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To make my DC do chores?

(81 Posts)
QueenOfTheSkies Sun 24-Sep-17 08:41:45

Because DM thinks I am!

Background: DM and MIL were both SAHM's who did all the household jobs while we were at school. We didn't have any chores. As a result DH and I had a very steep learning curve when we left home about the amount of work involved in running a house and we still struggle to motivate ourselves to not slob out and to get on with household jobs.

I am a SAHM to our DC and I am responsible for the household work (mutually agreed with DH, we are happy with the arrangement) but I feel its important the DC learn while they are young enough for things to become habit what jobs need to be done around the house. DM thinks I am cruel for making the DC 'work' that it is my job and they should be left to play and if they really have to do jobs I expect too much for their age.

My AIBU is whether I make them do too much?

DC are 7 and 5.

Daily: Make their own bed.
Get dressed and put pjs neatly.
7 year old makes own breakfast.
Bring their dirty plates to the sink after meals.
Tidy their playroom before bed
Set the table for every meal
Put dirty clothes in the laundry
Hang clean clothes over chair to be used again.
put away school bag/shoes/coat

QueenOfTheSkies Sun 24-Sep-17 08:41:58

Posted too soon...

QueenOfTheSkies Sun 24-Sep-17 08:44:57

Help change beds
help cook dinner (once each per week)
Hoover and dust playroom
Sort their own clean pants and socks and put away.

Ad Hoc: Other bits of dusting or cleaning (small, max 10 minutes)
Cleaning up own spills - drinks/food/wee(boys with no aim!)

DM thinks i expect too much - do you?

chainedtothedesk Sun 24-Sep-17 08:44:57

They don't sound like chores to me. I think its reasonable to expect DC to do any of those things.

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 24-Sep-17 08:46:45

I would say that is quite a lot.
A lot of it is developing good habits - clothes in laundry etc so I wouldn't actually class them as chores, but they are very young. I think I would chill out a bit.

BertrandRussell Sun 24-Sep-17 08:47:11

Don't think of it as doing chores. Think of it as contributing to the smoothe and happy running of the family "community"

"You guys set the table while I finish off cooking the dinner"

"Can you bring down your washing, please while i sort out the rest of this basket"

"Let's get everything ready for school tomorrow, then we can watch some telly/have a story/whatever"

Make there be an immediate point to it and make them feel part of a team.

hidinginthenightgarden Sun 24-Sep-17 08:47:35

First post fine. Second post too much.

chainedtothedesk Sun 24-Sep-17 08:47:50

Sorry posted too soon and hadn't seen the weekly list but no, I don't think you are being unreasonable. I wouldn't expect mime to help hoover or cook regularly but I ask them to do jobs like bring in the washing or empty the dishwasher etc.

chainedtothedesk Sun 24-Sep-17 08:48:01

Sorry posted too soon and hadn't seen the weekly list but no, I don't think you are being unreasonable. I wouldn't expect mime to help hoover or cook regularly but I ask them to do jobs like bring in the washing or empty the dishwasher etc.

Aridane Sun 24-Sep-17 08:49:16

Too much (e.g. hoovering) - YABU

QueenOfTheSkies Sun 24-Sep-17 08:51:46

i'm very much of the 'its a team effort to look after our home' mentality and thats what i tell them.

they only hoover their playroom, i do the rest of the house. (and the playroom as they don't do it properly yet!

ParsnipLeekAndLemonSoup Sun 24-Sep-17 08:52:42

Er no yanbu.

I can't believe anyone would think you were TBH. Though maybe is why half the students I work with can barely chop an onion or put a load of laundry on confused

My DS is only 18 months. I'm already getting him to help me out with tiny things EG putting his toys away at end of day, sweeping.

It's just contributing to the family home, not "chores".

QueenOfTheSkies Sun 24-Sep-17 08:55:28

parsnip that was my thoughts. DH and I really struggled when we left home at how often jobs need to be done, we'd never had to think about it before. its not that i expect the DC to be slaves, i just want them to be capable when they leave home! and i figured starting young was a better way to try and make it something they do automatically.

Cagliostro Sun 24-Sep-17 08:57:56


Giraffeelephantgrape Sun 24-Sep-17 08:58:32

Yanbu. These jobs are a good way of encouraging your children to keep their house nice and contribute to family life.

My children will hoover and tidy living room and their bedrooms (with help) and put their clean clothes away/dirty stuff in laundry bins. I've noticed my children do things automatically and are now taking more car our home and belongings

Giraffeelephantgrape Sun 24-Sep-17 08:59:29

* taking more care of our home

IchFliegeNach Sun 24-Sep-17 09:08:10

I hear where you are coming from! I am trying to do the same with DD as in 'we all just do this without thinking' mentality rather than 'here is your list of horrible chores for the week'.

