Log In Sign Up

Kids and chores


Forum: Heated Debates

Notices

Welcome to the JustMommies Message Boards.

We pride ourselves on having the friendliest and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment and register for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers. If you have any problems registering please drop an email to [email protected].

Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!

Reply Post New Topic
  Subscribe To Heated Debates LinkBack Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
  #1  
May 12th, 2008, 11:31 AM
Tofu Bacon
Guest
Posts: n/a
What do you feel is appropriate to expect of a child, when it comes to helping around the house?

Are there any chores you feel are not appropriate?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
May 12th, 2008, 11:45 AM
Girl_interrupted
Guest
Posts: n/a
So far, the only thing for my older girls (8 and 10) that is not yet appropriate is cooking dinner. I am currently trying to teach them to cook though.

I spoke to my mom about this yesterday, and she informed me that when she was 11 and her mother was sick, it was her job as the oldest girl to do the shopping, cooking, cleaning, and caring for the younger siblings... Granted, that was in the 60's, but my mom's no worse the ware for it!

My 8 and 10 year old are responsible for cleaning their own room, sorting their own dirty laundry, putting their own folded clothes away (I still do the washing and folding, but they do sometimes switch from washer to dryer), mating the socks (occasionally), cleaning the bathroom (occasionally; I usually do it), vacuuming (occasionally; I usually do it), setting and clearing the table (alternates between them), and watching the little ones while I am preparing suppers (in the times when it is absolutely necessary I be in the kitchen).

I do all the cooking and bread-baking, and I do most of the cleaning--with the exception of an especially "clingy" day on the part of the little ones; then I ask them for help with vacuuming and/or the bathroom when they get home. I do the floors (our whole house except one room is terrazzo, so I have to mop it ALL!). I change diapers and give baths (though my 8 year old sits with the 2 year old while I get the baby out and diapered; then she cares for the baby while I finish the 2 year old's bath)--sometimes the 8 year old changes diapers, too. She loves to help with babies and she asks to. I haven't let her change the baby's diapers yet only because he isn't circumcised and I'm worried she'll do something wrong.

Oh, and my 10 year old has just started doing the dishes on occasion. The other one will have that added now and then when she's 9.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
May 12th, 2008, 11:50 AM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 11,576
Im not sure I can think of any chore that is/should be completely off limits to a child.

And I think its highly individual, but I think most children can be doing light things as early as they can begin playing with toys on their own. My kids have always started by helping picking up their toys, and then graduated to being responsible for picking up all their toys.

Making their bed can start early, 3 or 4? At 3 they can be scraping off their plate into the trash. Wiping off the table (the point isnt how perfect they can do it just that they help contribute). At 3 or 4, they can also bring their clothes down to be washed. My son was vacuuming by 5, sweeping shortly thereafter. At 5, he was also able to help sort lights/darks, and start a load of laundry, change it to the dryer. He would also help put up dishes, dry dishes, etc (even if it was just silverware, etc).

The middle child is turning 4 and does most of that too when hes at our house.

Our daughter is 18 monhts, she will help dump the stuff off her plate, she takes her diapers to the trash can when shes done getting changed, and she also takes her clothes to the dirty clothes hamper.

All the kids help in the yard/garden. The 9 yr old does quite a bit, he always has. In the summer at myg randparents he helps with the grass, plowing, tilling, carrying feed, feeding animals (he also feeds the cats at home, and cleans the litter box).

He pretty much helps wherever we need help, and takes part in everything we do. If the car needs fixing, were all out there. IF the yard needs upkeep, were all out there, pulling weeds, tilling, planting, watering, etc. The 18 month old waters lol, helps fill pots with dirt, etc. though I dont think she understands she still has fun doing it.

Lala...
__________________




My BBT Chart





DEBT PAY DOWN!!!
Baby Step #1 DONE ($1k in ER savings!)

<a href="http://www.TickerFactory.com/debt/wRzFQue/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">

</a>
Reply With Quote
  #4  
May 12th, 2008, 11:52 AM
Tofu Bacon
Guest
Posts: n/a
For me, I see the opposite spectrums that dh and I came from. I grew up with a lot of household responsibilities, simply by virtue of being in a single parent family. Dh, by contrast, had virtually no responsibilities at all because his parents had the mindset that housework was "their job". When we got narried I had to "housebreak" dh because he was never allowed to do so much as carry his plate to the sink or start a load of wash. His sister is now 25 years old, still at home, and has NO household skills; she can't cook a basic meal, wash the dishes or even her own clothes. Now my mil is older and can't keep up with the housework as much, but she has no help because she raised her children not to be able to take care of themselves or anyone else.

