Let’s face it. Being able to prepare a meal to enjoy with your family is a wonderful way to end your work day or any day for that matter. But what happens after dinner? Specifically, whose responsibility is it to clean up and clear the table once you’ve all eaten, discussed your days, and laughed? We know it is difficult to get children to volunteer to do anything, which is why we’ve put together a short list of ways to get the help you need and deserve.
3 simple parenting tips to get your family to help clear the table.
1. Voice your need for help.
We often avoid asking for help because—well, we don’t want to appear as if we’re incapable of doing it all. Our desire to do it all holds true for many things, especially when it comes to our partners and children for help around the house. But it’s time to let go of the do-it-myself mentality and use your words to get the help you need.
2. Clean up along the way.
One of the best ways to avoid heavy chores after dinner is to clean up as you go. Wash the mixing spoons, bowls, pots and pans as you use them, and you’ll have significantly fewer items to wash once dinner is over. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this alone. Assign a night per family member to help clean up and clear the table post dinner. While you cook, it will be that person’s responsibility to help clear the cooking space and wash the soiled spoons and other items you’re no longer using. Post-dinner, this person will help you clear the table, properly store the leftovers, and wash the remaining dishes.
3. Make it a family affair.
You’ve done the cooking; now it’s time for your family to pitch in and help clean up. While it’s a good idea to assign kitchen chores, not every child will go for it. Things can –and will—get cleaned up a lot faster if everyone pitches in to clear the table and clean up. Not only that, but the combined effort will spread into other areas of your household and build a team spirit amongst your family.