Mar 25 2014

I need to know … am I wrong?

Posted by     49 Comments    Posted under: Kids, Kitchen

Todays topic is always at the epicentre of every argument I have at home with the kids, of which there are four  - ages 8, 9, 10 and 12.

CHORES.

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.36.04

Up until recently (before they all entered the age of reasoning – which some say it is 8 years of age, and they are right!) the kids towed the line and did their daily chores, for the most part.

I am not talking hard core labour here, just chores that we consider ‘normal’ in most family households:

-   setting the table, clearing the dishes after breakfast and supper, then loading the dishwasher,

-  bringing down their dirty clothes hampers, folding and putting away their own laundry,

-  occasional sweeping of the floors

Now that the age of reckoning has arrived, we are hearing a lot of dramatic resistance to simple requests and the thing that concerns me the most is the statement they reiterate over and over again.

‘None of my friends at school have to do chores’.

None. Not even one. Nada. Nothing.

Now, I am not one of those Mother’s you can fool easily.

I am always up before breakfast so to speak … and I start my day off in a quiet reflective contemplative manner … enjoying the sunrise … like this morning …

 

Sunrise

Typically, I don’t believe a word out of their mouths if it starts off with ‘all my friends’ … because I don’t know their friends or their friends Mum’s and Dad’s all that well, so it’s just heresay as far as I am concerned.

But you know what … I kinda believe my kids. I am getting the impression, perhaps I had a moment of blind weakness this morning, that maybe there are a lot of parents out not doling out the chores to their kids?

The way I see it is as follows – if you have kids maybe you can slot yourself into one of the following three categories:

(A) you give the kids age appropriate chores (like I listed above)

(B) you never give the kids chores and you/your partner do them yourselves for a quiet life and because you feel that this is your job/responsibility as their parent

(C) Neither of the above because you pay for domestic help and no one has to do the bothersome household chores.

Readers … tweeters … peeps and pals …. I need to know – do you get the kids to help out with the chores around the house?

If you are unwilling to respond in the comment box below – will you send me an email at MonaZWise@GMail.com – thanks.

Ok – less than 6 days of classes left before I finish the MA in Journalism at NUIG.

Imagine. It only took me FIVE YEARS to get here!  Ok – technically I am not finished until I complete my work placements and write my 15,000 word Thesis – due in August … but I am no longer tied to a classroom effective April 4th.

I will have soooo much more time on my hands to do laundry and sweep the floor.

Keep the faith lads and ladies … the sun is still shining bright in Galway - FUN and frolicking will resume soon.

Móna

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49 Comments + Add Comment

  • I never had to do chores when I was a child, bar cleaning my room every weekend (which included putting my own laundry away) and putting my plate in the sink when I was finished eating. I don’t think my parents did it for a quiet life, more so my mother was a stay at home mother/childminder so she would have everything done by the time I came home from school. On the rare occasion where she had been too busy to get everything done herself, I would be expected to help her, but other than that household chores were not considered my responsibility. However, I was an only child so there was an awful lot less mess to be cleaned up. Also, I helped out an awful lot with any of the children who came into our house without being asked (nappy changes, bottles, changing clothes, putting down for naps, bathing, homework with the slightly older ones), so it wasn’t like I was waltzing around scot-free either.

    When I started secondary school, all my own ironing was left to me to do…which resulted in teenage me adopting the ‘wrinkled-look’ fashion ;). Even now, I still don’t iron unless something is completely covered in creases.

    • Jeepers … for not having to do any chores .. you sound like a right work horse Becca .. which, to be fair, you are.
      You are right – with only one kid, I can’t imagine there would be that much of a mess and I am with you on the wrinkly look.
      They are starting to learn how to use the iron but I am always afraid of how I would answer the social workers when they ask the question ‘why was the child ironing her uniform’? …. so the wrinkly look is working well here too!
      See you in May – can’t wait x

      • Maybe…I don’t count it as a chore though, because I was never actually asked or expected to do it, I just chose to because babies were MUCH more fun than my plastic dolls :P. If I didn’t choose to help out, I am not sure that I would have been asked or would have had other chores in place of it.