I can't say I always liked having so much responsibility, but at the same time it really shaped my views on families needing to be interdependent, not just independent. I don't feel that housework is my "job". I do the bulk of the work simply because I am the most physically capable one at home to do so. Dh works long days so he has very little housework, but he does pitch in. Ds has his little responsibilities like cleaning up messes, putting his dishes in the sink, helping me take clothes out of the drier, putting his laundry in the hamper. Its not forced, and he is rewarded with nothing more than a "Thank you, helper!" Dd has her one "chore" that ds had as an infant, too: she gets to hold socks while I fold laundry; it doesn't help me in the least (besides keeping her busy) but it lays the foundation of housework being team work. We all eat the food, wear the clothes and make the messes, so we are all responsible, in varying degrees, for keeping the home neat and comfortable. At some point (likely by junior high age) they will be responsible for washing their own laundry and cooking dinner for the family one night a week.

As far as what I find inappropriate...anything that a child isn't able to do safely on their own. Like I don't let my 3 year old do actual wet-work cleaning because he's too young to properly use cleaners, but he does have his little spray bottle of water and a rag he likes to use. and I won't let him wash dishes until he can safely hand things like glasses and steak knives.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
May 12th, 2008, 11:56 AM
Niamh ૐ's Avatar Green Mama Goddess
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Fallbrook, California
Posts: 10,424
Right now my son is too young to have any chores (he's only 15 months), but I am trying to teach him to put his toy away if he wants to get another one out.

As for when he's older... when he's physically able to do certain chores, that's when he'll start doing those certain chores. I pretty much agree with Girl_Interrupted.

I grew up in a household where we had lots of chores... and no allowance. We did our chores because they were our chores. My husband and I, however *do* plan to do things a little differently than my parents. We do intend to give allowance (though not much).

Quote:
For me, I see the opposite spectrums that dh and I came from. I grew up with a lot of household responsibilities, simply by virtue of being in a single parent family. Dh, by contrast, had virtually no responsibilities at all because his parents had the mindset that housework was "their job". When we got narried I had to "housebreak" dh because he was never allowed to do so much as carry his plate to the sink or start a load of wash. His sister is now 25 years old, still at home, and has NO household skills; she can't cook a basic meal, wash the dishes or even her own clothes. Now my mil is older and can't keep up with the housework as much, but she has no help because she raised her children not to be able to take care of themselves or anyone else.

I can't say I always liked having so much responsibility, but at the same time it really shaped my views on families needing to be interdependent, not just independent. I don't feel that housework is my "job". I do the bulk of the work simply because I am the most physically capable one at home to do so. Dh works long days so he has very little housework, but he does pitch in. Ds has his little responsibilities like cleaning up messes, putting his dishes in the sink, helping me take clothes out of the drier, putting his laundry in the hamper. Its not forced, and he is rewarded with nothing more than a "Thank you, helper!" Dd has her one "chore" that ds had as an infant, too: she gets to hold socks while I fold laundry; it doesn't help me in the least (besides keeping her busy) but it lays the foundation of housework being team work. We all eat the food, wear the clothes and make the messes, so we are all responsible, in varying degrees, for keeping the home neat and comfortable. At some point (likely by junior high age) they will be responsible for washing their own laundry and cooking dinner for the family one night a week.

As far as what I find inappropriate...anything that a child isn't able to do safely on their own. Like I don't let my 3 year old do actual wet-work cleaning because he's too young to properly use cleaners, but he does have his little spray bottle of water and a rag he likes to use. and I won't let him wash dishes until he can safely hand things like glasses and steak knives.[/b]
100% agree!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
May 12th, 2008, 02:12 PM
first_time_mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ireland
Posts: 5,136
Quote:
Right now my son is too young to have any chores (he's only 15 months), but I am trying to teach him to put his toy away if he wants to get another one out.[/b]
do you mean understand the concept of chores or to actually contribute? my 9 month old has "chores" i give him a dustpan and brush and showed him how to run the brush along the floor to the pan. he doesnt understand that this is sweeping or that its purpose is to clean up dirt, but he enjoys being included in my work. I also let him carry the basket of clothes pegs when we go outside to hang out the washing. when we get there he passes me the small clothes like socks and his own clothes, along with a peg from the basket. he also carries his own nappies to the bin. he cant walk yet so i carry him, but he holds it and he pops it in the bin.
So while small babies are too young to understand what chores are they arent too young to be taught about them and that they need not be so boring.

