is dd (11) too young for chores?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my dd hems and haws, argues to get out of doing dishes,picking up etc.
I find myself not asking anymore because its better than getting an argument every time. I want a good relationship with her and I feel like it suffers if I make her do anything. But I fear I am just enabling her to be lazy. My mom barely made me do anything and when I got married I didn't know how to clean, cook or anything literally-how do you boil water ??
my dh couldn't believe it. His mother was a single mom so he was required to do alot. He is not lazy at all and I am -still in alot of ways .

Ok so maybe I answered my own question but what do you all do with your preteen/teens and chores, so it isn't such a battle??
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#2 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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I don't think so! I just read a study that said that if a parent is consistantly strict about their child doing even one chore, it increases responsibility, doing well in school and all that good stuff. I think 11 is a great age for her to have some special jobs around the house. Maybe start with one or two that she does on a regular basis--taking out trash, unloading dishwasher (if you have one!), folding her laundry--whatever works for you.
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#3 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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even just asking her to do one chore a day is a battle!! Have any ideas about how I can get her to do it w/out the battle
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#4 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:33 AM
 
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NO WAY is 11 too young for a child to have chores! My DD isn't even 2 yet and she has kinda sorta chores. She loads the wet laundry into the dryer when it's done in the wash, she unloads the dryer onto the floor, she unloads bags of groceries onto the counters and into various parts of the house in which a given item belongs, she picks up her toys, she cleans up her spills and peepee accidents... I could go on. We started with just the responsibility to clean up after herself when she had peepee accidents, but she's got ALL that now... and she's WAY more helpful since having more 'assigned' tasks than she was before asking her to do them! She's also more loving and kind and empathetic - I think that's something that comes in greater abundance to us all when we increase our levels of service! Good luck establishing your athoritAA! hehehehe

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#5 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandraj
my dd hems and haws, argues to get out of doing dishes,picking up etc.
I find myself not asking anymore because its better than getting an argument every time. I want a good relationship with her and I feel like it suffers if I make her do anything. But I fear I am just enabling her to be lazy. My mom barely made me do anything and when I got married I didn't know how to clean, cook or anything literally-how do you boil water ??
my dh couldn't believe it. His mother was a single mom so he was required to do alot. He is not lazy at all and I am -still in alot of ways .

Ok so maybe I answered my own question but what do you all do with your preteen/teens and chores, so it isn't such a battle??
My mom never HAD to do stuff and she says the same thing. I just thought is was a ploy to get us to do her housework. I really think it is good to have age appropriate tasks for DC. My DD "likes" to do things for me. I let her throw away her candy wrappers etc. I give her $$ whenever she puts her dirty clothes in the hamper, randomly begins picking up toys she has gotten out etc. I want her to see the good in doing things like that. I hope she doesn't have this problem, I see how my poor mom gets embarrassed.
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#6 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:35 AM
 
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I think if a child can help, they can have chores. DS is 3 and he feeds the pets, helps unload the dishwasher, and sets the table. Thank God for unbreakable dishes!

Loving Mom to DS (7) and DS (5).
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#7 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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My 5yo does chores and has been for some time. It started simple but she has a lot of responsibility for her things. She is in charge of keeping the dining area clean and picked up, she feeds her peds, she keeps her room clean, dresses herself, puts her newly washed clothes away, puts the dirty clothes in the hamper. Every so often I ask her to do something like clean the windows or pick up the toys from the yard. Most of the time she happily does them.

I just explained that everyone in our family has to work together to make our home clean and make sure we are healthy. I think helping out in the household makes children feel a part of it. They start to own it and take pride in it.

Even my 2yo will help with small tasks. Her favorite is putting wet clothes in the dryer for me and then closing the door. I hope that in a year or so dd1 can start to wash her own clothes. She wants to now but she can't reach the bottom of the washer.

