Struggling to teach your kids about the mental load? This genius psychologist-approved hack could be a gamechanger - and it’ll teach your kids an important life lesson too

Teaching kids practical life lessons while also keeping on top of family life can be difficult, but this trick should kill two birds with one stone

Father and son washing up together
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A psychologist who specialises in dealing with burnout has shared their genius hack to help parents teach their children about the ‘mental load’ that comes with running a family home - and, bonus points, it’ll keep your home clean too! 

It can often feel impossible to keep on top of every single day to day parenting duty. It's no wonder we're all left asking 'why am I so tired all the time?' when days are filled with school run meltdowns, futile efforts to get kids to drink more water, and that's not to mention the inconvenience of dealing with the insecurity fuelled by 'mumfluencers' online as we power through. 

That's why parental burnout is increasingly becoming a problem for more and more parents. The signs of parental burnout can be hard to spot, and they differ wildly from person to person, making  explaining the mental load to your partner vital if you're struggling. But while it can be hard to explain to another adult, it's even harder to share the details with your children who likely can't wrap their head around the work that goes into running a home. 

But now a psychologist has revealed a genius hack to not only help kids understand the mental load, but also teach them great life lessons - and reduce the work you have to put in when looking after your home. 

Psychologist Dr. Morgan Cutlip, who specialises in burnout and mental load support, took to Instagram to share a tip she'd received from a friend and found to be incredibly effective as a mother-of-two herself. 

"You give your kid a zone of the house to be in charge of,” she explains. “For example, our daughter is in charge of the living room. It’s her job to regularly check it out, observe what’s out of place, and put it back together. Each of our kids has a shared space that belongs to them, and it’s their zone, and it has helped SO much in their initiative taking and them being a family team player.”

She added in the caption, “Putting your child in charge of a shared space of the home is a wonderful way to encourage them to observe when things need done, do it without being asked, [and] know that shared spaces are everyone’s responsibility.

"You don’t just look after your own stuff but we all have a shared interest in our home.”

Dr Cutlip's children are currently aged 10 and seven, though introducing children to chores at any age is a great way to give them responsibility and teach them how to look after both themselves and their space. Experts have revealed that children as young as two-years-old can start to do simple chores around the house, teaching them early on that chores are a part of everyday life. 

You may even be one of the lucky parents with a child who loves cleaning. So, while there are some brilliantly fun cleaning toys available for them on the market, why not take some notes from the new 'lazy parenting' trend and swap their Henry Cleaning Trolley for the real life version? 

If you're a parent struggling to deal with the mental load, you're not alone. We know that the mental load starts for women during pregnancy and it can be so hard to deal with it throughout both the pregnancy journey and then while you're also parenting. But while some language, like 'kinkeeping,' is trying to diminish the impact of the mental load, these five 'game changing' phrases can teach your children about the mental load, and could also set them in good stead for adulthood. 

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.