        Yes! I can’t wait :)! And I see that you’re almost finished your Masters classes (congrats! :) ), does this mean that you and Ron can start looking at dates to come to Frogland this summer? :) xxx

        • Yes Mai’s out!
          I know…minding the babies my Mum fostered never felt like work..it was a lot of fun and
          I was never all that excite about dolls. My sister gets here at Easter so I am going to wait till she settles before I ask her to babysit :0) which I am sure she will be only too delighted to do xx

  • Hmmm… well I certainly always had to do chores, but we were definitely the odd ones out. It seems like everyone in the bay area (California) has maids, gardeners, and nannies to do the chores (I know- I worked as a nanny).
    This is my sister’s solution with her son: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152086113864412&set=a.10151105577809412.450170.615439411&type=1&theater

    • Hey Ruth – the link did not work. Friend me on Facebook and link it there please – interested to see how other Mum’s and Dad’s handle this. We lived in Cincinnati, OH for 15 years and whilst there was a lot of chores being done by the neighbourhood kids, there was also a lot of hired help floating about … I am pretty sure I never saw anyone kids washing windows or cutting the grass or even raking the leaves in the Autumn. I would have paid anyone to rake our never ending pile of leaves!
      Thanks for this – appreciate you taking a minute to chat.

  • Hi Mona,
    I don’t have children but I think it’s absolutely vital that everyone do chores at home, helping out as much as they can. I think it creates a shared family atmosphere and it can actually be detrimental to them in future if they don’t develop a communal attitude towards the idea of keeping the house clean. (I have step children and there are – ahem! – issues in this regard!)
    From what I can see though, there are lots of parents who don’t make their children do any chores!

    • Sharon –
      I too think it is vital that they master the art of sweeping the floor. I know they are too young to enter into the work force
      and are a few years away from having even a summer job, but I’d be mortified if they were unable to do the basic chores we all do in an auto-pilot kind of way every day. Step, foster, adopted, natural . .. me thinks that the word ‘chores’ and the word ‘kids’ all result in the same ‘issues’ …. Now, I am very curious to see if any parents fess up and admit to not doling out the chores to their kids . . . more comments in the line up … stay tuned and thanks for adding your voice to the piece x

  • I had to do too many chores as a child, some very hard. Playtime was curtailed by an elderly aunt with whom I lived. When I had my own four children they were asked to help with simple chores like folding clothes, clear table, stack/empty dishwasher and a little bit of polishing. I think it is good for them. My daughter also has her 10 yr old daughter doing light chores now too. I found that in a family with four children competition caused friction. One would constantly state that ‘it wasn’t her turn’. We printed a rota for them which proved fairness.

    • I.Love.This. I might draft a little rota and see how that goes for a few weeks.
      On a side note, you are the 3rd person that has mentioned ‘polishing’ so I now feel the need to add ‘polishing’ to the line up of chores for the kids to do. They, I am certain, will thank you for this.
      xx Hope all is well in KK xx

  • We have Jon’s kids (14,12,10,10) over every weekend and while they are in our house they are expected to help out with loading/unloading the dishwasher, keeping their room tidy (ha ha ha!), general tidying if we have guests coming over and changing the sheets on the bed when it’s time for that. They will sometimes also help out their dad with the washing up and very occasionally with the knife sharpening.

    We have also just introduced the idea of extraordinary chores, where if the kids want to earn a little extra money they will get €5 for sweeping & mopping the kitchen floor, mowing the lawn or cleaning the toilet and sink in both bathrooms. But this is conditional on them helping out with ordinary chores, and if they don’t do those there is no extra money.

    However, I think that they don’t do much in the way of chores at their mum’s house, but I cannot confirm that.

    • Wow za Joanna,
      Busy as a bee at your house on the weekends I’ll bet.
      This is great to hear … I am sure as mine get a bit older I will give them a few bob for harder chores
      but for now, its the ‘unpaid internship’ they are having that is causing all the whining …
      Making beds and room tidying is something I do not enforce daily – I might throw a glance in there once a week but Ron is much more militant on this one and offers them rewards like taking them to the market or for a swim if he finds their rooms in a satisfactory manner … so I guess – payment in some form and it keeps him happy xx Hope all is well in the Pale x

      • Oh I forgot to add that in the summer the younger ones will sometimes help me out in the garden with planting and weeding. But I don’t ask them to do that they just tend to come over and help out, which is good! The one thing I am worried about though it when they go to college (or just move out in general) that they won’t be able to cook for themselves as none of them has shown any inclination in learning. I think they’ll be living on plain pasta and ready made soups for ever.

