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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well the title pretty much sums it up. DH and I are at odds as to how many chores to give my 12yr old DD. Growing up DH pretty much did everything around the house. But growing up I had NO chores at all. So we're coming at this from very different angles. I agree that a child needs chores, but we can't agree on how MANY daily chores a child should have.

Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So, sense she's in 7th grade it looks like 5 chores are expected according to that list. Is that right? That really seems like so much to me! Though to DH he'd be fine with it I'm sure.
 

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My 13 y o DS has taken the trash out for several years now. That's his main chore. He also helps load/unload dishes, load clothes washer (I start it), wash dishes by hand, set the table, he cooks, mows the lawn in warm weather, babysits younger siblings when needed. Sometimes we give our DS an allowance but not usually.
 

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My son has a paper route (that obviously pays) and helps through out the day in the kitchen. We rotate chores (basically kitchen and laundry/vacuuming) with 10 yo dd seasonally. We all have chores that help to keep the house running because we all live here and he needs to know how to do these things. We homeschool which makes a difference to me - we have more time, we make more mess.

I think you need to consider what needs to be done, how much time he has and why you are having him do the chores in order to make the best decision for your family.
 

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I am enjoying all of the great advice, especially mommajb's! I agree that all members of the household should understand that they have responsibilities. I grew up in a household until I was 13 where these responsibilities were simply NOT taken care of at all. When my mom was able to move us out of an extended family situation, my (single) mom took care of most of the chores. My sister and I did laundry and then other major cleaning only when my mom asked us to do it on occasion.

Two of the big issues for me in determining how many chores my stepdaughter should be responsible for are 1) the fact that she is only with us 50% of the time, and 2) how many chores she does at her mom's house. I have basically given up on trying to track the second one and feel that in our household it's our decision how things should be handled. In terms of the first one, I still have to work that out b/c it's hard to remember that she's only there half the time... it doesn't seem right for her to do the amount of chores that a child would do who lived there 100% of the time... in other words, 4 hours of weekly chores is a lot more when she's only here half the time than if she were always here.

Anyway, she is currently responsible for cleaning the cats' litterbox each day that she is with us, feeding the cats each day she is with us, keeping her room basically straight, and vacuuming the whole house (it's three floors, so not a small job...) on the weekends when she is with us. She is also responsible for what I think of as "basic upkeep" -- that is, cleaning up crumbs from the counter when you're done making a sandwich, throwing away your own trash, putting your dishes in the dishwasher, etc. Occasionally, I ask her to help with other chores like unloading groceries, sorting/taking recycling, and taking out the trash.

Currently, she is paid a monthly allowance, but we have explained to her that this is not connected with her chores. Rather, it is a way to allow her to learn to manage her own money -- she is responsible for paying for gifts for friends' bdays, movies, etc. and also for saving about a third of what she gets.

Thanks for the community!
Crystal
 

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In our house, everyone (me, DH, 14-yr-old twin boys) is responsible for making sure things get done around the house. In the summer when they are home all day and DH and I are at work, the boys get a list each day. By the end fo the week they will have mowed the lawn, cleaned up dog poo, done a couple of loads of laundry, put away their own clothes, vacuumed, brushed the dog (he gets walked every day), cleaned their bathroom, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, and cooked their own lunch. They also practice their instruments (almost) every day. Once a week they clean their Grandma's apartment (for pay).

If I have time, or if I just feel like it, I'll mow the lawn. It's not specifically "their" job - it just has to be done.

During the school year, DH and I take on more jobs, because we are all gone during the day. The things we ask them to do depend on how much homework they have and what other activities they have on a given day (Scouts, church).

In our house, if we ask the boys to do something, they do it - not because they have a certain number of chores to do each day, but because, as members of the household, they are partially responsible for these things, and that has always been the way we've operated, so it's second nature.
 

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In my house everyone is responsible for their own stuff. If you bring out a cup, you bring it to the sink - that sort of thing.

In addition to cleaning up after themselves - I ask for 15-30 minutes of housework daily. This often consists of tidying, but can inlude other things. I try to rotate the chores to keep it interesting, but also to teach life skills such as cooking and how to operate the washing machine/lawn mower.

I also try to make sure the jobs assigned are more things that need to be done - as opposed to want to be done. I am not a neatnick - but if I were, I would not expect them to clean to my neatnick standards, yk? Reasonableness should govern.

