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should I give up on having my kids do household chores?


caedmyn
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A few months ago I had the brilliant idea of dividing up the weekly housecleaning chores between my older 4 kids (well mostly the older 3...the 5 yo only picks up and moves chairs around and empty the bathroom trash). These chores are within their capabilities, they've been taught how to do them, and I even pay them for doing them. But every week I find myself trying to motivate kids to actually do their jobs, listening to whining, and spending just as much time supervising them to do the work as it takes me to do it all myself (and I do a better job!). I've taken the job (and resulting pay) away from a whining or balky kid for a week, offered incentives to do their jobs quickly, made them do the job anyway but without pay because they stalled too much...and this still happens every.single.week. At what point do you just give up on having them do these jobs? They all have daily chores that they are required to do and they do not get paid for, so it's not like they're unfamiliar with having to do household chores.

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I wouldn't give up. One thing I did do though was allow them to pay a sibling to do their job. If they didn't want to .....a sibling almost always would for pay. So, a child that balked at a chore I would just yell, "anyone want to earn an extra .....(whatever amount of money) and either the original child got busy or a sibling got their money.

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I can still hear my mom yelling in the back of my head... "Do you think this is easier for me, that I need your help? If it were up to me I'd be done with the whole house! I'm teaching you this because I love you!"

 

Ahhh, the memories. :D

 

I definitely empathize. I compartmentalize this. We have weekly and daily chores and I just decide when I'm following up and concentrate on it 100% during that time period. I hate it. It is definitely one of my least favorite parts of parenting. But they have to learn.

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I wouldn't give up. One thing I did do though was allow them to pay a sibling to do their job. If they didn't want to .....a sibling almost always would for pay. So, a child that balked at a chore I would just yell, "anyone want to earn an extra .....(whatever amount of money) and either the original child got busy or a sibling got their money.

 

My mom had to stop that because I didn't mind my sister getting paid. "I don't need money, I have the library!"

 

In fact, I would use my birthday money to pay her for daily chores. My poor mom.

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I guess I will be the only dissenting opinion. I did give up getting them to do most chores. It wasn’t worth the effect on our relationship to continue with the endless nagging and then upset because they didn’t do it as well as I wanted. I had to let go of the idea that they wanted a clean bathroom. They didn’t care. Or that they wanted vacuumed floors. They didn’t care about that either. I did care and so I got it done.

 

I assume that someday they will decide that those things are important. And then they will figure it out. Right now it isn’t worth my sanity to teach something that they don’t want to learn.

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Figure out what the consequences should be and then clearly state them. Don't get sucked in to arguments or listening to whining.

 

In our house I don't respond well to whining for any reason, so that isn't really an issue here. People do their chores because they want to watch movies or play video games or play with friends and all those things are up for discussion if you haven't done your part (chores or school or practice). I am always willing to listen if you have a plan "I'm going to play games for 30 minutes, then blah, then blah". I will agree if you set a timer for yourself. I also mention that if you tell me that you are going to do something and then don't, I feel as though I've been taken advantage of and am unlikely to agree in the future.

 

Chores are a life skill. Don't give up! You don't want to have to do everything for everybody forever.

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I feel your pain.  Keep it up though.  What you can do is choose certain times during the week when you push it, and other times when you just "decide not to see" the mess.  That way the fight isn't constant.

 

I don't push every day, because there are many days when the kids have practically no down time, and this isn't a military base.  But when reasonable, I do force the kids to get up from their relaxing to go do the repetitive things that should be habitual.  If they would just do a few basic things - drop their used clothes in the laundry basket, drop their trash in the garbage, wipe off a surface here and there, reshelve a book they finished reading - if these were habits, things would be so much nicer.  So I persist.  Even though it makes me tired.

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I remember someone telling me that kids do what you inspect, not what you expect. So so so true with chores.

 

I'd spend a month making sure they are trained, really understand your expectations, and know they'll be inspected and completed with chores before anything fun happens in the day. Every. Day.