as for older children i think they should most definitely have chores, but it should not interfere with their lives. I was expected to do the majority of chores in my house growing up and take care of my siblings. because of this, while my friends were all off going to the movies or whatever, i was at home cleaning and taking care of the children. and while i feel i benefited from the responsibility, i believe that it was taken to the extreme, so much so that i missed out on other teenage activities.
__________________
<div align="center">
[/url]</div>

Robyn, wife to Steven, mom to Jake (7th Aug 2007)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
May 12th, 2008, 02:45 PM
Little Mrs Sunshine
Guest
Posts: n/a
What do you feel is appropriate to expect of a child, when it comes to helping around the house?
as soon as they are able. my son helps clean up his toys, puts his dishes in the sink, and puts his garbage in the garbage can. sometimes I will ask him to put a dish of mine in the sink or my garbage in the garbage, same as I sometimes put his dishes in the sink or garbage in the garbage can. when i wash the dishes my sonpulls up a chair and "helps" my daughter helps me wash the floors. my son helps me make the beds by smoothing the wrinkles out. Now at what age will he be RESPONSIBLE for a chore - such as dishwashing? Whenever I think he is ready to understand that it is his responsibility. in the meantime its my responsibility to teach him and do chores with him. I think a rotating chore schedule is good too. I think with responsibility and privileges should come hand in hand. when you child is old enough to stay up later or get to pick the movie at the movie store (contribute to the fun), then they are old enough to do something to contribute to the house. I dont think year after year it should be one child's responsibility to do one thing - then it seems like the parent is just pawning off what they don't want to do on the child, and the child doesnt learn the skills needed to do other chores.

Are there any chores you feel are not appropriate?
yes, children should not be responsible to clean OTHER people's rooms. only their own. Children when they are old enough to safely do so should be able to help cook dinner, but should not be responsible for cooking dinner (unless they have a passion for cooking and WANT to) Laundry is something they can learn to do their own laundry or put away their own laundry, but they shouldnt be in charge of everyone's laundry. things like bedrooms and laundry and personal property should be cared for by the personal owner. Household items and grounds can be cared for by everyone in the household. (i dont mean to say all this matter of factly - its just matter of fact in my house but only an opinion really)

Some things should get allowance and some things should be expected. Mowing the lawn for example deserves an allowance, or should be something everyone takes turns doing. If its something not EVERYONE can do, then an allowance should be given to the one who is able to do it. Things like cleaning off the table, cleaning your room, doing your own laundry, shouldn't require an allowance. Things like vaccuming, cleaning bathrooms, washing floors, mowing the lawn should get allowance.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
May 12th, 2008, 02:49 PM
Niamh ૐ's Avatar Green Mama Goddess
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Fallbrook, California
Posts: 10,424
Quote:
So while small babies are too young to understand what chores are they arent too young to be taught about them and that they need not be so boring.[/b]

That's what I'm talking about when I say "chores"...
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
May 12th, 2008, 03:18 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: keenesburg colo
Posts: 15,461
It has been a long time since I had little ones but I remember my children were responsible for cleaning up any mess they made. They had to keep their rooms clean. I never had them clean my room. If we as a family wanted to do something then we all pitched in and cleaned so we could get it done and go out and have a good time. Even though I worked out side the home after they were in school I mostly did all the rest of the stuff except their rooms.
__________________




Reply With Quote
  #10  
May 12th, 2008, 03:29 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 27,101
This is sort of xposted and edited from the duggars post.

I began cooking supper time meals DAILY at the age of 12. My mother couldn't cook to save her soul, and I was tired of crummy meals (my dad was only home 8 days a month, and he could cook) so I stepped in and took over. I made hot meals, I made cold meals, I made casseroles the only thing I didn't do myself was large oven items (such as turkeys and chickens, because I couldn't lift them safely. I STILL haven't done a turkey all on my own). I baked as well, every weekend. Cookies or a cake. My mom often tried to help, most often she got sent to the sink to do dishes with my 3 and 5 year old brothers who wanted to help cause she was in my way.

