Just say yes to chores.

Tommy says: “Who is going to do the dishes when I’m away at college?”

My children like to remind me that they are the only children who have to do chores and get no allowance. I used to think they were exaggerating. After a million sleepovers, I’ve found that there is a lot of truth in their claims. I have had multiple children matter-of-factly state they “have a maid to do that stuff.” I have heard parents shrug and tell me that their children are too busy with activities or that it’s easier to do it themselves than it is to force their children to clean. I would very much like to have a cleaning service visit my house once in a while and do some scrubbing, but that would not release my children from their obligation to contribute to this household. Everyone helps and I don’t care whose mess, dishes or laundry it is, everyone cleans. Don’t get your hopes up, OCD branch of the family. The house is still dirty. The children clean like, well, children. I praise them and I don’t re-do the chore when they aren’t looking.

I have actually met some children from other families who do chores. I know this because they have told me what they are paid when they do them. Apparently, I am the meanest mother in the world, because I don’t pay my children for doing what they should do. If my children need money for something reasonable and I am able to do so, I give them the money. Otherwise, they usually have money from holidays or small jobs like pet sitting for a neighbor. Sometimes, they just don’t get whatever thing or activity they wanted. I feel bad when they miss out on things, but my children know that life is not always fair and you don’t always get what you want. They also know that sometimes you do things because it’s the right thing to do and not because you want something in return.

I’m just doing my part to make sure my children have something to complain about to their future therapists.

4 thoughts on “Just say yes to chores.

  1. THANK YOU for providing proof that there really are children in the world besides mine who have to do chores (without pay).

    What a hard, hard lesson it will be for some, to go off to life beyond home and find out there is no maid.

  2. Why would children get paid to do chores that are part of being a family? I mean sure – extra stuff like weeding a terrible garden to earn money or scrubbing all the windows outside or washing the car. But cleaning your room and putting laundry in the washing machine are parts of daily life.

    We are raising responsible people who will realize that you take ownership of what needs done and you feel good when it is. Have a home you can be proud of (even if it’s not spotless). Life takes work and sometimes a job well done is reward in itself. (At least that’s what we’re trying to teach them.)

    Keep up the good work! There are tons of spoiled kids (who get paid to do everything or even nothing, including getting good grades) and in the end, those will be the ones who expect life to give, give, give at every turn.

  3. “You can’t always get what you want, but … you get what you need.”

    We never got allowances … it is so foreign to me, and it drives me nuts to hear parents say that they can’t get their children to do something. I think doing things the way you are teaches them a bigger picture beyond their innate narcissism of childhood.

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