Home life

Household chores in the 21st century

The kids are getting to an age where things like pocket money and household chores should be part of life. In most cases they seem willing already to help with things — there’s always enthusiasm to use the garden shears to trim the bushes, or flatten boxes for the recycling, for instance. As for watering the garden, they’re so keen they have to take turns with the trigger nozzle and hose.

In these enlightened times, perhaps competitive tendering could be the way to go. Rather than arbitrarily give jobs and pocket money to a particular kid, but let them put in bids for it. As in government and industry, it wouldn’t necessarily be the lowest bid that wins, but also other factors such as the ability to do the job, past performance, guarantees.

I wonder if I could set up a Public/Private Partnership-type arrangement for management of their bedroom for the next decade or so, with responsibility falling to me once they grow up and move out?

There could even be a case for off-shoring. If one of the kids from across the street offers to take my bins out every week for less money, should I allow that job to go outside my own house?


Tender title: Washing of Dad’s car

Description: Dad’s car is a significant mode of transportation for members of the household, and is normally located on the front driveway. Tenders are called for the regular washing of the car, in accordance with current Victorian state water restrictions.

Reference: Car/001

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Household chores in the 21st century”

Mention this to the kids and half an hour later they will be colluding and forming a cartel. It may cost you big time. ‘Ok bros, I’ll do the car you do the bins. Now what price do you think the market will bear and we’ll just add a bit to that? The kid across the road can get the bit extra to stop him coming in and undercutting us.’

I see that you have followed recent trends in government documents and misused the word ‘normally’ where you should have said ‘usually’!

Just cause i am anal – there are no water restrictions. There is now the Permanant Water Saving Rules – 5 of them. None of them impacts car washing as long as you have a trigger nozzle.

Just thought you would like current info

Another possibility is your kids outsource or subcontract rather than you, with them keeping the profit.

Even better, if they go around offering services to richer people’s homes (who pay more than you) AND, like Fagan, they outsource their work to poorer kids (who will work for less), then they become contract managers and get fat on the margin.

If this is replicated many times, then the profit increases, with the possibility of taking on larger jobs, such as convincing the school P&C to outsource school cleaning to them!

Are you preparing them for John Howard’s AWAs (which come in very soon)?

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