Chores, what's expected in your home?

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Chores, what's expected in your home?
9
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 3:50pm
Sean has three chores to complete each week - cleaning his bathroom (it's the main one on the 2nd floor but since Robert and I have our own bathroom he's the only who uses it since Scott isn't trained yet ~fingers crossed though LOL~), cleaning his room and putting away his clothes (this is usually a 2 day job since he changes clothes frequently).

Lately, we've been talking about adding a chore to the list - namely, washing his clothes as well as putting them away. Sean's initial reaction probably wouldn't have been much different if I had suggested throwing all the electrical appliances out and reverting to a more simplified lifestyle.

I've talked to other parents IRL and discovered that Sean's chore list is about average for his age. Sean gets an allowance when the chores are completed correctly, though I'm finding that is less common. What chores, if any, are assigned in your home? Are chores tied to allowance or completely separate? I can't wait to read your responses.

Best Always,

Sherrie

co-cl


Edited 7/21/2003 3:51:17 PM ET by cl-iluv_being_a_mom

Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for digger30
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 07-21-2003 - 5:59pm
At our house the kids are responsible for keeping their rooms picked up and stuff put away, clean laundry put away, they alternate days of washing the breakfast dishes,(while school is out), beds made, and feeding and watering their birds. Tel has to take out the trash, Brooke takes out the recycle stuff. This summer Tel has also been helping mow the yard, I do the trimming with the push mower, he does the riding. That's about it. If I need help with cleaning the house so we can do something fun like going swimming then they have to help me or they don't get to go. My kids don't get much allowance, we've told them that if they do all of their chores without having to be reminded or told several times then they will get a raise in it but they aren't motivated to do it so the allowance has stayed the same.

Dawn

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 9:20am
I've found that if it's not daily little things to do, it gets forgotten, such as emptying the house garbage cans weekly - he did it once, and that was that. He's pretty consistent on helping clear the table at breakfast and dinner (we're not home at lunch; work/camp or school pretty much interfere), and is very good at keeping the cat's and dog's food dishes full (dry food, they free feed), and the water bowl clean and full. He's the one who can consistently get the dog in, so he's constantly doing that for us. He used to be pretty good about putting out napkins at meals; now he helps more in food preparation and getting it to the table, so I'll take it - good skills for his future! Toys have always been picked up prior to leaving a room (since preschool). But getting him to clean his room can be a major thing, because he says, 'it's clean', which is definitely a difference of opinion from mine!! He does enjoy watering the outside potted plants or cleaning the sliding doors, so I capitalize on that on occasion...

Sue

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 11:13am
I see that the chore expectations are similar in our households. I know what you mean, Sean definitely isn't motivated to do much beyond the minimum without several reminders. Since we tie allowance to the chores, we also set up a system whereby the allowance gets dropped a certain amount for each reminder that's needed to do his regular chores.

Best Always,

Sherrie

Sherrie Rainbow

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 11:22am
Sean's had the same chores for about a year, essentially one for each weekday with Thursday's off because my parents visit that night; he'll still ask me what chore he's supposed to do on any given night. Did I mention that it hasn't changed in a year???? LOL

I struggle with that "clean enough" definition too. Since it was causing stress in the household, we sat down and wrote a list of what was considered "clean enough". Now it is clear and Sean uses the list as a doublecheck to make sure he's done everything.

I'm with you on taking advantage when an opportunity presents itself. Sean likes to mow the yard and vacuum, so I let him when he asks. After his initial reaction to the idea of washing his own clothes, he actually asked if I would show him how to do it. Good thing I was sitting down at the time, I might have fallen otherwise ;-).

Best Always,

Sherrie

co-cl

Sherrie Rainbow

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Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 07-22-2003 - 7:38pm
Sam and Rachel really don't have a lot of chores. I expect them to make their beds daily (Sam almost always does; Rachel often needs reminding), and put all dirty and clean clothes in their proper places. I usually put away the clean laundry, but if they're around, I'll ask them to do it and they do. They clear the table when reminded. They set it when asked, although it's not a regular chore I save for them. They both like to help make dinner now, particularly Rachel, so she'll often be cutting something up while I do something else. They water the outside plants while they wait for the camp bus now.

I used to have them empty the wastebaskets around the house, but as Sue said, that got forgotten, so I don't worry about it.

I think the reason I'm not so strict about asigning specific chores (seeing as I'm strict on most other things ;-) is that Sam and Rachel are willing to help when asked, and I expect them to do so cheerfully. On the other hand, they could be doing a lot more, and I just don't feel like being the reminder or the enforcer, or creating charts or whatever. I think if they were reluctant to help when asked, my attitude would be different.

