How can I get the children to take control of chores?

Sian Crips, Georgia Perry and Abi Robinson, from Oaklands School, Waterlooville, celebrating their A-level results. Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170817-140116006

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Who would have thought it was possible to get lost in the wilds of Gosport? But it’s true, I did – and worse still, I led my family astray as well.

That’s the beauty of Mother’s Day. None of the tribe dare argue like they would do normally. So when I said ‘I’m sure it’s this way’ when we were deep in the Alver Valley, they grumbled with their eyes but not with their mouths.

Maybe it’s time I handed over responsibility for navigation to the children. They’ve already assumed command of any remote controls and linking up the TV, digital box and DVD player went years ago. Downloading digital photos is now my techno guru son’s domain.

But it’s not just technical stuff. Cake-making has been stolen away from me by my daughters – although my random measuring technique of ‘that looks about right’ rather than pulling the ancient scales out of the back of the cupboard has survived in them. I love their creativity, even though sometimes their buns are more like rock cakes.

Of course what I would really like to hand over is responsibility for all the dull little chores around the edges of housework. I can’t work out how to enthuse anybody to do the vacuuming, except perhaps the dog who usually attacks the vacuum with glee and surprising daring (seeing as he is a coward in every other aspect of his life).

But if I can’t hand over toilet cleaning, washing up and window washing, there’s no way I’m handing over navigation. It’s the only fun thing I have left to wind up the family with.

And what a location to do it, in the Alver Valley. It’s a place of mystery – what with the signs which say ‘don’t touch anything suspicious’ (a good code for life if ever there was one) and the ponds which appear out of the mist in the mornings.

Eventually it was the sounds of the BMX racers and their soundtrack blaring across the countryside (Meatloaf, Stone Roses and the Smiths) which pulled us back to where we needed to be, as their race track is by the car park.

And that’s the other beauty of Mother’s Day. As I sang along to the soundtrack of my youth, the kids couldn’t complain about my singing.