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children and chores?


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  #1  
June 22nd, 2012, 08:35 AM
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Is there an age that is to young for children to have chores? Should we wait on giving them chores so thye have no responsibilities or does starting chores early prepare them for being responsible in the future?
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  #2  
June 22nd, 2012, 08:56 AM
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If you consider helping out around the house a chore, then there is no child to young. A one year old can help pick up their toys and bring things that you ask. Of course the older the child the more they can do. I don't think there's any reason to make a big deal out of them...to me we all live here so we all help out.
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  #3  
June 22nd, 2012, 10:04 AM
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It depends on the kid and the family and what works for them. You can have a kid who has been spoiled his whole life and has never had to lift a finger. Likewise, you can have a kid who has had chores to do his whole life and is still spoiled or irresponsible for other reasons. You can have a kid who is very responsible and hard working and did chores and helped around the house growing up, and you can have a kid who is just as responsible and never had specific chores to do. There are other ways to accomplish the goal of responsibility. Chores a good way to do so, but so are other ways.
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  #5  
June 22nd, 2012, 11:41 AM
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I don't think there is anything wrong with a child having responsibilities. I remember being very young and my mom giving me a rag to go around and wipe dust off the furniture. I felt so awesome having a "job" to do. I don't think there is an age too young to start as long as you give them appropriate tasks for what they're capable of doing.
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  #6  
June 22nd, 2012, 12:08 PM
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My kids don't have too many chores to do because I prefer to do most of the stuff myself. They DO have to make beds (including helping me re-make after I wash bedding.. believe me making 7 beds isn't really all that fun by yourself lol), clean their playroom, and clean up their own shoes in the hall way. These are things they ALWAYS do. Then there are things I ask them to help with like putting kitchen rugs back when I'm done sweeping. Putting Bastian to nap or getting him out of bed in the morning and helping him come down the stairs safely etc.

If they do not do their expected chores (mostly the playroom is an issue) then they have to stay in the yard the next day, and cannot play in the playroom. If they are really having a problem listening/doing what I ask they have to help with yard work. The yard work thing kinda backfires because usually it's my DH that does the work and they help him, so they kinda enjoy helping him out with stuff.
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  #8  
June 22nd, 2012, 02:54 PM
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I think it depends on the family and children. ds1 didn't start helping out more than just picking up toys until he was 3. Prior to that asking him he would get really overwhelmed and frustrated, he also has SPD so I could have been a little of that. ds2 is 2 years old and likes to help and repeates "I big helper". We don't really give money for them though, but they do have piggy banks that we put money into at random times.
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  #9  
June 23rd, 2012, 02:14 AM
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The answer likely depends entirely on what you consider chores.

Regular upkeep of a home we're all sharing is a responsibility we share. Not always equally, as what we can and cannot do will vary greatly. But it's still a responsibility we all share. There are some things the kids will always do, but neither they nor I consider them chores. They just happen to be a task they choose to do regularly. For one kid that's taking out the trash, or cleaning the bathroom, kitty litter, mowing the lawn, etc...

None of us gets paid for regular upkeep and I'm not fond of the idea to begin with. Our payment is having a clean/nice house to live in, which is more than adequate, imo.

As for how old a child should be before attempting to do any sort of task, it depends on what they're capable of. As long as the child CAN do what you're asking, I don't think there is an age limit.
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  #10  
June 23rd, 2012, 04:41 AM
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Upkeep of the home is something we all share in our household, depending on ability level, of course. We all live here, we all make the mess, we all pitch in to clean it up.

I don't see it as 'learning to be responsible' or 'taking away childhoods' or anything like that, I see it as a normal thing that we all have to do, like eating your dinner and brushing teeth.
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  #11  
June 23rd, 2012, 07:59 AM
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We have none for Reme yet..he isn't quite ready. But he has basic responsibilities he is required to do like tana his dishes to the kitchen or pick up after himself.

Day to day is nit chores. I plan on a chore board. Let them choose things to do that are worth a set amount of money. They do none of them, they have no pocket money. If I ask them to do a specific chore and the money will go in their piggy bank instead.

