Chores/Balancing a Kids' Responsibilities - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 05-27-2010, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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In some ways I guess this is a spin-off of the responsibility thread. My daughter is also not very responsible around the home. I made what I think was a mistake and never expected chores of her. Part of this is just our family culture where we don't have set chores, tend to be messy and just do things as they come up/when we get sick of the mess. But lately, that's gotten to me and I've wanted to have more of a schedule and my partner and I are working towards it. My daughter will do 7-minute pick-up with us which is amazingly effective. And she will take out trash and do dishes and definitely helps with the baby but she has to be in the mood. The idea of just doing it because it needs to be done is anathema to her and can result in some huge blowouts.

My question is this: we want to move towards more chores but different things keep getting in the way. For now, it is that she's at her dad's the 3 main weeknights of the week so really only home on the weekends. Coming up, though, it's going to middle school and her new schedule. She will be staying at our house more but she will be going to a school that has an 8-hour day. She will have to commute an hour each way to and from school. And she will have 2-3 hours of homework each night including weekends. So before any other activities or friends, that's a 62-68 hour "work week" if you include the commute. That's way more than either my partner or I work and she's only 11! On weekdays, she'll be leaving the house at 7am, returning at 5pm and then have 2-3 hours of homework. There's time in there for dinner and maybe one show or 1/2 hour of downtime but not much else. I also really want to work on getting her on a sleep schedule that allows her to be rested. It's a lot of work but I think she'll thrive on it. I'm just trying to figure out what would make sense in terms of her house responsibilities. I'm leaning towards the idea that school is her work/contribution, that she should keep her room clean, pick up after herself and help with her baby brother as needed. I know that doesn't sound like much but honestly she seems to have a lot on her plate. What do you all do?
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#2 of 3 Old 05-28-2010, 10:25 AM
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It sounds like you are doing terrific, with her schedule being so full! Just getting to and from school and keeping up with that will take a lot of responsibility on her end, and if she is keeping up with chores at home, that's pretty good!

My kids can walk to school, and they only have one, maybe two, activities a week after school; so our schedule is much more flexible.

I also find that when I am working outside the home (right now I work at home) my house is neater, because we don't spend so much time at home

Joy, mama to Aquaboy (10), Goldilocks (8), Squidge (4)
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#3 of 3 Old 05-29-2010, 10:34 PM
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Yes, that is quite a lot to keep up with already. All programs aiming to get a grip on domestic chaos ( or, to name 2 I know) work with routines which are implemented step by step. If she'll have a new daily routine after the summer break anyway (new school, schedule etc.) it probably won't work to pack on 3 daily chores on top of that.
Still, it might help her to streamline the daily routine as in "put out your clothes the night before" (still working on this with my 10th grade girl) and "take dirty laundry to where it belongs", and / or "clean out your backpack before the weekend". This would automatically lead to a cleaner room (no clothes on the floor, no school papers all over the place).

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