Do Your Children Help With The Chores? {Discussion}

My girls have spent the weekend lounging on the sofa and leaving a trail of destruction wherever they go without ever thinking about who is going to clear up after them. Then again they are five and four so I kind of figured that’s ok.

However, talking to other team members it seems their children have been helping out around the house for some time and I started to wonder if it’s time to pass Molly and Alice the mop!!

Ok so that might be a bit extreme and I still can’t get Edd to tidy up after himself so I don’t hold out much hope with two children. To be fair Molly has been actively getting more involved in things for a little while now. This is not through us pushing her but as she has got older she has taken pride in helping out. She makes her bed every morning (and ours I might add) and now likes to make sure she puts things in and out of the dishwasher. We do also try to get the girls to put their own toys away but that is often met by a lot of protestations from Alice.

I remember as a child we would be responsible for washing up and drying on a daily basis and once my younger brother and sister arrived we helped mum out where we can. I was a touch older then though at eight years old. We never thought of them as ‘chores’ and more simply helping out around the house.

We also washed the cars for a whole 50p. Which leads me on to my next deliberation. Should chores be linked to pocket money or does this lead to the wrong type of reinforcement?

So our discussion today is do your children do chores, what age did they start and do they receive rewards as a result?

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13 Comments. Leave new

My daughter has just turned three last week and will help set the table sometimes and we often play the Tidy Up song from pre-school to tidy up the playroom before she gets more toys out. OK, so we aren’t the hottest on it all the time (although I won’t put toys away unless all the pieces are there because missing pieces make me RAGE) but generally, she helps out and will ask to help.

We don’t call them “chores” though because (a) that makes it seem like a job rather than just part of life and (b) we aren’t American.

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This made me laugh out loud – and (b) we aren’t American!!!

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My nearly 3 year old helpsout when I need to get thing done and he wants my attention – he will help me load the washing machine, he will pass me the clothes when I’m hanging out to dry. He will also put pans away if I pass him them and tell him where to put it. If I’m dusting/cleaning and give him a cloth he will waft it about some furniture. I do ask him to bring me his plate/cup to the dishwasher after meals. And we tidy up toys when there’s too much and before bed. But this is all helping each other.
It’s more distracting him with something when I need him to let me get on at this stage, but hopefully when he’s older he then won’t see it as a chore, but something we just do.
I didn’t have to do loads growing up, but once I was old enough (14ish) I did do a lot of cooking while my dad was at work until 6 (single parent) and I would put loads of washing on. He has NEVER let me or my brother do the washing up. Even now if we are there he insists on doing it himself. No idea why. My best friend growing up had to do all the washing up from being young and all their own ironing from the age of about 11!

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We did very little as kids. But then, we went to school on the bus at 7:15 and if we had play rehearsal or sports we didn’t get home until 6:30. When we were little little we always had to abide by the one toy at a time rule but we were allowed to leave a farm or zoo or whatever out overnight to play with in the morning. My mum loves setting up surprise toys or play scenarios and she does it with S now- and I try and do it too.

She’s only 2 but loves to help- pairing socks is a good game. Feeding the chickens, scattering hay and collecting eggs, leaves in the wheelbarrow- the outdoor jobs are much easier to let her join in with. She can join in more as she gets bigger. Paddy will I think have it tougher as I’m determined to raise a man who does housework.

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My eldest is two and a half and she already helps out quite a bit but more because it’s fun for her to do grown-up tasks than because she’s doing chores. She does the washing up regularly (with glass and knives removed), sorts the laundry and matches the socks, helps pack away the online food shopping and gets her clothes / towel ready for bed and nursery. She also packs away her toys when she’s finished playing with them. This is something she’s been doing since she could walk so now she usually does it with little reminding.

I do wonder whether she’ll still want to do these things when she’s older and realises they aren’t actually fun. I think I did quite a bit when I was a child, often cooking, cleaning, doing laundry etc but it didn’t feel like chores just that I was doing my bit (along with my mum, dad and sister) to help with family life. The quicker the tasks were done, the quicker we could all do more fun stuff and many hands made light work. I hope my girls will feel the same when they’re older.

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These comments are making me think I should probably get Lyra a bit more involved in the housework!

One of her favourite things however is doing the dusting – she likes to use half a can of Mr Sheen and the carpet underneath wherever she is polishing usually ends up being drenched. Can’t argue with the fact that she wants to help though.

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Oh we love a good chore in our house! Leo really enjoys dusting. As he’s getting older we are starting to implement a few things. So he is encouraged to make his bed… He tries so hard – I obviously have to actually make it but I think getting him in the habit of doing it as he gets up is working.

He empties any left over food from his bowl in to the food bin and puts his bowls/plates etc in the sink. I am going to start letting him try some washing up now that I think the water would probably stay in the bowl. He always helps me to cut up vegetables which he loves doing… He thinks it’s such a grown up job.

He helps collect grass and leaves in the garden too. I actually didn’t realise how much he helps with until I wrote this! I always had to do chores as a kid at home and hopefully it will mean by the time he’s off to uni/living on his own he’ll be semi organised and know how to look after himself. Nothing like forward planning!

I’m sure the novelty of it will wear off soon but whilst it’s fun for him I’m taking all the help I can get 🙂 x

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Oh and Lottie Leo loves mopping! That’s his favourite of all the household chores! x

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Send him my way Becky! I need a little helper x

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I definitely think kids should help around the house from early on. Keeping house is part of every day life and it’s important to teach them that in an age appropriate way once they’re able to understand.

I feel strongly about this because my mum did everything for us and never asked for help. I lived alone for years before I actually got half decent at tidying up after myself. My brother, who is 34, remains the least domesticated person I know.

My daughter is almost 3 and likes to help wipe things and brush the floor. Her efforts aren’t that effective but she is a keen assistant! One rule I do have is if the floor is covered in toys (play doh, crayons or Ben & Holly figures being the main culprits), we have to tidy them before we move on to the next thing – and she has to help, I won’t just do it for her.

I’m careful not to style it as a ‘chore’ though, I think it’s just something you should learn to do automatically, rather than seeing it as a negative use of time. I’d like my kids to take pride in looking after their things. For that reason I don’t feel household tasks should be linked to pocket money, but I’m not sure I’ll stick to that view when faced with truculent teenagers! 😊

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I think it’s a lovely view that at a young age it doesn’t have to be effective, it’s the trying that counts. Its completely right xxx

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Well my just 2 year old isn’t the greatest help, but her enthusiasm is amusing! She tidies her toys, but only usually just to get them all out again, so we are working on that… She loves helping unload the dishwasher, lays the table, clears up spills etc, helps get the washing out of the machine or put it in the machine, and will happily hoover (one small spot of course!) if I have the hoover out and turn it on. So much so she won’t let me do it! I don’t expect this all to last, but I’m willing to encourage it as much as I can at the moment… I also don’t think it should be linked to pocket money, but I guess in the future I could consider withholding funds for something if jobs haven’t been done perhaps? Not sure, something to think about…

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Make the most of the hoovering whilst you can! If she enjoys it I see nothing wrong with that. The whole pocket money thing isn’t something I;ve even thought about yet but I have a feeling the time is edging nearer as Molly is six soon. I wonder if it might make them appreciate the value of money a bit more. Maybe not linked to doing jobs but just that they can have a small amount of pocket money each week (is 50p still acceptable?!) if they have had a good week at school and been nice to each other. xx

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