Another idea to keep in mind - when are kids to do the chores? I find with older kids it is better to say - I want this done by supper time (or whenever) rather than "do this now". It then becomes a task where kids learn about time management and prioritising as well.

I think if you are respectfull, they will be respectfull.....it is reasonable to expect everyone in the house to pitch in.

Good luck!

Kathy
 

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I had a lot of chores as a kid.
I hated them but when I got my own apartment at 17, I knew exactly what I had to do to keep my home running. I even knew how to polish silver, copper and brass. Dad was an army man. When ever we got into trouble, we had to polish all the metal stuff. We even had to polish our shoes once a week.
I look at chores as preparation for life. My kids see it as slave labor!
We don't tie chores to allowance. Allowance is to teach them money management. We do tie chores to screen time. If they blow off chores, they lose screen time on the weekend. They currently have no screen time during the week, other than homework and email. (Thank you MDC for the feedback in determining that!)
So here's what we do...

~7yo DS helps DH w/laundry ...older 2 kids do their own
The following chores are rotated among the kids
~Plan & cook 1 dinner a week (DH, 13yo DD & 12yo DS) They choose from a list of simple meals. I cook the rest of the meals.
~Snow Removal
~Unload DW
~Set diner table
~After dinner, clear, rinse, load DW ...the rest of the day all family members are responsible for loading their own stuff as they use it
~Pick up family room
~Garbage, recycling, compost
~Bathrooms
~Litterbox
~Trash pickup around yard
~Schlep out the junk that accumulates in the car

In addition, each child is responsible for keeping their rooms somewhat orderly during the week with a major pick up/dust/vacuum once per week.
The also pack their own lunches and make their own breakfasts. I provide them with a variety of healthy and easy to prepare choices. I'm always ready to teach a kid how to cook an egg or make tuna salad, etc.

I'm a little anal about clean floors so I still do most of the sweeping, vacuming & mopping.
Because of DH's allergies, I also do most of the garden/yard work.
However, if a kid wants to earn money, I'm happy to pay them to do yard work. I pay them $8/hour and we both determine how long the job should take. I also use yardwork as a consequence if they get into big trouble.
 

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I used to do everything at my house and my mother still wasn't satisfied.

One of my friend's had an interesting set up for chores. Three kids in the family, and one day a week each kid was responsible for basically everything (they were 13, 14, and 16 when I knew them). They cooked any meals that had to be cooked, they took out the garbage if it needed it, they emptied/unloaded the dishwasher, they swept, etc. A ton of chores, but only one day a week. I thought it was interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, thanks for all the responses.
It's hard for me because of never having ANY chores so I feel weird asking DD to do chores. But I also know I would have been MUCH better off if I'd had some. I was totally unprepared for living on my own. I had no idea how to wash dishes, do laundry, etc.

So DH wants DD (12yrs old, 7th grade) to do the dishes everyday, clean the cat box, sweep the cat room floor, feed the cats everyday, and make sure her bathroom (in the public area, but only she uses it) is kept clean (like sweep floors, don't leave her clothes in there, etc). To ME that sounds like SO much to do on top of homework and all that.
 

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My 12 year old does a lot to help around the house without being asked. He does laundry, he washes dishes, he takes care of the animals, and he cooks dinner occassionally. If I need something done, I ask at that moment. Ninety percent of the time he does it willingly. Consequently, I do not assign him any formal chores. I am afraid that if I make it mandatory, I will wreck his natural desire to be helpful!

From the time the kids were small, I taught them how to do chores as they played and "helped" along side me. I have no fear that they will be unable to manage these things as adults.

All that said, if for some reason I DID decide to assign chores..... it would depend totally on what else was going on in the child's life. For some kids in middle school, school work consumes a huge amount of time. Extra-curriculars add more. Added responsibilities should be appropriate for the individual child's capabilities and already existing work load.

You might also ask *her* what she feels is reasonable. If she has a say in determining his contribution, she will make that contribution more willingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well that's part of the problem. She seems to have inherited my lazy gene. I've asked her before what she feels is reasonable and her answer is NO chores, but get $20 a week for allowance. Um... no.

If we don't tell her to do something she will literally do nothing. We've tried it. And if we ASK she says no thanks, she'd rather not. The ONLY way she does ANYTHING is to be told to do it. ~sighs~

She does have homework, but no extra-curricular activities. She's not interested in them. It takes too much work. ~sighs~
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
Well that's part of the problem. She seems to have inherited my lazy gene. I've asked her before what she feels is reasonable and her answer is NO chores, but get $20 a week for allowance. Um... no.