 

I think sometimes chores are a hassle because we expect too much and train too little. I'd demonstrate the chore. Then have them explain to you what needs to happen. Then watch them do it daily for a week with them explaining (really) what to do. Then watch them for a week without talking. Then let them do it and inspect at the end.

 

I used to be an instructor pilot so that's my matrix. No solo until you're really ready because if they crash it's my fault. It can be fun. It can be done.

 

1. It's so worth it.

 

2. You'll still be drawing the line in the sand every so often when the standard slips. Mine are teens and this week we had the Giant Chore Reminder/Consequences Lecture. LOL. But, it's really worth it.

Edited by FriedClams
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I don't assign chores with regularity. I ask them for specific things when they need to be done and I need help with it, not because it's on some list or rotation. "Hey, can you bring me a broom? Or pull out the chairs to sweep? Or both?" "Would you wipe that sink down really quick? It's looking kind of gnarly." "Did you hear if the dryer is done? Can you check if it's dry and switch if needed?" "Can you help me sort this laundry? There's a basket over there if you need to use it."

 

I get far less resistance when there's an immediate need for assistance than when it's some kind of monotonous assignment. To be fair, *I* can't keep to a chore schedule either.

 

ETA: I don't set them up for failure or me up for frustration by farming out tasks I really, really care about. I'm a germaphobe, so I'm cleaning my kitchen counters and toilets (although I'll let them swish the brush in the toilet). I give zero cares about blotches on the window or dirty baseboards, so they can clean those. I won't nag on that.

 

ETA2: I'm willing to be more relaxed on chores right now because homeschooling means I'm the one insisting on math and writing assignments and music practice. I don't want to go overboard on "things mom makes me do on a regular basis".

Edited by BarbecueMom
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I recently instituted a if your toys aren't picked up, you lose toys for the day. Same with books, same with sports equipment. We don't give an allowance for that since it it not community space. My kids have a hard enough time keeping their space clean. But maybe just layout the rules, have them written with the consequences somewhere posted. Don't nag or yell but enforce the consequences. See if that works. Whiny = extra chores. Like if a kid starts to whine, send them to pick the weeds for 10 minutes, then have them come inside and finish their chores. If they start to whine again, do it again and send them out to pick weeds. 

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I wouldn’t give up since I consider it a part of parenting and life skills that everyone needs. I’ve seen so many entitled adults that believe it’s everyone else’s job to clean up after them. I refuse to allow my kids to become that person. I want my kids to learn to be contributors to a household.

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I'm not organized enough to assign chores with regularity truth be told.  And I only have two kids.  If I had more though, I think I might have to be more organized AND get on my kids more (than I do). 

 

I admit, I'm rather lazy, but basically I just say ok come on everyone I need to get XYZ done let's do it.  And I do get on them to pick up after themselves (please put your plate in the dishwasher when done, put dirty clothes in hamper, put toy away after playing, etc.).  Because mostly what I care about is not constantly having to pick up after each person. 

 

They do have to be told things about one million times before they do them perfectly without being asked though.  That's normal probably. 

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I gave up. I taught them how to clean and how to do laundry. One day, when they live on their own they will realize they don't want to live in filth and they will know how to take care of it. I was a total slob until I had my own place.

 

They will do the chores, for the most part, when I ask. Expecting them to do them weekly without nagging wasn't worth my time. I do it all, except when I need help. Then I ask them to do something.

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Another method that worked well here was to list the chores that needed to be done and each kid got to pick a chore they did NOT want to do (and mom would do that one) and then they divided up the rest of the chores. I still ended up doing way less and they had some control.

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I wouldn't give up. One thing I did do though was allow them to pay a sibling to do their job. If they didn't want to .....a sibling almost always would for pay. So, a child that balked at a chore I would just yell, "anyone want to earn an extra .....(whatever amount of money) and either the original child got busy or a sibling got their money.

