I just found out why my kids don't help out...

@patgalca (14057)
Orangeville, Ontario
August 10, 2008 10:28am CST
around the house. My husband won't let them!!! My husband has let my daughter mow the front lawn but never the back. We have an above ground swimming pool back there. I'm not sure what difference that makes. Last night I filled my water bottle but forgot to screw the lid back on. When I went to grab it I knocked it over and water spilled all over the table and floor. My 12yo jumped up and said she would get the mop and soak up the floor. She said she loves cleaning the floors. Huh? I asked why she never does it then. She said her father won't let her. OMG! The whole thought process in letting your children do household chores is to accept that the job won't be perfect but at least it will get done and eventually they will get better at it. I know they don't wash the dishes very well but I accept it and if something needs to be washed again, I wash it without saying anything. Here I have been, all these years, playing tug of war trying to get my kids to help out around the house only to find out my husband hasn't been letting them do certain chores. Have you ever heard of such a thing?
16 people like this
37 responses
@keasling (724)
• United States
10 Aug 08
OMG! That is a first for my ears. I am always trying to gt kids and roomie to pick up behind themselves. My husband says I need to be more tough on them about it. He is gone most of the month so he feels it is my job to not let them walk all over me. I agree that you cant say anything if they don't get it perfect though. They may not want to do it again being afraid of being put down even though you don't mean to be. I would be asking him why..
4 people like this
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
10 Aug 08
I totally agree with you. Put them down and they won't want to do it again. It has happened so I now try and keep my trap shut. He is away right now so guess what? 12yo is mowing the backyard lawn which he never allows her to do. And she is doing a great job! Too bad none of us know how to vacuum the swimming pool!
3 people like this
@reckon21 (3487)
• Philippines
10 Aug 08
This is very odd. Your husband should teach the kids to value and perform household chores. What happened if both parents got sick? Who will do the household chores, of course it's the children. They must learn to handle responsibility at young age. It will help them more in the future.
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Aug 08
I totally agree. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Aug 08
.......wow......what a dad...........its better to let the kids help you in doing things the your house for them to know........and in the future...they can do it without any hardship and they wont depend on others..........
3 people like this
• United States
10 Aug 08
Have a talk with him. it is responsible parenting to have children help out and learn to be prepared for adult life later on. (Good for you. HAve you given them their own chores to be responsible for each week and day? That's great!) If he won't get on board, kick his behind OFF THE SHIP and out! All my grown kids were raised wiht their own responsinilities and to help out when needed and they are all grown now and doing well. If he does not want to work on raising the children to be responsible with you..what good is he?
2 people like this
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
10 Aug 08
What good is he? Well, he provides for the family. I have been unable to work for the last 12 years due to illness. He has taken every overtime shift offered to him so he can provide for his family. But as far as the kids are concerned, I have talked to him many times about disciplining them, making them help out, and even scolding them for "talking to me that way". He's just a softy. My kids are busy with sports and homework, babysitting and sometimes a social life but they do have to put their laundry away, keep their rooms clean and the one puts out the garbage every week. When hubby is away, like right now, I can get them to do more. Last summer I got them started on a dishwashing regimen which lasted about two months. Sometimes it feels like I am a single parent but we couldn't live without him... and wouldn't want to.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Aug 08
Parenting is more than a paycheck, though. But it sounds like you calling him just a big softie enables him to keep doing what he is doing. You excuse him, as long as he pays the way..and that isn't good for the children to be raised to be responsible. Sounds like your mind was already made up to let it continue?-So..why ask then? talking to him for support does not work, form hat oyu have said. So I again ask..aside form the check, as a PARETN..why ask him? Just tell the kids and when he says they don't have to, get in HIS and their faces and say "YES YOU DO! NOW GET GOING!!" What other choice do you have? You have no other intent.
