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Mom asks if she's wrong for making the kids' household chores about 'mental load.'

Mom asks if she's wrong for making the kids' household chores about 'mental load.'


Household chores in a family can be a frustrating routine for parents to enforce, especially when most kids would rather teleport from the planet than wash a single dish...

So, when a conflicted mom decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about her 'mental load' chore chart, people were ready to weigh in.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for making one of the chores the kids do about “mental load?'

I’ll keep this short, we have three kids and when they turn 12 I start making one of their chores about finding something to do. For example, make your bed, dishes away, and find a chore. So the kid will look around the house and find a chore it can be anything.

Really did this to teach them to see if something is dirty or needs fix and they can go and do it without needed instruction. Sometimes the kid pick something small like vacuum a rug, other times they pick something not realizing how big the task is, reorganizing the game room for example. Anyways it teaches them to figure out what needs done and then do it.

Overall my oldest kid took her only a little bit to do this. My son just turned 12 and he is struggling, I’m trying to get him to understand.

He got so frustrated today that he couldn’t see what needed to be done in the house that he locked himself in his room. Tried to have him write a list of what he though could be cleaned in the living room (did not work)

My husband is pissed that I am giving them “mental load” chores and called me an a%s. We had an argument and really I am just trying to help their problem-solving skills.

Later, the post was edited to include:

Omg, just because he is indecisive doesn’t make him have ADHD or anything, stop with blanket statements. Also yes we had him tested. Some people are just more cautious, yes indecisiveness is a symptom but he has basically no others and was tested.

Some people are just indecisive, could be for thousands of reason like lack of confidence, wanting to have things perfect and so on. Not everything is ADHD.

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this one:

lothartx_ffbe said:

NTA. This is a hugely valuable life skill, and will help to fend off 'weaponized incompetence'. But different people do see things differently. Instead of having him write a list about what could be cleaned in the living room, did you try doing a walkthrough of the living room and making it a discussion?

Having examples pointed out could make it easier for him. The magazines are scattered across the table, stack them. There's dust in the corners, vacuum. The shoes are spread across the entryway, put them in the shoe rack, etc.

friendlily said:

NTA and I find it 'funny' that your son is struggling and your husband is pissed. The mental load disproportionately falls on women and girls but girls aren't born knowing how to do it.

They're taught and conditioned by their families and by society. I would die on this hill with your husband.

Continue teaching and expecting this of all your children but make sure you're tailoring your lessons in ways that each child learns best so it doesn't become a negative that they rebel against.

and_now_we said:

NTA. With the information that you’ve given I don’t think you’re an asshole as long as you’re not forcing this on your younger child when he gets overwhelmed and actually working through whatever the issue may be.

Seems like he just needs a little help in finding a task to take on the first time and maybe it will be easier the next time.

Why exactly is your husband against “mental load” chores. I actually think your idea is nice? It allows the kids to have some choice in the chores they do.

Nadahipster said:

NTA - providing structure and the tools for self sufficiency is the role of a parent, so long as it’s nurturing and with patience. I don’t see anything here that says otherwise. Sounds like your husband got frustrated with a fussy kid and took it out on you.

rak1882 said:

I think it's reasonable that some kids might initially find this overwhelming but the reality is as an adult, you have to be able to do go 'what do I need to do around the house.'

And at the same time, you're helping them learn this at a point when they don't have as much as outside pressure. Plus they can learn that 'oh, this task seemed so simple but it's actually not.' NTA.

So, there you have it...

Everyone agreed unanimously here that this dad needs to chill out as this chore system seems fair and productive. These kids will be way ahead when they move out of the house and don't have anyone telling them that the sheets need to be changed or the floors need to be mopped. Good luck, everyone!

Sources: Reddit
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