My brothers began washing dishes at 5. Cups and plastic ware only, but they still learned. One washed, the other dried (the other was only 3.. but insisted on helping). At 6 they started helping unload the dish washer, big bowls and silverware only (sharp knives don't go in our silverware even to this day). We don't set a table, but I learned to do it when I was 5 because i ASKED to do it at a big family dinner and my grandmother showed me. Now she does expect me to do it when I go for dinner, but I am nearly 25 so

I was a brownie. I have badges for cooking, cleaning, sewing etc... and I was 6 years old when they were learned. I could make a cake, I could make cookies, I could make brownies. I could clean my room, make my bed, sweep the floor, vacuum the floor. I could knit, I could sew, and I was learning to embroider.It wasn't uncommon for something to need mending and I'd do it, because A- I wanted to and B- I knew how.

A year later at 7 and a half I was changing diapers, getting up in the middle of the night to feed my infant brother so my mom could get in a 20 minute nap, or get a few extra hours of sleep at night. My mom never asked me to do these things.. but I wanted to help. If I could get to him before she woke up, I would bring him out and get him a bottle... an art I learned how to do before he was a month old.. and he was a BF baby! Mom pumped so she could teach me how to warm the bottle up, make it the perfect temperature, how to feed him, how to burp him etc... By 9 I was baby sitting a 2 year old and an infant, so mom could shower, or nap for a few extra minutes in a day. I was a good kid, I was a responsible kid. I've been babysitting since I got my babysitting certificate at 11. And I don't mean watching a child who's parent was home, I mean looking after my 3 cousins so their parents could go out for a few hours, put two of the three to bed, change diapers, feed an infant. I wanted the $$ and everyone trusted me. To this day parents will leave me with the fresh from the hospital baby so they can run out in the winter to grab a few things they didn't get before the baby arrived, because they trust me fully. (of course having all but 3 courses required to be a paramedic probably helped)

All of this has turned me into a pretty responsible adult. I can cook, I can clean, I can work. Mind you, I often choose NOT to do these things, but that's my own choices.

I fully support teaching children to do chores at a young age. But I don't agree with assigning chores, because I never had them assigned to me. Sure, I made my bed, I picked up my room, I did my teeth... those are not big deals... dishes, floors etc... those are things that should be requested infrequently of young children, and more often as they get older. That's how I want to do it. I've always made my 4 year old cousin pick up her own toys, even if her parents didn't. I made a game of it (insert Barney Song Here lol), and she learned. When she's with me, or my mom, or my aunt... she picks up after herself, but doesn't do it with her parents.. because they don't ask her to. She's made cookies before she even turned 2, with me, under my supervision, and was never anywhere near the stove. She made a cake in March for my brother's 15th birthday with the help of my 16 year old brother! He bakes because he likes to, and he can put out the best chocolate cake (boxed and recently from scratch) you'll ever taste.

I don't plan on assigning chores to my children outside picking up messes after themselves, and asking them for their help with something. Maybe once they're older (8+) things like the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, dusting would be their responsibility while I handle windows, the vaccum, mopping and bathrooms. I hate the idea of exposing my children to too many cleaning chemicals, knowing how sensitive I am to them myself. But my children will learn at an early age how to do things, and that they must be done when I ask. I was able to stand on my own two feet in a house when I was about 13, knew how to do everything... I would like that for my children that way they'll be ready to be on their own when it comes time to hit university.
__________________
1798 Days to Conceive our Miracle!
Baby Girl Due August 7th 2017!!


Reply With Quote
  #11  
May 12th, 2008, 03:52 PM
mtowcs09's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dallas, tx
Posts: 2,968
What do you feel is appropriate to expect of a child, when it comes to helping around the house? Anything that's age appropriate. I remember being really tiny and loved helping my mom fold the laundry, windex the mirrors and clean all the glass stuff with her.

Are there any chores you feel are not appropriate? Yep. Children cleaning up after parents. I have a friend who's mom is a lazy bum so she has to always do the dishes, take care of the dog, vacuum the entire house, do all the laundry, etc. While her mom does nothing but shack up with a lazy boyfriend who doesn't contribute to their household.

