Does our guilt stop children doing chores?

On Saturday I went food shopping, it’s not the best day to do the shopping as it is exceptionally busy, but needs must so I braved the mayhem.   When I got home I called the 15yo to help bring it in and straight away my husband said, “I’ll do it.” I insisted our son helped and it was all brought in.

I have noticed this happening a lot in our house, why does my husband think the 15yo doesn’t have to help around the house. Every time I ask him to help with something Dad steps in and it’s driving me insane!  I am keen for him to be able to take care of himself when older and although I wouldn’t ask him to cook tea I do think there are other things he could do.

A survey showed a quarter of children aged between 5 – 16 do nothing to help around the house.  For those who do pitch in with the chores, this means simply tidying their bedroom.

Children spend far less time helping out with chores than they did 20 years ago, a vast number of youngsters aren’t having to do anything at all to help their  parents, yet with hectic lives and the increased number of working mums we feel busier than ever.

I did my own little survey.

A friends 16 yo daughter does no housework help or shopping but she does look after her 10 yo brother after school. This is a great help to her parents as it means he doesn’t have to go to after school club which he hates, although they do reward her with money to fund her love of clothes.

I  asked some of my son’s friends if they helped around the house.  All answered No except maybe tidying their room, despite their parents working full time and ferrying them to various football matches & training etc and supplying them with the latest xbox games etc.

So where does this leave us? It seems to be in lots of cases children get the things they want without having to earn them. Is this because we are at work more and life is so busy we parents feel guilty enough about being out all day to then share  a bit of housework amongst the children.

I have made an executive decision and am going to ask dear 15 yo to do something to help everyday, setting the table can be an easy task to start with, who knows he could be doing his own laundry by the time he’s 16.

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