New research has revealed what goes on behind closed doors, as parents seek to teach their children how to help out around the home.
The poll of parents in the UK also found that the average child will be responsible for handling potentially hazardous situations at a young age in the name of housework; making cups of tea and coffee unsupervised by the age of 9, among other tasks.
The survey was carried out by home interiors specialist www.hillarys.co.uk. 2,198 British parents took part in the poll, all of whom had children who were at least 12 years old, with a 50/50 split of men and women.
Initially all respondents were asked ‘What age was your child/ren when you began asking them to help out with chores around the house?’ Parents were also asked to state the gender of their child/ren alongside the age that they started to do chores; revealing that girls are usually asked to help out at four years old, while boys begin to help at six years old. All respondents were then asked ‘How did your children begin doing chores around the house?’ to which 75% of respondents stated that ‘my child volunteered to help’ while the remaining 25% stated that they ‘asked my child to help’.
All respondents were then asked what the first chore was that their child performed. When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select the chore that they first involved their child with, the results revealed that the most common chore for boys to partake in was ‘washing the family car’ (23%), ‘babysitting’ (14%) and ‘DIY jobs’ (13%). By contrast, the top five chores that female respondents were taught to do as children were revealed as ‘vacuuming carpets’ (20%), ‘help with laundry’ (15%) and ‘dusting’ (13%).
The parents were then presented with a list of household chores, and asked to state the age that their child first conducted them without any supervision, revealing the following breakdown:
Use cleaning products e.g. surface sprays, cleaning wipes, toilet cleaner – 5 years old
Load/unload the dishwasher - 6 years old;
Make tea or coffee – 7 years old;
Run their own baths - 8 years old;
Help with ironing - 10 years old.
According to the poll, 74% of parents stated that they believed encouraging children to do chores at a young age taught them vital life skills, whilst 59% of respondents believed it helped them to feel ‘part of the household’. Just 7% felt that chores were for adults only.
Finally, all respondents were asked to state how much money they estimate that they give their child per month for doing chores, and also how much they got paid as a child themselves to do chores. Once all of the responses were collated, it was revealed that the average child nowadays received £15.00 per month for doing household chores, whereas respondents would have received just £2.50 per month themselves as children for doing their share of the chores.
Tara Hall, spokesperson for www.hillarys.co.uk, said: “Household chores often seem like such a pain, so it’s nice to think that children across the country are volunteering to share the load with their parents.”