There isn't anything that Reme could do right now so I'm holding off until his motor control is better. I figure another year or two. I'm hoping to giive him unloading the dishwasher as a chore... but he needs some height first. 47" wont get him anywhere near out cupboards.
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  #12  
June 23rd, 2012, 08:50 AM
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Our girls get an allowance, so I expect things to be done around the house. For example, dishes must be washed, laundry folded and put away. Living room must be cleaned, the kitchen needs sweeping and mopping. At my old apartment we had to vacuum now we just have to pass a broom and mop all over at the new house. I expect them both to keep their rooms clean and help their little brother clean up his. The cat box needs to be cleaned, they also need to be fed. The dog has to get walked...you get the idea. Only thing I really do is my room and the bathroom. I also clean what they do now that I'm home again. But I've had to slow down so I depend on them a lot.

I feel it has been teaching them to be responsible around the house and with their money. I no longer buy them a lot of things. They usually buy it themselves. I take care of the necessities, they take care of the wants.
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  #13  
June 24th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over.the.moon View Post
I think chores are a good way to teach responsiablity. So long as they are expected to do the chore and mom/dad/older sibling, won't just do it if they don't.

DD has chores, she has to clean her room every Saturday, pick up all her dirty clothes on Friday, put away all her clean clothes on Sunday, strip her bed on Tuesday morning and remake it Tuesday afternoon, and on Mondays and Thursdays she has to go around the living room (and rest of the house) and pick up her stuff that shouldn't be there.

If she doesn't do these things, they don't get done. If she doesn't clean her room, she doesn't do anything fun until it's cleaned, if she doesn't pick up her dirty clothes, she won't have clean clothes, if she doesn't put away her clean clothes she won't be able to find them in the morning, ect, ect. She also is expected to pick up her toys when she's done playing, set the table for dinner, and after dinner scrap and rinse her plate and put in the dishwasher. These aren't counted as chores, they're simply taking care of your house. We're going to teach her how to sort and do her own laundry soon and eventually she'll have to keep her bathroom (yeah she's 4 with her own bathroom!) clean and clean it once a week. But she's too small for that still.
For my household, I wouldn't find most of those things age appropriate. Picking up after themselves, sure. "Helping out", absolutely. But, being responsible for putting away their own clothes or not having any and putting them in the laundry or not having anything clean, seems a bit extreme to me. I'm curious as to what you do or what you would do if she simply didn't do the things listed. Would you send her to school with dirty clothes? Never let her do anything fun? I find your list a but much for a four year old, but that's just me. The laundry at age 4-5 seems really strange to me. I wouldn't want my 5 year old anywhere near our washer and dryer. I suppose my theory is, "if they can't reach the buttons and measure the liquid, they are too young to do it".


I think what is age appropriate just comes naturally. Right now, the girls pick up after themselves and when we are doing a mass cleaning, they help out by wiping tables down/dusting, and drying dishes (5 year old). I don't know if I could come up with a true age vs. what responsibilities they have.
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  #14  
June 24th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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Ds can't reach our cupboards either, but that doesn't mean he can't load the dishwasher and put the clean ones on the counter for someone else to put away. Which is exactly what he does when he loads the dishwasher. When we put groceries away, he usually sticks with the things he can reach. Or he climbs up on something to put stuff away.

Same with laundry. He can't turn it on very easily, but he can measure the liquid and he can put the clothes in.
If I waited until he was tall enough to reach everything, he'd never do anything, lol. I don't think he'd appreciate not being able to help. Same with dd2. She's short as all get out. She still can't empty the washing machine without standing on something and will likely have to do so for some years to come. She may always have to step on tippy toes to reach in. She has to stand on things or climb on the counter to get into the cupboards too, all of them(we don't have lower cupboards). Doesn't stop her from doing stuff. (she's 11 btw) That's part of the reason why she likes doing the trash, she doesn't have to stand on things to do it lol.

I've never understood the whole "they're too little" excuse people use for everything. Yeah some things, sure they can't do at a younger age, at least not by themselves. That doesn't mean you can't teach them, or let them help, or find a perhaps different way to achieve the same goal using whatever skills they might possess. Especially once they're out of the toddler stage. I know some parents just have a set way in their minds and if it can't be done that way, then the kid(s) can't do it. Also not really a stance I always agree with. I happen to be someone who thinks that it's a-ok for plenty of things to not necessarily be done perfectly every single time, including adapting how it's done to a child's abilities. Especially when you're teaching your own child how to help maintain their own home-extremely important skills. But I also believe the longer you take to teach them, the harder it likely will be. There's always an exception to the rule of course, but I think most kids benefit more from learning those skills at a younger age, than an older one.