2 people like this
@checapricorn (16072)
• United States
10 Aug 08
Hi pat, [i]I know a lot of fathers who are like that and some mothers too..That's why kids never learned to do stuff at a young age...ANyway, I guess you need to sit down and talk to your husband about it..Explain to him the advantage of training your kids and how it will benefit them in the future..I know when he will hear your side, he will understand and be open about it.. I agree with your training, let them do it and slowly give them constructive criticism so that they will improve next time, they will not learn when they will only watch![/i]
2 people like this
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
10 Aug 08
It's funny because he comes from a family of 8 kids - 5 boys and 3 girls. My husband always said the girls helped out with the women's work, ie making the beds and cooking (which is why my husband never makes the bed!) You'd think he'd know his girls need to know how to do stuff.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Aug 08
ohhh....Maybe he is just over-protective this time but soon he will realize that they need to learn stuff! Just talk to him and remind him how are his girls sibling benefited of knowing the household chores!
• United States
11 Aug 08
I would as your husband when he gets home. My mom never made me do any chores or anything growing up. My punishment when i was a kid was always some chore & i always try to get out of it. Now im 32 & I have two little girls that i am teaching them to clean up after themselves. I dont like to clean & but i will clean my house. I think had my mom been more insistent then i wouldnt be like i am.
2 people like this
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Aug 08
I never helped out much when I was growing up. In fact I didn't do anything except keep my areas clean (bedroom and basement). I don't remember washing dishes but we had a dishwasher most of my life and I do remember helping load and unload it. When I got older and had to pay rent, I paid for a cleaning lady to come in and do the work.
1 person likes this
@PearlGrace (3172)
• United States
10 Aug 08
Hello patgalca. Gosh, this sounds fascinating! Did you ask your daughter what she meant by "Dad won't let me do it?" I just thought maybe it would be helpful if she clarified why she thought that her dad doesn't want her to do these things. Also, wouldn't you have heard him say this sort of thing to your daughter when you are present? Anyhoo, I get what you mean, all this time you've been trying to get her to do some of the chores and he's been trying to stop her from doing the chores. It may be wise to talk to him (without your daughter around) so that the 2 of you can get on the same page about what you both want from your daughter. I have heard of many unusual family situations, as I am a therapist/counselor. But, thanks for talking about this situation because it may have shed light on this issue for alot of people. Take care and good luck.
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Aug 08
I didn't hear my husband because I'm not around when these chores are being done. But my older daughter confirmed that they both offer to cut the lawn and he insists on "doing the outline" first and by then he has half the lawn done already. LOL! With the backyard it is because you have to go around in a circle around the swimming pool. Well, duh! My daughter did that today and she did a good job. I'm proud of her.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Aug 08
i have heard of that kind of stuff but its been the father not letting the boys help cause the father says some crap about housework being the womans job. i'm sorry but when i hear that i just want to slap the man. i can see your husbands point on the backyard mowing. from what i've heard (i don't own one) that pools can be quite expensive. with it being an above ground pool maybe hes afraid it will be hit wrong with something and it breaking it or weakening a spot and then there would be a bill of replacing or fixing it. that would probably be quite expensive just to fix it. but if the kids like to help out they should be able to. if theres a certain area thats got expensive something or nick nacks that were someones that he cared about and they've passed away i can see him asking for just you to do it and not the kids then he knows you will be careful with such things.
2 people like this
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
10 Aug 08
That is a point I made to a friend today... what if something happens to him, then who is going to do it if he hasn't let them learn how to do it? She did a great job with the lawn, except she couldn't move the canopy swing so mowed around it. It looks pretty funny. But it doesn't matter. It's better than what it was and it did downpour shortly after.
1 person likes this
@LOULOU323 (214)
10 Aug 08
I reckon that all kids shud have their own jobs around the house,and do them regularly too.Hey we have to do our jobs in the home day in and day out,so why not them?we are not here just to pick up after them and clean after them,and it gives them a sense of duty if they have a role in life,so get them going and tell hubby they HAVE to do work.