I allowed that but it backfired on me. Youngest dd always had babysitting money and she gladly paid her brother to do every chore for her. Now as an adult she sucks at housekeeping chores. and she still pays her brother to do things. I get that she’s an adult and it’s her choice but for real, I think there is value in keeping your own bathroom clean and cleaning the kitchen occasionally.

 

(I guess she is keeping the bathroom clean, but I meant actually doing the task)

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Life's so short. Focus on the relationship you want, not what needs to be cleaned.

 

My parents died when I was a teenager. I'm good at some stuff they required me to do and good at other stuff they didn't require me to do. I suck at stuff they required me to do and suck at stuff they didn't require me to do.

 

Cleaning isn't hard to figure out. It's like sports. Sports can teach kids a lot. But they can learn most of those things with other activities. What do you want them to learn you think they learn through chores? Focus on that, if the chores aren't doing it.

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We don’t do assigned chores. Instead what we do is all work together to do what needs to be done. Daily that means that everyone helps cook or clean up after meals. Everyone helps with laundry on the days we do it. For the weekly chores, we generally all work together on Fridays to do the work. And occasionally on a weekend we do bigger cleaning together. 

 

For us this works as it’s just part of life. For the weekly chores or bigger days, I make a long list and everyone picks what they want to do until it’s all done. I find they work harder if they can pick what they do and avoid the chores they particularly hate. That’s true for me too. :) And I have some kids who like the ones I hate so it works well. 

 

I also try not to ask for help in an arbitrary way. So if they are all working on school, I won’t make them stop to help me cook lunch. But if it’s a day when I need to get to work and am in a hurry I’ll ask one of the kids to make lunch while I help another one with Math. I find that they help more when they see that it’s really needed. If one kid is less busy with school I might ask them to go and switch the laundry but if they are all busy I do it myself. 

I also think I have lower standards than others as far as cleanliness. :) I don’t expect the 8 year old to clean the bathroom to the same standard that I do...but it’s cleaner than if it’s not done at all. So I make sure that I do all of the jobs some of the time so everything is at the same “ok†level of clean. 

 

ETA: As my oldest has gotten to the teen years this approach has paid off. He will now often come and help me fold laundry without being asked. Or he’ll wash the dishes after we have an afternoon snack without being asked. Just now he went down to switch the laundry because he is looking for something he needs and he knows it’s laundry day. My goal with chores was to get them to the point of helping when things need to be done because they need to be done and that seems to be working for us. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Alice
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I didn't give up. It is part of parenting. I didn't give up reminding them to bathe. Or brush their teeth. Or to use deodorant (for which the local world owes me a great debt!)

 

However, we did start when they were young with small chores that gradually grew in size and amount. 

 

We, however, never paid for regular chores. You live here, you are expected to pitch in and help keep the place clean and neat (or at least to our standards!). You were paid for extra chores.

 

Sometimes they were good about remembering, sometimes they weren't. I appreciated and tried to mention when they did remember. I tried to remind without emotion (note the "tried") when they needed it. 

 

It is hard. BUT... your kids need to learn how to do the housekeeping, laundry, cooking, basic car maintenance, lawn care, etc for when they leave home. Right? That is part of their education. One of mine hated grammar, but I didn't care. I made her learn it anyway. She may thank me someday, but I doubt it. 

 

So, I vote stick with it. I might reevaluate if they haven't been doing chores regularly. I would start with a light load. I would teach how to do whatever the chore is - make a list of steps if needed or a checklist. I would teach, then supervise, then check regularly, then check randomly. I'd also set the family done and list all the things that are needed to have a house and life run smoothly - and then set everyone down and start explaining/discussing and try to get their buy-in. If they understand the whole picture, maybe that will help with motivation? 

 

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Nothing has been more detrimental to my kids motivation for doing chores than paying for me. My advice is never pay. I took the money away and demanded chore get done anyway. I give them an allowance that is unattached to chore. I still have to nag to get chores done, but I never threaten the money and they get the money even on months when they don't do very well.

