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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter will be 10 in march. Since she doesn't do too well with chores if we just ask her I thought I'd introduce some fixed ones. She comes home from school at 2 o'clock

monday: vacuum house

wednesday: clean her bathroom

friday: change her betdsheets and take care of her laundry ( just means going through the warddrobe, getting stuff tidy, pick up "forgotten" laundry, not actually doing laundry)

sunday: tidy and clean room.

Daily:remove own clutter from hallway
: and living room

What do you think?

And what consequences for not doing so...especially leaving her clutter like dishes everywhere?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by huggerwocky View Post
My daughter will be 10 in march. Since she doesn't do too well with chores if we just ask her I thought I'd introduce some fixed ones. She comes home from school at 2 o'clock

monday: vacuum house

wednesday: clean her bathroom

friday: change her betdsheets and take care of her laundry ( just means going through the warddrobe, getting stuff tidy, pick up "forgotten" laundry, not actually doing laundry)

sunday: tidy and clean room.

Daily:remove own clutter from hallway
: and living room

What do you think?

And what consequences for not doing so...especially leaving her clutter like dishes everywhere?
Those are about the same chores we require for our 6 year old. Our 8 year old has several more. Our 11 year old does almost as much as mamma.

When chores are not complete, they haven't earned free time or treats. Completing chores is required to earn those things. About the only thing they can do if they don't do their chores is sit on the couch and sulk. (Mind you, sometimes the belligerent ones will do exactly that...
: )

We've noticed that it helps when everyone is working together.

Praise is also exceptionally helpful. I like to give praise in the same way that Toastmasters taught me to evaluate speeches:

1) You did this well.
2) You did this great.
3) You need to work on this.
4) THIS! is EXCELLENT!

Also, a well placed, "Wow!" will go a long way.

"Hey, Dad, I just cleaned up my room..."
"Really? Wow! It looks great! Good job!"
*BEAMING* "Thanks, Dad!"
"Wanna play Arcanum with me?"
"YEAH!"
 

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My 10 yr olds do their own laundry and help keep the home clean. There are no bribes or taking away of privileges.
Natural consequences of not doing your laundry is no clean clothes.
Natural consequences of not having a clean, organized home is having a messy, disorganized home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
My 10 yr olds do their own laundry and help keep the home clean. There are no bribes or taking away of privileges.
Natural consequences of not doing your laundry is no clean clothes.
Natural consequences of not having a clean, organized home is having a messy, disorganized home.
Yes, a messy home where I ! will have to live without dishes!

I don't mind washing her laundry.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by huggerwocky View Post
Yes, a messy home where I ! will have to live without dishes!

I don't mind washing her laundry.
I do the dishes. I tried letting them do them and they weren't clean enough for me. Laundry is easier for them to do. They only do their own laundry, no one elses. They each have their own laundry basket and as soon as it's full, they wash it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
I do the dishes. I tried letting them do them and they weren't clean enough for me. Laundry is easier for them to do. They only do their own laundry, no one elses. They each have their own laundry basket and as soon as it's full, they wash it.
Well we have a dishwasher. But one needs to put the dishes into it which is a problem if I wait for her to get them out of her room or anywhere else by herself. That's why I need consequences...I don't want to live in HER dirt.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by huggerwocky View Post
Well we have a dishwasher. But one needs to put the dishes into it which is a problem if I wait for her to get them out of her room or anywhere else by herself. That's why I need consequences...I don't want to live in HER dirt.
Our three-year-old is responsible for unloading the silverware and putting it in the drawer. He is also responsible to see that the right amount of soap is put into the dishwasher, closing the door and starting it. (After his older sister--6--has loaded the dishwasher.) His little, detail-oriented mind latches onto such activity with relish. It's not really a "chore" for him. He treats is like a cherished duty.


My oldest (11) has a chore that she despises and we have to remind her every week to do. Cleaning out the 25 gallon gerbil cage/aquarium. She despises it. (Frankly, it smells pretty bad by a week.) I've suggested that we get rid of the gerbils, but she's unwilling to let them go.

All of the kiddos generally compete to be the most diligent worker because we've established certain treats for that status. Each day the most diligent worker gets to lay out the food for dinner. This is especially nice because we don't restrain them from nibbling as they do so. Big incentive for them!


I don't like to make "treats" exclusively from food, so we also have "movie treats". When all the kids get all their chores done by whatever time mamma has established, they get to watch a movie that night. More importantly, they get to pick the movie.

