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s/o how to get your kids to do chores thread

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I'm ashamed to say that my son is 6 and he does not have any chores. We do pick things up at night and of course we have a morning and a night routine but we are pretty much doing it all with and for him. I'd like him to be a little more independent.


So, what are you children's ages and what are their chores?

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Picking up their own messes is their only regular chore.


They love helping me with whatever I'm doing. I give my 4yo a baby wipe and have him wipe stuff down whenever he wants to help, but it's too dangerous/messy. They like to help put groceries away and prepare food. They enjoy helping me with dishes (though I'd rather do them myself LOL). They help me sort and fold laundry. They like to sweep (though I usually have to redo this one).


I don't have them doing any of this as a responsibility yet...it's a special privilege for children who have their toys picked up.;)

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My 6 yo is responsible for his room, keeping it picked up and making his bed. He puts away his clothes in the right drawer and of course dirty clothes in laundry. He helps put away the dishes in the dishwasher, currently he does the tupperware items. He takes out the trash- checks the mail. That is all of the regular jobs I can think of right now. He helps with other things as needed, wiping out the sink or scrubbing the toilet, help with laundry- some folding and loading.


My 3.5 yo is mostly responsible for her room. I do help from time to time but mostly I have paired down so she doesn't have much and we stay on top it so she can do it. She is working on being able to make her bed- if there is just one cover on there she can do it her self but with the quilt she needs help. She puts away the silverware from the dishwasher. Puts away her clothes, except her church clothes that are hung. Other stuff she does as needed- washing walls, helping fold laundry- she loves to help with clothes and napkins.


Both kids help spot mop sometimes, put away dishes after eating, I am working on teaching them to load their dishes, but that will take a bit- dh still doesn't do it "right" ie my way!

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When I thought about chores it helped me to think about my ultimate goals and why I wanted them to do chores other than that everyone says it's a good thing to do. For us, we want them to leave home knowing how to do all their own laundry, how to cook, how to keep a house clean and how to balance those tasks with the rest of life. My idea is that their chores will increase in responsbility and difficulty as they get older in order to get to that goal.


7 yr old (started when he was 6) and 4 yr old:

Make bed daily

Feed fish three times a week

Put breakfast dishes in dishwasher/clean up after breakfast 3 times a week

Put dinner dishes in dishwasher/clean up after breakfast 3 times a week.

Help with trash once a week

Clean room

Put laundry away once it is folded.


In addition the 7 yr old:

Wipes down the bathroom once a week

Once a week has a "Mommy's choice" chore- often this is helping play with his baby sister while I do another task, sometimes it is dusting.

Helps gather trash cans on trash day


In addition the 4 yr old:

Helps me clean the bathroom once a week


They alternate days on things like cleaning up breakfast or dinner dishes. I expect more from the 7 yr old than the 4 yr old in terms of independence and ability to help. For things like cleaning the bathroom, it's the day I would do it anyway but I have the 4 yr old do what he can to help.


The biggest challenge I have found is not in getting them to do the chores but in us sticking with having them do it. At their ages it's easier to do the jobs myself. I have to remind myself (and dh) that's it's not about them actually helping but about training and about having them be actually helpful one day.

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Thanks for all the replies. I'm happy to see that others are where we are with this age as well. I was feeling really guilty! I guess this is a great time to start with the little things. I just needed ideas because he's not really capable of doing most things that I was thinking of as chores. We used to have him put the silverware away but that ended when our dishwasher broke a couple months ago!

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My 6 y.o. has had daily chores since he was 4ish, mostly because his brothers did too and he liked to feel Big. It's just a part of the morning routine.


Weekly: He wipes the stair handrails, wipes the fronts of the fridge and ovens (2x/wk), sweeps the hallway (badly still, but it's a good place to learn to sweep :D ), cleans the light switches, dusts bookshelves, helps pick up the play room.


Daily: Make bed, take down the laundry hamper, help clear the table, take dish towels to the washer after the kitchen is cleaned. All three boys pick up their floor together at some point during the day, though we're pretty relaxed about when that happens.


Cleaning Day (Saturday): He gets a chore list with 3-4 chores. He does things like wash walls or baseboards, clean kitchen cabinet fronts, clean the glass on the grandfather clock, dust the bookshelves and fireplace, helps sweep and mop, picks up the floor before a brother vacuums. Give my kid a cleaning rag and a spray bottle and point at something and he's happy as a clean little clam.


He also helps with big projects like kitchen cleaning day or raking leaves. :)


I thinks it's just a matter of folding them into what you're already doing, or finding those little tasks that need to be done but you never get to because they're not high on the priority list. (Like the light switches! I never seemed to get to those!)




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I'm not ashamed to say my children don't have chores. I have never made a big deal out of things that need to be done around the house. It's just life. We sleep, eat, play, shop, work, clean, etc. And big cleaning jobs are best done by more than one person, IMHO. My children do exactly what they've seen me and DH do all their lives--just do what needs to be done and get on to the next thing.

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