 

I want them to have the money so they can budget their own fun spending. I was handing one child a bunch of money to go hang out at the mall, have lunch with friends, etc. Things I didn't mind paying for because I wanted her to have fun, but the other child never asked for that stuff. To make it so that the one child had to be more budget conscious, and the other child got some reward for being frugal, we give an allowance.

 

These thing I usually hold over their head for chores is rides and cell phones. I'll take the phone and tell them they can have it back when the chore is done, or tell them we'll leave to Very Important Event when the kitchen is clean. Things like that.

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We don’t do assigned chores. Instead what we do is all work together to do what needs to be done. Daily that means that everyone helps cook or clean up after meals. Everyone helps with laundry on the days we do it. For the weekly chores, we generally all work together on Fridays to do the work. And occasionally on a weekend we do bigger cleaning together. 

 

For us this works as it’s just part of life. For the weekly chores or bigger days, I make a long list and everyone picks what they want to do until it’s all done. I find they work harder if they can pick what they do and avoid the chores they particularly hate. That’s true for me too. :) And I have some kids who like the ones I hate so it works well. 

 

I also try not to ask for help in an arbitrary way. So if they are all working on school, I won’t make them stop to help me cook lunch. But if it’s a day when I need to get to work and am in a hurry I’ll ask one of the kids to make lunch while I help another one with Math. I find that they help more when they see that it’s really needed. If one kid is less busy with school I might ask them to go and switch the laundry but if they are all busy I do it myself. 

I also think I have lower standards than others as far as cleanliness. :) I don’t expect the 8 year old to clean the bathroom to the same standard that I do...but it’s cleaner than if it’s not done at all. So I make sure that I do all of the jobs some of the time so everything is at the same “ok†level of clean. 

 

ETA: As my oldest has gotten to the teen years this approach has paid off. He will now often come and help me fold laundry without being asked. Or he’ll wash the dishes after we have an afternoon snack without being asked. Just now he went down to switch the laundry because he is looking for something he needs and he knows it’s laundry day. My goal with chores was to get them to the point of helping when things need to be done because they need to be done and that seems to be working for us. 

ITA with all of the bolded.

 

I don't really have assigned chores.

 

But if I'm working, I grab my kids to get us to the goal. 

 

So, for the bathroom. Kid A does the shower, Kid B does the sink, Kid C does the toilet, and Kid D does the mirror. Even though I have older kids I still go in there, and do a follow up visit. I get the spots that were missed when I do the floors.

 

We don't make beds. Bedrooms get cleaned once a week so I can vaccuum.

 

When I clean the living room, I break it up the same way, One dusts, one vacuums, one does baseboards, one picks up. 

 

These aren't their "assigned chores" I just say, Guys, while I'm cooking supper, I need you to do this one thing. Or before you do your iPad time, I need you to do this other thing. I usually tie it to them wanting TV, video games, or dessert. 

 

So my response is "Yes, but first can you take 5 minutes and do this chore for me." When I say it that way, they can grasp the idea of a 5 minute chore. I don't do long lists, I switch things up so they don't get the worst chore all the time. We are all working at the same time most of the time. 

 

It pays off. 

 

Last night, I was working outdoors till 7:30. I asked my 16 yo to brown the ground beef for tacos. By the time I was able to come back indoors for a minute, she had browned the beef, seasoned it, gotten out the shells, lettuce, etc. and asked if she could fix plates. I went back outside and when I cam in again, they'd eaten and she'd loaded the dishwasher. Because she knew I was busy! 

 

She's not the susie homemaker kind of kid, but she knew how to do this stuff because I gently continued prodding her. And she wanted supper, tacos were a favorite, and she wanted mamma to come in the house in a decent frame of mind, AND she knew that mom always washes the dishes from supper before dishing out the ice cream! 

