Kids, summer holidays and chores!
I have always battled to get my kids to do basic cleaning chores without a whole explanation about ‘being a team’, and ‘we all live here’ blah blah blah, and recently during these summer holidays I have found myself actually bribing them with the promise of pocket money. Obviously this all depends on what mood I am eg: Can’t be bothered to argue and quicker to do it myself to full on blackmail.
Who knew that a recent purchase for myself to make my life easier would actually turn my little horrors into cleaning fairies? Well it did… the “well-known” cordless vacuum has been a complete revelation. They are actually fighting over who is going to use it first. I remember hearing once that if cleaning spray bottles had sound effects more men would clean but this is proof it’s true!
It prompted me to see what the experts thought of all this. We all love supernanny Jo Frost and she agrees that it’s a great way of them learning about responsibility and gives them a sense of pride in themselves when they have done a good job.
Make the chores age appropriate
Make Beds – have a race to see who can do it the fastest.
Tidy up toys – this is a given, all kids should be doing this.
Dusting – most children love doing this job. If it’s really bad they can draw their name in the dust before they polish.
Helping with the washing – putting their dirty clothes into the laundry basket.
Washing the car – this is a favourite with most children but may need some guidance.
Recycling – sorting the recycling out and taking it out on bin day.
The results have to be positive surely? There can’t be a negative can there?
I looked further into what the experts say about involving children in household chores and the outcome seems to be that children that were involved in household activities had higher self-esteem and were generally more responsible individuals. Parents who don’t give their children jobs tend to over- indulge them. Doing everything for them results in very few basic life-skills.
If you haven’t done it to date, don’t panic as it’s never too late. If you haven’t had a plan in place up until now there is no reason not to start one now. In fact, the sooner the better.
Decide what you need help with and what is age-appropriate for your children and go for it!
One question I am still debating is whether to reward or not to reward?
This is ultimately a personal choice – but do you…
A, Base their pocket money on the jobs being completed, which you could argue prepares them for the work environment.
B, Do you keep it separate to their pocket money and keep chores as part of the household tasks that the whole family need to be involved in.