Parenting site MummyPages says it has uncovers the scary truth regarding our families attitudes towards the responsibility of chores within the home.
This Halloween mid-term break, mums and dads are encouraged to remind their children that they must make a positive contribution to the running of the household.
In a survey of over 1,000 parents on the subject of housework in association with Bosch home appliances, MummyPages.ie reports:
· 83% of today’s parents helped their parents with chores when they were children
· ONLY 33% of today’s parents require their children to do chores in the home
· The reason 67% of parents don’t require their children to help out at home is down to their child’s busy life with homework and extra-curricular activities
· Three quarters (74%) of parents and children enjoy food preparation the most in terms of household tasks, while vacuuming is the second favourite chore for 67% of parents and children
· Ironing is the least favourite task reported by 74% of today’s parents with hanging out wet laundry a close second for 70% of parents
· 79% report tidying their bedroom is a child’s least favourite task
· Age 4 years is the youngest age reported by parents to start their children completing simple but helpful tasks in the home
· Age 10 years is the youngest age a parent would allow their child to go to the neighbourhood shop to get bread and milk on their own
· 88% of parents say they are more stressed with daily home life than their parents were
With increased demands placed on today's parents in terms of working outside the home, having the perfect home, and providing so many development opportunities to their children in the form of extra-curricular activities, it is not surprising they are feeling more stressed.
Commenting on the research, Laura Erskine, spokesmum for MummyPages.ie said:
"Time-poor parents should look to both their children and advancing technology to help ease the burden of keeping up with housework and cut themselves a break when it comes to having the perfect home. "
"Besides being helpful to parents, giving your child basic responsibilities within the home in the form of household tasks is also helpful to children. In fact, household chores are a key way for children of all ages to develop new skills, have a sense of independence and make a meaningful contribution to the family. This will not only make for the smoother running of the home, but this sense of purpose will also have a positive impact on their well-being and development later in life."
"It's never too early to encourage your child to help you around the house, from fetching a clean nappy from another room while you change the baby, to setting the table for dinner. Not only are you more likely to foster a greater sense self-sufficiency, they are more likely to develop into happier and more helpful young adults with a can-do attitude which will set them up for greater professional success."
Five Tips for assigning Household tasks to your Children:
Choose chores that your child appears to enjoy. Food preparation and vacuuming were the most popular tasks in our MummyPages research. The advancing technology of home appliances undoubtedly plays a key role here, with quieter cordless technology dust busters from brands like Bosch making some chores easier and even more enjoyable. While Bosch's new range of food preparation mixers and blenders inspire the budding chef in every home.
If your child strongly dislikes a chore, try to assign it to another family member and play to each member's individual strengths and ability.
2. Charts and Rewards
It is important for all family members to understand their role in the completion of household tasks and what is expected of them on a daily or weekly basis. This system gives your child a sense of control allowing them to tick off when their chores are complete and in some instances when they choose to complete them.
Some parents like to link the successful completion of household chores to rewards like treats at the end of the week, pocket-money, or the privilege of screen-time or going out to play with their friends. However others prefer to teach children it is the way we show our love for one another, helping each other and working as a team to contribute to the family.
3. Stay Age Appropriate
Every child is different, however as a broad guideline parents need to consider the health and safety of the child in delegating a task. In addition, you should consider how long it is likely to take your child to complete their task, bearing in mind their attention span. Two short chores are better than one long one. We have devised a chart to give you an idea as to what chores an average child may be able to accomplish by age.
4. Think Family
Try to assign household chores to your children where they can clearly see the benefit it has for the whole family. When your child knows that their contribution helps the family they will develop an inherent sense of pride which will boost their self-esteem.
Working as part of a team can be even more beneficial for siblings completing their chores and makes them more fun. For example, one does the washing-up and the other does the drying.
* MummyPages surveyed 1,061 mums on all aspects of housework. The fieldwork was carried out during September 2017.