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to have dc helping out at home as part of a team effort?

(17 Posts)
Bumblebooz Fri 19-Jun-09 22:37:35

I had a mtg with dc when we said goodbye to our last Au Pair (2 yrs ago) that we were going to save the £ spent on her by doing her work ourselves then using the savings to do fun family things instead (and pay the mortgage)(and stop me getting frazzled and stop dh continually complaining about the mess).

Each dc age 5-10 (4 in total) then told me what jobs they could do: ds1- cleaning counters after every meal dd1- putting things away dd2- vacuuming kitchen ds2- tidying playroom.

DH does bins, dishwasher, mowing etc.

Me: cooking, cleaning, laundry, gardening etc

I can say after consistently doing their jobs they all do it well and I no longer have to ask.

I don't feel frazzled, dc are more helpful and appreciative in general as a result.

mulranno Fri 19-Jun-09 22:52:55

Hi Bumblebooz...I do the same...have 4 also...so needs must??...maybe if we had only 2 might just do it myself. But my aim like yours is that this is a team effort...we all need to contribute..they peg out washing sort and put away...my aim is to keep it gentle...so not barking at them like a military drill (my own childhood)..they like doing stuff with me. I might say ...lets all go and clean the bathroom...so they each get a task and we doing it together. Might need to look at your approach so that they have a rota and jobs get done without me having to ask...but to be fair I never have to nag...

nametaken Fri 19-Jun-09 22:58:31

I do this with my 3 - what I do is get my stopwatch out and say

"right, we're gonna do 15 minutes of cleaning downstairs, lets see just how much we can get done in that time"

and do you know what - they like it!!
All 4 of us then run around like nutters for 15 mins doing as much as we can and the place looks really lovely afterwards.

Works upstairs too!

BikeRunSki Fri 19-Jun-09 22:59:50

That's how I was bought up too. And I was one of 4 DC also - maybe 4 is a critical mass? Always seemed normal and fair to me. It is how we earned our pocket money. I swept the stairs (4 storey house!), laid the table and cleaned the car once a week.

porncocktail Fri 19-Jun-09 23:06:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

weegiemum Fri 19-Jun-09 23:08:01

We do this - mine are 9, 5, 7.

we have a "job Wheel" that changes every week, plus we do the "run around like crazy for 10 mins" thing just before tea.

tigerdriver Fri 19-Jun-09 23:11:30

I make am helped by DS clearing away a soakaway with a trowel and bucket. He loves it, I get a manky job done for free. What's not to like?

Bumblebooz Fri 19-Jun-09 23:14:17

Phew! Glad to know we're not alone. Not being militaristic nor too critical of their efforts and lots of praise was the key.

I also help out with a voluntary arts n crafts group and the most helpful dc who help tidy and put away after a session are also from 4 kid families!

Too many single dc worm their way out of helping and are indignant to be asked.

All you with Ds who help out at home are going to have ds who will make great husbands and dads so cheers to you! grin

callmeovercautious Fri 19-Jun-09 23:16:28

This is reassuring. We did this as a family when I was a Kid, I remember hating getting the lawnmower task but just accepted washing up, dusting, vacuuming etc as a part of life.

DD is only 2.5 but she helps with the cleaning all the time. She is a deamon with a damp cloth on tables and tv screen etc.

imo it can only be good to get them involved. I know too many adults who can't boil an egg never mind turn on a vaccum or washing machine. grin

tigerdriver Fri 19-Jun-09 23:26:06

Well I'm an only so is DS (and weirdly so is my mum) but he still gets stuck with drain duty grin

midlandsmumof4 Fri 19-Jun-09 23:40:17

Well, my kids always helped out when they were little cos they wanted to. They are boys & they loved helping. We didn't have the luxury of an au pair. Welcome to the real world grin.

thumbwitch Fri 19-Jun-09 23:42:38

do you WANT someone to say YABU? I can't quite see why you have posted it in this topic, because I think it is a bloody good idea and excellent training for later, so well done.
So no, for completeness' sake, YANBU.

Bumblebooz Sat 20-Jun-09 00:01:10

The reason why I posted is because I have a RL friend who thinks children are only young once and so mums should not spoil their childhoods by getting them to do chores.

Another thinks doing all the housework is the price to pay for having dc.

Another would not dream of asking her dc to help because 'it wouldn't be done to a high enough standard which means I would have to redo it'

In fact the only other mum I have confessed to this is the other mum of 4 when I congratulated her for her helpful dc after the arts n crafts session.

Her dc help out all the time/internalised helping to such an extent they don't even feel it is work at all!

bumpybecky Sat 20-Jun-09 00:08:41

bumblebooz, do you offer bootcamp services for refusniks from other families?

I think we should all do the team bit, my dc have other ideas hmm I can forgive ds (17 months!) and maybe even dd3 (4) but frankly dd1 (11) and dd2 (9) need to pitch in a bit more often they just don't think it's their job...

TrillianAstra Sat 20-Jun-09 00:12:47

I don't think 4 is a critical mass at all - I was one of 2 and we had jobs to do. My mum worked nights so on days when we were home and she was sleeping she would leave lists of things she expected to be done by the time she got up (suitable for age and sensible-ness).

thumbwitch Sat 20-Jun-09 00:20:30

thanks Bumblebooz, it makes more sense now - and I still think YANBU but your friends might be BU! grin

Your DC are going to be so much more rounded as adults from having this early training - I wish my MIL had done this with DH, for e.g.!

Bumblebooz Sat 20-Jun-09 00:33:50

I like the sound of a Bumblebooz Bootcamp, has a ring to it!

I always think dc should have some say/control in what they are expected to do.

Announce a family mtg first, sit them down and ask what they think they should do as part of the team. And go from there! Make sure you have a reward in mind for consistent helping, Bribery may be the only way of getting your older dc to help though.

Eg: no tv/computer until they've done their jobs!

I read somewhere in a Montessori book that if you got your dc to tidy up at a similar age to when they are potty training, cleaning teeth etc it becomes automatic. If you miss that critical time you'll be nagging them for ever more....

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