 

BTW, my kids do things that are often connected to their own stuff. So each person picks up their own crap. They wash, dry and fold their own clothes, they put their OWN plates in the dishwasher. They don't clean my bathroom, because they don't use it much. But they do use the common areas of the house, eat food, dirty dishes, etc. If everyone cleans up after themselves, it helps SO much. BTW, I try not to micromanage their own stuff as much as possible.. If they want to ball up their clothes and shove them into drawers so be it. But I do want them put away.

 

When they were younger, I did ask them to help with younger siblings. but I did make an effort to spread out the work, so the older two didn't get buried under the work and the middles did nothing.

 

They also cut grass, help in the yard and garden, and help with outdoor stuff like cleaning out cars.

 

But mostly, I tie their work to fun stuff. Those who complain get this response. "Hmmm...you know it sort of sounds like you'r e saying "I hate folding clothes, but what I'm really hearing is, I have so much energy to complain thjat I need to wash dishes after supper."

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A few months ago I had the brilliant idea of dividing up the weekly housecleaning chores between my older 4 kids (well mostly the older 3...the 5 yo only picks up and moves chairs around and empty the bathroom trash). These chores are within their capabilities, they've been taught how to do them, and I even pay them for doing them. But every week I find myself trying to motivate kids to actually do their jobs, listening to whining, and spending just as much time supervising them to do the work as it takes me to do it all myself (and I do a better job!). I've taken the job (and resulting pay) away from a whining or balky kid for a week, offered incentives to do their jobs quickly, made them do the job anyway but without pay because they stalled too much...and this still happens every.single.week. At what point do you just give up on having them do these jobs? They all have daily chores that they are required to do and they do not get paid for, so it's not like they're unfamiliar with having to do household chores.

 

You don't try to "motivate" your children to do their chores. You don't pay them or otherwise try to find incentives. You tell your children to do them. You make sure they have time to do them. You make sure they know how to do them. You model how to do them, you work along with them, you check up on them, and if the chores are not done properly, in a timely fashion, you correct them (with how much intensity depends on exact situation), without yelling at them; you just walk over and correct them You might have to set time aside so that you all do chores together.

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I remember someone telling me that kids do what you inspect, not what you expect. So so so true with chores.

 

I'd spend a month making sure they are trained, really understand your expectations, and know they'll be inspected and completed with chores before anything fun happens in the day. Every. Day.

 

I think sometimes chores are a hassle because we expect too much and train too little. I'd demonstrate the chore. Then have them explain to you what needs to happen. Then watch them do it daily for a week with them explaining (really) what to do. Then watch them for a week without talking. Then let them do it and inspect at the end.

 

I used to be an instructor pilot so that's my matrix. No solo until you're really ready because if they crash it's my fault. It can be fun. It can be done.

 

1. It's so worth it.

 

2. You'll still be drawing the line in the sand every so often when the standard slips. Mine are teens and this week we had the Giant Chore Reminder/Consequences Lecture. LOL. But, it's really worth it.

 

This is really great advice. I think that this could be rephrased, "people do what you inspect, not what you expect". Great advice!

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I try not to be a perfectionist, but I do insist that they help out. The kids have certain chores I expect them to do, but nothing major: unload the dishwasher, taking out the trash/recycling, feeding the animals, etc. I've done more detailed chore lists before with allowances and rewards and such, but they don't seem to last. Only the minor things, like unloading the dishwasher and taking out the trash, last.

 

I think part of why those small things work, is because they're small jobs. It doesn't take them that long to do, and it's consistent. I don't fuss about it. I don't argue or nag....I'm very matter-of-fact about those things. It's their job...they need to do it.

 

But the. best. tool I've found for getting my kids to get things done is ScreenTime. It's an app that another homeschool mom showed me, and I am in love.  :001_wub:  I set "tasks" that must be completed to earn screen time on their devices. I also have an outdoor time (which means, no screens at all), a bedtime with specific apps that they're allowed to use (like Audible) before their device blocks them completely at "Lights Out" time.

