Should children be expected to do household chores?

Without meaning to sound like a slave driver, I believe that children should be encouraged to help in the household.

My youngest son loved to clean my kitchen sink, this started one day when he was bored and as I was pottering in the kitchen I pulled up a chair so he could reach the sink and put some water in for him, he began playing with some plastic toys and we discussed whether he thought they would sink or swim. Later when I emptied the water to clean the sink, he asked if he could do it for me. I squirted the cream cleaner around and showed him how to rub it in and rinse away when finished. Adam enjoyed this new activity so much that he asked if he could clean the sink nearly every day ( I swear I had the cleanest sink in the country!) It didn’t end there , as far as Adam was concerned as he then started to clean his bedroom, when I say clean, I mean that he removed everything except his bed and wardrobe and set to work, he even used an old toothbrush to clean his dragon ornaments. This has become a bit of a joke in our family as now that he is in this mid twenties, he has gotten through more vacuum cleaners than we can count.

My older children were asked to wash the dishes from around the age of 10,

they did this on a sort of rota basis; one would wash the breakfast things and the other 2 the lunch and teatime, they did this without complaining too much, so when they were a bit older we asked them to dust, polish and vacuum their bedrooms at the weekend, which weren’t done to the same standard as Adam did his.

I also think that younger children can be encouraged to do their ‘bit’ as they often like to help out and it gives them a sense of achieve when they are praised for it

.simple tasks such as sorting socks into pairs can help with colour matching, so it can be educational too.

I wouldn’t recommend that parents pay their children for doing household chores as this could result in them wanting to help for the wrong reasons, far better to give verbal praise in my experience.

I once overheard my step-son telling a friend that I had insisted he scrub the whole house after I reminded him that he hadn’t dusted his room, so don’t expect gratitude either.

As a child minder one of the older children loved to help me by putting the little ones shoes on for them and helped with doing up coats. This was something that I never asked her to do, the children instigated it for themselves.

I’m not suggesting that we go back to Victorian times and send children up chimneys, but getting them to help with simple household chores must be a good idea surly?

I would like to thank Sarah Knight for allowing me to use some of these photos and to Megan for being so photogenic!

I would love to hear what other parents think about this subject.

As always questions/comments are welcome.



18 Comments on “Should children be expected to do household chores?

  1. Megan loves helping out with hoovering, dusting and cooking. Things take a lot longer, but l think it is great for them to help, and of course the children love it.
    My child always makes her bed in the morning and prepares breakfast for us, It is all part of learning and preparing for the years ahead.
    Nice blog Karen, keep them coming. xx

  2. ‘Chores’ as you put it are important life skills that should be embraced. I’m glad my parents incorporated into my childhood and didn’t make a big deal of it. The stuff needs doing and everyone should be involved. Plus, kids don’t quite see it as a chore, they tend to enjoy it and enjoy the praise that comes with it. #BloggerClubUK

  3. I completely agree with you! My daughters load and unload the dishwasher, sometimes sweep the floor, and help me fold the laundry. They would have more laundry chores except we have a stacked washer and drier so they can’t reach yet!

  4. I am actually writing a very similar post to this, listing out what chores I expect my soon to be three year old to do when I go back to work! #fortheloveofblog

  5. I don’t think there is anything wrong with kids helping out at home. I get my daughter to do little jobs around the house, nothing major but it is a big help.

  6. Oh I am with you lovely. My boys have weekly chores such as clearing the dinner table, walking the dog and dusting their rooms. I think it is good for them to learn responsibility. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime πŸŽ‰

  7. #thesatsesh lovely post with a clear moral of praise and delight. J has had tasks since he was 2. Family is team and this is a mantra I hold dear not just in chores, but in celebration and support.

  8. I definitely don’t think there is anything wrong with getting your little ones to help around the house. My son loves helping load the washing machine & put it on, as well helping when it comes to doing the dishes. I think it’s great to include them young, that way chores don’t necessarily feel like chores, but something we all do to keep the house running.

  9. Children seem to be pre-programmed to help out until we spoil them. Peachy is 2 and she loves to be involved in whatever chores I am doing. Of course it’s hard to find tasks that she can be involved in but I try to give her something to do as much as possible and she loves it. I give her unbreakable objects to carry when I bring the groceries in and I let her take out the plastic items from the dishwasher even though she just stacks them on the floor. We have also invented a new game that I like to call “Tidy up this place.” She has a plastic bucket that she carries and I point out and name all the small toys on the floor asking her to put them in the bucket. It’s a slow way to clean up but I don’t have to do much bending down and it helps work on her vocabulary. I also agree that kids should not be paid for doing chores. They are contributing to the household they live in. It’s not a job but a basic part of life. Thanks for sharing with #Blogstravaganza.

  10. I was always expected to do household chores growing up. My kids don’t have set chores but I regularly ask my eldest to set the table and tidy his own room. The youngest tidies her own toys and likes to help me with the washing. As they get older I will ask them to help with more. Not only are they learning life skills but also the importance of helping out and working together for the benefit of the whole family.

  11. My teenager will complain but he will do what I ask him to do in the way of chores. My 10 year old hates it but he’s old enough to do chores and so it is what it is. I hated doing chores as a kid because it was used as a form of punishment. Nowadays though we parents try to make it fun for them and it helps them learn responsibility. I think when we start giving our kids chores and what chores we give them though, that is different for every family. #bloggerclubuk

  12. I am in complete agreement! Kids need to help out, feel accomplished and learn about being a part of a family in a different way: helping. It’s awesome to teach them the importance of chores, and when we look back, and get some sass over doing the dishes, I remind them of all that the kids did on, Little House on the Prarie! Usually gets them right to work! xoxo #ablogginggoodtime xoxo

  13. It’s great that they are learning and taking part in household chores. Our daughter loves to help me sweep the floor, she’s always getting the dustpan and brush out of the cupboard. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  14. We wonder why there are so many people that walk around witha chip on their shoulder acting as if the rest of us are only there to help them. The reason for this (I believe) is that they were completely indulged and given very little to no responsibility as children. Helping around the house and in the garden is a “basic” requirement that allows us to develop into functioning and responsible adults. I absolutely agree that there are certain (age appropriate) expectations that we should allow our children to do and participate in. Thank you for a great read πŸ™‚

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