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To expect 14 yr old DD to do some jobs around the house to earn pocket money?

(31 Posts)
Go Mon 29-Nov-10 20:17:29

DD has never really been short of money, as her dad, my parents etc often give her a fiver here and there and she never really wanted to buy much. However, over the past year or so she has started to go out to the cinema, into town etc and therefore most of her money has gone (except the stuff in her building society). I have said I will happily give her an allowance, but in return would like her to:

keep her room reasonably tidy
put her laundry in the bin
wipe down the table after meals
help with cooking/cleaning when asked (and I wouldn't be unreasonable)

But she's not interested. My mum seems to think I'm being hard on her, but I think it's important for her to learn that there isn't a bottomless pit of money which is just there for the taking. AIBU?

Chil1234 Mon 29-Nov-10 20:21:15

YANBU... Amazed you've left it as late as 14!! Stick to your guns. Children that can do nothing for themselves, think money grows on trees and expect everyone else to take responsibility can end up in all kinds of trouble down the track. While you're at it tell her that 'rent' starts being due when she turns 18 so she should get thinking about that paper round.. wink

TottWriter Mon 29-Nov-10 20:21:46

Is that all you're asking of her? Totally NBU! My mum had us cleaning the fridge, windows and kitchen floor, as well as ironing, sorting the laundry and doing the dusting and polishing, changing the bedlinen, cleaning worktops and cupboard doors, the hob, etc, as well as tidying our rooms and keeping my mum company (and sometimes making her breakfast). I started off doing the ironing when I was nine.

We got £2.50 a week.

Tell your DD that - she'll soon see that what you're asking is hardly onerous. Plus, it gets her used to the value of money and the fact that you have to work for it. Never a bad thing.

signet Mon 29-Nov-10 20:23:05

Serious question and I really don't know the answer to it, but is it a good idea to pay them for things that really they should be doing anyway? I mean, surely a 14 yr old should be able to do those things without needing to be paid? They are all things I expect my much younger children to do. Please don't think I'm criticising, I'm really not, it's a genuine question.

I would think if your 14 yr old wants more money then to earn it is a good idea...but I would expect them to do things out of the ordinary to earn it...cut the grass, clean the car out? Rather than keep their rooms clean and help with dinner as I expect my kids to do those anyway. But to be fair, I could just be too strict on mine..maybe?

thegrudge Mon 29-Nov-10 20:23:26

I don't like linking pocket money to helping around the house.

I think she should do those things because she is a member of the family and should pull her weight.

I don't think you are being hard on her expecting her to do those things. I think you are being leniant expecting her to only put her dirty knickers in the laundry basket if there is a cash reward. I do think she should get pocket money, just not as payment for doing basic things she should be doing anyway.

InkyStamp Mon 29-Nov-10 20:23:27

Why does she not do these things anyway?

TBH I dont think pocket money should be linked to everyday chores, but if it works, then go for it!

nameymcnamechange Mon 29-Nov-10 20:23:33

Yanbu. You are not being hard on her at all!

(P.S Do you have any sons?
Will you treat them exactly the same way?)

InkyStamp Mon 29-Nov-10 20:25:32

To clarify, I would give £x amount pre week. If that is not enough she does 'big' jobs such as washing the car, raking leaves (make up a pay schedule!) that she can earn extra to go to the movies..or she gets a paper round!

InkyStamp Mon 29-Nov-10 20:25:51


Tiredmumno1 Mon 29-Nov-10 20:27:04

I used to have a saturday job at that age, and had to wash/dry up straight after dinner every night and polish/hoover every week and keep my room tidy.

my job wage was £9.50 and pocket money £2.50 a week

So yanbu, she needs to learn some independence and not think others around her are cash machines

DurhamDurham Mon 29-Nov-10 20:29:46

It doesn't sound unreasonable to me. I have two dd's aged 17 and 13 and they do the things you have mentioned. They also empty the dishwasher and help put the weekly shopping away (whilst eating half of it).

