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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kids Need Chores

Kids and Chores
Earlier this week I asked friends and readers on Facebook and twitter about kids and chores. Not surprisingly most believed that kids should do chores, Interestingly many kids did not have assigned chores. They were just expected to help out around the house and keep their room clean.
Julia at  Julie Cache starts  the biggest chores:  laundry and dishes. at age 7 or when they are tall enough to reach the controls.
Nada at MiniMomist starts her kids early. Her one year old helps out around the house. Actually this makes perfect sense, since toddlers readily want to do what we as adults do. They are also genuinely helpful.
Heidi works and lives on a farm and her girls have always helped out.
Now my kids do chores around the house plus theoretically  keep their rooms clean.  But what about the rest of the house? My kids help there too. In order for our house to run smoothly they must. Even though I work just part time teaching I nonetheless am out of the house when teaching. And besides that I am not the maid around here. My job is to teach my kids how to do these jobs so they can grow up and be enabled to do them for themselves. Not show up at college without prior knowledge of how to use a washing machine.  .
Chores Teach Kids
Having chores teaches kids.
  1. It teaches them if no one feeds the dog the dog will not be happy.
  2. That if they do NOT get their clothes to the laundry room they will not have their favorite shirt when they want it.
  3. That they will have to clean up their own messes
  4. Having chores teaches kids to responsible.
  5. Having chores teaches kids basic household management skills, how to do laundry, dishes, etc.
  6. Having chores teaches kids that they can do things for themselves, like make their own lunches
  7. Having chores teaches them that if they leave a job undone it does not go away
  8. When kids have chores they learn that a clean house means you can have friends over (from my 7 yo)
How do I get my kids to help Around the House?
  1. I ask them to help. I let them know what jobs need to be done and ask them to do the job in the room they are responsible for (more to come on that later)
  2. I tell them to do their chores.
  3. We set aside time to do specific chores such as making school lunches, putting laundry away, or picking up the living room
  4. For Special outside jobs I may offer a one time only payment. This works real well when the want to buy something.
  5. I set a timer and we do 15 Minute Cleaning.

5 comments: said...

My crazy child has always been obsessed with garbage, and I remember one of the first times he had a tantrum when he was around 12 months old, Big T asked him to help take out the garbage, and it stopped the tantrum in its tracks. He likes to carry the bags from the various small garbage cans in the house.

He also likes to wipe up spills, wash dishes, and help with the gardening.

I remember grumbling about chores when I was in high school, but it was part of life, and more importantly, part of being part of my family.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Oh, my kids don't do chores without complaint, but they are learning that they have to help out, because not only am I not the maid but I can't do it ALL by myself. Interestingly enough they all have their own way of doing chores, and some like certain chores better than others, so I use that to my advantage.

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

My kids help out a LOT around the house. The way I see it, we're raising adults, not children. They're not going to turn 18 and automatically know how to do all the things they'll need to know how to do. Better to start early so that "life" isn't such a hassle once they get there.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I agree with you Dwja, when I went to college I knew how to take care of myself and things, I had room mates who could not do laundry correctly because their mother did it all for them. As you can see my 13 cooks dinner about once a week and the 7 yo boy cleans toilets. But they all know how to do everything. My 7 yo can make his own basic meal.

jellybelly said...

Sometimes my toddler helps willingly and sometimes she doesn't want to. Depends on how she feels at the moment :) Stopping by from Hopalong Friday bloghop!

The Twerp and I

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