What chores do your kids do?

wicky24January 3, 2002

I have a 9yr. old daughter and 12 year old son. They don't have chores to do and therefore get no allowance. I want to change this. I think they should do more around the house and maybe get an allowance. What chores do you think they should be doing?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Break them in carefully, and don't expect an overnight change. At that age, clothes washing and ironing are always a good starters (if you have clothes that don't go to the cleaners), cleaning common rooms, doing dishes, cleaning garage, yard/gardening work, pet exercising/feeding etc. It never ends. As my parents put it, now is the time to learn how to take advantage of those "monsters."

Good luck, this is the training period for future independence.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My kids do chores when asked. I don't tie specific chores to allowance. Both allowance and chores are part of being in the family. We give them some pocket money so they can learn about money, they are expected too help out around the house because that's what being a family is about. I do take some allowance away if they do not complete a task that I asked them to do. They do the following:

Sorting laundry
Putting laundry away
Setting the table
Yard work
Put items back in fridge after meals
Straightening up their own room, family room, playroom.
Putting dirty dishes in the sink
Helping with the pool maintenace (no chemicals)
Sweeping the patio/driveway (they help)

Yours are older than mine so you might be able to have them actually do some laundry. I wouldn't ask a 9 year old to iron.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My kids aren't that old yet, but I like the way a family friend has set hers up and hope to do the same when my daughter is older.

Their kids do have chores and they do have an allowance, but they are not tied together exactly. It is not a job where they get $5 for washing dishes or $10 for mowing the lawn. Chores are done because you are part of the family and everyone in the family needs to chip in and help out the family unit. This includes keeping their own rooms tidy, setting and clearing the table at mealtimes, helping to prepare dinner, bringing dirty laundry to the laundry room, putting away clean clothes, feeding pets, outdoor yardwork in the spring and summer.

Allowance is also given, but again because it is the family's money and everyone gets a share. It is used as a tool to learn about saving and spending wisely, not exactly as wages for doing chores. Possibly if chores don't get done, allowance may be withheld as punishment, but usually the punishment was different - more to "fit the crime".

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I see my bosses kids get allowances for nothing and get paid for every job they do. They are so lazy they only do things for money they never even offer to help their mom and it makes me sick. I used to get $5 a week and never even had to be asked to do anything. Everynight just to help my mom starting at age 8 I did dishes for her, folded laundry, dusted and vaccuumed when I though I should. Raked leaves and decorated for hoidays to surpise her. I think you should suggest they help more and then reward them if they do so and if your see it continue give them a regular allowance. Kids should help around the house since the family lives there it is everyones job to share the work not because they get paid. My step-son has helped with dishes, folding laundry, plant the garden, pull weeds, stacking wood and cleaned my bathtub since he was 5 and it was him that asked to help me and never once was he paid but out of the blue we would go to lunch. He helped because he though he should since I did it alone.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My son is 7 and he starts out with $7 per week (he has always gotten a doller per year of age). I deduct 25 cents for every chore that he can complete but does not. For example: on Saturday he has no homework and the trash needs to be emptied only 2x per week, therefore I do not deduct 25 cents.

His chores are feed or walk his dog (at least 1x), complete homework, put dirty clothes in hamper, empty his trash cans (not daily), shower & brush teeth at night (this was added because he tries to get out of it all of the time :-) LOL)and tidy room. Extra stars are earned for reading a book or doing extra educational assignments or projects. I give him stars on his chore chart (purchased from lillianvernon.com) and we sometimes decide on special things to do or buy. If he earns a certain amount of stars, we do the activity/event or I purchase whatever it is he wanted. He loves this because he is a tightwad but he loves to collect CDs and movies. I love this because I found myself buying them just because and it was breaking my pockets.

I purchased him the ParentBanc set for Christmas and he will start writing checks when he wants to use some of his money accumulated from allowances and holidays. I like this because it lets him see where he is spending the majority of his money. I've noticed that when he has to spend his money he wants less - imagine that!!! ;~) Although, he has always been money conscious. He walks around and picks up all extra change around the house and always ask me alot of questions about money. One day we got into a discussion about my 401K. I checked his bank before Christmans and he has saved over $120 (not including the change) so I asked him if he wanted to use some to go shopping for his grandparents' gifts. He said to me "You know how you are saving that money for when I get older - well I am too." So, he made gifts for his grandparents. LOL

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 12:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We also follow the $ per year of age rule.

