Children and chores

children and chores

The rule in our house is if you want your pocket money you do your handful of assigned jobs, keep your room tidy (ish) and be nice to your mum. For it is she who hands out the dosh.
We’ve always thought it’s important to ‘pay’ your way in the house. I do not want either of my children leaving home and not knowing how to empty the dishwasher, put the bins out,  make their bed, clean their rugby boots, iron their own clothes, hang the washing out on the line. Basic stuff.
And pride in one’s surroundings can surely only lead to pride in other areas of life as they grow up and make their way through university/work/their own homes.

Actually it’s not really about earning your pocket money, more about being part of the family. All mucking in. Being part of the team. Pocket money is just the cherry on top.

At the moment Mia’s very favourite thing is doing the ironing. She thinks it’s very grown up. Sure it takes F O R E V E R, but the sense of achievement she gets and the lesson she is learning are priceless. Or at least worth 50p of her pocket money!

Her other love is anything in the kitchen. Making a bolognese sauce she’s mastered. She’s now moved onto baking. We just need to work on the clearing up afterwards.
And I love to think that all these things she will one day be passing on to her own children, and they on to theirs.


I find it a really interesting subject, the way different families tackle the subject. No one is right or wrong, you just do what suits you and your family.
And actually the one thing I have learned is that ‘chores’ is the wrong word to use if you want them to keep helping out long into their teens. Chores makes it sound, well, like a chore. And to teenagers chores are ‘oh my god, you’re making me WORK when I have actual school work to do’.

So I turned to the font of all knowledge that is Twitter and asked other parents how they tackle getting their children to help out around the house.
And after reading them I’ll definitely be taking a couple onboard. It’s all a learning process this parenting lark, right?

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So, what’s your take on children and ‘chores’? Let me know in the comments below.

* NOTE: Many thanks to Betta Living for supplying us with a fab new iron to set Mia off on her marathon ironing sessions!


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12 Responses to Children and chores

  1. Mine do chores – put plates away after meals, help unpack the dishwasher, hang up washing, tidy up after themselves and I anticipate they'll do more as they get bigger
    My recent post Having it all means learning to fail

  2. difficult one – I have always had a list up of chores off which pocket money is calculated but I've always worried that this creates a feeling that you must be paid to do stuff, but really household jobs are a shared responsibility in a shared environment and no one should expect to be paid for them. It's definitely a fine line and you have to find the balance that works for your own family. Whilst they are young they do enjoy helping, that enthusiasm disappears and it has become a trade off between whether I can be bothered to nag (and the importance of making the responsibility of those chores be shared still) and just doing it myself because it is mentally less draining. Good luck! LOL

  3. I love this. I’m with you and think that ‘chores’ are just part of being in a family. My eldest two get pocket money on the understanding that they do their bit around the house although we don’t pay them specifically for doing jobs if that makes sense. My youngest two don’t get pocket money yet but they still have little jobs to do and they actually love that bit of responsibility. I just see it as life skills. And secretly hope that between the four of them, soon I will have nothing to do around the house myself haha!

  4. sarahmo3w says:

    Oh my goodness! My children (12, 10 and 8) do SOD ALL. It's my own fault. My mum did everything for me, so now I'm really rubbish at housework and cooking and I feel I need to do everything for my kids. I'm on the go every day from about 5.45am until 11.30pm (no word of a lie) trying to fit in everything that needs doing for work and the kids and round the house. I really need to get the kids working, don't I?

    • Tara says:

      Get to it Sarah. Get to it right now! As a very basic Dan (11) has to make his bed, clean his own shoes, clear the table after dinner and walk the dog. It's just part of every day life now, he doesn't question it
      My recent post Children and chores

  5. nappyvalleygirl says:

    I've also failed miserably on this one – my children clear up their room, but that's about it. I know I've got to get to it – it's just so much easier most of the time to do it yourself!

    By the way was wondering if you're going to BritMums this year? It's the first time I've been able to go….and feel like all the original bloggers have now been there, done that….

  6. mamaelsie says:

    We keep stopping and starting the money aspect because the 3G are still young, but every now and then I get them to muck in because it's important they understand fairies are just for teeth not for houses! My lot are pretty good for doing odd jobs as I make a competition out of it – first one to finish gets to go on the trampoline first or choose the weekend movie. But then I made a magnetic 'choose your chore' board with magnets showing the pocket money they could earn, so that gets used occasionally. Sometimes though it's a case of – just get it done!

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