‘Too far’: Kids’ cleaning contract angers

Most parents will understand just how tough it is trying to get children to do any housework, so this mum took things one step further - making them sign a contract.

Katrina Neathey made her messy teenagers sign a housekeeping form which results in heavy fines or every broken rule, The Sun reports.

But the drastic move has been met with mixed reactions, some people agreeing with the decision as others branded it "too far".

The fed-up UK mum had spent years tidying up after her children, Hayden, 19, Joshua, 18, and Olivia, 13.

"They'd hide dirty clothes or plates at the back of their wardrobe. I've found milk bottles left to go off," Ms Neathey said.

"The worst was a used chopping board."

The final straw came when the 36-year-old found mud on a new £2000 ($A3900) carpet.

She called the trio to the dining table and handed them 10-point contracts.

The rules include making their beds, putting dirty washing in the laundry basket, putting away clothes and no food or fizzy drinks in the bedroom.

The boys, both apprentices, are fined £5 ($10) per rule break, while Olivia loses her phone for a day for each infringement.



Ms Neathey, of Horsham, West Sussex, who co-runs a cleaning firm, said her "harsh but fair" plan was working and she has pocketed only £20 ($A40) since introducing the rules last month.

Ms Neathey, who is married to carpenter Gareth, 41, said the cleaning contract has made life so much easier.

"I don't have to nag, which is great for everyone," she said.




Her cleaning tactic has left many people divided with some saying it's a clever way to teach them about independence, and others saying she has gone "too far".

"Such a fantastic idea learning them to be independent and have pride in themselves and for their belongings … a lot more mums should be like her," one woman wrote online.

"Good for her. Bringing old-fashioned morals back to this younger generation of spoonfed spoilt brats," another said.

One person said if they had to go this far they would feel they failed as a parent.


The mum’s cleaning contract sparked a heated debate.
The mum’s cleaning contract sparked a heated debate.


Some thought it was a great idea while others didn’t agree.
Some thought it was a great idea while others didn’t agree.

"I'm quite lucky that my two do what they are told 99 per cent of the time, they test their mother at times but when I say no it's definitely no, if they left their rooms like a pig sty it would stay that way for their friends to see because I wouldn't clean it," the person wrote.

Another accused the mum of "going the wrong way about it".

"If she wants responsible adults as offspring. If they want to live in filth let them. In their own place. Put washing in a basket? Yeah so you clean it for them like they are seven."

"Good for her but better still teach them from early age to clean up after themselves," another wrote.

A third person said: "I blame the mother; if you had started at a young age you wouldn't need these silly contracts."


Some branded it ‘clever’ while others questioned her tactic.
Some branded it ‘clever’ while others questioned her tactic.


Others wondered why some of her children were still living at home, sparking another debate.

"How about getting them to move out? The boys are certainly old enough," one person said.

One woman was quick to defend why her 25 and 23-year-old kids still lived at home.

"They can't afford to move out and both are working," she wrote.

"They contribute to the household bills fairly, but are saving to buy. Why rush them out, just because you can. I want my kids to live a little before committing to mortgages etc. Is that a bad thing?"

Parts of this article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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