An amusing note-my 7 yo told me he is saving for a laptop that's why he doesn't spend to much of his money! It will take a while at $7 per week but he is determined.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 12:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My sons are 6&7. They get $2 dollars a week for making their beds every morning, sweeping up their own crumbs after breakfast and putting their dishes in the sink, picking up their room and the play room every evening and keeping their Bathroom somewhat tidy. They also share in taking the trash out twice a week and help me with Housecleaning on Saturdays, where they vacuum their room and Playroom, fold the towels, and windex the windows.

I know it sounds like a lot for their age, but I'm, a single mom--not a supermom. I need them to be independent and to help me. I figure the best way to get that is to start young. Now, there's no perfection in what they do--the windows are streaky, the towels aren't folded straight, and there beds sheets are crumply. But I think they are forming good habits and getting the point.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have an 8 yo boy & a 10 yo girl. They each have a chore list that they swap every two months. None of the chores overlap, so I don't hear "well she didn't clean that up last night!!" When they swap, they get to pick the days of the week that they have to do each chore on (w/ a few exceptions - they have to clean their rooms spic 'n span on Sat., make sure the trash is out on garbage days, - that sort of thing).

Chore list #1: clean the kitchen after dinner 3x a week, clean the (small) downstairs bathroom, vacumn upstairs, feed the cat, sweep the front porch & driveway. Chore list #2: help w/ dinner 3x a week, clean their bathroom upstairs, vacumn & dust downstairs, pick weeds around the border of the front lawn, take out the garbage as needed. They are both responsible for doing their homework (this comes FIRST!) - including reading for at least 20 minutes 5x a week, cleaning & vacumning their rooms, doing their laundry, keeping their stuff picked up around the house, & doing one extra chore (if needed) on Saturdays. The chores are clearly posted on the refrigerator, as are their privelege levels. If they can do something but don't, they go down a privilege level for the next day. If it happens again that week, they go down another level for two days.

It's worked out really well. They both know exactly what's expected of them, & exactly what the consequences are if the choose not to do it. The most important thing in any system you use though is consistency. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis, but as a rule they know what to expect day in and day out, & are happier for it. No guessing, no surprises - and they know when they're done, their time is their own (My daughter has arranged things so she doesn't have any chores at all on Thursdays & Fridays!).

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 3 1/2 year old doesn't get an allowance, but he certainly helps around the house. He picks up his room, sorts socks, folds small towels and washclothes, sweeps with his own small broom. I supposed he'll have assigned "chores" when he's older, but he knows that every member of our family helps out.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 8:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We recently instituted a different chore/allowance system in our home. I have a 9 year old and a 6 year old. They are each required to do certain chores every day but Sunday:
9 year old Morning: sweep wood floors, feed fish and cat
afternoon: empty trash and recyclables if necessary.

6 year old: morning: wipe bathroom counter and faucet, take care of bath/hand towels, feed dog
afternoon: set table for dinner

both: M-F keep their rooms clean, clear dinner dishes, Saturday: clean family room, do "poop patrol" in backyard

We don't pay them for these chores but I have a "Help Wanted" sign on the frig with a list of odd jobs they can do. It includes things like fold a load of laundry, fill the wood bin, vacuum the bedrooms, etc. Each chore has a "wage" (.25-2.00 depending on the job) next to it and they can choose whatever they want from the list if and when they want to earn some extra money. They don't have to do any of the extras for now but there is an incentive: If they do more than $5 worth of chores in one week they get a $1 bonus. Often my kids don't care about having any money and they don't do any extra chores which is okay with me. This system has helped to eliminate the problem of tying chores to money. If they don't do their required chores without being told, they lose privileges and not allowance. As they get older I will add more involved chores and higher wages. Also, they each have a share jar, a save jar and a spend jar in their bedroom and they put roughly 1/2 of their money in the spend jar, and divide the balance between the save and share jars (usually ends up being a different portion every week)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We don't tie jobs in with pocket money either.
The kids do get a very small amount of pocket money (can't afford much) and they all have daily jobs to do. Beds made and rooms tidy, put dishes in dishwasher after use, pick up toys, games etc when finished with them, etc. They also each have one particular job each day - one empties rubbish, two dry dishes, one sweeps the floor. These jobs are because they are part of this family, but having said that - doing these jobs leads towards computer play time.
Also on a Sunday when we do a bigger cleanup, they have one extra job to do - there are four of them and I write down five jobs that need doing - they could be vacuuming, wiping windowsills, dusting, emptying all the rubbish bins in the house, watering the garden etc. First one finished their daily jobs has the first pick of family job. The job that is left at the end is the one that I get to do.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2002 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Feeding pets.
Picking up trash in yard.
Making the house tidy and other light house work.
Watering plants.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 6:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well we are lucky....we have a ton of "helpers" (5 kids--but one is now living on her own)

