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Chores????? - Page 2

post #21 of 37

Linda, please I'm also interested by your detailed list for your children

(= am sure that my children will take it better if work something out from other people's lists & then I can tell them that's what "other people" do too, it's not just me being mean - eldest DD replied back that she wasn't Cindrella, one day when she was 6 or so & I had asked her to "help" with picking up stuff ...)


presently, she's been with very limited computer time allowed after I lost it big way when one ant in her bed ( and the next day 50 half dead ants -half dead after DH sprayed something all over the previous night- that were clustered around a very very small sweet that must have been sucked and spat out on the floor) => I have been trying to implement the "only eat in the kitchen" rule for quite a few years now ... not very successfully


felt really bad taking away computer time, but there are also other issues that I would like to see an improvement about ...

post #22 of 37

OP, I have the impression from this and some of your other posts that your kids might be the sorts who have a hard time breaking down organizational tasks regardless of how you parent them.  You've already decided to make chores not a choice, which is good.  I second previous posters' suggestions for an actual visual chore list on the fridge and with not doing certain special things (TV, computer, outings) until chores are done.  But I'd add breaking down the activity.  My oldest would need something like this for your playroom situation:


  • Pick up wrappers and put in trash
  • Check for cups and take to sink
  • Put small beads into box
  • Put toys into box
  • Help sweep up.


You might not be able to say unspecific things like "tidy" or "clean" if one of your kids has trouble breaking things down.  You might have to say "Wet a cloth, wring it out, wipe the table, and put the cloth back over the kitchen sink faucet".  You probably don't have to be as specific as I do (my DS has special needs) but you still might have to go more basic breaking things down.

post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks farmerbeth that is helpful


Linda... once I get these things squared away I think all we'd all like to see what you having going.  I have to work on the little things first but I'm pretty sure many are further along than I am.  If you would be so kind.

post #24 of 37

Some kids really do not know how to clean - or are overwhelmed by the experience.  


Here is how I get my just turned 9 yr old to clean an area.


1.  anything that is garbage goes in the garbage

2.  anything that belongs in another spot goes there

3.  Quick clean - put stuff in their boxes, nothing on floor or other surfaces

4.  More intense clean - lego with lego, crayons with crayons, etc.



She really needs explicit instructions.


All my kids are theoretically willing to clean - they understand they make the mess and it is unfair to expect me to do it all.  Where they fall down is in actually doing it - bad habits (mess making and procrastination) take over, and lets face it, cleaning is not that fun.  


I am also actively trying to promote some better habits - such as hanging up your coat and putting your dishes at the sink.  It takes lots of nagging  reminders.  Ah well, better a nag than a house elf.  Once they have this down, we are going to move onto other areas (did you know full trash cans should be dealt with?  You are one up on my kids!orngbiggrin.gif )


edit:  well, I could have saved myself some typing if I read the whole thread first, lol..Yeah that to Farmer Beth.


post #25 of 37

My kids daily chore list

(my kids are 13 and 15, and this would have been too much for them when they were younger, it's just to give you some ideas)


  1. Enjoy pets (both)
    1. Take doggies outside
    2. Play with and talk to all pets
    3. Give all pets treats
    4. Scoop cat box



  1. Tidy Bedroom (both)
    1. Make the bed
    2. Put stray clothes in hamper or away
    3. Put reading material away
    4. Straighten dresser and bedside table tops
    5. Clear floor of any remaining items.



  1. Set hall table for next day (both)
    1. Key
    2. phone
    3. money/permission slips



  1. Bathroom
    1. Neatly hang up towel
    2. Remove jammies and other items
    3. Tidy rug and shower curtain
    4. Windex mirror
  2. Kitchen
    1. Empty dishwasher
    2. Put any dirty dishes into dishwasher
    3. Throw away trash
    4. Sweep floor
    5. Wipe off Kreig, refill water
    6. Empty recycle bin


  1. Bathroom
    1. Neatly hang up towel
    2. Clear floor of trash and other items
    3. Empty trash can
    4. Wipe down counter
  2. Kitchen
    1. Empty dish drainer
    2. Rinse recycling
    3. Wash any dishes by hand that are hand wash only
    4. Wipe off counters
    5. Take out trash, replace liner


This looks like more than it is because the kitchen is totally cleaned before we go to bed at night, so this is just picking up from breakfast and snacks. Some of the jobs don't need to be done every day, but they need attention more than once a week so they get CHECKED everyday. My kids spend 2-3 hours per day at home without me - this list is mostly about picking up after themselves so that I come home to house that looks pretty much like it did when I left (plus a few other jobs) and pets that have been looked after.