        The reason we decided to introduce paying chores is partly they are jobs I hate to do and partly because the kids are always looking for more money, at least this way they have a way of earning a bit more.

        • Brilliant … there are a few chores I hate to do too so I will keep that on the back burner for the summer.
          I think the younger ones are still willing to get stuck in to just about anything around here so I am treasuring these
          moments … but the older two lassies have formed a union!

          As for the cooking … don’t get me started … Ron has started teaching them the basic knife skills – like how to
          chop an onion or a tomato. They are dab hands at making salads and dressing and can even make their own pizza’s if you give them the dough . . but I gotta tell you – after having spent the last five years in college watching ‘what’ the children of Ireland are eating … chips and beans and sausages everyday … it fills me with RAGE that parents have not prepared them better for college … they have ZERO interest in cooking. But this is a topic for a whole other blog post titled

          ‘Parents of Ireland … let me tell you all about your children’s behaviour in college these days’ …

          I’d be run off the island if I hit ‘publish’ on that one … sad sad state of affairs.

      • They also whine and moan and grumble about chores all the time! They have also sometimes played dumb about where things go when unloading the dishwasher in the hopes that they will be excused from doing it or not be asked again. It makes us both roll our eyes!

        • I am so happy to hear that your kids sound about as normal as mine … and crafty.
          Ours try that too .. so Ron keeps moving stuff about just to mess with them now.
          Works both ways really.

  • Hi Mona,
    As both of my children are quite small (just over 3 and 18 months) I haven’t had alot of experience with getting my kids to do chores. Our oldest, Lily, though has to tidy the things back into boxes in the playroom, puts her dishes in the sink and as of Sunday now cleans the table, counter etc after meals (we of course have to clean it after her, but it teaches her a valuable lesson, I think).
    As a youngest child I was spoiled rotten and my mother did everything for me, I don’t think I even knew what a chore was. This didn’t really help me much for the realities of life and I still struggle with the fact that it’s a necessity, but have a wife who kicks my butt when necessary.
    Like most things in life people prefer the easier option – “oh, I’ll do it, it’s quicker and there’s less moaning.” Unfortunately you’re only making a lazy child and causing yourself and them trouble in the future. My friends don’t do it, well you’re not you’re friends!
    Rant over!

    • I love your wife and have never met her! More butt kicking I say.
      That is what I worry about Michael – what lesson do we teach them, or actually NOT teach them, if we continue to do everything for them? I am not aiming to have them win the Calor Gas Junior Housekeepers award here, because trust me, I am not excellent at this task myself, but I will make sure that my little fella (and lassies) will have less reason to have his butt kicked by the time he gets his own place. You are so right Michael, it does only help them develop lazy tendencies … and that is, in my opinion, an intolerable trait.

      Ranting has only just begin my dear…

  • I’m so delighted for you that you’re almost finished your MA. Congrats & well done. As for the chore question. I would slot into the (a) category. All of mine have their chore list & the jobs are fairly easy, such as make your bed etc. Jack, who’s 12, has proper chores, such as feeding the animals, but then he is of an age that he occasionally needs pocket money. I think that it’s so important to encourage children to help out but, like yourself, I’m often met with whinging :)

    • Thanks Nessa … and I am happy to hear there is a bit of whinging going on,
      because sometimes I wonder if this is purely because they are adopted / fostered …
      and that had I biologically created my children they would be perfect in every way like me and my husband …. ha ha ha ha … you know what I mean I am sure xx

      Yes – our eldest is 12 (and a HALF) now and she is definitely able for proper chores … so we might make amends to the list of weekly chores once the summer is in full swing.

      I’ll be in touch soon for a coffee/cake date once I get the summer work placement schedule sorted xx

      • Sounds like a good plan. I’d love to meet for a cuppa xx

        • Brilliant – I’ll hit you up after Mothers day for a ‘meet halfway’ date x

  • Not only were me and my sister expected to do the usual things (bed, bedroom, set the table) we were also expected to do the hoovering and wash the plates after every meal. During the summer we were expected to dig and weed the family allotment. Later on we took over the cooking duties, partially because our parents worked 9-5 but mainly because we cooked better than them anyway (they had no passion for it). We were also unpaid babysitters for our younger brother too.

    I do think it depends if one of the parents stays at home. It’s one thing to be pulling together because everyone is working, but it is an entirely different kettle of fish when you are expected to do extra work when you get home and you are wondering what the other person was doing all day.