I don't tie their allowance to chores. I have other consequences for unmade beds and messy rooms, like no doing xxx until your responsibilities are taken care of. I don't want someone deciding they don't want to bother helping me and they don't care about the money, or asking me "how much?" when I ask for help emptying the dishwasher or whatever. (I recognize that "fines" may work with some children.) I believe all household members have to help and do their share, and I believe it's important for children to have their own spending money as members of the household. I do pay extra for "optional" chores. For example, weeding the flower bed, sweeping out the garage, and we usually give them something for shoveling in a big snow storm when they're really helpful.

I think it's great if Sean wants to do laundry! I should really have S&R at least fold and put away their laundry. Probably when I go back to work I will do that next.

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-23-2003 - 6:35am
I am very lax on the allowance thing ... start off every year on the right footing, but slack off within months. Primarily because I think if I'm giving out allowance, then that money needs to be used for things I tend to dish out money for (going bowling or to movies, video games, candy bars, etc.) SO, that's an area I need to focus on, too, as far as giving REGULAR allowance and what that money is to be used for (instead of handing out cash that accumulates while I'm still paying for all the extras.) But, I don't tie allowance to chores, per se. Chores are done as contributing members to a family. DH and I both work outside the home ... I tell the kids that school is their 'job' ... but since we're all gone for many hours, it's important that we all pull together to keep the house running.

Also, I tie in chores to privileges. Much easier during the school year than in the summer, for sure. But, Kevin has a 'chore chart' which lists his "TO DO" stuff for after school. Each day includes homework plus 3 small chores. This is not meant to get a lot of stuff done, but more to teach him a sense of 'responsibility' and giving to the family. He earns no privilege until those items are complete (and basically everything in our home is a privilege ... watching TV, riding bikes, going to baseball practice.) His 'list' one day, for instance, may be: take out garbage, feed the dog, set the table. Chores take 15-20 min (at most) plus homework. AND, by having a list posted on the 'frig, I get away from the nagging game. He knows to 'check the chart' when he gets home. It works out well. Cleaning his room is his responsibility. I will also ask for some more 'help' as needed (and I think on Saturday, his list says something like "any other chore mom/dad ask of you.) He's good about helping DH with yard work.

Totally slacking off in the summer ... all of us! Our routines aren't consistent, so it's harder to stick to a routine, although I try to get him to still help out daily. But, that's what we do. I need to alter the chart before school starts again because with middle school, he'll get home later ... and then will have less time between school and baseball practice for chores and homework, so we may need to move some of this to the mornings BEFORE school or something.

Nancy

Nancy 

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 07-28-2003 - 10:34pm
I started a chore chart this summer with chores for each child listed for the day. On most days its one chore plus feed the cat for my 10 year old. Except for Monday because thats my cleaning day then he has 2 chores plus feed the cat. I switch things around each week between my 3 kids. This way they don't get bored and learn how to do different things. Some examples are vacuum the livingroom, wash the dishes, fold laundry, do a load of laundry, mop the kitchen. I had been very lax in giving my kids chores before and I am very pleased with how well they have been doing them and I plan to continue with it once school starts, but perhaps a few less.

Leesa

Leesa

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Registered: 07-29-2003
Tue, 07-29-2003 - 12:26pm
My 10 yr old Aaron has a list of 6 chores. He feeds the dogs everyday. He takes the trash out twice a week. He also has to clean his bedroom and the toy room once a week. And he does the dishes once a week. My 5 yr old has about the same set up. His daily chore is cleaning the coffee table. Aaron gets $10.00 and Justin gets $5.00 if they do their chores. There however is a catch. All the money goes into piggy banks and is saved till Christmas.. That is the money they will use to buy gifts for each other and their grandparents.
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Registered: 09-09-2003
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 9:36pm
I have a 10 year old daughter and a 9 year old son. I am a single mom and chores for the kids have been a regular thing for a while. They both do dishes, set the table, clean their rooms, help with the laundry, put their clothes away, dust and vacuum, take out the garbage, help grocery shop and put groceries away and clean up after themselves. I don't feel there is any age that is too young to learn responsibility by doing chores. All you are doing is teaching your children to become self-sufficient and that can never be a bad thing. They do receive a weekly allowance, but it is not necessarily tied directly to their chores. Sometimes, if they are extremely helpful, I may give them a "bonus"; but it is never something promised in exchange for the extra help. It is an unexpected surprise for them and makes them want to help more often without being "bribed".