How Do You Get Children To Help Around The House?

This has been on my mind for a while now.

My children do nothing to help out around the house. Wait, maybe this is a slight exaggeration. Every now and then they do something they are asked to do, but it is done alongside much winging and moaning. The usual reply I get when I ask one of them to tidy is ‘But I didn’t make that mess’. For some reason though, it is fine for me to tidy everyone else’s mess.

Then there’s the ‘job half done’ trick. You know when you ask your children to help with something and they just scrape the surface of the task. Last week I asked my son to pass me some wood through the window for the fire. This was most inconvenient, as it meant leaving the computer for a minute. After much ‘persuading’ and threats of being banned from the computer for the rest of the day, he dragged himself outside, in true Kevin style, and passed one log through the window. Yes, one log. Then he came inside and resumed his computer game where he left off.

I am also perceived as the all-knowing one. Apparently I know where everything is. Heaven forbid I don’t know where the netbook charger or reading diary is. I don’t think I’m asking too much, expecting my nine and eleven year old to help out a bit. Maybe the three year old is a little young, but perhaps I can get her in good habits early.

So come on, how can I get my children to help out more? Make rewards and consequences? Make pocket money performance related? All I do know is that if I get moaned at for putting something in a ‘stupid place’ once more, when they should have put it away themselves, I fear my sanity is at risk of being permanently scarred.

Remember the Doozers from Fraggle Rock? I want my children to be just like them in their work ethic…


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12 Responses to How Do You Get Children To Help Around The House?

  1. Anna says:

    I can identify with this post! Having just returned to work I’ve decided that I can’t do it all so after reading a housework blues book from the library (!) I’ve started a job chart. It’s for the girls and me to list down all jobs that need doing, when they’ve done five they get a chocolate bar, oh and me too! I don’t know whether it’ll last but I do want to also instill in them that to get a reward/pocket money in the future that they have to earn it. It also means I get satisfaction from doing housework! My girls are 8 & 6 so jobs range from easy – tidying the shoe rack to bit more tricky un-loading the dishwasher or cleaning the floor. Hopefully if I start now by the time their teenagers they’ll accept it as normal?!

  2. Louise says:

    I suggest you contact the Doozers and get them around, they seam REALLY keen!! I’m sorry to say if I knew the answer to your question, aka the holy grail, I’d print it and make myself millions. In the meantime I wander around the house in an ape like fashion scooping up anything and everything my children and husband leave for me scattered hither and thither :/ X

  3. My top tip is to throw away ALL Hama beads – those things were the bane of my life until they met their maker (aka the bin!!).

    Shame on me, I know!!


    PS Have followed you on Facebook, yep, am now officially a stalker!! ;-)

    • admin says:

      Haha…know what you mean about Hama Beads. In our house it’s Lego!! Thanks for following and for your message Lovely…will get back to you asap :) x

  4. Emma says:

    I was desperate one Saturday, so I bought a big bag of sweets, and told my two older children that each time they completed the next task in tidying their bedrooms (eg, pick up all clothes, put books away etc) they could have some sweets. Did it work? Nope, they’re just not bothered enough about sweets.

    • admin says:

      I know…no amount of bribery seems to work. I need to come up with a way of getting them to help out….may look into the ‘only getting the internet access code once jobs are done’ method!! So frustrating

  5. Minisaurus says:

    Dance your cares away
    Worries for another day
    Let the music play
    Down at Fraggle Rock!

    Oh the memories!

    I am lucky in that Scamp and Ozzy are young enough to find helping my with chores ‘exciting’ which I can assure you is far more than I find doing them !

  6. Husband says:

    I help around the house! Sometimes.

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