    • Wow – you are right on the money there Andrew.
      We were unpaid babysitters for years too – as we had a nice sized family – but I never hated that – we loved the responsibility and Mum and Dad would pay us occasionally (when they had a few extra pennies I guess) . . . I also took over a lot of the cooking duties from an early age. . . I was good at it and my Mum let any of us take over from her – as she really did not like it at all. You are right – I suppose if I were staying at home and the kids in school all day long, I’d be an exemplary Mum and do a lot more for them … but that will never be my life. I am a working gal :0) Not to say the Mum’s that stay at home do not work!! Hardest job imaginable in my opinion.

  • Oh this is a favourite topic of mine, though I have no children. First of all – we grew up helping out at home. It began with responsibility for our toys, then bedrooms, doing the dishes, some small garden jobs and by age 10 we were learning to cook. My brother and I took turns in secondary school with preparing all veg and salad for dinner on weekdays. My mother (usually) cooked the meal. We all cleared up. I think it’s not a bad thing to teach responsibility from a young age. We never had too much to do but always had to do something. In turn my parents asked our opinions about where we might go on holidays, days out etc. Now – here is my observation on (or obsession with) this topic. In the last 5/6 years I’ve been present in an office with many work experience kids from college. They’re all at least twenty and have been in university for three years. I’ve been agog at the level of inexperience and lack of work ethos – not with all, but with most of them. Don’t get me wrong – they’re nice people, but wow! Did nobody ever teach them to answer the door politely? Answer the phone? Smile at a customer? Read a map? Fill a dishwasher? Empty the washing machine? Use their initiative? In my experience it is detrimental to a person’s path in life not to teach them basic skills. The students who came our way already knowing how to look after themselves were FAR more likely to get a job. I know it can be hard to encourage children to work, but surely the job is to make a self-sufficient adult rather than a dependent one? I’ll stop now ;)

    • Síle …

      I’d be lying if I did not admit that having spent the last five years immersed in student like here at NUIG..your comment could not ring truer for me. I am appalled .. Really and truly appalled at the level of incompetence the younger generation has entering into and even exiting college after four or even five years. Basic life skills have not been taught to the Celtic tiger cubs … Who I am guessing have grown up with domestic help in and around the house. I have become a better parent just from having been exposed to these kids over the last five years…I have no idea how great my kids are going to turn out … But I am pretty certain I know how they will NOT turn out :0)

      Glad you are home and happy Síle xx

    • Just the lack of basic levels of manners astounds me as well. Thank you. Please. It really isn’t asking too much. When you hold the door open in college for someone they look at you suspiciously, obviously never having encountered it before. But it’s not just young people (I’m old, I’m old and all the more content for it!) so it’s not just a malaise of this generation. It’s good to rant in your lunch break.

      • I know..Micheal…what is up with that. It’s the basic lesson in respect …
        I teach all the kids to open AND hold open the doors for everyone..at the shop, the cinema, the pool, the church, the car door, the kitchen door…just be polite.

        Is it good to rant at bedtime too? (Note the time stamp is 8:300pm …old old old)

  • Hi Mona we have a post meal routine – all bring own plates up , daughter- 13 clears table of dishes with me & I wrap / store any leftovers, son 14-cleans hob & dry pots / serving bowls his dad or I wash. We all work together they don’t participate if they have friends here. I ask for washing to go in baskets Rarely happens without prompting. Think it’s important for life skills & would hate for them not to respect /be messy in their friends houses now that sleepovers feature. They don’t always do the best job but I only point that out if very bad. My daughter on rare occasions has been known to clean the kitchen just to surprise me. They can earn extra pocket money washing windows or cleaning car interiors but rarely do & I usually redo it !

    • Wow…can’t wait for mine to do something like that to surprise me ..and Mother’s Day only around the corner! .. I think a rota and specific jobs is a great idea. We all do our part here too but some are better than others :0) Thanks for the chat x

  • Great question Mona and yes, like you an ongoing battle though they haven’t tried the “friends don’t do them” as I know full well they do. Ours have had set chores for a good while now – our 15 yr old has the dishwasher and lawn cutting as regular chores and will occasionally put a load of washing in, 13 feeds all the animals daily and youngest sets the table, both our girls help with fire lighting and hanging out laundry too as they’re not generally hiding away in their rooms.. They all clear away their dishes and have responsibility for their bedrooms and laundry. That still leaves us with a lot of chores, housecleaning etc but I opt for the doing it my own quiet life option for that one as the moans, groans and teenage angst get to me. Hope that helps you with your own ‘discussions’ and best of luck with the MA :-)

    • Thanks for this Dee!
      I know… I find myself that Ron and I opt for some chores ourselves just for the quiet life but
      are he’ll bent on making sure they know how to sweep the floor and load the dishwasher.
      The grumbling seems perfectly normal and I am certain it will just get more dramatic as the four of them all become teenagers! Thanks for this…part of a portfolio piece for the MA and the feedback is excellent.

