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Do your children help out at home?

Let’s be clear, I don’t have a  lot of free time – the job and silly little things like sleeping get in the way – and to be honest I don’t reckon there’s any risk of me being one of those people who fret that they do too much in the way of chores

Saturday mornings are usually our chore morning and if I’m going to get anything done then the girls have to help out.

But it turns out that not everyone does this?

I’ve always had them help me put the laundry into the machine, get it out and hang it up, to help with cooking (this one is not always as much of a success as I’d like), and to do their tidying up at the end of the day

I mean, why wouldn’t you?


They get to learn that if you pull out every single toy then you have to put them back and I get to not have to pick up every single piece of lego that’s been chucked on the floor.

Ok so mine are still very small and reasonably bidable (well apart from Littler but that’s a whole other conversation) but surely if you don’t start early then they are never going to get that if you make a mess you have to tidy it up because there aren’t slaves wandering around behind us tidying up?


And as for household chores helping out with them is part of the pact of all living together as a family.


A job shared is a job halved and all that.
Am I the only one making my children do chores?  Am I some kind of cruel parent for insisting that they help out?

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33 comments to Do your children help out at home?

  • Madame loves helping with the washing up, doing laundry and hoovering. I may as well make the most of it because I’m sure it’s going to be a battle when she’s a teen. We also bought her a digital money box and sometimes give her a bit of change when she helps with the chores. I like to think it gives her the incentive and also teacher her a bit about money.

  • I agree with you, it’s good to get them in the habit. I don’t have set chores as yet and it doesn’t happen every day, but they do help out – they have to tidy their toys away and Theo loves helping me unload the dishwasher. They like helping with cooking too.

    I find they always want to help and think it’s best to encourage it so they think it’s normal, even it makes things take longer to get the job done. I don’t always do this in practice though…!

    • Practice vs. reality are two different things. I have been known to distract them with easy jobs whilst I dash around doing the stuff that they really wouldn’t help with

      I agree – get them into the habit and hopefully they’ll be useful people in the future

  • Lynn

    The trick is to invest the time on the front end (soon as they can talk!) as early as possible and as consistently as possible to teach, help, encourage and require them to participate in daily living chores, starting small and building on their skills and abilities as they grow. Then they will take for granted that as part of the family they are responsible to contribute and any battles on the back end (teenaged years). It’s a simple concept and it works. The difficulty, of course, is that it takes effort and commitment on the parents’ part to invest the time to teach kids, and unfortunately, there’s not a lot of support from the rest of the world to help parents do this. But if you can commit yourself to it, it will be so worth it, both to you and to your children as young adults. When other 20-somethings are confronting the adult world for the first time, they will be starting from scratch learning how to be a grown-up. Many have no idea how to do laundry, make beds, cook simple meals, write a check or a thank you note, etc, etc. Your kids will have a huge advantage in skills, knowledge and self-discipline. So take heart. Even though it’s easier sometimes to just do it yourself, teach them to help and include them in chores! You are not mean. You are a great mom!

    • Mr left home without most of the basic skills so I’m determined that the girls are raised more like I was and do their share as part of the ordinary course – its also in part pragmatism, if I have to use my limited time with them for chores if we do it together we at least get to spend time together

  • My two year old is always trying to help even when I actually really don’t need it. I hope she carries on trying to help as I will expect her to help out properly when she’s older. I don’t mean I’m going to get her scrubbing the floors or cleaning the toilet, just making sure she has a hand in keeping the place clean and tidy. I think it’s important to learn things like that as a child anyway so it’s not one big shock when they leave home.

    • Its also about sharing the burden, at least if you have put all the books away after you’ve pulled them off the shelf perhaps you might consider not pulling them all off next time? Or perhaps we’re still a way away from that

  • Oh you’re totally right! They’ve got to learn from the off, that there isn’t a tidy up fairy… Mine have tidy up time at the end of every day, and they love helping with washing, dusting etc. I know the time will come when I get tuts and sighs instead of eagerness to help, but I hope by then they will have learned that if they make a mess someone has to tidy it!

  • Boat-Wife

    Yes you are right. Mine are 3 and 1 and they always want to get involved with whatever I’m doing. They have drawers full of toys that they’re not interested in but love to ‘help’ with the dishes and laundry. Big Sister has just proudly learned to make scrambled egg.

  • No, mine do chores and always have done. I think that’s the norm x

  • Flaf

    Yes, absolutely. Jobs are things that *we* need to be done, not that *I* do.

    That said, none of us like do much in the way of cleaning, but they help tidy up, play with the hoover etc. They also lay & clear the table after meals, and if we’re not in a crashing hurry, will help cook dinner too

  • No you are not on your own. My boys are 10 and 13 and they both do ‘jobs’ everyday in order to get their pocket money. So the rule is if they don’t ‘work’ they don’t get paid!!! It works although we are only talking about emptying the dishwasher, putting out the recycling, making their beds and tidying/cleaning their rooms once a week.
    However, I am very lucky that they can be helpful as I have M.E so I can be quite restricted some days. They are great and do a lot more than other kids. But I really think it’s a good life skill, especially for boys as they need to learn from an early age to be more ‘capable’ and independant.

  • I think it’s a good thing to start early with children or they’ll grow up thinking we are their eternal servants!

  • Yes, agree, but have to shamefully admit that whenever I get the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard my 2yo girl shouts “that’s Brenda’s hoover, that’s BRENNNDAAA’S”…Brenda is the occasional cleaner.

  • yes and no. I do encourage, but don’t make my older do anything – that’s because my mum did and I ended up hating household chores (still do, apart from hanging up washing which strangely I love). So, I don’t want to put her off – if she wants to help it’s great, and if rooms get strewn with toys, yes, a bit of tidying is required before we can do a new activity. It has to be positive and fun, and often I’m in such a rush to get things done quickly that I do it myself and don’t want help – that isn’t ideal but such is life.

  • Yes mine have to tidy up toys and make beds. And wash Windows. They are rubbish at Windows but so am I….

    I think it is a positive thing.


  • I think you are totally right. My daughter also does, they learn it plus most children enjoy it 🙂

  • The Mad House

    Yes mine do. I did as a child and the boys call it there slave work, but they earn pennies from doing extra over and above their regular stuff. They will be good partners one day!

  • My two year old loves hanging out the washing on a drier and helping with the dishes. Keeps her out of trouble and it’s actually fun!

  • I have 3 children, Aiden’s 11, KayCee’s 6 and Ella’s 4. They all have their own chores to do everyday as well as tidying away their own mess when they make it!
    I made an exception this week though because we had 3 extra children staying with us for the week last week and it was impossible to keep the rooms tidy with extra beds taking up all the space. I cleaned the girl’s room yesterday and have Aiden’s still to do while they’re away visiting family.
    I want all my children to be able to clean, cook, iron etc when they leave home and I agree that starting them early is the way to go 🙂

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