There seems to be a trend at the moment of parents doing everything for their children. It may be a “let kids be kids” attitude and letting them play all the time.
When I was growing up, there was a list of jobs I was expected to do – all as part of being a member of the family and not for any pocket money.
My kids are now 8 and 10, and there are jobs they are expected to do. These include:
- Putting away their clean clothes
- Setting the table for meals
- Tidying their room
- Putting dishes in & out of the dishwasher
- Clearing the table after meals
- Putting the rubbish and recycling out
- Putting the bins out on bin night
- Packing their school bags
- Carrying their school bags
- And anything else I ask them to do…
These jobs are not for any money, they are part of being in the family. It also takes a lot of pressure off me doing everything.
As the mother of two boys, I also see part of my job is teaching them to be responsible adults and to be able to contribute to their household when they are adults. If I don’t teach them when they are kids, when will they learn? Little by little, they are given more jobs and more responsibility around the house. For example, Mr N is able to change the sheets on his bed, but isn’t quite big enough to put the doona cover on his doona.
We also spend regular time together cleaning, and the boys have jobs they really like to do. For some reason, they fight over who gets to clean the toilet as well as washing the bathroom floor!
By getting my kids to help out around the house with the housework, it takes the pressure off me and I don’t feel like I’m doing absolutely everything around the house.