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post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just wondering what others do about kids doing chores.

Our kids are 10, 7, 4 and 1. I have them make their beds (on non-school days--no time when they have to get on the school bus), pick up their rooms once a week, take their own dishes to the dishwasher, and lately, have them pick one other job a week to do.

When I was a kid, we had a chart with one job a day.

My kids complain so much when I ask them to help me out with daily stuff.
post #2 of 9
My kids, 11, 8, and 5, all have to make beds/tidy their bedrooms every day. They rinse and put their dishes in the dishwasher, set the table every day too. Whichever one is closest when it needs doing gets to take out the trash. About once a week they each get a chore such as cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting or cleaning windows. It used to be a hassle but then I started adding new jobs with each audible grumble so that stopped quickly! Also, they have to redo the job if it is not done well so they have learned to do a good job the first time. They are learning the pride of doing something well and helping their family. I had a (major) chore per day when I was growing up too, but I really feel that I would rather they have time to do well on homework and play with friends (not to mention the never-ending sports practices/games).
post #3 of 9
I don't really like the whole chore paradigm. I focus a lot on working together as a family, and on feeling ownership for the space we live in. My 9 yr old does a lot, including washing dishes, washing and hanging laundry, sweeping and mopping floors, scooping the catbox and burying the contents (we live on a farm), cooking meals... but there's a real flow to it, she can see what needs doing and because this is her home, she often just does it.... or I ask, and usually she'll agree, but if she's busy reading or playing then that's okay, too, I respect her schedule and her needs.

A lot of people laugh when I say this and tell me their kids wouldn't do any work around the house, but I'm not sure that's true. I think kids who are raised to feel that they're a needed part of a functioning unit will live up to that, and will feel competent because of it. Kids who are raised to see home maintenance as something that's not a lot of fun but they're forced to do it by their parents probably won't do much of it on their own.

Another perspective...

post #4 of 9
Hey Dar! ITA. dd#1 is the terrible teen at the moment who would never do anything to help out. I decided to take a different tack with dd#2 who is 18 months. I think if you call them "chores" for a start you are putting a negative slant on the whole thing. Think word association. It also means you have to stop moaning about doing them too,which is proving a bit of a challenge with dh. The last thing I want to do -as a slight OT, is to teach Saffron that women do housework & men don't ! THat said, we're renovating the house at the moment & she tries to help dh with everything too.

Saffron is only tiny but she helps me with the washing( she passes it to me out the washing basket & I hang it up, then when I bring it in, she gets it out of the basket so I can fold it & put it away ), she helps me put the dishes away ( she gets them out of the dishwasher & I put them away ), she helps me put the shopping away, she even helps me carry the shopping in. Oh & she helps me with the vacuuming Now I haven't invested in child labour or anything like this. Everything takes twice as long with her helping me & we do have a few hiccups like she is prone to unstacking my clean folded washing if I don't put it away quick enough or she loves to throw food all over our newly cleaned floors. But we have a ball & she seems to genuinely enjoy helping. In fact, she started helping me all on her own.
post #5 of 9
How do you feel about allowence for help around the house? What would give allowence for if it is not for chores? I am wondering the same thing about chores. I know my 9 year old would not help unless baggered into it. Any thoughts?
post #6 of 9
rianna ~
My kids all get an allowance but it is not tied to chores at all. We start allowances at age five. They do chores because that is part of being a family and they get an allowance because that is also being part of a family. I think that an allowance is an important way to allow kids some freedom, allow them to learn how to manage money, and they learn shopping skills (good quality vs worthless crap) pretty quickly when they've spent their own money on some junk only to have it break in less than a day.

My kids get to use a set portion of their allowance any way they choose but another set portion must be saved for a long term goal such as college, car, etc. We also decide as a family which charities to support.
post #7 of 9
I've got 5 kids ages 15, 13, 10, 8 and 2. We are like a couple of the other posters, our children get allowance starting at age 6, so they can learn about money and saving for things they want. They get $1 at age 6, $2 at age 8, $3 at age 10 and at age 12 they get $10, but half of it goes into a savings account. It gets raised again at 14 to $12, same deal, half to savings and by the time they are 16 they will likely have jobs...our son is already working a few hours a week for my husband and he referrees soccer games in the spring and fall.

As for 'chores'...we've done various things over the years, they are expected to help out (without complaint) when asked. If they complain they are subject to another task to give them an opportunity to do it without complaint. Right now they keep their rooms clean, the girls have dish night once a week, our 8 year old swiffers the kitchen floor, our 15 year old takes out the trash. They also will pick up or vacuum when asked. Our 13 year old is a wonderful help, she often will do things without having to be asked and the others often follow suit.

Our children also rarely complain about being bored...if they do I tell them I've got plenty for them to choose from...dishes, laundry, picking up, vacuuming...they'd much rather find something else to do!
post #8 of 9
I have 4 children, 15, 13, 12 and 13 months, the older children all have their role in the family team. They are responsible for their own space and clothes, I have had to accept that they will keep these things clean and tidy at their own level. If I cook they clean up, and vice versa. They are all very proud (I have even heard them boast to their friends) that they can look after themselves, cook, from scratch, for a family of 6 etc etc. I am proud that I have learnt to stand back and let them develop their own standards in their own space.
post #9 of 9
Our 15 year old makes a great omelet! I forgot all about the cooking, I haven't been making lunch for the last several years, it's our oldest son's job. Now his sisters will sometimes help, by choice, I think soon they will be taking over this task. Our girls also help with dinner sometimes and they all set the table for dinner and clear their own dishes when it's over.

Part of being a family is helping each other out and helping to maintain the family home. I'm still happily surprised when one of our children will quickly get up to help another without having to be asked.
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