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Keeping Kids on Task? Chores? Schoolwork?


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Hey ya'll,

 

Can you all give examples of what your kids are capable of (or SHOULD be capable of) according to their ages??

 

My kids are 9.5yrs, 8yrs, 6yrs. I know the 6yr old won't be able to do as much.

 

But, for instance...can you set a time for maybe 1 hour and have a list of things for them to have done by a certain time? (I am mostly thinking my 2 older girls for this...should they be able to do this??)

 

What about chores? Can you give your kids a chore list and they work on them by themselves without having to be told 100 times to keep at it??

 

Any tips for keeping kids on task? I'm about to lose my mind!! :lol:

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I'd like to think they could stay on task (I have a 13yo dd, with Asperger's syndrome, and a 7yo ds). But if I even so much as think about going into another room, they seem to forget what "focus" means. *sigh*

 

I'd like to hear other people's tricks for this, as well! (Thanks for asking the question! ;^) )

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I really feel like my kids should be able to complete their chores in the morning without me staying on top of them? We've been doing the SAME chores for soooo long...they are written on a chart on the fridge...no questions about what to do. Ugh.

 

???

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Hey ya'll,

 

Can you all give examples of what your kids are capable of (or SHOULD be capable of) according to their ages??

 

My kids are 9.5yrs, 8yrs, 6yrs. I know the 6yr old won't be able to do as much.

 

But, for instance...can you set a time for maybe 1 hour and have a list of things for them to have done by a certain time? (I am mostly thinking my 2 older girls for this...should they be able to do this??)

 

What about chores? Can you give your kids a chore list and they work on them by themselves without having to be told 100 times to keep at it??

 

Any tips for keeping kids on task? I'm about to lose my mind!! :lol:

 

:lol: Give them 1 hour to complete a list of things....uh, no. They don't truly understand how long tasks take or how to pace themselves yet.

 

:lol: Give them a chore list and walk away....uh, no. They would either fight amongst themselves or get distracted by a million other things.

 

However, I can expect them to complete their individual morning chores by themselves before they get to eat breakfast. I can also expect them to complete a list of chores if we are all working together at the same time. I have a routine of picking up and doing misc chores before we eat, so I am rather successful in getting them to get stuff done before mealtime. Food is a big motivator around here.

 

After much training, I can now send my 9yo out of my sight to complete a specific, not-overwhelming chore. Tonight she picked up the hallway by herself while my 7yo & 5yo cleaned up after dinner. Her bedroom is a disaster, and I could not send her away to do that on her own successfully.

 

When I send them out of my sight for something during chore time, I always tell them to come back or to come get me to inspect their work. Without that reminder, they do whatever they think I told them to do (which usually isn't what I said), and then they wander off to play.

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:bigear: I'd like to know this, too! I don't have any amazing advice for you, I'm afraid, but I can certainly commiserate. On really bad days, I wish we didn't have a chore chart because it can seem easier to do it all myself than to nag everyone else about doing things. Then there are other days when they seem so much more mature. One thing I do check regularly is that I am doing my OWN work in a timely manner without complaining. I think that makes a difference.

 

Elaine

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A good way to teach you kids to do chores is to do them alongside the kids. At my house it really requires a lot of this before I could ask them to do a task on their own. My 7 year old son can now fold a number of loads of laundry and put it away on his own (of course he can't put the pants on the pant hangars because they are the pinch type and he is not strong enough so he just lays them on my bed). I think it is important to work alongside them because then you really know what they are capable of and what they are just trying to get out of (such as the pant hangars). Also, the kids have the oppourtunity to see that you are working as a team and not just handing them the work for your own convenience. Eventually they will be confident enough to help out on their own.

 

My younger child, on the other hand, is really difficult to keep on task therefore I need to be in the room giving her small instructions the entire time. I will tell her to put all the ponies away. After that task is completed I will ask her to put all the books away etc... It is a long and painful process but if I don't guide her step by step she will just lay on the floor while my son cleans everything and I fear that she will develop bad habits this way.

 

I think a chart makes things more routine but may not allow the kids to gain the ability of seeing what needs to be done. Though a chart is great for developing daily disciplines.

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I think a chart makes things more routine but may not allow the kids to gain the ability of seeing what needs to be done. Though a chart is great for developing daily disciplines.

 

 

:iagree: We have a morning and evening list which is basically personal hygiene. The other chores my dc do are more when-needed chores, but usually at the same point in our day. They always do chores before supper, but the chores vary every day and we work together to get things accomplished. I have my youngest work closest to me with my oldest getting tasks that may be out of my sight or she may be assigned to watch the baby. My kids are very good helpers and they can get a lot done, but I have and do work with them a lot.

 

I have noticed my older two doing a few things on their own initiative in the past week, so I can taste a bright future for us!!