 

So, they start off with a little bit of time, but then everything from getting dressed & brushing teeth, to doing school, to completing chores gets them time. I set how much time each task earns and can "pause" (completely block their device) whenever I need to.  

 

It has been the best and simplest thing to get chores done! But each of my kids have Kindles plus a couple have phones, so it works for me. If your kids don't have devices that they're in love with, it might not work for you.

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I am not their maid. I am not their servant. I do not own the responsibility for taking care of keeping the house clean. Therefore, everyone in this house will help out. I do not pay the kids because to me that sends the messae that these tasks are mine and I am paying them like I might pay an outside third party of which none of my children qualify. You live here, then you work here too just like all of the rest of us. You do it for free just like all of the rest of us, just like you will have to when you live somewhere else.

 

To me, giving up sends the message that you don’t have to pull your own weight and someone else will do it for you. No future roommate, partner, or spouse is going to want to live with someone like that, nor should they have to. Plus, these kids go out into the world as my ambassador to the public. I don‘t want that attached to my name. About my children, no one will say “Didn’t your mother/parents ever teach you...â€

 

We, the adults in this house, persist in this for all of the reasons listed above. Don’t like it kid? Too bad, sucks to be you. The vacuum is over there. Best get going. You’re only wasting your own time. I can do this all day. I also have this hearing problem wherein whiners are blocked out and I just can’t hear them. What? What’s that you say? I can’t hear you. Maybe you can try it again so I can?

 

But, I’m not pregnant, my youngest is 8, and my dh is on the same page (and helps out around the house). As for kids helping out of their own accord? All three of my chore assigned children do that, too. The other day ds folded the towels after I brought the basket upstairs. Any one of my kids will help put clothes away or fold when they see me doing it. Do they always notice the things that need to be done? Nope, but we’re working on it.

 

Might I give up for now if my circumstances were different? Sure, but just for a limited time until I had more energy or greater support from my spouse. For always? No way! Did I mention that I am not the maid? ;)

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If I remember correctly you have kids with executive function difficulties.

 

It is unlikely they are going to morph into kids who do not have trouble initiating, sticking with, and completing tasks.

 

Do they do ok with the daily chores? If so the regular routine may be helping them. Is there a way to divide up some of the weekly tasks into daily portions?

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No keep going. It's not totally all about making life easier for you it's about making sure the kids have an understanding of how to run a house and what goes into living successfully. And eventually they get to a point where it works.

 

Oddly separating chores from financial reward seems to work better here. If I offer money the kids rush through to get the money instead of doing the job properly.

 

I currently have a no limits on screen time policy provided

 

Chores are done

Schoolwork is done

They get at least an hour of exercise

 

This seems to be a good motivator and by the time all the other parts of life are done they aren't getting too much anyway.

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My mom had to stop that because I didn't mind my sister getting paid. "I don't need money, I have the library!"

 

In fact, I would use my birthday money to pay her for daily chores. My poor mom.

That would have been me as well. The only time I would work for money as a kid was if it was someone's birthday because I liked giving presents. Other than that I've always valued free time to read and think over cold hard cash. Probably still do actually.

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I did want to add that the chores I expect them to do are pretty simple

 

Dress and hygiene

Care for their own pets

Keep their rooms tidy

Each child helps with one meal per day

Everyone folds their own laundry

Occasionally help hang washing or vacuum for the older ones

Each child takes out one of

Rubbish, chook scraps, recycling

 

Because the meal prep is directly with me and we all fold laundry together it's simple to supervise these chores and make sure they happen. Because of no screens rule I check bedrooms in the morning before they are allowed the tablet.

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We don’t do assigned chores. Instead what we do is all work together to do what needs to be done. Daily that means that everyone helps cook or clean up after meals. Everyone helps with laundry on the days we do it. For the weekly chores, we generally all work together on Fridays to do the work. And occasionally on a weekend we do bigger cleaning together. 

