“Everyone is in turn my assistant”
Sophie, mother of 3 boys aged 8, 12 and 14
“In order to avoid arguments over who does what at home, I have made a schedule for my three sons, which is plastered on the fridge. I was inspired by what they do at school, where a rotating manager has to take care of cleaning the blackboard, distributing the sheets, etc. At home, everyone takes turns as my assistant for the preparation of the meal, in the evenings and on weekends. It’s about helping me set the table and cook. This motivates them as they can sometimes influence the menu. To clear the table, we all get down to it.
→ MAINTENANCE. Should children be forced to participate in household chores?
I can also ask them to vacuum, clean the car, mow the lawn. For these tasks, when it takes them time, I give them a small room. But no question of associating household chores with pocket money. If I ask them to participate, it’s so that they learn to fend for themselves later and keep their feet on the ground. The only job I have trouble getting them to do is tidy up their room. Even though I ask them every day to do it, it is still very complicated! “
“I don’t want to make my two boys into little machos”
Diane, mother of 4 children aged 17, 15, 13 and 10
“When I was little, I didn’t help too much around the house because my mother was at home and did everything for us. But that’s not how we both work! Since they were 4 years old, the children have participated. Both to relieve us but also for everyone to do their part. I don’t want to turn my two boys into little machos who are served …
For three years, we have put in place a system that works well. Each child is responsible for a single task. Louis, my oldest, takes care of the garbage. He’s the one who puts them in the dumpster and takes it out into the street once a week. Adèle and Antoine take care of emptying the dishwasher. As it is long and comes back often, it is better to be two. And finally Mathilde is responsible for setting the table. During confinement, each child was also responsible for their room and they took turns cleaning the bathroom each week. We haven’t done it since the cleaning lady came back, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be good to introduce it again to make them even more independent. “
“More an invitation to do things than a well-regulated machine”
Tifenn, mother of a 5 year old girl
“Since our daughter Cléo was 3 years old, we encourage her to participate in the life of the house. She learned to set the table, to empty the dishwasher – especially the cutlery, because it’s easy – and to cook. She knows how to prepare a complete galette on her own, for example, with cheese, ham and egg! And she loves it. We can also ask her to pass the broom under the table after eating, especially if she has put it everywhere. And of course, tidy up his room. This is what is most complicated for her because as soon as she puts a toy away, it makes her want to use it and take out others! All this is more of an invitation to do things than a well-tuned machine. I remember a very authoritarian uncle, who imposed precise and repetitive tasks on my cousins. It has always impressed me. So with us, it’s much more flexible! “