10 ways mothers get sons to do household chores

Updated: Jul 05, 2013, 15:57 PM IST

Avril- Ann Braganza

Gone are the days when women had to tend to household chores after a long day at the office. Today, with an emphasis on equality amongst sons and daughters, most mothers are ensuring that their sons, are equally grounded in undertaking household chores as their daughters. Mothers feel the need to train their sons into becoming responsible and helpful roommates, life partners, and fathers. Here`s how some mothers get their sons to do work around the house-

1) First simply ask. If something needs to be done, I ask my sons to do it. They can easily put away their own clothes and books and I ensure that they do so.
- K. Krishnan, Chennai

2) I give my son a time limit to complete his chores, which if not done by the assigned time there are consequences he would have to face. For example, he has 20 minutes to put the washed laundry to dry which, if it is not done at the end of 20 minutes, he would have to go to bed 20 minutes earlier or have 20 minutes less, playing his favourite video game.
-S. Pillai, Kochi

3) Instead of punishing him, I give him an incentive when he completes a chore on time. If it takes my son 30 minutes to complete a chore, I ask him to try and complete it within 20 minutes, but I ensure he understands that he has to do it right, and of course, I check that he`s done it properly once he`s completed it. Accordingly, I give him an incentive. I tell him,“if you get it done within 20 minutes, you can play for 20 minutes more.” He won’t lose anything if he doesn’t get it done, but he will receive an incentive if he does.
- Juliet Rodrigues, Panjim

4) Instead of freely dolling out pocket money, when my son was younger I would let him earn it with chores that he did not do on a daily basis. His pocket money would depend on the chores that he did or failed to do, or every time he had to be told more than once to do so. If he had to be told more than once, he would lose Rs.10 from his fixed allowance. And each time I had to remind him, he lost another Rs. 10. But as he is growing older, I am trying to get him to understand that doing chores has to be done because he lives in the house, and not because he gets paid. A day may come when I may not be able to afford to give him pocket money, but the chores still have to be done.
- Prajakta Kelkar, Pune

5) I usually set down a list of chores that needs to be done before I get home which my son can strike off as and when he completes them. When I get home, I check if the chores have been completed, and if the chores have been done well, he gets an allotted allowance for the week. If they aren`t upto mark then he pays me at the end of the week for all his chores which I had to do.
- D. Srinivasan, Chennai

6) With older boys, incentives, rewards and punishments shouldn`t have to be used. I just talk to my son and explain to him that he has to be responsible for himself and needs to be independent in today`s busy world where he cannot expect others to do his work for him.
- Leela D`Souza, Mumbai

7) If my teenage son refuses to still put away his things and do his own laundry, I leave his things as they are and let him learn the slow but hard way. Eventually stinky clothes and socks push friends away and his laundry gets done, and the inability and urgency to find an important document in his messy room, before an important job interview, has made him better organised.
- Kritika Chauhan, Delhi

8) With my sons, right from a young age, I have made them understand that this is their home too and they ought to help around. I tell them “Mom doesn`t get a reward or an incentive for doing daily chores, besides the pleasure of watching you`ll grow so you`ll need to be responsible too. The burden of looking after the house shouldn`t fall on one person only. Each one is responsible for himself.”
- Shahnaz Guard, Mumbai

9) If asking nicely doesn`t work and I found his things still lying around the house when I reached home after a tiring day, I threw my son`s things out the window or out the front door onto the staircase. Twice after this happened, he learned to put his things in place.
- Enola Dmello, Mumbai

10) It is very difficult to get my twins to do anything. Only after a lot of nagging do they do any chores at home. I tell them that they have to put away their personal things. In India we have domestic helps but we shouldn`t depend on them and make them do everything. We need to be able to do things for ourselves.
- Neha Sawant, Mumbai

Do you have a different way to get your kids to do household chores? Leave your comments and let us know how you get difficult children to help around the house.