I wouldn't expect or want them to do more because I grew up having to do lots of housework and it caused lots of resentment.I also had to look ater my little sister during every school holiday. My brother wasn't expected to do anything. I work 4 days a week and get housework done while everyone is at work or school, it's quick and hassle free. I want my girls to enjoy their teens without too much responsibility, yes to keeping their rooms tidy but no to being used as general skivvies.

Ooopsadaisy Mon 29-Nov-10 20:31:11

I have a 14 year old ds - he has a paper round and does odd-jobs for people we know to earn extra money. (Painting fences, cleaning cars etc).

That's how the world works.

I think that what you are asking her to do is the bare minimum to show basic respect, never mind earning anything for it.

LarissaFeodorovna Mon 29-Nov-10 20:32:04

I don't pay my teenagers for those things, I expect them to do basic household chores anyway.

My 15yo does, variously and mainly on request:
Bedroom tidying (intermittently, but I don't care that much as long as I don't have to go in there)
Cooking occasionally
Occasional washing up
Babysitting for my younger dc
Table clearing/laying/tidying
Bathroom cleaning (loo, bath, shower, basins and floor)

My 12yo does similar, minus the cooking and washing up, but does laundry sorting and hanging instead.

my 8yo does sorting laundry, sorting recycling and emptying the dishwasher.

Their sweeping and hoovering skills are limited, but I'm working on it.

They don't get paid for any of that, they have to do it because it's part of family life. Someone has to do it, and I don't see why it should always be me.

I only pay for things that are really beyond the call of duty, particularly where I haven't had to nag till kingdom come. I have been known to pay a child for hoovering out the inside of the car, which is a horrible job, and I sometimes pay them 50p each for pairing socks when the odd sock situation has spiralled out of control. I occasionally pay my teenager for babysitting if she also does a significant amount of cooking and washing up, or if she gives up something she wants to do in order to babysit for me. If she needs extra money over and above that, she can go and babysit for the neighbours kids or whatever. Nobody pays me for cleaning the house, life just isn't like htat.


SuePurblybiltByElves Mon 29-Nov-10 20:35:41

I must be horrible then as I make my DD do chores at 4. Only looking after her own pets, helping tidy and dust her room and similar but she has to do it every day (not the dusting).

I see it as being part of the family (all two of us), not as making her work.

upahill Mon 29-Nov-10 20:35:59

I expect my 14year old DS to
make tea
plates and cutlery in and out of the dishwasher.
sort a wash out and get it going
Iron his shirts
hoover on request
clean the shower after himself
make his bed in the morning, open the blinds and bedroom window and put his PJ's in the wash.
Any other duties as and when required.

He gets loads of money and good stuff but it is not linked to housework.
He is expected to do this because he is part of a small community (also known as a family)

Go Mon 29-Nov-10 20:36:33

Thanks for your advice. I worked from 13 onwards - washing up in a local cafe, waitressing etc and I was expected to help at home. BUT my mum worked and was always short of time, whereas I'm a SAHM so have the time to do all the household stuff, and have deliberately not asked too many chores of her before because I wanted her to enjoy being a child, rather than having to do lots of jobs (as I and DH both did).

She is supposed to keep her bedroom tidy, clean round the bathroom sink etc, but it just doesn't get done, so I suppose I was thinking that because she needs some £ now it would make sense to offer a carrot, rather than a stick iyswim.

I think perhaps the best thing is to give her some (mabye a couple of quid) a week, and then offer more for say cleaning the car, doing the ironing etc. But still insist that the other stuff is done. Maybe once she gets used to having some pocket money then the threat of losing it will keep her on the straight and narrow grin. Just to add, I have a DS who is 8, and will expect just the same from him when he's older.

whoknowswhatthefutureholds Mon 29-Nov-10 20:36:45

yabu to pay her, my 14 yr dss so that and more when here.

Tolalola Mon 29-Nov-10 20:39:51

I was certainly expected to do those types of jobs, plus more, around the house at that age, without recompense.

I used to get a very small amount of pocket money and could make extra by doing bigger jobs like cleaning the cars, gardening, painting etc etc.