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
10 Aug 08
Several years ago when the kids were smaller I called one of them to pick up a shirt off the living room floor. I asked about 3 or 4 times and then my husband picked it up. I told him to put it back on the floor and let the kid pick it up as it was hers to do. He said it will never get done if he didn't do it. Times have changed, I have a heck of a time getting HIM to do things these days. It's hard doing laundry with a burnt out bulb over the washing machine.
1 person likes this
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
11 Aug 08
My dad was that way when we were kids. He didn't let us do any cooking because our hands might not be clean enough. He didn't want us to wash dishes because they might not be clean enough. He didn't want us helping out with laundry or cleaning for the same reason. My sisters and I were never allowed to touch the lawn mower, and my brother never touched it until he was past 16. When I got married at 21, I didn't really know how to do anything to run a household - except for what I had learned in home economics in 7th grade. :-)
2 people like this
@maddysmommy (16243)
• United States
11 Aug 08
I wonder why he did that? He didn't think the kids were capable in cleaning the house nor mowing? hmmm strange I think. Even though it does take practice to do household chores well, I think you should teach them or even tell them that the dishes are not cleaned properly so you don't have to redo them. They need to learn how to do it well or else it's just a waste of time I think.
2 people like this
@cripfemme (7719)
• United States
11 Aug 08
If your husband wants all the chores to be perfect, have HIM help YOU out and not the kids. I bet that'll change his tune real quick!
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Aug 08
He does. It's HIS chores that they want to help him with. I think it may be their way of spending time with him as well as trying to prove themselves to him (he has always babied them). Things will be changing!
• United States
10 Aug 08
OMG you too need to communicate about the kids more! Secrets are not good, but I think they love to do chores, because they are not allowed too... sooo... he might be a blessing.
1 person likes this
@patgalca (14057)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Aug 08
DH is away on vacation so I have not spoken to him yet. It will wait until he gets home which isn't until Thursday night. Last year when he was away I got the kids washing the dishes on a regular basis. That lasted about 2 months. Guess he'd rather just do it himself. He does pick up the slack at times because of my illness, but he should be teaching the kids to help out and respect their parents. He's just too much of a softy. He's like that with everybody though. If someone asks him to do a favour, even if it is lending thousands of dollars that we don't even have, he can't say no.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Aug 08
my father was kind of that before..when i was young he wont let us do chores around the house reason why my siblings are so lazy and now, there kind of big headache specially mt elder brother who wont work till now at the age of 25..it sucks really, when children grew up not knowing chores to be done they grew with it till their adult..i'm glad to hear that your daughter has the initiative even if his father wont let him..its a good attitude..
1 person likes this
@bellaofchaos (11553)
• United States
11 Aug 08
not in this household we try and instill some responsibility in them and if they do chores they get an allowance and then they can spend their allowance on what they want. LOL!! So I pay my kids to do some housework. LOL!!!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60182)
• United States
11 Aug 08
Sounds like he's been trying to sabatoge you and your athority
1 person likes this
11 Aug 08
Hello patgalca, When we were young my mother used to give all of us a job round house each and at the of 12 I learned how to cook and the boys have empty the rubbish(trash) and the little ones have to do light dusting. I think you will have to have a quiet word with your hubby, but we are different the way we manage our home. Tamara
1 person likes this
@faith210 (11233)
• Philippines
11 Aug 08
Hi patgalca! That is ridiculous although this is not the first time I have heard something like that. My aunt is like that with her children. She never wanted them to do any house chores even though my uncle would ask the children to help out in the house. The children(my cousins) grew up knowing nothing about managing a household and will always rely on their mother even though my aunt is already old. I guess, now my aunt has regretted not teaching her children the value of helping out the parents in managing the household. Take care always..God Bless!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
11 Aug 08
Good day.. maybe your husband thought that they were too young and they do more harm than helping with the chores at your home. Talk to him and clarify the reason why he wouldn't let them help out.
1 person likes this
@sunnflr (2770)
• United States
10 Aug 08
You husband must be a neat freak or something. Someone who wants things done perfectly all the time. What he needs to do is teach the children the way he wants it done. You are right that they will never learn or get better if he doesn't let them try.