OPINION: Kids’ chores without pay works beautifully for me

COMMENT BY KATHY SUNDSTROM: YOU may think this makes me a mean parent, or you may even accuse me of child labour, but I don't care.

I don't give my children pocket money and I definitely don't pay them for doing household chores.

Come to think of it, I struggle to understand those parents who do.

I feed them, clothe them, give them a roof over their head, so why the heck should I pay them to pack the dishwasher or mow the lawn?

I did try the pocket money malarkey at one stage and ditched it after a week.

It might have been fun and prompted them to start their chores earlier, but the enthusiasm quickly waned and was replaced by something far more sinister.

It was replaced by, "If I do this or that, how much will I get paid for it?"

That's the problem with so many children these days - they expect to get rewarded for doing peanuts.

My kids moan about this - they compare their sorry state of affairs to that of their cash-generating friends, but they know it's a lost cause.

And what this has inspired is for them to look to other sources (AKA suckers) to help fund their financial pursuits.

Last holidays, my sons designed their own brochure and delivered it door-to-door offering their services to our neighbours.

They weren't too happy with their mum, who also went to the neighbours and pleaded with them not to pay the boys for doing nothing.

I've got great neighbours, the best, and some did hire the boys' services to do chores.

They assured me they made them work.

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And my boys loved it. They made money they had earned by their own hard work.

The great news for me is an article in a parenting network has outlined research that suggests our style of parenting in this area may actually be good.

Yes, the Raising Children Network says research shows there are many benefits to children doing chores and it's best not to pay them for it.

Apparently it boosts their self-esteem and may help them in other relationships.

I won't say my children like mowing the lawn or blowing the stairs, or vacuuming, but they understand life is not all about what we like.

I've got them so well trained they are even making me my packed lunch for work during school holidays.

There is something very satisfying about eating food prepared for you by your children.

I honestly think not enough parents today give their children enough responsibility in doing work around the house.

There's another thing I've noticed about when my kids work, especially when they are working hard on doing something physical, like mowing the lawn.

They don't whinge they're bored.

So my advice to those mums and dads out there wondering what to do with their children this school holidays is give them a task to tackle.

You won't just be getting those annoying chores done, you will be helping your children in the process.

Got to go now and make sure those kids are making me dinner.



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