Should children help with the household chores?
It’s something I tell myself each time I plough through my children’s bedrooms: they should be doing this themselves.
As I wade through the books, cuddly toys and a plethora of assorted Gormitis, Transformers and Star Wars statues (son, eight) or curling tongs, nail varnish and clothes (daughter, ten), I think back to my childhood.
Unlike many of my peers, I was never forced to carry out household chores. I had friends who had to do the washing-up from nine years old; others had to tidy their rooms to get their 10p a week pocket money (yes, I am showing my age).
But I do vividly recall being asked to help clean the house on occasion – whether this was for pocket money, I have no idea. I remember because my brother thought there was something medically wrong with him after I shoved so much bleach down the toilet, it foamed to the brim when he flushed it (it was summer. He had hayfever, hence absolutely no sense of smell).
I don’t want much from my children when it comes to helping out: I just want them to make their beds – I don’t think throwing a duvet over is too taxing – and have them tidy their rooms once in a while. Other friends’ children manage it.
Should I pay them for doing it? I’m not so sure I agree that children should gain financially from doing something they ought to be doing anyway. It sets a bad precedent.
Do you ask your children to do chores? At what age did you get them to do their fair share? Was it picking up their teddies at two? Getting them to fold their clothes and place them in a drawer at four?
Or do you think that as a parent it is your sole responsibility to keep everywhere spick and span?
I’d really love to know your opinion.