Another "treat" is going shopping at Costco with Dad. I like to go when they have samples. So, it's a bit of a food treat as well as an "out with Dad" treat...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Vellorian View Post

I don't like to make "treats" exclusively from food, so we also have "movie treats". When all the kids get all their chores done by whatever time mamma has established, they get to watch a movie that night. More importantly, they get to pick the movie.

Another "treat" is going shopping at Costco with Dad. I like to go when they have samples. So, it's a bit of a food treat as well as an "out with Dad" treat...

I don't have the money or resources to offer treats, so, it ends up being about how we feel about each other and how we feel about our home.
It also helps us not to teach materialism and greed.
 

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DD(11) and I share most chores with some of my oldest son's help thrown in, she does almost as much as I do. The only things she doesn't do is the (tiny) fish tank, just because I haven't taught her yet, and vaccuming, and loading the dishwasher (she empties it). She doens't get any reward for it but she doesn't complain much, she knows I'll stop helping and let her do it herself (Oh, I'm awful I know)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by Vellorian View Post
Our three-year-old is responsible for unloading the silverware and putting it in the drawer. He is also responsible to see that the right amount of soap is put into the dishwasher, closing the door and starting it. (After his older sister--6--has loaded the dishwasher.) His little, detail-oriented mind latches onto such activity with relish. It's not really a "chore" for him. He treats is like a cherished duty.


My oldest (11) has a chore that she despises and we have to remind her every week to do. Cleaning out the 25 gallon gerbil cage/aquarium. She despises it. (Frankly, it smells pretty bad by a week.) I've suggested that we get rid of the gerbils, but she's unwilling to let them go.

All of the kiddos generally compete to be the most diligent worker because we've established certain treats for that status. Each day the most diligent worker gets to lay out the food for dinner. This is especially nice because we don't restrain them from nibbling as they do so. Big incentive for them!


I don't like to make "treats" exclusively from food, so we also have "movie treats". When all the kids get all their chores done by whatever time mamma has established, they get to watch a movie that night. More importantly, they get to pick the movie.

Another "treat" is going shopping at Costco with Dad. I like to go when they have samples. So, it's a bit of a food treat as well as an "out with Dad" treat...

Too bad I can't use the competition factor...good idea though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
I don't have the money or resources to offer treats, so, it ends up being about how we feel about each other and how we feel about our home.
It also helps us not to teach materialism and greed.
?

So I teach her to not be materialistic and she'll stop being madame de Attitude when I ask her to vacuum because it's monday?

I don't want to offer treats, I want to introduce consequences. We all live here and edveryone needs to help.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by huggerwocky View Post
?

So I teach her to not be materialistic and she'll stop being madame de Attitude when I ask her to vacuum because it's monday?

I don't want to offer treats, I want to introduce consequences. We all live here and edveryone needs to help.
I think punishments and name-calling ("madame de Attitude") are antithetical to an creating an atmosphere where everyone wants to help.

Nine is still little, in my book. I wouldn't expect something like vacuuming the whole house on a regular basis... that's a big job for me, even.
Once you *require* chores, sporadically or according to a schedule, I think you vastly cut down on the liklihood that your child will voluntarily help out, if she doe.n'ts "have to".

The child who acts the most unlovable is the one who needs love the most, and it's tough to be nine. What if you spent a month not requiring anything at all of her? No consequences if she chooses not to do stuff; if you ask her then make sure she knows it's truly *asking*, and she can say no if she chooses. No verbal or not-verbal hints that she *should* be doing this stuff.
I would bet that by the end she would be helping out, and she would feel more ownership of those tasks. If they're not freely chosen, it's hard to get to the "we all live here and we all help" place.

dar
 

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Some things to consider.....since she has never had fixed chores all of a sudden requireing them of her 4 days a week might be pushing it a bit. If it was my dd I would start with one of those things: Bring all your dishes to the kitchen before you go to bed

In a few weeks, once the first becomes habit, I would add another: dishes to the kitchen before bed and clean your bathroom once a week When both of those sink in as habit add another. It takes roughly 27 days of consistenly doing the task for it to become habit so give her some time to get used to doing these chores, esp if you've never kept up with making her do them in the past.

Check out www.flylady.net for some great tips on how to get your kids involved with cleaning up after themselves and for helping out around the house.

My two, aged 12 and 9, have a "zone" in their rooms that they have to spend a maximum of 15 minutes straightening....it normally only takes them 5-10 to get the zone done. We divided their room into 5 sections and each day they do a max of 15 minutes in each section...by the weekend their rooms are tidy enough. They also have daily chores like clearing and washing off the table after meals, scooping the cat litter, getting any dirty laundry out of their bathroom, and wiping down thier sink after brushing thier teeth. We don't allow food on the carpeted areas of the house so dishes all over have never been a problem....if you eat you eat where there is tile, simple rule and keeps the dishes within easy reach of the kitchen...not to mention it keeps the carpets cleaner.