I'm sure most of my opinions come from the fact that I really believe we all are responsible for our own home-and honestly don't understand people who think otherwise(not saying they are wrong, just that I don't understand their pov). Chores are things that don't fall under the "daily upkeep" of a home. Those, and only those, are reserved for age/skill appropriate times. Everything else can at least be taught from a very early age, infancy even, long before the child actually has the skills to complete the task on their own. My babies sat along side me from birth while doing most things, or rode along when I was wearing them, anyway.
I think to believe otherwise is sort of selling your own kid short. Almost as if you believe they can't possibly learn. But I could be completely off base there too, I did say I didn't understand the pov. It's just how I was raised, and how I raise my kids. To be quite honest, I do hope it's something they continue to pass along with their own kids someday.
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  #15  
June 24th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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Sasha gets upset if someone does a load of washing and he doesn't get to measure out the half a cup of powder.

He puts away his clothes, he knows which clothes go into what drawers, the older four are responsible for their own clothes, but he has to 'help' me do his on a friday. He has a stool he stands on and he knows which buttons to press and which knobs to turn, I watch him of course, but I don't believe it to be at all inappropriate for his age. He actually has a smaller clotheshorse that we put outside because he can't reach the clothesline, and he enjoys hanging out his clothes on the line.
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  #16  
June 24th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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When we had a clothesline outside we had a shorter one for the same reason, lol.
Ds used to like hanging his own diapers but constantly moving a chair or something so he can hang got tedious.
I really need to get the line back up, a storm took it out.
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  #17  
June 24th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
Ds can't reach our cupboards either, but that doesn't mean he can't load the dishwasher and put the clean ones on the counter for someone else to put away. Which is exactly what he does when he loads the dishwasher. When we put groceries away, he usually sticks with the things he can reach. Or he climbs up on something to put stuff away.

Same with laundry. He can't turn it on very easily, but he can measure the liquid and he can put the clothes in.
If I waited until he was tall enough to reach everything, he'd never do anything, lol. I don't think he'd appreciate not being able to help. Same with dd2. She's short as all get out. She still can't empty the washing machine without standing on something and will likely have to do so for some years to come. She may always have to step on tippy toes to reach in. She has to stand on things or climb on the counter to get into the cupboards too, all of them(we don't have lower cupboards). Doesn't stop her from doing stuff. (she's 11 btw) That's part of the reason why she likes doing the trash, she doesn't have to stand on things to do it lol.

I've never understood the whole "they're too little" excuse people use for everything. Yeah some things, sure they can't do at a younger age, at least not by themselves. That doesn't mean you can't teach them, or let them help, or find a perhaps different way to achieve the same goal using whatever skills they might possess. Especially once they're out of the toddler stage. I know some parents just have a set way in their minds and if it can't be done that way, then the kid(s) can't do it. Also not really a stance I always agree with. I happen to be someone who thinks that it's a-ok for plenty of things to not necessarily be done perfectly every single time, including adapting how it's done to a child's abilities. Especially when you're teaching your own child how to help maintain their own home-extremely important skills. But I also believe the longer you take to teach them, the harder it likely will be. There's always an exception to the rule of course, but I think most kids benefit more from learning those skills at a younger age, than an older one.

I'm sure most of my opinions come from the fact that I really believe we all are responsible for our own home-and honestly don't understand people who think otherwise(not saying they are wrong, just that I don't understand their pov). Chores are things that don't fall under the "daily upkeep" of a home. Those, and only those, are reserved for age/skill appropriate times. Everything else can at least be taught from a very early age, infancy even, long before the child actually has the skills to complete the task on their own. My babies sat along side me from birth while doing most things, or rode along when I was wearing them, anyway.
I think to believe otherwise is sort of selling your own kid short. Almost as if you believe they can't possibly learn. But I could be completely off base there too, I did say I didn't understand the pov. It's just how I was raised, and how I raise my kids. To be quite honest, I do hope it's something they continue to pass along with their own kids someday.
You are talking about teaching, leading, and guiding a child while helping them do something that it sounds like they actually enjoy doing. I may be wrong, but from the tone of the post I quoted, it didn't sound like the case to me. To me, it sounded more like a strict chore schedule for a 4 year old. Mine get on chairs to help me put away dishes, but they aren't in charge of it, they help me. I don't believe children should be in charge of doing sorting, washing,drying, and putting away their own laundry at age 4.
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  #18  
June 24th, 2012, 07:38 PM
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The post you quoted didn't say anything about actually DOING the washing and drying. She said

"pick up all her dirty clothes on Friday, put away all her clean clothes on Sunday"

To me.. that just sounds like exactly what it says, picking up dirty clothes, then putting away the clean ones. If my two year old can sort out his toys into the correct bins if I show him where each type of toy goes (and remind him every so often), I'm sure a 4 yr old can pick up dirty laundry, and put clean clothes into respective drawers.

