Why I give my children chores

My boys have daily chores, a list of jobs they have to complete in order to do the things they enjoy like playing video games. For years now they have both had to do these jobs and we've gone through many ways of recording which jobs they've done. I often get asked why I give my children chores and to be honest it's just something I did, I didn't have a plan with it, but since we started I've learned that it really is a good thing.

LP, a 9 year old boy - stands in a garden wearing green gardening gloves. He is helping with gardening as part of his chores. Image for "Why I give my children chores".

My boys hate having to do chores and more than once I've heard the "... but my friends don't have to do chores." Of course I know it's not true and I reiterate what I've always said "I don't care what your friends do or don't do - you have chores to do." This is part of what makes me evil mum, but that's my job right?

My favourite way of getting out of doing chores is by acting like I'm asleep. But it never works.

Devon Werkheiser

When the boys come home from school their first job is to get their homework done. Once that is finished they have to complete their chores. For LP his chores include tidying his bedroom (picking up dirty clothes, putting toys away, etc), taking dirty plates into the kitchen, and making sure his coat and school bag are hung up at the end of the day. Because BP is older he has more chores and ones that actually help me like vacuuming, dusting, and we're starting to think about adding loading the dishwasher to his list.

Their list is changes all the time. The older they get the more jobs they can do, and sometimes it makes my life a little easier when it's something that I can either stop doing or do less.

That may sound awful, me being a stay-at-home mum an' all, but even though I know they hate doing chores, and the house isn't as tidy as it could be if I did the chores every day, I am doing the right thing. Here's why...


Giving the boys chores, and even getting them involved in a cleaning day, teaches them about teamwork. The jobs only get done when everyone does their bit, and if they don't pull their weight the job takes longer.


Teaching them about chores and the jobs I have to do every day teaches them to be self sufficient. They are learning to take care of themselves, which means I'm more likely to trust them and pop out to the shop alone. My boys are learning to clean up after themselves, and that's a great quality to have. When they complete their chores, and the house is looking tidy again, it teaches them self confidence. They can be proud of what they've achieved and enjoy a tidy house.


My boys both have their own lists of jobs to complete, and they have both taken responsibility for those tasks. They each know that if something isn't done it is their responsibility to make sure it gets done, and they can remind their brother if they didn't do their jobs. They both know that no one else is going to do the chores for them, and if they don't do it they don't get to do fun things.

Toy dinosaurs spread across a red carpet. Two brown boxes stand empty next to the pile of dinosaurs. Image for "Why I give my children chores."

Structure and routine

Having daily chores has taught my boys routine and they're slowly coming to realise that chores get done before games get played. They're learning about priorities and know what they need to get done. Getting them to stick to the routine is still a tough task, but we're getting there.


They never feel like doing their chores, I mean really - who does?! But they still have to get them done. They know they have to do the things they don't like, to get the things they do. I read a line in an article which made me giggle "They'll build a routine and eventually it'll become natural for them to fulfil their commitments..." now I haven't managed to get to this stage yet, but I'm working on it!

Sense of achievement

When either of the boys have done a particularly good job I always make sure to praise them. I want them to get that sense of achievement from completing a task well. LP's bedroom can get into a shocking state at times, but he does know what needs to be done. Once or twice he has spent an hour sorting out his room and I've gone in there to check how he's getting on to find a beautifully tidy bedroom and made bed. It always makes me smile when he does that and I am always sure to tell him how happy I am with him and that he should be proud of himself.

I learned a lot when I was 14 and 15 years old doing chores inside and outside the household, and as a result, I grew up with a good work ethic.

Jack Kingston

Despite the chores causing lots of arguments in our house I will be sticking to the chore lists and find that having our boys' lists on the side of the fridge - where they can tick them off - helps them to get everything done.

I give my children chores to teach them about life. They need to learn how to look after themselves and this helps.

I have a chores list, where you can write in your own chores, for you to download if you'd like to get your children started on the chores.

Do your children have chores?

My Random Musings