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#8 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:58 AM
 
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Nope, definitely not. My fifteen-month old puts her dirty clothes/jammies in the hamper, puts the pillows on the bed after I make it in the morning (which is difficult, seeing as the top of the bed is level with her nose, LOL--a chore she decided to help with on her own, BTW), she puts her shoes away, helps put her toys away, and generally just "helps."

But at her age it's more of a task of encouraging her wanting to be helpful and providing her with age-appropriate tasks. I have no idea how to motivate an 11-year-old. Sorry!
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#9 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh dear it sounds like all of you have very young children. My dd would happily help when she was younger but this is recent,since she found the internet(email),talks on the the phone,she also plays the piano (she's good but I can't get her off the darn thing!) and reads for hours,she also is really into manga(japanese anime),so she is drawing when not doing those other things.

I don't know where I went wrong. Ok I lied I do know .. I def. will put off cleaning to read my emails,munch on food,do beadwork,read a mag or book, so I guess I am setting a really bad example-yikes!!
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#10 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 02:56 AM
 
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Here's a list of things I remember doing at your DD's age:
- sorted my laundry
- folded and put away my laundry
- folded at least the towels and washclothes load
- set table for dinner
- load and unload dishwasher
- dust weekly
- vacuum upstairs/downstairs weekly
- clean my room

That's all I remember doing. I had to have the weekly things done by noon on Saturday or I didn't get my (meager) allowance. The setting the table and dishwasher was nightly.

Jenn
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#11 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabrog
Here's a list of things I remember doing at your DD's age:
- sorted my laundry
- folded and put away my laundry
- folded at least the towels and washclothes load
- set table for dinner
- load and unload dishwasher
- dust weekly
- vacuum upstairs/downstairs weekly
- clean my room

That's all I remember doing. I had to have the weekly things done by noon on Saturday or I didn't get my (meager) allowance. The setting the table and dishwasher was nightly.

Jenn
wow that sounds like alot but I guess its not unreasonable...
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#12 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 11:05 AM
 
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[QUOTE=chandraj].
But I fear I am just enabling her to be lazy. My mom barely made me do anything and when I got married I didn't know how to clean, cook or anything literally-how do you boil water ??
my dh couldn't believe it. His mother was a single mom so he was required to do alot. He is not lazy at all and I am -still in alot of ways .
/QUOTE]

this isn't about the chore question but I belong to a list of people with clutter/organization issues. Big issues We could be called lazy.

Some of us did lots of chores, some did none. I did lots of chores and cooking, my mom was a great housekeeper and I ended up clueless.

I think doing chores IS a good thing and that those are good skills to have but it doesn't guarantee that your dd will grow up to be a good housekeeper.
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#13 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 11:16 AM
 
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I have an 8 yr old who does chores. Yes, he balks sometimes, but that is one thing I will not compromise on. I believe it is important to teach our kids to work with a good attitude. I also believe it is important to teach that being part of a family means that we all pitch in and keep the house clean, etc. That Mom is not the slave to everyone.

DS2 is almost 7 and has autism, but he also has chores to do. With him, it is especially important for his development to have him be as independent as possible. Even our 1 yr old, I am teaching to throw toys into the bin. Of course, he is way too young to totally comprehend, but I think it is good to start instilling these kinds of things as young as possible.

Yes, I am the mother and take care of my babies. They are not my personal slave boys. However, I will NOT be cleaning up after, catering to and waiting on grown boys in the future, nor will I have them go out into the world not knowing anything about taking care of themselves and a home. I do not believe in women doing it all, and the men not doing anything. I think that is antiquated, sexist BS.
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#14 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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I'm in the "very young kids" bracket, too, and my 2.5 year old DD feeds the cat, and helps me with the laundry (the yawn-dree). She also puts toys into the toybox, etc. I know they are so much more eager at that age, it's a game and "helping mommy" is fun and cool.

But I do have a teenaged sister so it's interesting seeing both sides of the kid spectrum. I think the best thing to do is have a list. A tangible list she can see and know exactly what she has to do. And if she chooses not to do those things then the consequences are clear, like : no tv, no internet, no going out with friends, etc. This way, it's her choice and she knows exactly what will happen...there's no point in throwing a fit bc she knows the rules and boundaries.

