How your kids can help clean (and what a relief!)

Sometimes people are surprised how willingly my 9 year-old does the dishes and takes out the trash and when I think about it I too am surprised he does these things, given that he would rather focus on Legos than anything else on earth.
BUT! I know the reason is that I started prepping him early. I made vacuuming seem fun when he was a toddler and gave BIG praise for it. Toddler spills I asked him to clean up. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it backfired. But I let him know early on that he would be part of how we keep this house clean.
At age 8 I started him on dishes. It was a big struggle. Months-long investment. Frustration over how to load the dishwasher and how he was getting too much water on himself. We made it a game sometimes or sometimes I would simply ignore the moans and tell him to “figure it out”.
Now at age 9 there is not an issue. 1-2x per day that boy gets up unloads, loads, puts the soap in and starts the dishes. Trash goes out along with compost and recycling with no problems.
And even as of late he notices how much BETTER a clean home feels!
In between big house cleans those little bits of upkeep can be vital to how your day flows and whether or not you feel overwhelmed.
When you have kids making messes faster than you can clean them up, even if you follow behind them all day, having a helping hand from those monsters is a good feeling.
I think no age is too young to get them started. Ok, maybe no younger than two. But, at two put a spray bottle of vinegar mixed with water in their hands and have them clean the streaks off the windows. Next, fill the sink with soapy water and the safest of your dishes and let them feel the satisfaction of removing sticky grimy grease!
It can be done! And it is worth it in the long run!