I thought I was quite indulgent but actually I think lots of these are just teaching positive independence and manners.
So my DD (who is nearly 3):
puts her own clothes in the laundry before her bath (loves this!)
Gets her own placemat, cutlery, plate before dinner (so setting table really)
Helps me tidy up the playroom before bed
'Dusts' (flips a cloth around) if DH and I are hoovering
Helpfully holds the cord of the hoover 😂
Puts pjs under pillow
Makes bed (badly)
Hangs up her own bag and coat on the hook etc etc

These are a real source of pride for her!

Lots of the jobs are bollocks like 'helping' me do something but am hoping it builds the idea of team work. When I was little we had 'chores' and they were a bore and so I still have to argue myself out of that mentality! Sadly, no-one gives me pocket money for unloading the dishwasher or tidying my room. Adulthood, eh?

Peanutbuttercheese Sun 24-Sep-17 09:08:14

Dc should do chores I would say slightly too much at such a young age. I am from a very big family and my Mother and Stepfather both had incredibly demanding jobs both juggling lots of staff and he was responsible for the safety of thousands of people at sea per week.

So the dc did everything, it's given me a lifelong loathing of all housework. I have almost always had a cleaner. I am incredibly capable but it had the opposite effect on me. But I was doing the weekly shop at 12 and cleaning the oven out every week at about 7. Get them to help just get the balance right, that's the hard bit.

Logoplanter Sun 24-Sep-17 09:11:14

My kids are 6 and 4 and I try to get them to:

- Put their dirty clothes in the wash
- Take their plates into the kitchen after a meal
- Put their shoes on the shoe rack
- Lay the table occasionally
- Tidy their rooms once a week so I can Hoover them

Ad hoc I'll ask them to dust if I'm cleaning and they're around. I'll ask them to put their clean clothes away once I've sorted them out if they are around when I do it. I'll get them to tidy up the mess they've created in the living room although I help them to do it.

I think expecting a 7 year old to make their own breakfast daily is too much. My mum used to make mine everyday until I left home to go to uni. Same with cooking the food. I think that's part of just looking after them and comes with being a parent.

All that being said if they do it all happily, why change?

FrancisCrawford Sun 24-Sep-17 09:13:42

Most of these sound like "good practise routines" rather than "chores". So getting your DC in good habits.

Not too much at all.

LittleCandle Sun 24-Sep-17 09:14:07

YANBU. Kids need to learn that things don't just magically happen. I don't think many of the things they are doing count as chores. They are things that they should be doing anyway, like making their beds and putting clothes away. MY DC always had chores to do. When I was in my teens, DM paid me to do chores. the more I did, the more pocket money I got each week. That was a win/win situation for both of us.

MuddlingThroughLife Sun 24-Sep-17 09:18:27

I think chores for kids is a good thing. Mine don't have set chores as such but they are expected to keep their rooms tidy and if they don't, well that's their problem. I just ask them to do things as and when needed such as empty dishwasher, change beds, tidy up, dusting, cleaning bathroom, putting their own laundry away etc.

My dh was brought up with no chores and never helped around the house. Up until the day he moved out to live with me his mum was still making him packed lunches, putting all his clothes away (even his freshly ironed pants and socks!) and his father was still washing his car every weekend. He is literally useless around the house. Can't change a lightbulb, I do all the decorating, manage the finances, he can't cook.....he can't do anything for himself.

I've been in and out of hospital since January with ds (10) and my sister had to take over doing all our washing and my mum fed my girls every day Monday to Friday.

I refuse to allow my kids to grow up just as useless as dh and I've told MIL this. She thinks it's funny 😠 🎗

BarbaraofSevillle Sun 24-Sep-17 09:19:33

YANBU. Making breakfast is likely to be pouring cereal or sticking some toast in rather than a full fry up I assume? Making breakfast for a near adult about to go away to uni isn't something that should be held up as a good example
Should it really. Children should be getting their own breakfast by the time they start secondary school and starting to cook for the once a week at that age too.

Most of the other things the OP mentions aren't really chores, more picking up after themselves rather than leaving a trail of destruction in their wake for others to deal with and takes little effort really.

ParsnipLeekAndLemonSoup Sun 24-Sep-17 09:19:38

My mum used to make mine everyday until I left home to go to uni


C8H10N4O2 Sun 24-Sep-17 09:20:27

Those are all items we did at that age and my children did in turn. Most of it is tidying up after yourself and not expecting others to do it for you.

I had the odd issue with one DGM and some of my contemporaries thinking boys shouldn't be expected to help as much. Apparently their poor blue brains don't do these things.
If you have mixed sex children its something to look out for - it emanated as excessive praise if a boy did something at all and excessive correction if a girl did something wrong. That drove me nuts.

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