Parent to Parent: Chores

Chores… for moms and dads is just a part of our typical day. But what about for our kids? Should it be an expected part of being in a household? Should they be paid? Or should we just let them be little? Many of the parents we heard from were all in favor of children pitching in to help around the house. Parents just like you weigh in on their opinions.

Parent to ParentNon-preferential tasks are so important to school and adult life success!! Anything chore-wise is good as long as they would not do it for fun and understand it is important to complete as being part of a family unit! This is a big struggle for high school kids! -Kristen parent of 3 kids (also a high school Special Education Coordinator).

© J. Gebbink | Little Lake | 2016

I have the boys empty their backpacks after they get home from school. Folders go on the table and snack bags get cleaned out. I also put their clean clothes in a hamper in their room for them to put away. I do not give them allowance for doing those things. -Faith parent of 3 boys ages 6 to 16

We started with age appropriate tasks at home. We then list them and each child picks their tasks until the majority of the list is gone/done. This gives them the choice and they only get to choose the next task once the first is completed and checked by a parent. -Jennifer, 2 boys ages 6 and 8

My son is 3, his job is to put the water bottles into the fridge after we buy them. He also has to put his hot wheels cars away in a bin. I sometimes make him put his clothes in his dresser drawers too.- Tracy

Putting silverware away has always been my go-to because it offers the opportunity to learn matching/sorting skills (we started this at 2 years of age). This past school year, when I was feeling really stressed out about picking up the whole house for what felt like hundreds of times a day, I started ‘Good Human Chores.’ My kids were all given five tasks a day that every good human should do to be a good roommate or family member. When they become a normal habit, then I added more (put shoes away, hang up coats and outer clothing, dirty laundry into the dirty laundry, clean up dishes, clean up what you take out). I ask them if they’ve been a good human today, and it is a great signal to them to get movin!- Alli, kids ages 3 and 5

My 5-through 11-year-olds put away their laundry and household laundry (towels, sheets). My 9- and 11- year-old are required to fold it, too, and the rule is I don’t care how it’s folded but if your drawers don’t close I will dump it out and you have to start over. My (just) 5-year-old puts away the laundry, but I still fold. The older two have to run the laundry themselves and will if I ask.  Everyone from the 3-year-old and older kids empty the dishwasher and help pick up the house. We are, however, horrible at consistent chore routines; we just call it “being part of a family”–you help when it’s needed. We tried chore charts (Melissa & Doug has a great magnet one) when they were younger.- Melissa

Bigger kids:
Our kids work for commission, and get paid weekly. Each job is worth a dollar amount. If job is done poorly and I have to have them redo, job is then worth half the dollar amount, if the job still isn’t good, I just got it done for free. They do not get paid for helping clean up after dinner, cleaning their room, helping with laundry . Those jobs are included in the price of living! Joy, kids ages 11 to 14

My kids fold their own clothes, walk the dog, and empty and reload the dish washer. Adam started doing all of the garbage and putting it out on garbage day at age 12. Elizabeth (kids ages 10 to 15)

Parent to Parent: Chores
© J. Gebbink | Little Lake | 2016

My teen and tween are completely responsible for school and school-related items: homework, sharing notes home, permission slips, signing papers with parents. The only thing I monitor is one lunch account. My teen (age 13) washes and folds his own laundry, and maintains closet and drawers. Both my teen and tween (age 11) share responsibility for emptying dishwasher, setting table, and adding items to shopping list. Other tasks are assigned to both: vacuuming, organizing, tidying up. We do not assign monetary values to chores; these are considered things necessary to the operation of the household; everyone participates. I charge the kids for rides to school if they missed the bus; all proceeds go immediately into mom’s Starbuck’s coffee fund. Everyone gets one free ride a year; then fines are assessed. The first ride is 50 cents; second ride is $1.00 and so on. This really helped keep things moving in the morning in our house. My son rarely misses the bus anymore.-Jennifer

We don’t call them chores, we refer to them as “your responsibility.” There are certain things they have to do, it’s just part of being a member of our household. Keep their room clean, keep their shoes/coats,backpacks/stuff/toys put away, set the table for dinner, feed the dog, and empty the silverware in the dishwasher. I will ask them to help with additional tasks, and they are expected to do so without grumbling, or they lose privileges (iPad time, t.v., etc…). Occasionally we will be tackling a big project, and I will offer to pay them a small amount for a job well done if they help, but that is rare.- Holly

Who does the chores at your house? Tell us about it in the comments section.

About Jessica Gebbink 46 Articles
Jessica is a mom of 3 girls from Spring Grove, IL. Next to her relationship with the Lord, her other passions include cooking, playing the violin, photography, and helping other moms to realize their true potential.

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