Share the Cleaning Week 1 – Breaking the news to the kids

Share the Cleaning Week 1 - Breaking the news to the teenagers

Share the Cleaning Week 1 – Breaking the news to the teenagers.
PS: Do not expect them to look as happy as the boy in this picture.

By Emma Toomey.

There is a great, untapped source of cleaning help in the family home that us mums simply are not taking advantage of. The TEENAGER.

The VIVA Share the Cleaning survey showed that mums spend on average 14.5 hours per week doing household chores versus teenagers who spend 1.5 hours. (I’d be really surprised if my own kids clocked up 90 minutes of cleaning each week, just quietly.)

Sure, our teenagers are busy with school and study, extra-curricular activities and Instagram, but when 96% of mums say cleaning is an important life skill, then we’d better start teaching it!

“We’d better take action and show them the ropes, or else we’ll find ourselves doing the cooking, cleaning and washing well into our twilight years!”

‘Time poor’ is the catch-cry of the new millennium, and we parents just haven’t found the time to teach our kids the skills they need to maintain a household. With our beloved offspring living at home much longer than our own generation did, we’d better take action and show them the ropes, or else we’ll find ourselves doing the cooking, cleaning and washing well into our twilight years!

VIVA has set up a 30 Day Challenge for us to get teenagers cleaning more. They’ve even made an online calendar where you can create avatars for each family member and nominate points and rewards. A group of us at TKAAR and our readers are giving it a go. We’re reporting in at our forum each week on how we’re going.

The first step of course is to set up the calendar and allocate chores, points and rewards – and then we tell the kids.

Adding mum to the cleaning calendar?

Sydney Mum decided not to add herself to the roster because “she does enough already”, but City Mum took a different view and added in her usual housework in the hope it might enlighten the family on how much needs to be done.

Points and rewards

Eleise from A Very Blended Family has offered driving lessons as the reward for Mr16, and a weekend away for Ms14 (this requires more points). She’s also joining in and will be giving herself a reward too thankyouverymuch!

Sydney Mum is offering her teenage daughter the reward of a dinner and movie night … with mum. Share the cleaning, share the reward!

How the teens are taking it…

Miss Cinders (Saturday Morning Ogre Mum) says her kids are happy to give it a go. Not so Katherine’s unimpressed teens. She wrote:

I told the kids yesterday and the responses were:

Teen 1. “I don’t believe you. You’re lying just to make us clean more!”
Pre-teen 2. “There’s no way I’m doing that! Forget it.”

Obviously, this is in stark contrast to the attitude of the mums. We are ridiculously excited at the notion that we might get some extra help around the house.

With a “Woo hoo!” from Miss Cinders, and a “Let’s get this cleaning party started!!!” from Beck at CraftyPJMum, we’re away!

Please follow us – or even better, join us – on The Kids Are All Right forum, as we share how we go on this 30 Day Challenge. You could even win 1 of 20 $1,000 cash prizes or one of 20 runners-up prizes of a year’s supply of VIVA products.


 In Week 2 of the challenge, we asked: Are teens really lazy? Or just disinterested?


Disclosure: Emma Toomey and The Kids Are All Right have been engaged by VIVA to share the survey results with the media. A few members on the forum who also blog about teenagers were offered a gift pack of VIVA products to try while they do the challenge – they are under no obligation to use them or mention them. (Mostly, we just want to get our teens to clean more.)




  1. Sounds good! Oh yeah I’d be putting myself on the roster too – everyone can finally start appreciating how much I do! Maybe not. But I’m definitely getting my share of those rewards!!!

  2. I think that children should do what the adults want them to do….last Friday i went swimming and after my mom said that to put my swimmers on the line so I DID! Also, you never know if the chore is fun or not. if you want to know if it’s fun or not try it do what your mom or dad say!!

    p.s you will never know you might get a REWARD

  3. Emma Toomey says:

    We’ve all been reaping the rewards tis week – not just of a tidier house, but of a happier, less cranky, less naggy Mum. Yay to that!

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