 

For us this works as it’s just part of life. For the weekly chores or bigger days, I make a long list and everyone picks what they want to do until it’s all done. I find they work harder if they can pick what they do and avoid the chores they particularly hate. That’s true for me too. :) And I have some kids who like the ones I hate so it works well. 

 

I also try not to ask for help in an arbitrary way. So if they are all working on school, I won’t make them stop to help me cook lunch. But if it’s a day when I need to get to work and am in a hurry I’ll ask one of the kids to make lunch while I help another one with Math. I find that they help more when they see that it’s really needed. If one kid is less busy with school I might ask them to go and switch the laundry but if they are all busy I do it myself. 

I also think I have lower standards than others as far as cleanliness. :) I don’t expect the 8 year old to clean the bathroom to the same standard that I do...but it’s cleaner than if it’s not done at all. So I make sure that I do all of the jobs some of the time so everything is at the same “ok†level of clean. 

 

ETA: As my oldest has gotten to the teen years this approach has paid off. He will now often come and help me fold laundry without being asked. Or he’ll wash the dishes after we have an afternoon snack without being asked. Just now he went down to switch the laundry because he is looking for something he needs and he knows it’s laundry day. My goal with chores was to get them to the point of helping when things need to be done because they need to be done and that seems to be working for us. 

 

This is how we did it too.  My 23 year old lives on her own and her house is clean.  My 21 year old and 18 year old live with me and they are great help. There is more than one one to accomplish the goal of teaching kids to clean.

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Keep going.  IMO, having them do the chores isn't about teaching them how to do the chores.  It's about teaching them that everyone has to help out in the house, and everyone does their jobs. 

 

My suggestions are....separate the chores into morning or evening.  Things like, make the bed, unload the dishwasher, etc, can be morning chores, and things like picking up the toys or loading the dishwasher, those can be evening chores.  Then, make them part of the routine.  So, after breakfast, you tell the kids to do morning chores.  Then you supervise.  And you will probably have to for a while longer.  But if it becomes routine, eventually you should hit a point where instead of "Aw come on mom, do I have to, I don't WAAAAAAANnnnnnnnntttttttttt to" you start to hear "*sigh* Yeah Yeah Yeah, I know, I know."

 

If you give up now, you are less likely to be able to get them to try again later.

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btw: you can probably read, write, and do math better than they can too, but that does not mean that they do not need to learn these things.

 

Household tasks, and pitching in to help in the home and with the family are far more important skills for life IME than the academics.  And it is far harder to find remediation outside of home for poor lifeskills than for poor academics.

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Agreed, it's your job...

 

But I want to second the people who are saying to back up for awhile. Start small, with chores they can do while you are literally right there, in the context of daily routines.

 

Make *simple* charts for morning, meal times, and bedtime. Supervise these times. Don't skip because you are tired, and don't give in to whining.

 

Do the rest yourself or hire somebody or let it go - during pregnancy plus hsing, dh should be pulling some household duty WITH kids helping HIM but I realize that's a different argument - if you can get the routines down for morning, bedtime, and meals, that's pretty good until after baby comes.

 

When you are ready to add more chores later, add just one thing at a time, and supervise and inspect that one thing *every single time.* As Margaret says, give it long enough to become a habit (for them to do, and for you to hold them accountable), before you add another chore. Whenever you add new responsibilities, don't stop supervising the old ones; good habits are easily lost. And that goes for your good habit of involvement as much as for the kids habits of chores.

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Agreed, it's your job...

 

But I want to second the people who are saying to back up for awhile. Start small, with chores they can do while you are literally right there, in the context of daily routines.

 

Make *simple* charts for morning, meal times, and bedtime. Supervise these times. Don't skip because you are tired, and don't give in to whining.

 

Do the rest yourself or hire somebody or let it go - during pregnancy plus hsing, dh should be pulling some household duty WITH kids helping HIM but I realize that's a different argument - if you can get the routines down for morning, bedtime, and meals, that's pretty good until after baby comes.

