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to let my kids off the hook

(9 Posts)
katmat Wed 21-Sep-11 03:11:33

I work part time, 20 hours per week, and am a sole parent. My kids (DS13, DD10) are both hard working at school and are extremely busy out of school. DD dances several days per week and is very talented. DS has ASD and, after years of trying to motivate him, now does 3 nights per week of activities which I am very happy about as these help with his self esteem.

The problem is that because I am so pleased with their attitude to work outside of the home, I have been very guilty over the years of letting them get away with doing very few chores at home.

I, myself, am very unmotivated when it comes to housework and make excuses to not do it. BUT, I know the time has come to change this because the house is a constant mess and I find it stressful.

Part of me things I should think myself lucky that my kids are cheerful,hardworking people in some respects,and therefore should not expect more from them around the house. They are always worn out at the end of the day after school, activities and homework- I sometimes feel sorry for them and so don't demand any more from them. On the other hand, part of me feels that I am not doing them any favours by not making them do chores.

Should I do just do it all myself as I only work 20 hours.Or should they be helping too?

Thanks in advance for any input.

StuckUpTheFarawayTree Wed 21-Sep-11 03:22:05

They should help. All is not lost though. I've only just started with DD aged 7. She's getting pretty good with her bedroom now, but it took a lot of nagging and tears to begin with.

Glitterandglue Wed 21-Sep-11 03:35:31

I reckon they should be helping partly so they can understand (as opposed to just knowing in an abstract way) that stuff around the house doesn't just get done by magic, and that it is hard work sometimes, and partly because if they don't start to do it now it'll come as a huge shock to them later on when they have to do it.

But start small and gradually work up. I did very very little around the house until I was seventeen (was not asked to and so it simply didn't occur to me) and then I was told about my mother's disability (after the rest of the family, but that's a whole other issue) and simultaneously berated for not helping more around the house. And while I had no problem with helping (once someone had actually pointed it out and asked me to!) to go from doing pretty much bugger all to a lot more was a bit of a nasty shock. So, start with, for example (not sure what they do already) keeping their own rooms tidy, laying and clearing table, basic level of stuff that should be easy and then work up over several months/years to the 'harder' stuff like cooking meals, doing regular washloads and so on. At this age they don't need to be doing loads anyway but definitely need to start with some things because the older they get the harder it'll be to get them to start.

aldiwhore Wed 21-Sep-11 08:28:28

Start smalll as it is a big change, sit down and discuss things and draw up a rota so that you all have 'a' job to do each day, after a while you can add more. If they realise this is for you as well as them, then they may be more happy to comply.

YANBU. They are old enough to start mucking in (and probably should have been doing it for years!) and young enough to get used to the new routine.

Good luck!

CustardCake Wed 21-Sep-11 09:07:47

They should at least do their own bedrooms. It makes sense that if you are at home some of the week and they are out for most of it then they physically can't be doing something everyday and you can do the biggest share but doing one room doesn't take more than 20 minutes as long as you do it every week to keep on top of it and keep it tidy in between.

katmat Wed 21-Sep-11 11:49:36

Thanks for the replies. Yes,I suppose I agree,they should be doing something, even if its small

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 21-Sep-11 12:30:04

When I went away to uni age 17 I ended up in a shared house with others about the same age. I was brought up to help around the house, cook meals etc, and was shocked at how many of the others were completely at sea. I remember one lad asking me, quite seriously, how to boil an egg. Even if you don't need the help physically, tell yourself that one day they'll need to know how to do this stuff if they're to be independent adults.

WilsonFrickett Wed 21-Sep-11 12:42:56

Do they do anything at all? For example, my DS sorts out his own plate/yogurt pot etc, after dinner and cleans up his toys from the living room every night. For us, for now, that's enough (because I have a cleaner and he is 6). When we move we won't have a cleaner so I will expect more from him.

When I was around 8 it became my responsibility to produce a dessert for the Sunday dinner which I loved and it taught me masses about cooking, following recipes, etc. Could you do something like that as a starter, then build it up to cleaning up after the meal, etc. I think as your DCs are so busy then doing the same thing every day might not work, but building up to being responsible for one meal, and their own room, then later on maybe washing their dance / sports kit, etc - make it about something they like, then they'll want to do it.

And in the name of all that is holy, make sure DD and DS learn the same jobs [wink[

diddl Wed 21-Sep-11 13:05:33

I agree that they should at least be responsible for themselves & their bedrooms.

So putting stuff away after use/dirty clothes in washbox/putting ironed stuff away at the very least.

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