Part of why this is working is because we have a set time to check the list , 5:10, when I walk in the door from work. I don't care if they don't close their closet door every time they get in it for example,  but I do want them to understand that it is part of tidying the room.


I wasn't good about any of this stuff when they were younger, and I feel like I'm running out of time to instill what really is a basic life skill.



Edited to say that I don't know why the numbers are displaying correcting. I copied this from Word, and in my editing screen they display correctly, but once I submit it, they seem to become ones.

post #26 of 37
Originally Posted by mtbmomma View Post

This may sound harsh, but my rule is generally, if you can't take care of your things, then you aren't old enough to have them.

I think this is an extremely limited view. My kids will leave bath towels on the floor of their room even though we have pets and the towels will get covered with hair. That's not taking care of them, but I can't just take all the towels away from them. Likewise, they'll kick off their shoes in the middle of room (where others can trip over them), but I can't just take all their shoes away. (though I have felt tempted!)


Although I think this has some valid applications, I think overusing it teaches kids to pick up by putting things where mom won't immediately see them -- under the bed, in the closet, whatever, because for many kids, the real lesson is that if it is out, it isn't being taken care of. I don't think it actually teaches kids how to pick up after themselves.




post #27 of 37

yes, for the last paragraph ... have found clothes and toys, thrown away behind open doors ..


+ thanks to all who posted

(+ thanks Linda for your list, my kids are 12, 10 and 4)


it makes me realise that a little variabiltiy is "ok"// "normal" for different families & children

(... when reading about full trashcans am mentionned by Kathymuggle .... yes, I had to detail, much more than I ever thought was needed, 1 - go to the cupboard, 2 - look in that box on that shelf to find the bin liners, 3 - come back in the kitchen, 4 - remove the lid from trash can, 5 - take out full bin liner etc .....)


so, all is not yet perfect but at least I am now approaching the issue in a much better frame of mind


it's like cooking from a recipe ... i can have all the cookbook in the world,

I much prefer learn from someone, from someone IRL doing it in front of me or talking the stages in front of me


here, I can get a glimpse on what other moms are trying to do, what worked for them, what was a challenge .... thanks !

post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 

Awesome starting point ladies.  I started last night by having them take their laundry to the laundry room as soon as they took off their clothes.  We put away shoes and picked up anything that was in the wrong place.  Jackets on couch stuff like that. 


They were good about it.  I'm not only pushing a tidier environment but a safer one.  Our old beagle generally stays in corner of the front room during the day but when he gets lost in the house he has an easier time finding his way back to his spot when there is nothing in his way.  Shoes can send him off to another direction and we've watched him try and try to figure out his way around a chair.  When I explained to the DD's that helping out around the house not only makes it a safer environment for grandpa beagle, it makes it so much more enjoyable.  Getting up this morning and not stepping on shoes and toys while I got ready for work as well as not picking up as I went made it for a nice morning.  All I had to do was shower and get dressed.  Oh and cuddle grandpa beagle.  He likes to be acknowledged before I leave the house.


I did notice something I think I may not have been paying attention to since all the other stuff was so in my face.  I haven't filled a water bowl or food bowl in a very long time.  The girls always seem to take care of it.  I watched DD2 walk by the food bowl look into it and then grab a scoop from the bin and refill it. They don't fill the cats food bowl since we actually feed the fatty on schedule otherwise he has no self control.  So that's a good thing for me to remember.  They're good about helping in that aspect.  Also I DD1 does take down the trash cans and brings them back up.  But I've never asked her to do that.  She'll also take out the recycling.  It's their own stuff they don't like to do.   

post #29 of 37
[quote name="NellieKatz" url=Example: "Mom, can we go to the park?" "Yup. Right after you clean your room."