Since we are a combined family I wanted to be "fair" and I posted a rotating list of chores and who was responsible for what....well that has since passed...lol
After seeing first hand what they can and can't handle we made some revisions

Each child has ONE chore to do daily--except Sunday.

child #1 - kitchen--responsible for ENTIRE kitchen. (this is our oldest daughter-16) From dishes, sweeping floor daily to cleaning fridge. Saturday is mop floors day.

child #2 - (14 yrs old) bathroom--ENTIRE bathroom--Saturday is mop floors day.

child #3 - (11 yrs old) vacuum ENTIRE house and ALL trash

child #4 - (8 yrs old) dust ENTIRE house and cat box

I do all laundry...except I dont hang up their clothes. I will fold the "folding" stuff and put on their bed for them to put away. The hanging clothes I just neatly place on their beds and they hang it when they get home from school.

Our list is based on age appropriate...they all help with setting the table and so on based on who is not working on school stuff.

paying them is not an "allowance". They get paid by all those times the ice cream truck comes by or they want to walk to the store for candy. The movie they want to go see. The makeup or hair care products they want. Being responsible and helping out is part of the family dynamic and they understand that.

AND, the more structure the better....
they know that every morning before going to school, they make their beds. After school it's homework right away, chores THEN outside or play time. We are lucky. We started this young and kept it going so they are in the routine and its just part of their day.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2002 at 7:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My daughter is 4 3/4. She dusts the living room on Saturdays, vacuums the kitchen 2-3 times a week , helps me dry dishes daily and always scrapes her plalte & puts it in the sink after meals. She also sets the table. My 9 & 12 year old nieces don't even do any of this! We don't consider them "chores", but being part of a family. I don't mean that in a snotty way: I think it gives her a sense of usefulness & belonging. After all, Mommy & Daddy have work to do during the day; so does she. She loves to help out.
I don't know how easy it would be to start with your kids now. I wold post a job list and prices you will pay to do them & let them pick what they want for extra cash. There would also be other chores which they would be expected to do to get allowance. No chores, no allowance. And they can't pick from the "extra jobs" list unless the chores are done. It's all in how you "sell" it to them.
Best of luck.(ALso, let them pick their chores. I always got stuck drying dishes as a kid while my brother washed. I still hate to DRY, but love to wash.)


    Bookmark   February 2, 2002 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 3-1/2 yr old sets the table once I take everything out for her, she'll straighten up her mess when I prod her to (usually), she'll pick up the guinea pig poop with a tissue if we're playing with them, she'll help make my & her bed by putting all the throw pillows & stuffed animals.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 11:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Keeping their rooms neat is a basic for every kid, I think. My 3.5-year-old niece started keeping her room and her things that live elsewhere in the house neat about a year ago. At first, she needed to told exactly what to do, but now she generally responds to a simple, "Clean up your things."

At your kids' ages, I'd probably start with vacuuming, dusting, mopping, one chore in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. Over the next few years, both of them can learn to cook simple meals and to clean up after them.