Just my $.02!
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#15 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SageRibbon
I think the best thing to do is have a list. A tangible list she can see and know exactly what she has to do. And if she chooses not to do those things then the consequences are clear, like : no tv, no internet, no going out with friends, etc. This way, it's her choice and she knows exactly what will happen...there's no point in throwing a fit bc she knows the
This is exactly how we deal with dd1, who's 15. She knows what her chores are, and what happens if she chooses not to accomplish them. We still have occasional problems with the quality of the work she does (she likes to rush some things so she can go back to doing her own thing), but once she's had to re-do a chore twice to get it right, she takes a little more care the next time.
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#16 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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I would write a list of chores for her to do and then next to it right a priveledge that will be taken away if the shore isn't done. Maybe that way she can connect that hey if I don't set the table for supper I don't get to use the computer for 24 hrs. or something like that. Then help her dictate a set time to do them. Maybe right when she comes home from school for the next half hour she can help with laundry. That way she won't put it off.

My sister growing up was the same way. My mom had a hrad time making her realize she needed to contribute so my mom stopped. SHe stopped washing my sisters clothes and doing her supper dishes and dusting/ vacuuming her room. It took about a week for her to realize if she wanted supper she needed to wash her dishes from the night before. If she didn't want to get picked on in school she needed to put her clothes in the hamper so that they got washed...Just a thought.
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#17 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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My 13 yr old stepson has chores he is expected to do.
-taking out the trash/recycling, to the cans and putting the cans on the curb on pick-up day
-clearing the dinner table and laoding the dishwasher
-cleaning up his room once a week or so
-we are starting to work on doing his own laundry, as well.

Above all else, we stress that privileges (going to the movies, hanging with friends after school and on weekends, watching tv, etc) are a result of fulfilling responsibilities. We don't do a chore chart or track the details closely, but it's a general theme. Also, He gets a $10 allowance each week and while we don't keep track in detail (x chore = x dollars) we do discuss that his chores are his responsibility and if we have to have a big fight about it all the time, we will reassess his allowance and other privileges. We have a family discussion about this from time to time (usually if it seems to become a struggle/battle) and ask for his input on the chores, does he feel like they are reasonable, does he feel like he gets enough free time and privileges? In that context, we are able to hash out the details of the agreement and then if he puts up a fight when chore time comes, all we have to do is gently remind him that these are his responsibilites and this is what is expected of him in our home. He usually comes around pretty quickly.

I know some would say that this is punitive (taking way privileges if he doesn't do his chores) but it works for us. My DSS has special needs and part of his challenges are understanding nuance. We really do have to make things tangible for him in order to set him up for success. It also helps that he is the type of kid who gets easily frustrated if things are out of order, and he knows this, so we discuss how much easier life is when your clothes are clean, the garbage isn't overflowing, and we have clean dishes. Also, we don't "threaten" to take away his allowance... rather we remind him of the agreement he made with us.
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#18 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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I'm not there yet, but I am sure it is a lot easier to get a two year old to pick up his toys than it is to get an 11 yo to fold her laundry!

My question is this--from your signature I see you have three girls. Are the younger two older or younger? Do they have jobs around the house? If not, maybe you should start with a more general conversations about why everyone's contribution matters, and ask them for ways that the can help their home run smoothyly, and pleasantly.

It might be a good place to start. You could begin by getting everyone to make a list together of the daily, weekly and monthly jobs that need to be done. And then talk about who would like to do what for the first week, etc.

Good luck!

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#19 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 01:46 PM
 
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My DD is 10, and she has done chores for years. She does have "assigned" chores--they aren't written, but she knows she is responsible for them. I do ask her every time, it's easier than getting mad because she doesn't notice that it needs to be done. Her regular chores are:

feed the dogs
empty the dishwasher
clear the table after dinner
clean her room (I really don't care much about this, I only make her do it once in a while when it is out of hand)
put away her clean clothes after I've washed and folded them. Sometimes she'll fold and I'll put away for something different.