I also had holiday jobs by that age.

Your DD should be pulling her weight more, imo.

Chil1234 Mon 29-Nov-10 20:45:10

I'd actually get the 8 year-old and the 14 year-old both to do jobs appropriate to age and ability. Otherwise one will be seen as getting off lightly. Get a sticker chart to get the ball rolling... no jobs completed, no pocket money. Or they'll just end up spoilt and no-one likes that. Good luck

LeQueen Mon 29-Nov-10 20:47:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TattyDevine Mon 29-Nov-10 20:50:42

My mother played it like this (and I dont know if it was "right" or "wrong" but here goes)...

She didn't pay us to clean our bedroom, as such, BUT, she would "inspect" our bedroom once a week, on a Sunday evening before our weekly Roast Dinner (!) and if the bedroom was up to standard, only then would she consider giving us our pocket money. So she didn't "market" it as paying us to clean our rooms, and honestly we didn't see it that way at the time, we knew we had to do it anyway, but it was very much a "you fullfill your obligations to me before I do mine to you" type thing. And it worked. It gave us a timescale to work to, and an incentive. And we'd start the week clean and organised, ready for a Monday morning, which is never a bad thing, and it would just gradually get worse as the week went on, then it was the weekend and we had the weekend to sort it before Sunday night again!

There were other things we were expected to do, and we had to do them regardless of pocket money etc.

When we got much older (like near school leaving age, 17, 18 etc) and wanted more money (for booze and fags really!) she was willing to step in and help out because she wasn't really in a position to be able to transport us to Saturday jobs etc and there wasn't the transport available (grew up in Oz, it was different there) and she felt guilty, so she gave us a "job" of cleaning half the house each (we divvied it up between ourselves) and she paid us the same if not more than what she would pay a cleaner if she had one.

This kept everyone happy because the house was cleaned properly (and we had to do it, she was a taskmaster and would inspect) which taught us how to clean properly, but in fact I believe it taught us the "joy" of cleaning - the satisfaction that goes with it, and it really drove home how much "nicer" things are when they are clean. It gave us ownership of it and I believe it did us more good than harm, even if there are people out there who think she was wrong for either making skivvies of us or paying us for things they think we should have been doing anyway. In reality, what it did was kill the problem of us needing a Saturday job, allowed her to justify just giving us more money to make that problem go away, and sorted her cleaning problem but without making a nag of her, which it might have if she'd just declared it something we "should" be doing.

There are lots of ways of going about it all, I guess, and I am undecided which tack I will take with my children when they are a little older but I am definitely open minded to child labour!

hairyfairylights Mon 29-Nov-10 20:52:53


tallwivglasses Mon 29-Nov-10 21:37:19

Wow, Tatty, your mum was amazing!

Am I the only one here who totally failed on this front?

Admittedly, my mum did everything for me (had to learn to open a tin when I left home) and I could never impliment any chores for pocket money with my dd. I see where I went wrong now. START IT YOUNG!

I read a book which was called...something like 'I hate you and I'm leaving but can you drive me into town first' (HELP literary mnetters!) which taught me major lessons, like 'don't have shouting matches on the stairs' and 'now' doesn't mean 'two minutes', 'NOW MEANS NOW'.

If I could do it all again...

DD turned out fine. Her flat's tidier than mine and she's a great cook!

PinkIceQueen Mon 29-Nov-10 21:47:20

YADNBU - my 2 do chores for no recompense, I too started them young. We all live in this house, we all go out to work/school, we all do the chores to keep it a pleasant place to live in. I often tell them, I am not their maid/skivvy grin it works for us.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 29-Nov-10 21:51:04


Dd is 14 and does the following:

Cleans bathroom 3 times a week.

Washes and valets 2 cars and a van.

Cooks dinner twice a week.

Keeps her room tidy.

Ironing on request.

Hoovers and mops the house once a week.

For this she gets £80 month and her phone paid for (£20 a month). I figured I get about 3-4 hours a week work out of her, which roughly equates to minimum wage.

Works for us.

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