 

When you are ready to add more chores later, add just one thing at a time, and supervise and inspect that one thing *every single time.* As Margaret says, give it long enough to become a habit (for them to do, and for you to hold them accountable), before you add another chore. Whenever you add new responsibilities, don't stop supervising the old ones; good habits are easily lost. And that goes for your good habit of involvement as much as for the kids habits of chores.

Not to harp on it.....but THIS is what teaching kids to do chores is really about.  Whether you pay them or not.  It's getting them to realize that EVERYONE does the chores.   It often happens that the kids who aren't made to help out are the ones who don't recognize when the help around the house is really needed.  (and just for the exceptions that will chime in, I said often, not always.  There will always be kids who grow up to always be helpful even though they were never made to do chores.)

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Don’t give up. My kids do nothing without nagging....er.... reminding.... from me. They do not do it cheerfully, but if I keep at it, they at least don’t whine. They just do it. Basically, kids hate chores. I do too. Don’t you?? Who actually likes doing the dishes or laundry or sweeping the floor? But as an adult, we realize these things have to be done and prefer a clean house, so we do them. I get on my kids for being distracted and dawdling during chores, but then I realized the reason it takes me an hour to do the dishes at night is.... I text, I look at the mail, I fiddle with my Playlist...

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Life's so short. Focus on the relationship you want, not what needs to be cleaned.

 

My parents died when I was a teenager. I'm good at some stuff they required me to do and good at other stuff they didn't require me to do. I suck at stuff they required me to do and suck at stuff they didn't require me to do.

 

Cleaning isn't hard to figure out. It's like sports. Sports can teach kids a lot. But they can learn most of those things with other activities. What do you want them to learn you think they learn through chores? Focus on that, if the chores aren't doing it.

 

:grouphug:

 

This definitely is a reminder to use chores as they are intended: a way to teach kids what it means to be part of a giving family. It's not about learning to be a maid.

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:grouphug:

 

This definitely is a reminder to use chores as they are intended: a way to teach kids what it means to be part of a giving family. It's not about learning to be a maid.

 

Precisely.  We actually don't do chores any more in the sense of a "chore chart" or "chore list" but my kids did when they were little.  Now my young adults just help out as needed. 

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Don’t give up. My kids do nothing without nagging....er.... reminding.... from me. They do not do it cheerfully, but if I keep at it, they at least don’t whine. They just do it. Basically, kids hate chores. I do too. Don’t you?? Who actually likes doing the dishes or laundry or sweeping the floor? But as an adult, we realize these things have to be done and prefer a clean house, so we do them. I get on my kids for being distracted and dawdling during chores, but then I realized the reason it takes me an hour to do the dishes at night is.... I text, I look at the mail, I fiddle with my Playlist...

Lol... I get everything done so much faster if I have audible or podcasts to distract my brain

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I just ask for help when I need it and my kids help. The only 'formal' chores are that you put your own clothes away and one walks the dog and the other unloads the dishes most days. But they usually do their own laundry, and there is no hesitation when I ask for help with sweeping, dishes, laundry, setting the table, taking out the trash,etc.. Everyone just pitches in and helps with a fairly good attitude. I also have no problem occasionally throwing their laundry in or walking the dog while someone sleeps in, etc.. My husband works a lot, but is also quick to help with anything anyone needs and pitches in all the time.

 

I am actually not sure I can even claim responsibility for training them. I think they might just be great kids. I never did much in the way of chore charts, etc. But I did talk about what it means to be a family and I made it clear I can't do it all myself. And I think my husband and I led by example, and we always helped them too. It's just part of being a family to us.

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2-3 weeks is not long enough for even conscientious, attentive, good executive function kids to learn to do a new chore well and without complaint, ime.

 

I'd give it 4-6 months at the same task, so they've done it say 150-200 times, before worrying.  2-3 weeks is nothing.

 

Miss Manners says it takes 18 years to raise a well-mannered adult, so... :D

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