  • Hi Mona,
    Congratulations on your soon to be MA in Journalism. Gosh, time flies! Okay, maybe it didn’t seem that way to you? Will have to have a celebratory toast when we next meet.
    Just starting to really get serious about chores here and it’s hard. Richard’s mother did EVERYTHING so he himself is prone to leaving dishes on the table for me to clean up and such. This means the example is getting set, grrrr! We (I) are slowly changing it around. Geoffrey will hoover, mop, do some dishes (he likes washing them by hand, fingers crossed that sticks!) and he is beginning to do a bit of cooking with supervision..like he will make me eggs on the weekend which is really sweet. Plus all kinds of others easier food bits.
    But, back to cleaning.
    I was forced to do a LOT of cleaning as a kid. More than my friends. My stepmother would do the white glove and I’d have to do stuff over and over again. It was awful! Somehow now I don’t hate cleaning, but keeping a two story house on a farm clean and tidy even with only one child (well 2?) isn’t easy. I do my best and hopefully all the help that Geoffrey is pitching in will stick and we will have a good balance of him having responsibility and the house staying tidy!
    Guess that was my stream of consciousness answer and not helpful in the least. Apologies if that is the case.
    Take care and good luck!
    xx

    • No..this helps a lot and I am even moe conscious of the one boy here pulling his weight with ordinary household chores … And all the girls have to muck out the coops and take the trash out so they all job share if you like.

      I think it is great that you keep Geoffrey involved in the day to day jobs about the house because I really think the kids need to be aware of how to just do the basics…i am really looking forward to that drink catch up date Imen! Regards to to your two boys xx

  • I did chores as a child, and my children (4 of them) all do age appropriate things ranging from driving their siblings places, tidying their rooms, washing dishes, sweeping & mopping the kitchen floor, bringing wood, cleaning the fire etc. I think that many of their peers do NOT do chores: I had this discussion with my older kids and some of their friends when they were about 15 and one girl told me that her mother never taught her to do anything, and that now, when she offers but is slow, her mother heaves a sigh and complains and tells her not to bother. Then the mother complains that she never helps! A Guardian article about 4 years ago addressed this and ‘found’ that the kids that did chores were generally happier, more creative, and more engaged with their families.

    • Hello Rachel,
      I know that heavy sigh all too well to be honest but still feel they have to make the effort to
      do what they are asked to do…

      Our kids are quite happy … And certainly creative and we are all very involved in each other’s lives – for now – so can’t really complain on that end … Thanks for joining in the chat x

  • I know I am from a different era where one had to learn every skill for life before they left home which was for most people at 14 years of age with a Primary Cert in their hand.

    We had expert Role Models in our parents who passed on those skills for everyday happenings.
    My father was a Builder and taught us how to use every Tool in his box as soon as we could hold one. Both boys and girls were treated the same. He taught us how to fish ( as we lived along a lake) from about the age of 4, and to shoot (as we lived high up in the mountains and there was an abundance of Grouse, Pheasant, Woodcock, Hares and rabbits.) from the age of 8. we walked the mountains by his side in summer and winter and learned the footprints of each animal, especially easy in the snow, to track them down for Sunday Dinner..

    He taught us about the Stars and the Sun in relation to their position in the Sky so we would never get lost when travelling. The sky was our Satnav.

    We lived off the land so he taught us about all the fruits of the land , what was eddible and what was poisonous. He took us to the seaside and taught us how to harvest Dilisk,Carrigeen,Cockles ,Massels Baurnachs and Peri Winkles so we would never go hungry.and as there were 9 of us in the family there were many mouths to feed .

