Every family has a kid who thinks they’re ‘just visiting,’ according to Jay Laga’aia.
You know the sort. This little mooch will treat your house like a hotel, expecting a full turn-down service, even though their 16 and entirely capable of making their own bed, thank you very much.
But experts say age appropriate chores are essential if you want your child to grow into a well-adjusted adult.
So how do you get your little couch potatoes to trade their iPad in for an iSponge?
Ask a dad of eight.
Jay Laga’aia is a Playschool presenter and father to a tribe of eight, aged from seven to 33. And on the latest episode of our parenting podcast This Glorious Mess, he shared his top tricks for training his army.
Troops, assemble. It’s time to mop the deck.
“The trick is simple. In my household when I want something done I turn the internet off,” Jay says.
“They give you what I call the ‘router lean’, where the door opens up and they lean out the door, look around and they go, ‘Dad is the WiFi off?’ ‘Actually, I turned it off. But while you’re here, come and say hello to Mr. Dishes.'”
Set a time limit.
“You’ve gotta set a time limit. Otherwise with my older ones they’ll go ‘yeah, yeah, I’ll get it done’ and I say, ‘in my lifetime!’ So I go, ‘It needs to be done in an hour. If it’s not done in an hour, you and I are gonna dance.’ And at least they can muck around for a little bit and I point out the time or I set an alarm.”