If we don't tell her to do something she will literally do nothing. We've tried it. And if we ASK she says no thanks, she'd rather not. The ONLY way she does ANYTHING is to be told to do it. ~sighs~

She does have homework, but no extra-curricular activities. She's not interested in them. It takes too much work. ~sighs~

that really sucks, cause i was just thinking the same thing .... i think it would be important to gain her interest of involvement before "sentencing her to hard labor" lol

no but really that is how she would see it, then it would cause resentments .. and bla bla you know the story - i would really consider how you go about implementing her new expectations..
 

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My 13 yr old dd just assists w/things as needed other than being responsible for their bathroom upstairs. Along with 12 yr old ds, she helps out with kitchen clean up as needed and she also helps out with laundry if I ask her to throw in a load or fold or whatever.
 

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My 11 yo cleans a bathroom once a week, and dusts one room of the house once a week. Daily, he helps with his sister so I can make breakfast, sets and clears the table for breakfast and dinner (with his brother), and feeds the dog. He and his brother also help with their sister so I can cook dinner (it's either that or peel potatoes - they like to play with her).

When it's laundry day, they'll sometimes help me fold laundry, and if I need them to help vacuum occasionally, they'll do that.

For me, chores are a part of being a family and keeping the house running. My kids know the family relies on them, and we really do.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
I had a lot of chores as a kid.
I hated them but when I got my own apartment at 17, I knew exactly what I had to do to keep my home running. I even knew how to polish silver, copper and brass. Dad was an army man. When ever we got into trouble, we had to polish all the metal stuff. We even had to polish our shoes once a week.
I love this.


My parents were strict with chores as well.
I figure my kids have it *easy* compared to how I had it. My parents were divorced by the time I was 11 and I still remember my dad driving over or calling and telling me what I needed to do around the house to help my mother out. I learned how to do it all and I also had no problem when first moving out to my own place when I was younger. I agree that it helps a child to have chores and not get anything in return for it. We all have to keep house at some point in life unless we grow up rich and always have a housekeeper or fulltime maid.
IMO it's like learning math or reading in school. All this stuff sticks with you and teaches you what you need to know as an adult.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mamaduck
My 12 year old does a lot to help around the house without being asked. He does laundry, he washes dishes, he takes care of the animals, and he cooks dinner occassionally.
wow, that's great. I don't think I've ever met a parent with a child that does things on their own...well with the exception of maybe throwing out their own trash or putting a dish in the sink. My kids all do that.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by amydidit View Post
Hmm, thanks for all the responses.
It's hard for me because of never having ANY chores so I feel weird asking DD to do chores. But I also know I would have been MUCH better off if I'd had some. I was totally unprepared for living on my own. I had no idea how to wash dishes, do laundry, etc.

So DH wants DD (12yrs old, 7th grade) to do the dishes everyday, clean the cat box, sweep the cat room floor, feed the cats everyday, and make sure her bathroom (in the public area, but only she uses it) is kept clean (like sweep floors, don't leave her clothes in there, etc). To ME that sounds like SO much to do on top of homework and all that.
That sounds like maybe 30 mins a day, maybe? feed the cats, the catbox and sweeping cat room would take maybe 10 mins, does she need to sweep everyday? Same goes with sweeping the bathroom floor, every day or once a week. Picking up her clothes should be a given. And the dishes would take the longest, but once again 10-15 mins depending on how many dishes and if you have a dishwasher or not.
 

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My almost-13-year-old doesn't have specific chores every single day.

In the summer when he's home more than the us, he does the dishes and does the general picking up around the house, plus tending to the dogs' needs. During the school year, between school, sports, homework and keeping up with his own room, he doesn't have time for all that, but he does understand that he has to pitch in to keep the household running well.

We assigned him to dishes in the summer because he was going through so many while we were gone. He'd get a new glass every time he wanted a drink. Being responsible for cleaning them cured him of that pretty quickly!
 

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Our 13 year old does not really have a specific list. He does take the trash out for example, but if he does not I, DH, or 11 year old will do it. It is his job to keep his room clean. He cleans it before he ask to go anywhere. We have pick up times where we all pick up a room. But everyone pitches in, no one really has anything assigned.
 
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