She balks sometimes, but I just ignore her. She cannot do anything else, including talking on the phone, until the chore is done, so she can take as long as she wants and can whine and complain to her heart's content. That motivates her to get it done in a reasonable amount of time. It also has to be done correctly or I will have her go back and finish. If we had a chronic problem with that, I'd take away privileges, but we don't so I'm not there yet.

For general "I need her to help" stuff, we work together until the house is clean or whatever. Again, it's just a requirement--she has to help me, she can whine and complain but she'd better be cleaning as she whines or she'll get something taken away. She isn't too bad about that stuff though--when we are cleaning together she moves faster and seems to accept that it just needs to be done.

I know this isn't GD, but I honestly don't know if it is possible to get her to the point where she is motivated to do it on her own. She really doesn't care if the dishes are done, and she doesn't understand why I can't do everything. I remember being the same way and I grew out of it.

Oh, one more idea...one of my friends has her DD pay her for undone chores. If her DD doesn't do her chore, her mom will do it, but then her DD is expected to pay her a quarter for each undone chore. Since her allowance is only $3...she's *very* motivated to do her own chores, and that's natural consequences in my mind--I have the choice of doing something or paying someone else to do it.

Anyway, hope some of this helps!

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#20 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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Just a thought (and because I feel bad that my original post wasn't very helpful, LOL)...

Does your DC have anything she *likes* to do around the house? Maybe you could ask her if there were things she would prefer to do. Sometimes having a little bit of choice makes it not so bad, KWIM? Of course some chores are not optional, but maybe having some say would give her some ownership.
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#21 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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My 2.5 y/o DD has sort-of chores, things she helps me with around the house. She helps empty the dishwasher, switch clothes from the washer to the dryer, hands me clothes from the dryer to fold. She's also expected to put her toys away when she's done with them - we're working on that one. I think it's important to help her get into the habit of doing chores around the house when she's young, so that when she's 11 or whatever, there's no moaning about suddenly being expected to contribute to the household.

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#22 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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Here's what we do:

My preteens get "paid" to do chores. Emptying the dishwasher is 10 cents, bringing a bag of garbage outside is 5 cents (or 10 if it's raining.) We have a whole list of every single chore and payment, plus "fines" if they do things like leave dishes on the table when they go to school or toys/clothes on the living room floor after bedtime. It's very simple: you don't want to empty the dishwasher? No problem, I'll do it and you won't get paid. You get into a cleaning mood and feel like doing much more than your usual share? Great! You'll get a concrete reward for your work as well as my gratitute and appreciation and the feeling of accomplishment.

Initially, we were keeping very careful track of everything, and I'm still doing it that way for my 9yo. With my 11yo (more because of her individual temperment than her age) she does chores all week without complaining and she gets $5 at the end of the week as allowance. My goal is to eventually have both of them do chores without complaining and get allowance once a week, but the "pay as you go" method is encouraging my 9yo to do more around the house, as well as eliminating the "It's not fair! Why do I have to do all the work when my sister is doing nothing?"

With their laundry, we have a much more direct system. I'll wash any clothes that are in a hamper, as long as there are empty laundry baskets available, and give them clean, folded (usually) laundry to put away. If they can't find a specific item of clothing because it wasn't put away- that's the "punishment" for not putting it away promptly. If something isn't washed because it's under a piece of furniture instead of in the hamper, it's also natural consequences. If they have no clean clothes because they never put away their laundry and I have no laundry baskets to use, that's also natural consequences. If they wash their own clothes, they get paid for that because that's usually "my" job.