She didn't get this way overnight so make sure you just stay consistent with her and let her get used to the new routines. My kids like to race the timer to see how quickly they can complete a task. Set a timer for 15 minutes, give them the task, YELL ready! Set! Go! and hit the start button on the timer (you can use the one on the microwave or stove if you don't have a regular one). For one this makes the chore fun for two it shows them that if they work quickly they don't have to spend forever doing the task at hand. Good luck with her!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Nine is still little, in my book.
I think you'll get better long-term results with a gentle approach.
You could make a list of what needs to be done in the house and she can pick a couple of things off the list. You might have to show her how to "clean the bathroom sink" or whatever- she may only have a vague notion.
You might just have her assist you- as a real cleaning partner, not a lowly "go-fer". (And children know the difference!)
Praise her efforts.

As for her leaving dishes everywhere- you could keep all eating in the kitchen/dining room only for now.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies View Post
Laundry is easier for them to do. They only do their own laundry, no one elses. They each have their own laundry basket and as soon as it's full, they wash it.
That is how we handle the laundry too. DD, who is 7, is also expected to check the kitties food and water everyday (they let her know if she forgets
) and to straighten up her room as it gets dirty.

She also helps out with random chores around the house as we do them. I try to make them fun. If Im getting started washing the dishes, I will declare a dish hunt, and she will run around the house finding all of the dishes that got lost around the house. We will turn up the music and dance around the house while vacuuming. I will sweep the floor, and she will follow me with the mop. I try to involve her in a lot of the activities that keep our house running. I think it's important to teach children what it takes to keep up on the chores. It's also nice to have company while doing things that have to be done. It makes it more fun.
 

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We also use the Flylady system for keeping the house. At 10, they start doing their own laundry. They know the expectation is to pick up after themselves. If someone dumps their coat on the floor instead of putting it on the hook, I'll just stop them from whatever they are doing and tell them to go take care of the coat. The third week of the month is when we do their rooms, so they know that week we'll be dusting and sweeping and going through the clutter.

Otherwise, it's really pretty general with the same expectations for all of us. Bed made, toys picked up, plate in the sink after meals, etc. They each have a checklist in their room to use as a reminder. I made it before they could read, so there are pictures with making the bed, picking up toys, completing homework, brushing teeth, dirty clothing in their hamper.

Since you are new to the chores I would start with the daily picking up of her toys and clutter. We call it "room zooming." I set a timer and we ALL pick up our stuff and put it away. When we first started it took 15 min. Now, it takes two if we have to do it at all. Get her a basket to carry stuff to make it easier and be sure you are picking up anything you've left out at the same time. If you begin having a routine of doing this, I think you'll find that you don't need a consequence system. But you, as the parent, have to be consistent and do this daily. Make sure she really has a place to keep the stuff.

We don't have any type of reward or negative consequence system. Somehow, with Flylady's help, we've all been able to work as a team to keep the house nice.
 

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Those are great ideas! My oldest is almost 11 and is good about cleaning his room, although I don't push it. A little clutter is fine, only human. But he is required to take out the trash if he is home and it needs to be disposed of. He also helps a LOT with his 4 yr old sister, as does his brother. I don't put too much on him at this age since he has homework and things he wants to do by himself when he gets home from school.

Plus, I'm very picky about how I want things tidied up. I'd rather do it myself than to have to go behind them and do it again.
 

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I've taken the approach with my nine year old of integrating "chores" into her routine - which she thrives on. That in conjunction with limited TV and playdates with friends has helped motivate her. Completeing her tasks is also connected to her allowance. This is new for us. She's gotten an allowance since she was four - which includes lessons on giving away and managing money - and I felt it was time for her to make the transition to "real world" work=money. She can lose AND earn extra money each week.

She needs to set her own alarm clock and get up on time, complete all her tasks before we leave the house at 8:00 (this includes making her bed, flossing/brushing teeth, doing her hair, loading her breakfast dishes, making her lunch and snack and loading up her backpack) without reminding. After school, she has a snack and does her homework right away, then unloads the dishwasher before anything else.

Weekly she dusts and vacuums her room and sorts her laundry and puts it away once it's clean. She's also responsible for adding things to the grocery list if she's the one to use the last of it. She also has to put away her things and reload the tp roll.
You get the drift - my purpose in life is NOT to follow her around and clean up after her. I've been known to often exclaim, "Oh, did you want ME to pick that up?"

My husband also requires her to say "hi" when she enters a room.
 

