Team Netmums and the army of mini domestic gods and goddesses

If this week’s headlines are to believed a quarter of all kids aged 5-16 will not lift a finger to help with household chores. Whilst we as youngsters were apparently sent up chimneys (or at least nagged to make beds and clear the dishes – to be fair we’re not THAT old), the youth of today seemingly have it easy.  Are we too soft these days and run around clearing up after our kids whilst they languish on the sofa checking out the merits of the Netmums Top Ten educational apps?

We asked around Team Netmums (in our usual weekly investigative/scientific way) to find out.

Kate immediately offered up a series of photos of her mini maids and butlers at work.  We were impressed but remained unconvinced the photos were not staged. Kids cleaning the loo ?  Nah – we don’t believe her!

Meanwhile Donna put us all to shame with tales of her children not only regularly making her cups of tea but also cooking an entire three course meal one evening.  Sod the long-held dream of owning a Teasmade (are they still in manufacture?) – the rest of the team are vowing to teach their offspring tea making and advanced culinary skills right away.

Jane admitted to having thoughts that if she sprayed Pledge on the bottom of her babies nappies and got them to shuffle up and down the hall it would be the key to getting the floor polished. As for older children – what is the key to getting them to help out?

As far as team Netmums households go the situation of mini domestic helpers seems to vary.  It goes from those that have been taught to tidy, clear and clean from a young age and help out willingly, to those that only sullenly do so for hard cash.  In between we have an army of helpers who rise to the occasion when given an exciting spray gun or squeegie and a bit of disco music but whose domestic help is very much a one-off. And to top it all off we have a straggle of mums who feel a bit hard done by and who stack the dishwasher and make the beds in a silently shouty cross way wishing they weren’t the only bloody ones who tidied up around the place but who had never specifically asked or tasked anyone else to help out either!

Whichever way we look at it – we are all in agreement that chores are rubbish. It’s just that they need to be done and mountains of laundry and stacks of dirty dishes can have a slightly manic and irrational effect on even the most laid back mum.


What do you think?  Should the whole family pitch in?  Does it feel a bit frustrating to swap chores for cash? Or is there time enough later to get to grips with the household jobs and should kids be carefree and out playing instead?  If your children are reluctant to get stuck into the housework here are a few ideas that might help.

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8 Responses to Team Netmums and the army of mini domestic gods and goddesses

  1. Maxine says:

    My daughter is 7 and she loves to help out and I actively encourage her (obviously)! She is expected to make her bed, tidy up after herself etc and she normally does it without too much of a moan! How long that will last remains to be seen!!!

  2. Kirsty says:

    The key point in your post is the different way the Mum’s approach children helping out. If you expect it from an early age and actively encourage your children to become better at certain tasks then it is just part of life. If you allow your children to do nothing until they become teenagers and then suddenly expect them to help then you will have a battle. We each have a list of chores to do each week and we all do them together. The tasks range from making beds to dusting, sweeping floors and cleaning the bathroom – but I do the toilet myself. My daughter (now 10) was taught how to make tea and coffee as soon as we considered her mature enough to manage the kettle – she now brings me coffee in bed every morning!

  3. says:

    we all know its quicker to do it yourself, but if you take the long term view, and from an early age put in a lot of annoyingly time consuming (at the time)teaching, showing, joining in with, make fun of all the chores, cooking, gardening, tidying clothes up, being responsible for certain areas of the house, helping other siblings and mainly setting the dinner table and talking through timetables for activities, what sort of day each of you have had. if you can find the energy and motivation to do all this in the early years, it does get easier and eventually you will all value each other and not take for granted clothes being ironed, meals cooked, a clean house, etc. As they get older for their pocket money let them put a value on each chore and as a family vote on it. During the teenage years when they become aliens over night things do go a bit skew wiff but ride the ride it will not be without tears and laughter but it will be eye opening and fun, (develop a broad mind).
    To motivate me when mine where young,I pretended that if they had to fend for themselves i needed to make sure they could take care of themselves, e.g. once i knew they were more than capable of dessing themselves i let them choose what they wanted to wear after school and weekends. On school days i would wake them up and they knew that it was their responsiblity to get ready or they would go in their pyjamas and no breakfast, It is very hard to restrain yourself from wrapping them up in cotton wool and doing everything for them but the end result is worth it. You will have lots of fun along the way and you will gain a wonderful circle of friends for life.

  4. Rachel says:

    My 2 year old likes to get the mop, bucket and broom out the cupboard and try to mop and sweep the floor. I think at the moment, she does it to try to like mummy but I will certainly encourage it! She copies other things I do such as wiping the table down so I am making it part of the stuff we do together

  5. Janice Grey says:

    Thank you so much for that link, I get so intimidated by all this new technology. I’m just looking for entertaining things for my child, and I don’t have time to compare all the available apps myself. Bless you.

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  8. An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto
    a friend who had been doing a little homework on this.
    And he in fact bought me dinner because I discovered it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this topic here
    on your site.

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