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#23 of 124 Old 01-27-2006, 05:44 PM
 
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My kids are older and have chores. They do not get paid to do them. Everyone who lives in the house, can help keep it clean, lovely and running smoothly.
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#24 of 124 Old 01-28-2006, 01:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starr
I would write a list of chores for her to do and then next to it right a priveledge that will be taken away if the shore isn't done. Maybe that way she can connect that hey if I don't set the table for supper I don't get to use the computer for 24 hrs. or something like that. Then help her dictate a set time to do them. Maybe right when she comes home from school for the next half hour she can help with laundry. That way she won't put it off.
I plan to use a similar method for any potential problems I may have with the chores issue in the future. My parents did this with us, but were not CONSISTENT, so we knew what we didn't really have to do. As long as you stick to what you say you'll do, she'll do what you say!

Also, when I was 11 my family had a rotating job list. The different jobs I was responsible for at different times were:
sweep (daily) and mop (weekly) kitchen/hall, sweep (daily) and mop (weekly) living room, sort laundry, wash laundry, unload the dishwasher, wash handwashable dishes, load dishwasher... and lots more. Then I also had jobs that were just mine all the time... like my bedroom and taking care of my own clothes when they were clean, etc.

I'm not THE most organized person, IMO, but I'm complimented frequently for my organization. And my house it clean, though does get cluttered occassionally. Anyway... hope this was more help.

The first time I responded, I was just responding to the question regarding whether 11 was too young to have chores and since my 2 year old DOES have chores, I definitely wouldn't think 11 was too young!

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#25 of 124 Old 01-28-2006, 05:54 AM
 
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I ran our household when I was nine
Latch key had not been a word yet but that is what I was.
I did everyone's laundry-wash dry put away
cooked dinner and had it on the table when they came home
cleaned the house all of it
and I was only nine...
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#26 of 124 Old 01-28-2006, 06:18 PM
 
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11?
Ally is 18 months, and already has "chores" She picks up all of her toys before she takes her bath at night. Took a couple days of a bit of a struggle, but she just needs a gentle reminder now.
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#27 of 124 Old 01-28-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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I would write a list of chores for her to do and then next to it right a priveledge that will be taken away if the shore isn't done. Maybe that way she can connect that hey if I don't set the table for supper I don't get to use the computer for 24 hrs. or something like that. Then help her dictate a set time to do them. Maybe right when she comes home from school for the next half hour she can help with laundry. That way she won't put it off.
This is very good advice.
Since 11 yr olds can be very good at pleading their case, a reminder that things change - just b/c it wasnt this way before doesnt mean you cant start now!

When my stepkids moved in with us full time years ago, the oldest was 10 and youngest was 4. They didnt do "chores" before. So, we started them(chores) with them at an older age, so I understand where you're coming from. It worked out fine, now they do them w/o having to be told....sometimes.

Set up a plan, be consistent, and it should work out fine. Remember, they can whine all they want while they are doing their chore.
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#28 of 124 Old 02-04-2006, 11:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CerridwenLorelei
I ran our household when I was nine
Latch key had not been a word yet but that is what I was.
I did everyone's laundry-wash dry put away
cooked dinner and had it on the table when they came home
cleaned the house all of it
and I was only nine...
could have written it myself...
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#29 of 124 Old 02-06-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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My DD 6 hrows a fit about the smallest amount of choredom... it's very annoying. I even offer to pay them and they do anything to get out of it. It's sad, really.
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#30 of 124 Old 02-07-2006, 01:49 PM
 
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Definately not too young! All 3 of my kids have thier chores to do and it varies on behavior as well. They all vary depending on age too but ranges from picking up room, folding thier *own* laundry or just putting it away to putting the dog on the rope to use the bathroom in the morning before school. My 7 year old (well almost 7) has one extra one that she gets if she gets sassy with me after school. Sometimes she gets kinda mouthy and I've started making her help with dinner dishes if her evening is not going well. Not only does she get an appropriate punishment for her behavior but I can find out whats going on with her because we have one on one time to talk.

Mom to Joscelyne 14, Andrew 12, and Mackenzie 10 and wife to Nate.
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