I like to think about what I would want kids to know by the time they're 18 - how to cook, clean, make simple household repairs, do laundry, mend clothing, do basic yard work, manage money, etc. - and gear chores towards that.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They kept their room and toys picked up and straightened their bed. That's about it. It's a habit they stuck with for years. Both had to make their wives clean house.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 11:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have 3 boys ages 3, 6, 9 years. I purchased the small round ziplock bowls and labeled them with all 3 kids names. Inside each one, I put 20 white poker chips labeled with their initial. I also have a fine jar. Each one of those white poker chips represent a quarter. At the end of the week, the white poker chips are exchanged with money (It can be a total of $5.00). I don't pay my kids for chores, but I do fine them for things. If I ask them to do something and they don't do it or have to be told again, they are fined a quarter (white poker chip). If they smart off to me, tell me no, misbehave, etc. they can be fined also. On Saturday, when I exchange the poker chips for real quarters, they must put 10% in a jar for tithes, 10% in a jar for savings and the rest goes into a jar for cash. I also exchange the fined poker chips for quarters that go into a jar labeled "dinner for Mom & Dad" when we have enough money in the jar, Dad & I go out to eat on the kids! I also put 7 blue poker chips for 30 mins of Playstation time, 7 red poker chips for 30 mins of computer time and 7 other colored chips for 30 mins of TV time. They must put these chips in the fine jar when they want to use the TV, Playstation & Computer. I also fine these chips too. (these are replinished every Sunday) I try to make sure they always have some money by Saturday so I will fine the other chips if necessary. The TV time chip isn't the only time they can watch TV. If the family is watching TV or the other child is watching something, they don't have to use a chip. Just if there's something specific they want to watch or if it's a time when the TV is not being watched anyway by someone else. I also have a jar that is filled with strips of folded paper that lists special privilages that they can pick out of if they receive all $5.00 that week or if they've been extra helpful or extra good. Some examples: stay up an extra 15 mins., sleep in Mom's bed when Dad is working, choose and help fix dinner one night, choose and help fix a dessert, etc. I also have a jar of punishments in case I'm flustered and need a quick punishment. Some examples are: no screens for 24 hours (playstation, computer, TV), time out in room for 30 mins, must go to bed 30 mins early, etc. There's also a mercy ticket in that jar (because God gives us mercy when we don't deserve it). I have one last jar that has slips of paper with extra jobs to do. This is used as a punishment also (smart mouth, etc) some examples are: dog poop patrol, wipe baseboards throughout house, vacuum entire house, sweep front and back porch, clean glass doors inside and out, etc. Most of the jars I use are the empty sweetened Kool-aid plastic jars. This system works great for us! You'd be amazed at how my 3 year old gets upset at having to give me a poker chip! If anyone is interested, I'll be happy to email you my lists for the punishment jar, extra job jar, and special privilage jar or answer any...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 12:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

8yo- feeds cats in the morning, scoops kitty litter, unpacks DW, clean room (kind of with nagging!) LOL unpacks bag, makes bed
13yo- feeds dogs am and pm, unpacks DW, organises all chn's lunchbox snacks, makes bed, unpacks bag, cleans room
14yo- same as 13yo but makes lunches instead of snacks, feeds cats pm not dogs.
Additionally- all clean as requested- eg vacuum, bathroom wipe over, fold- mainly if expecting company.

IMHO- they should not be paid for chores- chores should be done as part of being the family. Also, keeping track of what you have to pay for what is a chore for you! Equally, IMHO, they should get their pocket money regardless. Never had any problem with chn not doing their chores- for last 5 years! even when 8yo was a 3yo (no cats back then).


    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 8:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My almost 5 yr old daughter cleans up her messes (sometimes more of a battle thanothers but she does it well when she does), she willingly sometimes wipes things down, i.e. chalkboard, her toys, she helps set the table & she makes her bed (sometimes I pull up the comforter) but she always adds the shams & throw pillows & stuffed animals.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 1:01AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
My 21 year old daughter
My daughter has her first boyfriend at 21. Now she...
In-laws that don't get it!
We had to see MIL yesterday for Mother's day. Once...
How do I cope?
It's been 8 weeks since my daughter has spoken to me...
Mothers of estranged children....part II
I thought it might ease the posting if I restarted...
Those Annoying Chistmas Brag Letters!!! ugh..
Does anybody get those annoying Christmas letters EVERY...
Sponsored Products
Crosley Alexandria Sliding Top Bar Cabinet - KF40002ABK
$479.00 | Hayneedle
Capricorn Zodiac Personalized Canvas
$34.99 | zulily
Dark Rust Mini Pendant
$48.60 | Bellacor
Damask on Blue Oushak Rug 4' x 6'
$799.00 | Horchow
Safavieh Lyndhurst Collection Majestic Ivory/ Red Rug (6' x 9')
Martini Long Stem Single Drinking Glass
Classic Hostess
Stainless Steel Raimond Pendant Lamp Suspension Hanging Light
Harco Loor | Bubbles TL 1 Table Lamp
$460.00 | YLighting
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™