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Well, I am usually up and doing things in the kitchen or around the house while they *should* be doing chores. :001_huh: :lol:

 

I just cannot stand nagging...and feel like I'm turning into a nag. :tongue_smilie: I don't want to keep on and on reminding them of what they are supposed to be doing.

 

Their chores are pretty simple and I have taught the kids how to do them...so I don't think it's a question of them not knowing how to do it.

 

2squared - if you send them away to do morning chores before breakfast and they are able to do it, what all does that entail??

 

I have tried that but have one very strong willed child and did not feel good about withholding food because she would take me up on that one every.single.time and go all day without eating. :confused: :(

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This will work if you start off by giving your children just one task or area and do it with them the first time. The next day watch them do it and after that expect it to be done correctly and on time. Put on a CD and see how long it takes you to do it with the child and in the future he or she should be done by x song.

 

By age 6 a child can clean an entire room and by 7 it will look like an adult did it. I had one 4 year old who loved to clean and did a better job than I did. She's 19 now and still cleans for fun (lucky me).

 

If my children were your children's age, I would start by assigning the oldest a room today. This is the general pattern we follow

-everyone goes in the room and removes his or her junk

-oldest picks up stray items (task 1 to be taught) that weren't claimed and either puts them away or puts them in a bag if they are a siblings (bag emptied later and child gets 25 cents from sibling for each item). Oldest then picks up scraps and other such things with you and throws them out. (Task 2 to be taught on first day). Vacuum or sweep room.

 

On day 2 watch dc do this alone. On day 3 assign room to next dc and repeat steps above. The following week add one new task for each child to do. Some of these things will include deep cleaning and only need to be done on Saturdays.

 

When children are first learning, it is best to have them stay with the same room for a few months. Later they can rotate monthly or weekly. With each room you will need to watch them go through each task. Pick up a copy of "Speed Cleaning" by Jeff Campbell if you like the idea of a task breakdown and for ideas.

 

If the kids know that they have to do this, they will become very efficient, finishing in less time than it takes you. They'll make fewer messes and you'll have more time to spend with us :) Most importantly, you are teaching them a valuable skill and self-discipline.

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Well, I am usually up and doing things in the kitchen or around the house while they *should* be doing chores. :001_huh: :lol:

 

I'm not in the kitchen or around when they should be doing chores. I am present, just doing my own things in the same area. Usually my own thing is training my littlest dc.

 

 

I just cannot stand nagging...and feel like I'm turning into a nag. :tongue_smilie: I don't want to keep on and on reminding them of what they are supposed to be doing.

 

Training isn't nagging, but you also shouldn't need to remind your oldest if you've already told her to do something once. When we do chores, we are doing it right now. I don't tell them to do chores and expect it to get done some time in the future. That time never comes.

 

2squared - if you send them away to do morning chores before breakfast and they are able to do it, what all does that entail??

 

I have tried that but have one very strong willed child and did not feel good about withholding food because she would take me up on that one every.single.time and go all day without eating. :confused: :(

 

Well, it's not withholding food. It's following the routine. First you do your morning list and then you eat. In the afternoon, we pick-up, they get screen time, and then we eat. If you don't do the first thing, then they don't get to do the next thing.

 

Before we established this method, I told them what to expect so they knew the new program. For your strong willed child, I would be making her favorite foods, snacks, and desserts the first day you decide chores should be done before eating. :D Maybe pegging chores to meals won't work for you. Maybe you have something else in your day that is just as consistent and predictable that would work better. I picked meals b/c we seem to eat every day in the same pattern. By pegging chores to meals, they get done and the kids aren't surprised that they have chores to do....again.

 

My 9yo's morning list is pretty basic: comb hair (big, nasty deal), get dressed, brush teeth, practice piano, bring down upstairs laundry. My 7yo's list is: get dressed, bring down wet sheets (bed wetter), empty downstairs laundry basket, brush teeth, drink one cup of milk, and hug mom. They do most of their chores during afternoon pick-up and after dinner, but they don't have a standing list for those times. Our natural rhythm does not bring success to chores in the morning.

 

Good luck! You will figure out what works for you.

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I agree with several ideas that previous posters have mentioned. We have set times for chores and school and we work together as a team and I find that helps rather than trying to expect any of the kids to simply do an assigned chore at his or her own convenience. It also creates a positive kind of peer pressure. I say I have done xyz, child a has done xyz, and we are all waiting for child b to finish his z. For independent schoolwork, I will remind the kid that it is time for X. I have been known to use a timer for lollygagging with chores and school with various punishments (like no movie time or no free time with the neighbor kids later in the afternoon).

 

I don't withhold food however. Sometimes when it seems that there is more uncooperative behavior from one or more of them I will bake something nice, like cookies or brownies, and remind them that no one gets the treat unless their school work and chores are done to my satisfaction. I like to bake, so more often than not there is a treat in the oven at some point in the day and none of them are willing to take a chance on not getting some of it.

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