    My Mother taught us how to pluck,clean and cook all of the above plus the ducks geese and chickens that we had at home, also how to kill the fowl. How to bake all kinds of breads with and without Yeast, also every kind of a cake, pudding or pie. She always gave us some flour to bake when she was baking (no doubt to keep us quiet) but we loved making our own cakes.
    Knitting, sewing and crochet were taught in school as a subject as it was necessary for each child to be able to knit socks, jumpers and be able to make clothes and Patch them when necessary. Both our parents taught us how to make our own clothes and use a sewing machine, When I left home to go to UCG at 18 I had made everything I wore, bar my underwear and was completely able to fend for myself.

    There never was an issue about doing chores . We just did whatever had to be done or what our parents asked us to do. We always got desertt after dinner and Daddy would read a story from his books to us if he wasn’t busy. We never resented doing work because when it was done we could play. building our own houses, being teacher and baking with sand at the lake were our favourite games.

    We had no dishwasher or electricity till I was 15 yrs old so all washing had to be done by hand but we were lucky that we lived along the Lake so we had our own water not like other children had to carry cans of water from wells.
    In summer we went to the Bog to get our turf saved and when we finished ours , we went to the elderly neighbours to help and also to help them make the hay cocks for the animals

    When I had my own children I taught them what my parents taught me except the shooting and fishing.. They were all, boys and girls, able to cook, clean ,Iron, sew, knit and Babysit. We got a T V and they were allowed have half hour of bosco and if there was some other programme that we thought suitable we would all sit and watch it with them. The older ones were in their teens before the younger ones began to say “Do I have to” and yes they did have to.

    When we built our last house, each of the children took part in every aspect of the building and did not resent doing it, as we always took them where they wanted to go and had treats like Chinees instead of cooking or such.

    My humble advice to parents from over half a century of working with children.

    Love your Children. All they want is YOU before they go to School at 5. Remember you are their God
    As the song says “All you need is Love”. True for all of us,but especially children.
    ” A Hug is a great gift, one size fits all” Dont spare them.
    Teach them with love ” A Child taught with Love, Loves to Learn”

    Don’t give them every thing they Want as this denies them the chance to achieve satisfaction from Earning the Rite to have something and taking pride in having done so.

    Don’t let them out into the Word without giving them the necessary COPING skills to take on whatever comes their way, mostly their Peers.

    I don’t think there is any better Gift you can give your children than to give them SELF WORTH and they get that NOT from playing with expensive gifts but by being part of a family and taking part in, and doing things together in whatever type of family it is. Its in taking part that builds their confidence.

    Make Time for your children no matter how busy u are. `Hide the Technology from yourself just for a short while and have a listening ear to all the happening of their day. If u dont do this , they will always find someone who will listen and when its important you will be the last to know. probably too late.

    “Mol an Oige Is Tiocaidh Siad” meaning Praise the Young and they will Come.

    • Wow…and I am supposedly the writer in the family?
      Thanks for this comment Mum. I think you did an excellent job rearing us all and, eh, hate to break it to you but you ain’t done yet….xxxxx

  • Have no kids myself but have a Dutch sister in law who trained her kids very young to help in the home. I used to feel sorry for them at the age of 6 and 7 making and packing their own school lunches before going to bed each night. When Mum was preparing dinner they were chopping the salad. When going on a trip they packed their own little bags and if they forgot something they did without it and didnt forget the next time. The result? 2 of the most independent Teenagers I ever met. They can cook, clean, shop and completely take care of themselves. Refreshing to see in this age of spoiled entitled Celtic Tiger Cubs. The 15 year old boy comes in from school and cooks the family meal regularly. He Loves to cook. (In my Irish sister in laws house she still picks up after, washes and irons for, cooks for and doesnt take a Penny in rent from her 24 and 22 year old daughters and 21 year old son, all earning…….and one of these is a Home Economics Teacher!! Really!)

    • I hear ya… It is a delight to see. One of my cousins kids is staying with us right now for a month and I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to have this young lassie in our house. She is only 18 and an absolute dream. Scurrying about to help with whatever is going on in the house … Hands on, excellent attitude and hard working. I pray my kids will be just like her in 10 years time and am exhausted at the thoughts of how we will get there! Thanks for popping in for a chat.
      I really appreciate it x

  • Hi Mona, we’ve had this discussion before. Yes, we had to do chores growing up, and at one point I remember a rota on the kitchen wall! My Dad usually did the cooking on the weekend, used every utensil/dish in the kitchen – he had a team of slaves to do the wash-up/tidy up :) Seriously though, I agree kids should have jobs to do, and like yourself and Sile I have seen those youngsters going out into the world with no life skills. I love watching my brother’s kids – 16, 11 and 10 – they have their jobs to do and all three love to cook… they are coming to us for Easter and the 11 and 10 year old are doing a sushi dinner for us! So looking forward to it.

