What Chores Do You Give Your Kids?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2007
What Chores Do You Give Your Kids?
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 1:57am

Do you make your kids make up their beds every morning?  My son is 9 years old and I was making him do this, but I recently talked to a psychologist and he told me to let him be messy.  I also make him clear up his dishes after eating (put them in the sink) and he still won't do it if I don't remind him.  I also make him take out the trash once a week and he always has to be reminded for this too! 

My husband thinks I should leave him alone and let him be a boy, but I just want him to learn responsibility, and I'm worried if I let him be messy he's going to turn into a slob like my husband, who I hate picking up after. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2006
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 1:02pm
I agree with you whole-heartedly that they need responsibility. My 9 year old is responsible for taking the trash out, then rolling the bin to the curb once a week. Both of my boys are responsible for carrying their dirty dishes to the sink. But, we all do this. DH is expected to take his to the sink as well.
They are also expected to keep their dirty clothes in the hamper...if it's not in there, it doesn't get washed.

I'm not much of a stickler on making the bed because mine is usually not made either. :smileytongue:

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Thu, 08-23-2012 - 1:12pm
My kiddos do chores each day. I think it teaches them responsibility. Also, they are a part of the family, so they need to pitch in and help like the rest of us.

I make up a chore chart for them and we rotate duties. Some of the things they do: feed the dogs, empty trash cans in the office and bathrooms, clean up toys/rooms and make their beds, empty the dishwasher, and wiping down the bathroom counters. Usually they are responsible for about 3 things each day and they do their chores in the afternoon and/or after school. We don't have enough time in the mornings as it is. I can't imagine adding chores to the morning rush!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 08-24-2012 - 12:18pm

My kids have chores to varying degrees. My thought is that everyone helps out to the extent that he/she is able. Dh does a TON - I never pick up after him (he's more likely to pick up after everyone else). Dd21 is a bit of a slob and she doesn't make her bed (please, she can't even find it). She pretty much just does what she needs to do (washes her clothes, cleans the bathroom because she messes it up, cooks and cleans up after herself in the kitchen). Ds12 and ds10 "straighten" their beds. Bunkbeds (and the top has a permanent rail) are hard to make, so they just need to smooth it all out, clear it off, etc. They can both put in/transfer laundry, pick up, vacuum, dust, and do the dishes. Our rule is that no one leaves the kitchen until it is clean. I usually mow because dh has a bad back and I like mowing. We tried teaching ds12 this summer but he's not strong enough. The boys are quite good and responsible with chores. We tend to do a lot of "group" cleaning - everyone cleans up after dinner, we all clean the house on a Saturday morning, etc. Dd19 is away at college, but she is fairly neat and  does a lot.

I don't really understand the "let him be a boy" unless you are seriously overworking the kid. Of course I don't expect my kids to do as much as I and DH do, but they should be responsible. Last year ds12 had a time in school and with activities where he was really swamped, so he didn't do as much. Today after school, ds10 has both baseball and soccer practice, so I doubt he'll clean up, but that's just common sense.

Dh can't believe how little most men do; he says he'd be mortified to have his wife cleaning up after him, or to be sitting around watching a football game while I fold laundry. He predicts that our sons' wives will be thanking us, but that our daughters are in for a rude awakening. Dh is very "mom like" in that he will say he's going to bed, then start the dishwasher, double check that one of the kids has a permission slip, remind me to call my sister in the morning because it's her birthday... I don't think most men are like that (and dh works 60 hours a week while I am a sahm). Teach your boys well - dh used to laugh and say, "wow, I never knew that cleaning the kitchen and remembering that ds needed new cleats was such an aphrodisiac." But it is... it really is....

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2007
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 3:10am
How old are your boys? Do they complain or whine about doing them? Also, do you give them an allowance?
Avatar for sunset5000
Community Leader
Registered: 10-10-2007
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 1:19pm

Hello everyone,

I am new to this board, as my son will turn 8 yrs. old in October.

This is a good topic and I was glad to learn that it sounds like most of you do the same thing we just started doing a month ago with our son.

He also:  has to put his dirty cloths in his basket, bring his dirty dishes to the counter/sink, throw away any wrappers on the table when he has a snack. He takes a big trash bag and goes through the house to the little trash cans in the bathrooms and the office and empties them 4 days a week.  I use to make him make his bed, but as someone else mentioned, it is hard to make the top of a bunk bed sometimes :smileyhappy:

I have a chore chart I got at Target, but have not used it yet.  My husband started a allowance for the various chores I mentioned.  We are still deciding what amount of money per chore is appropriate.  We had got to the point of doing the allowance because we want him to understand money (he has a hard time understanding why mommy or daddy doesn't have much money on a given week).  And, he does not realize that many kids do not get toys as often as our kids do.  Yes, I admit, I spoil and now I am paying for it, trying to make him be appreciative and not expect toys.  Sorry if that sounds snobby.

My background is in Psychology and I was surprised to read that the psychologist said that!!!  Hmmm.....???

Anyway, that is my chore story :smileyhappy:  I am glad I found this board!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 9:31pm
Hi Heidi! Welcome to the board, I'm so glad you found us.
I can totally relate to spoiling the kids. So, no, it does not sound snobby to me at all! Let me know if you find a way to reverse the damage! :smileyvery-happy:

I love to hear others chore stories. My oldest kids thought they had it so hard, having chores. But, I think it builds responsibility.

Thanks for joining! I'm Dana and I have Kolby (9 and in 4th grade) and Riley (5 and in K).

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2006
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 9:14am
Hi and welcome to the board! Looks like you have a great system.

My youngest is 5 and he, just now, learned the feeling of accomplishment where he did his chores, got his allowance and was able to buy his own toy at the dollar store. It made him feel so big.

Thanks for joining us!