be the best way to actually get them to follow through with their chores!
The first and most obvious point, is to make sure that the chores you assign to your children are age-appropriate. Reserve only very simple tasks for younger kids, like picking up their toys or washing their hands. Not only is this all they can reasonably be asked to do, but if the tasks seem relevant to them (like picking up the toys they were just using, for example), you are helping them to understand that work is a necessary companion to play. If the chores make sense to them, they will be much more likely to appreciate the need to do them, especially as they get older.
When you ask younger children to perform tasks, you are also influencing their relationship to work in general. Setting good foundations here will help children to mature into teenagers and adults who have a positive and healthy relationship to work. To that end you may want to also explain the “why” of what you are asking them to do. Don’t worry if they are too young to comprehend perfectly, there’s no need to force your exact meaning onto them. Even if you cannot perceive it readily, your child will very likely pick up on your positive intent and care, and will associate those good feelings with their efforts. Hopefully as they grow older, they will naturally associate the necessity of doing work with making a meaningful contribution to world, and affirming their own sense of integrity. What a wonderful gift!