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051: Michael Grose on upskilling your kids to contribute

Michael Grose

We chatted with parenting expert Michael Grose about how we can get our kids to contribute more, relieve the life admin burden and grow up to be efficient at their own life admin.

Michael Grose, the founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators, informing and inspiring audiences in Australia and around the world for more than 20 years.
Micheal is a former primary school teacher with 15 years of experience. He holds a Master of Educational Studies specialising in parenting education and is the father of three children
He is a bestselling author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, Thriving!, Anxious Kids and his latest re-release Why First Borns Rule the World and Later Borns Want to Change It.
Michael has had parenting segments on The Project, The Today Show, Weekend Sunrise, ABC radio and more. He has contributed to Huff Post, Kidspot and Mamamia, and is a former columnist with both News Ltd and Fairfax newspapers.

What we talk about

Our recent survey of over 300 Australians revealed that parents do 33% more life admin than those without kids, and they are twice as likely to struggle for time. During the interview, we chat with Michael about:

  • how parents often underestimate what their kids can do by up to three years
  • that we should never regularly do for our kids what they are capable of doing for themselves
  • that kids want more autonomy and independence
  • that as family sizes have shrunk we know more about each of our children, and so we give them less space to become more independent
  • being aware of developing independence and providing small opportunities for kids to feel and be useful
  • starting where your kids are at and pushing them along over time
  • developing a ‘junior version of the game’ (eg like Auskick for AFL) for life admin and housework and setting the standards based on their age and stage
  • that we need to not rescue kids so they can learn from their experience
  • accepting what kids do as a reasonable standard if they have tried their best
  • that pocket money is a great way to increase autonomy and independence and you can start from age 5
  • deciding what your benchmark will be in your family for handing over responsibility for a task (eg when they make their own lunch)
  • thinking about sharing the ‘jobs and the joy’ and wealth within your family
  • using a roster to allocate chores to create the sense that the roster is creating the “ask” rather than the parents
  • when kids start asking for more independence we can look at ways that we can make it happen by giving them the skills they need to do at least part of the task
  • pets are great to teach kids what it is like to have someone else reliant on them
  • thinking less about the amount of time that kids are spending on screens and more on what they are consuming and what the opportunity cost is (what else could they be doing)
  • teenagers need parents who will challenge them
  • that gender and birth order can create different expectations
  • girls are often more organised at a younger age and boys may need more coaching, due to the way the brain develops differently between the genders
  • firstborns tend to be more detail-orientated and introverted
  • there are three aspects to consider when parenting – a child’s genetics & temperament, birth order and the family frame that sets the landscape for everything else.


Parenting Ideas website
Michael’s books
Dr Kristy Goodwin – Michael Grose’s collaborator and colleague


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