Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chores for Children

It seems like ever since our daughter could walk and follow simple instructions, we have been giving her easy chores to do around the house.  At first our conversations probably sounded something like this:

Mommy:  Sweetie, can you please put your toy in that basket?
Child:  {puts toy in basket}
Mommy:  {smiling} YAY!!
Child:  {claps and jumps with excitement}

At some point in that same child's life, after the initial joy of helping mommy and daddy wears off, it becomes a chore for them to do their chores!!  I know in our household we have gone through many chore charts and reward systems through the years. 

When she was little, we started out with things like: go potty, brush teeth, get dressed.  Then she graduated to: make bed, clean room, clear table.  Now that she's 7 1/2 we've added: empty dishwasher and dust. 

We've also used many different rewards:  stickers, loose change, prizes, and now we offer an allowance (which she separates between save, spend, and donate).  There have always been consequences for not doing chores as well: no reward, time out, allowance taken away, etc.

Right now her daily chores include getting herself ready for the day, making her bed, cleaning her room, and performing one extra chore each day (she can pick her extra chore unless I have something specific for her to do).  We don't even use a chart anymore, she just knows what she has to do (and if she doesn't I remind her).  ;o)

What are the ages of your children and what chores do you have them do?  What rewards do you give them?  I'm sure there are some families struggling with this right now and would love to hear your ideas!

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All my kids have chores....some daily, some weekly, some indoor, and some outdoor. With 6 kids (plus watching 4 of the grandkids everyday who insist on their share of chores) at home, doesn't leave much else as "MY" chores lol Oh....ages 16 to age 4 have chores. Makes it nice. We were doing an allowance system, like you, them having to separate out for spending, saving, and tithing. Worked out great. Then we got a bit strapped. I need to start it up again but the kids do understand that chores isn't a paid job, it is their part to keeping our household running fairly smoothly.


My youngers are still in the stage where chores are a coveted priviledge (I just gave over dishwasher duty to my 7 yo daughter and she was THRILLED). Yay!

I do like the Duggars' idea (it may not be theirs originally, but it's where I hear it first) of using the term "jurisdictions." I think it makes it sound more you are really contributing to the family. I think kids are more connected to their families and can feel a sense of true usefulness when they know what they do matters to someone or something.

We stress to my oldest (at home) son (age 13) that as he instructs the youngers to do more of his easier duties, he will be able to give those up. He is currently teaching the 7 yo to care for the chickens, so she and the 5 yo boy can take over that duty (with my older son's supervision) and he will have one less set of animals to feed.

I try to make sure that I tell my kids how much I appreciate their contributions and their hard work. We don't really do allowances at this point (the oldest gets some money, but it's not work related), but we do point out that the times we come together to have fun (pizza, game, and movie nights) are a reward for all their hard work on school, chores, and getting along. Isn't it nice to relax together and have fun after a productive week?




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About chores, besides their basic chores of making their beds, putting their laundry away and keeping their rooms picked two older kiddos {9&6} take turns wiping the table and sweeping after each meal. I am also training them how to clean their own bathroom {sink, mirror and vacuum floor}.

I am beginning to work with ds4 on some small chores for him, like emptying the bathroom trash and putting toilet paper in each bathroom.

Sometimes the hardest part is me remembering to remind them about their chores :)

Busy Buzzer

Hi! I am a new follower..found your blog browsing through PFB. I recently wrote about this same topic on my blog. In our house, there are some chores that are just expected to be done; others get rewarded. I think every family is different and you just need to do works best for you.

~Busy Buzzer
Buzzing the Day Away


We start teaching chores or household responsibilities from a young age. My eldest (also 7 1/2) and her 5yo sister empty and fill the dishwasher, they empty the recycling cans, as well as collect the trash from the house and pull the cans to the front of the house. My youngest, 23 months, loves to sweep and dust, although most times neither gets done, he just like playing with the tools. He also helps push the laundry into the dryer when I drop it on the dryer door from the washer. He thinks it's a game.

Our Homeschool Reviews

Thanks for all the great comments and ideas! It is nice to see what other families do!


We are always trying to find more ways to get our 4 children involved with chores. Right now we rotate lots of chores in the kitchen: empty dishwasher, wipe table, vacuum floor. They also have to make their beds and put clean clothes away. We are slowly adding more and more things for them to do to help around the house! Thanks for linking this up to NOBH!

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