This technique really, really helped. Because I don't like standing over him, forcing him to do this or that, nagging & all that. Once he learned that there were "extras" I was not going to do as long as his attitude was "let someone else in the family do all the work," he really started to shape up.

yeahthat.gif For real. Around here, chores are non-negotiable. You either help out, or you get no extras. Period.
post #30 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hey linda... rub mommies feet should be on the list... I like that one.  Hmmm... oh and brush mommies hair.  I'll add them on slowly.  Yeah I'm that bored today I made a list that lists the lists I need to make.  I even made a list of things to add to my lists...  sheesh... this room is so quiet and boring.

post #31 of 37

you know its really interesting to me that chores are non negotiable in some of your houses.


i hate being that way with dd. 


however i have been a single mom who works part time, goes to school part time and dd understands how hard life gets if she does not help.


and so in our house just by making chores negotiable, actually has turned them non negotiable. however i have always demanded my own time and taken care of my own needs (skill to survive).


the other day while helping in the kitchen dd pointed out hey i really like doing this as i feel i am contributing to this household. 


and yeah imakcerca isnt it amazing to realise that your kids actually do more than you realize. 


somedays the conversation goes like this - mom i really dont feel like washing the dishes today. i dont know why but i just dont feel like doing it. could you do the dishes and i could put them away." most days i agree. somedays i say - i would really appreciate if you did them as i have to finish this paper and i really dont have time to do them. and then if i skip they will all pile up tomorrow. and she'll go do them. other times i say ok. i do it this way coz i remember that's how my bro and i divided up the chores when we were young. and it worked really well for us. i do the same with dd and it works for our family too. 


we've been able to do this since dd was about 5. 


i will have to gloat that i do get back scratches  <where is that swoon smilie>, lotion on my back, combing my hair - quite regularly. why? because from 4 to 5 dd watched me take care of her dying gparents. we moved in with them. and since then it brings her great pleasure in even giving me a bath.


for that reason i dont have a list. i remember how it felt when one sat around and the other person did the chores. so we usually do it together.


however if one of us has found the 'right' book, then they are excused from chores for that day or two. the other person takes the slack. 



post #32 of 37
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Hey linda... rub mommies feet should be on the list... I like that one.  Hmmm... oh and brush mommies hair.  I'll add them on slowly.  Yeah I'm that bored today I made a list that lists the lists I need to make.  I even made a list of things to add to my lists...  sheesh... this room is so quiet and boring.

You clearly need to do something more interesting! Wanna come declutter my basement?

post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 

Oh lynn I'd do it for you, but now I'm sitting here at the computer trying to figure out what to do about my leaking bathroom wall.  And DH's sister is coming to visit us.  This can only get worse. 

post #34 of 37

* More later!

post #35 of 37
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Oh lynn I'd do it for you, but now I'm sitting here at the computer trying to figure out what to do about my leaking bathroom wall.  And DH's sister is coming to visit us.  This can only get worse. 





Time to have a plumbing party!  (I'm not kidding, we've done this.  Century home, far from town and any plumbers.  Everyone, mostly the guys, worked on it together and got paid with chili and beer).  Good luck to you!  It sucks entertaining when the house is crying to you!

post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 

I once had a painting party.  That was fun Until I realized someone painted all my socket covers...  Dorks.  It'll work out.  My friends husband does plumbing and they're in need of money.  So I'm going to have him do the work instead of the people I usually call. 

post #37 of 37

As a commuting family, we have very little time at home.  We leave the house at 6am and don't get home till after 6pm.  I have 2 children living at home, 7 and 3.  I started making a "Chore Chart" that only has 7 chores on it.  They get a sticker of their choosing.  These little girls love having their stickers on their chart on the frig.  It is the best reward I could possibly give them.  They are to do these chores while I am cooking dinner.  They each have their own chart because of the age difference.  They are to have all the chores done or mostly by the time dinner is ready.  If not all are done, they have to do them after dinner.  If they are finished, they can play or do whatever they want during their free time.  Stickers work well in my house.  I heard of pennies, rocks, etc.  Anything they can see all their accomplishments.  My kids loved to get praised.  They love to see there is a result of their hardwork, even if it is legos slowly turning into a house. 

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