Things like that I will not agree with.
__________________




Reply With Quote
  #12  
May 12th, 2008, 04:02 PM
Tammyjh's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North
Posts: 7,824
I agree with those who said exposing the kids to chores when they are little is a great way to start. I don't know as there is a specific age for anything but as they seem ready is how we've been doing it and even thought I ask them to help with certain things now, I don't expect it all the time. My kids take turns setting the table but even then, they don't do it every night. My older ones are expected to take their own plates to the sink and clean up after themselves as much as possible. They do help sort the laundry when I ask and my 14 yr. old is the one who has more responsibility with the laundry(swapping loads and bringing the dry laundry up)...although I'm giving my 8 yr. old more as she gets older(she doesn't swap the laundry but brings it up for me from time to time). The girls are asked to fold the laundry from time to time and they are responsible for taking care of their own laundry. My 6 yr. old will eventually have to do this but can't sit still long enough right now. He is learning about tools and how to use them and he sometimes hangs out with dh at his shop(he doesn't "work" but is usually observind dh while he works on engines). They were working on the clubhouse yesterday and he was thrilled to use the cordless drill. My almost 3 yr. old helps me unload the dishwasher sometimes and helps clean up his toys. He's still learning to dress himself and use the potty. When I'm getting ready to do anything, he always says "me too" and although it involves minimal involvment on his part...its all he needs to do at this age. His part of helping mom sort clothes is to turn the laundry basket upside down and jump in the clothes Oh, and he likes to feed the dog sometimes too...just have to watch him or he has the bowl full and overflowing I'm sure there's more that they all do but I can't think of anything else right now.
__________________
Tammy, Mom to
Abby (19), Kacie (13), Chase (11), & Jacob (7)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"...They're supposed to make you miserable! That's why they're family!" ~ Bobby ~ Supernatural
Reply With Quote
  #13  
May 12th, 2008, 04:18 PM
Tofu Bacon
Guest
Posts: n/a
I wonder of it boils down to how we view chores. To me they are just a fact if life: you want clean dishes for the next meal, then you need to wash the ones in the sink. Need clothes for tomorrow? Then you need to start a load tonight. If you procrastinate then you'll be rashing around trying to finish everything, or simply going without. It shouldn't be a matter of kids doing chores because the parents don't feel like doing them; I wonder if using chores as a punishment is what causes children to view chores negatively when they are adults...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
May 13th, 2008, 07:10 AM
first_time_mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ireland
Posts: 5,136
Quote:
Quote:
So while small babies are too young to understand what chores are they arent too young to be taught about them and that they need not be so boring.[/b]

That's what I'm talking about when I say "chores"...
[/b]
I'm sorry, i still dont understand what you mean. do you mean that the "jobs" we give to small children arent actually chores?

Quote:
I wonder if using chores as a punishment is what causes children to view chores negatively when they are adults...[/b]
I absolutely agree with this. chores are a way of life. and while there are many more things that are alot more fun, chores have to be done, as teh pp said, if you want clean clothes and clean dishes. they are not just there for punishment. and i dont think they should be used as punishment.
__________________
<div align="center">
[/url]</div>

Robyn, wife to Steven, mom to Jake (7th Aug 2007)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
May 13th, 2008, 12:38 PM
Niamh ૐ's Avatar Green Mama Goddess
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Fallbrook, California
Posts: 10,424
"So while small babies are too young to understand what chores are..."

^That. I was saying that he's too young to understand what chores are. Like I said in my original post though, we are teaching him to put his toys away before he gets out another, which is giving him small "jobs". *MOST* of what we are teaching him right now though focuses on his person, like putting *his* toys away, brushing teeth, etc etc.

No he doesn't help out with sweeping or anything like that... not because I think he's too young (I don't) but because we haven't thought about that. We usually do the sweeping and major house cleaning when he's asleep. But I'd have no problem with him "helping" in that area. I was just saying that he's too young to understand what "chores" are and too young to have certain chore be *required* of him. He's not too young to help out though and *learn* the foundation of chores.

Does any of that make sense? I need another cup of coffee...
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
May 13th, 2008, 01:25 PM
first_time_mom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ireland
Posts: 5,136
Quote:
"So while small babies are too young to understand what chores are..."

^That. I was saying that he's too young to understand what chores are. Like I said in my original post though, we are teaching him to put his toys away before he gets out another, which is giving him small "jobs". *MOST* of what we are teaching him right now though focuses on his person, like putting *his* toys away, brushing teeth, etc etc.

No he doesn't help out with sweeping or anything like that... not because I think he's too young (I don't) but because we haven't thought about that. We usually do the sweeping and major house cleaning when he's asleep. But I'd have no problem with him "helping" in that area. I was just saying that he's too young to understand what "chores" are and too young to have certain chore be *required* of him. He's not too young to help out though and *learn* the foundation of chores.

Does any of that make sense? I need another cup of coffee... [/b]
makes perfect sense now! i totally agree. and tbh, my son sweeps and helps out because including him makes it easier for me to get things done and he really enjoys it. when jake is happy mom is happy!

__________________
<div align="center">
[/url]</div>

Robyn, wife to Steven, mom to Jake (7th Aug 2007)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:58 AM.