And it does depend on how early you start teaching a child. Out here in a country, 7 yr olds know how to operate tractors, while in the city i'm willing to bed most 7 yr old don't.

Kids actually are smart and capable if you give em half a chance. Who knew?
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  #19  
June 24th, 2012, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesliek0211 View Post
You are talking about teaching, leading, and guiding a child while helping them do something that it sounds like they actually enjoy doing. I may be wrong, but from the tone of the post I quoted, it didn't sound like the case to me. To me, it sounded more like a strict chore schedule for a 4 year old. Mine get on chairs to help me put away dishes, but they aren't in charge of it, they help me. I don't believe children should be in charge of doing sorting, washing,drying, and putting away their own laundry at age 4.
At age 4 my kids, and I am pretty darn certain they aren't alone, are perfectly capable of putting away their own clothes, sorting them, doing whatever version of "folding" they so choose, throwing things in the washing machine and/or dryer(obviously not doing every action required to wash/dry them alone), etc... It's not rocket science. But like I said in my post, some parents simply can't have things done that way. It must be done in the manner they desire, or it can't be done by anyone else at all. Me, I'm not that kind of person. I don't care if my child fails to fold their clothes correctly, or puts them in the wrong drawer, etc... I'm not very anal retentive about things being done exactly as I want them. I'm quite content with kiddos learning at their own pace. Just the mere act of teaching them how and allowing them the freedom to practice what they've been taught is vastly more beneficial than sitting and waiting until some arbitrary predetermined age when they are magically "ready". But, I don't believe such an age exists anyway, which is why I think waiting to teach and guide and then let go of the reigns is a really bad idea in most cases.

If people actually saw what my kids do sometimes, they'd probably think that my kids have a strict schedule too. It couldn't be further from the truth though. My kids enjoy doing what they do, because they learned at an early age. I didn't simply say "nope, too little, sorry charlie". I taught them from birth because I saw no reason to avoid doing it. They're not going to enjoy it 24/7 though, hell I don't even enjoy daily upkeep 24/7, how can I expect them to? But they still know it's something that has to be done, even if they don't want to, because they learned early on. It's probably why they also don't consider things like that chores. It just is what it is, something we all have to do-like it or not.
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  #20  
June 25th, 2012, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Frackel View Post
If people actually saw what my kids do sometimes, they'd probably think that my kids have a strict schedule too. It couldn't be further from the truth though. My kids enjoy doing what they do, because they learned at an early age. I didn't simply say "nope, too little, sorry charlie". I taught them from birth because I saw no reason to avoid doing it. They're not going to enjoy it 24/7 though, hell I don't even enjoy daily upkeep 24/7, how can I expect them to? But they still know it's something that has to be done, even if they don't want to, because they learned early on. It's probably why they also don't consider things like that chores. It just is what it is, something we all have to do-like it or not.

I get the strict kind of reaction to my older four (plus Dita's partner who lives with us) cooking dinner. I don't know why, but apparently there is something about a 10yr old who knows how to make a basic pasta sauce that rubs people the wrong way. It's not like my kids are forced into cooking or that I set time for cooking lessons or that food has to be prepared to a certain standard, it is just that they enjoy cooking, and I consider it to be a very valuable life skill, in fact, my oldest is planning on making a living out of it (she is applying to culinary academies for next year, as this is her last year of high school)

It started when they were toddlers, and as Frackel has said, they do what they can for their age, at 2 years old, we would open up the vegetable crisper and I would say, "Can you find me a carrot? Which one is a carrot?" then open up the cupboard "Which one is a chopping board? No, that's called a bowl, lets have another guess, which one could be the chopping board?" to being 4 years old and being able to mash potatoes with the masher, to being 6 and peeling the vegetables, and so on.

I see it as just developing life skills. Adults need to know how to clean up after themselves, they need to be able to feed themselves, and so on, and I see no harm into getting them into the habit as they grow.
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