Encouraging your kids to put their washing in the laundry basket can seem like an uphill battle; a dirty socks ridden war zone.

But if you start young and follow these five tips, you should be able to craft positive behaviour and attitudes towards laundry.

Kids can surprise us. So give it a go.

1. Label The Washing Baskets

Try and make placing washing in the laundry basket fun for younger kids.

Consider labelling the laundry baskets – one for whites, one for colours – with pictures that encourage them to place their washing into the appropriate basket.

If this is too ambitious for the younger kids, have a basket just for their clothing that you can quickly sort into the rest of the family’s washing yourself.

You will save oodles of time by having their clothing in the laundry already.

2. Teach Them Young

There are simple lessons that younger kids need to be taught and explained on a daily basis. Washing is one of them.

Explain to younger kids that there are two kinds of clothes: dirty and clean.

Dirty clothing needs to be put into the washing basket and is not worn again until it has been washed. Where as, clean clothing is folded neatly in the wardrobe ready to be worn.

3. Give The Kids A Job

Kids often crave responsibility and are fascinated that mum and dad have ‘jobs’ they need to do.

Build upon this curiosity by delegating age appropriate ‘jobs’ to your kids such as sorting colours from whites once all the washing is in the basket, or doing a laundry round up from everyone’s bedroom.

Having ‘jobs’ like this can lead to skill development, understanding responsibilities, and feelings of satisfaction knowing that they helped and accomplished something around the house.

These are feelings to be nurtured.

4. Use A Reward System

Reward systems can be great for kids who need that extra bit of encouragement.

Don’t get in the habit of using monetary rewards; instead create a wall chart with all the days of the week listed and use gold stars to mark each time they put their washing in the laundry basket.

You could use a point system where they need to reach 10 gold stars to be rewarded. Consider rewards such as choosing what DVD the family get to watch, or what to have for dinner.

Keep rewards simple and family orientated to maintain the sense of accomplishment and fulfilment that having ‘jobs’ can bring to kids.

5. Don’t Yell

Finally, don’t get heated and yell at the kids for forgetting to put their washing out.

You want to create positive associations with completing ‘jobs’ and raising your voice will only make them want to rebel more.

Remember to have persistence. Good laundry habits don’t happen overnight.

Home Sorted! owner and founder Nina Rosace has been nominated for the AusMumpreneur awards in the Service Business Award category! Show some support by heading over to the voting page and placing your vote for Home Sorted!

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