    Margaret

    • I am LOVING the rots idea Margaret but think I might send you a couple of the kids for ‘training’ during the summer just to be sure to be sure xx

      Ours do have a great interest in the food so I am sure this will be an area they will grow competent in before they fly the coop xx

      Speaking of coops….anything stirring with the duck yet?

  • I’ve been meaning to write a post on this topic for ages – kids activities is another one.
    Yep, lots of chores here. What we found worked well in terms of getting rid of the ‘but what is she/he doing?’ groan is they have responsbility for some chores, for example, Will keeps the grass cut and we have a big garden! They do get pocket money for it. One of their current jobs is cleaning the cow cubicles in the evenings, takes them about 45 min and they call themselves the ‘James Cubicle Cleaning Company’ :)

    I was always amused by cashiers commenting on how good they are at helping me unpack and pack groceries at the till and I often wonder why else would they be doing. Will had an activity last night and K put away all the groceries while I was feeding calves. Otherwise – I might have sat down and cried ;)

    • Lorna,

      Thanks a million for this. I am almost finished writing my year-end portfolio and am using this as an opinion piece because it seems incredulous that not one person has admitted that they never give their kids any chores to do.
      So – perhaps the kids are wrong. Maybe the majority of all parents have switched gears and are doling out the jobs to their kids in the hopes that they will teach them something, as a nation, we have always been known for and that is our hard work ethic.

      I REALLY do appreciate you taking the time to jump in … the old icing on the cake to be sure x

  • Am coming a bit late to this but here is my experience. (Ancient hag of Oirland that I am!)
    There were four of us, with a Dad working a job he hated to give us and our stay-at-home Mum the best of live.
    We did what we were told. And what we were asked to do. Whinging wasn’t tolerated.
    We weren’t asked to do a lot. It was a given that we looked out for each other. And maybe dried the dishes now and then. We were taught to look after our own belongings, and every year before Christmas to go through our books and toys to give some away to other kids.
    We didn’t get Coke and crisps every day. They were very rare treats. We asked permission to go to the local corner shop – it was rarely given. We were fed good food, and my Mum home-baked (when it wasn’t trendy). We didn’t need to snack between meals, and our savings were savings – not for sweets.
    We didn’t get pocket money. Main reason…see above. Second reason: my parents probably couldn’t afford it. Best reason – we had grandparents who brought us treats when we saw them. (Anyone ever get that HUGE Easter egg in a basket decorated with little eggs and chicks? My Granny, ladies and gentlemen!)
    Eventually, when we were all a bit older, we got ‘wages’. You heard me.
    My Mum went back to work part-time. We took on jobs, such as hoovering, washing up, and mowing the lawns. We got paid for our work.
    We weren’t allowed take summer jobs as teenagers as my parents figured we’d be working all our adult lives. I’m with them there. Student jobs are a different thing mind you!

    • Karen,

      Thanks for this. You are right about the summer jobs. I try to keep ours as unscheduled as possible during the summer – we even switch to all paper plates etc. just to ease up on the dishes for a few weeks … and let them just be kids. It seems that there are a lot of parents out there today making the effort to get kids involved in all the household chores – I will forge ahead and try to block the sound of whining!
      Looking forward to seeing you when the dust settles.
      Móna x

  • Ok full disclosure … I have written a book on this subject …because I think we have figured out a “magic pill” to make this work in families :) We have four kids and for 14plus years now we have done our chores as a family once a week … Never missing a week…. No nagging, or arguing … We have made it a family tradition that ends with bonding time … And it is fair because everyone is working… It has turned into a special family tradition and I never clean alone (yay) plus lots of life lessons for the kids. Now three of them live on their own and come home to clean and still enjoy the family tradition! It has been a win/win for everyone!

  • No, you are definitely not wrong.

    P.S. Loved reading all the comments but your Mum’s was an extra special one. Enjoyed this post very much.

    • Paula … I am blessed (truly) to have her right next door to me.
      She is the third parent to our kids and I get the mothering I need – daily whether I want it or not.
      I hope when my kids need me I am always on hand to help out … I’d be lost without her.xx

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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