Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kids and housework


How on earth do you get your kids to do housework?

I've seen those TV shows with those big families who run on a regimented program of chores and endless, compliant contributions to the wider good of the family.

Well, that just so isn't my family!

I gave each of my kids a segment of the house to clean up this afternoon. It was going to take all of about 10 minutes to complete the job. It wasn't difficult but you'd think I'd asked them to repaint the entire interior of the house the way they carried on. Arrgh - two very frustrated parents.

We already have such a complex 'incentive' program (music practice, walking home from school without screaming at mother/each other, getting dressed) that the idea of creating a new system for chores makes my head spin.

Sometimes it feels easier to do it myself because it takes less emotional energy. But I know that isn't actually helping the kids develop those household skills.

But my poor brain - it can't fit much more in!

3 comments:

Jo said...

Our system seems to work well. They have a daily job rotating every term, dishwasher, recycling or setting the table.
They also have a Saturday job, sweeping kitchen/dining room, vaccuuming loungeroom, or packing up playroom.

It is just a given that they HAVE to do these. No monetary rewards or incentives, just part of being in a family. It is easier to do it all yourself, but you are not doing your kids any favours. Persevere, and put your feet up and have a cuppa while they work, ha ha.

Jenny Kemp said...

Thanks Jo - I like the idea of it just being part of the normal routine. Sometimes I find it hard to work out how to keep it fair between the younger and older kids. Should the older kids just accept that they will be expected to do more because they are older?

Jo said...

I read somewhere that the eldest needs to "accept the birthright". In other words, if they are going to have a later bedtime, more pocket money, more freedom etc... then they have to accept the extra responsibility that goes with it. Tricky this parenting thing, hey!