Friday, March 18, 2011

Kids’ Chores

I’ve been thinking lately about kids and chores.  I think we’re going to switch to an allowance system where they earn their money by doing their chores, rigged a bit, so they end up with the same amount we think they should have.

While I have a few things I already get them to help me with, they aren’t done on a regular basis.  I get the kids to help with whatever I am doing.  If I am cleaning the living room, then I hand them things to put away.  If I am folding Laundry, I give them their clothes to put away.  When we are setting the table, I hand them some of the dishes, etc.  If they aren’t around, or I’m in a hurry, I often just do it myself.

I’d like to move to a system where they are responsible for doing their chores, and knowing when it needs to be done.  I think I’ll have a check mark chart for keeping track of when they do their jobs, and pay them once a week by transfer into their bank account.  Some chores will be mandatory and unpaid, because you are part of our family and everyone helps.  Others will be expected on a regular basis and we’ll still expect them to be done most of the time. Some will be for when they want to earn extra if they choose to.

So… I am trying to come up with some age appropriate chores for each kiddo.  Things they can reasonably do.  Then I’m going to try an figure out which will be mandatory, regular and optional.

Here are a few of the things that my kids often help with…feeding the dog, emptying small garbage cans, spraying and wiping the bathroom counter and sink area, using the scrub brush and wiping the toilet, pairing up socks, spraying and wiping windows, sorting laundry, folding pieces of laundry that they can manage, setting or clearing the table, putting away their clothes, tidying up toys and books, putting away things like boots, shoes and mitts in the porch, rinsing and stacking the dishes that mom washes.  I’ve had them help me with things like wiping walls or wiping down the leather couches too.  Ok, lots of these things they don’t do to perfection, but they do a pretty good job, and  then I check and help. 

Ok, that list seems longer than I thought it would, but again, these aren’t things they do on a regular basis, just things I have asked them to do at one time or another in the past.  Often their involvement isn’t as much of a help as it is an opportunity for them to learn and try.  But I think it’s important for kids to help out, and learn how to do these things.  I’m not asking them for perfection.  At my house, all the blankets on the bed, and the pillow near the top counts as making your bed.

Even Lily at two likes to help with things, and will gladly take a turn with a dusting cloth.  She carries her own diaper to the garbage and loves to rinse dishes.  Now obviously there aren’t going to be many age appropriate chores for a two year old!  But what about Baden at 7 and Colleena at 5? 

What are some chores you’ve assigned your kids?  Are there tasks that you break down and give out in parts?  How do you manage the chores at your house?

1 comment:

  1. 5 yr olds - sweeping the kitchen, dusting, toy pick up, helping out little brother, keeping little brother busy ex. reading him books, playing with him so Mom can get something done, cans/plastic bottle recycling moving from one depot to another.

    8 yr olds - all of the above, vaccuming, emptying dishwasher, watching little brother so Mom can have a shower ;), sock matching from the huge mismatched sock drawer

    Basically I give them some smaller chorest that I don't have time to do.

    I never thought of the bathroom cleaning...good idea!

    We use a chore chart and they get an X for each chore. We also have an X for puzzles or books. My kids need to be pushed a little to do a puzzle. Owen is now reading English books every night. He gets an X for each one he reads.


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