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There are some great points here...

My kids help out because it is part of being a family. They both have certain responsibilities (usually added one at a time and ingrained before adding more) but it is their job as a part of the family to help out. No rewards, no punishment.

I really liked the idea of having them help clean with mom or dad. It's a great time to just chat and have some one-on-one time as well as teaching them how to do the job properly.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Nine is still little, in my book. I wouldn't expect something like vacuuming the whole house on a regular basis... that's a big job for me, even.
It probably depends on the house. My 12 year old is responsible for vacuuming the downstairs every other day. It takes about 12 minutes. If I added the three bedrooms upstairs, it would take about 17 minutes. I don't require that she move furniture and stuff; just that the obvious fuzz and fur and stuff on the floor be gone.

Quote:
Once you *require* chores, sporadically or according to a schedule, I think you vastly cut down on the liklihood that your child will voluntarily help out, if she doe.n'ts "have to".
This has not been my experience with any of my three kids. My first (bio) child, who is four, has always been the type to try to to do as little as possible ... for example, if she is at the table eating and says "Get me a knife please" but I am also at the table eating, I say, "I will get one for you when I am done eating or you can get one for yourself now," and she says "Efram, get me a knife please ... Desta, get me a knife please." She's kinda lazy that way. And I am not being mean about that ... she's just like I was when I was a kid and the way I still would be if I didn't have three kids, a husband, a dog, and a house to take care of. My parents didn't require chores and I rarely helped around the house. I think I left my mom carrying way too much of the load and I am sorry that she didn't require that I help out.

Here's what my kids do:

Efram (3): Dress himself, brush own teeth, make bed, pick up anything on the bedroom floor not in its home and take it home, put away his folded laundry (which I divide into piles: socks and underwear, top drawer; shirts, middle drawer; pants, bottom drawer; jammies, jammie basket); set the table for dinner, clear away own dishes and put in open dishwasher, and, last but not least, "help in any other way when asked"

Ramona (4): Dress herself, brush own teeth, make bed, pick up anything on the bedroom floor not in its home and take it home, put away her folded laundry (which I divide into piles: socks and underwear, top drawer; shirts, middle drawer; pants, bottom drawer; jammies, jammie basket); feed the dog and cats breakfast, lunch, and dinner and make sure they have water, clear away own dishes and put in open dishwasher, and, last but not least, "help in any other way when asked"

Desta (12, but emotionally more like 7-9): Get dressed, brush teeth, make bed, tidy bedroom, put away folded laundry (I don't sort hers by drawer), unload the dishwasher, vacuum downstairs (every other day), vacuum stairs (once per week), clear away own dishes and put in the dishwasher (even if it's not already open), wash the insides of the windows (once per week), dust the downstairs (once per week), clean her bathroom (once per week), and, last but not least, "help in any other way when asked"

Desta does her chores first thing in the morning and it usually takes her 20-40 minutes. She asked me one day "Is washing the windows part of homeschool?" and I said, "No, washing the windows is part of being a family member."

I have not found that having "chores" makes my kids resistant to helping. Desta and Efram, in particular, are always eager to help out. Ramona is doing much better about helping out now that she knows that it is expected, and she feels really good about being able to do what she does (especially taking care of the animals). We don't have much grumbling about chores.

The consequences for not doing chores are that Momma comes to ask you to do them or that you don't get to do whatever it is you are going to do until you do your chore. For example, the younger kids frequently run off after a meal to play; I simply remind them that before they start playing "baby raven" (the newest imagination game) they need to put their dishes in the dishwasher. No big deal. Yesterday Desta came to me with her coat on and said she was going down the street to see a friend. I said, "Ok, did you finish folding the towels in the bathroom?" (something I had asked her to do because the kids had used the towels to build a fort). She said no, and I said, "Ok, you can go see your friend as soon as it's done." No big deal. Five minutes later, she left.

I am not of the opinion that the parents should carry the burden of running the house until the kids feel inspired to help out. I am of the opinion that if the family uses the house, the family is responsible for keeping it running and tidy. Since I understand better what needs to be done, I delegate the responsibilities. I made a list of what needs to be done, and each kid chose some chores. I think that's fair because I don't think I should be left holding the bag just because my kids are younger. I expect that by the time my kids are teens, they will be doing about as much as I do to help around the house. I also tell them that the less time I have to spend doing chores, the more time I have to spend with them (and I follow through on this). It benefits my kids not to leave me with all the work. I make a very clear connection for my kids: "Thanks, Desta, for vacuuming. While you did that I loaded the dishwasher and wiped down the counters. Now I have time to play Uno with you."

Namaste!
 
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