Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When I was little I don't remember having any chores. Sure I had to clean my room, but I was pretty bad at that and I remember about twice a year my mom coming in there and really cleaning it, ranting and raving the whole time.

Once I hit the tween and teen years I think I had to help with the dishes and do other general housekeeping things. mom is a bit of a perfectionist and also a bit impatient. So when I really didn't like doing something, I just did a horrible job and she would get irritated and do it herself. chores. (Feel free to chime in here Mom, and correct me if I'm wrong.)

Then I got my own house. And my mother vowed to never eat off my plates or drink out of my cups because she knew how bad I was at cleaning. She was right. I couldn't keep a clean house for the life of me. But when the Monster was born, I started turning things around. Now? I freak out over crumbs. I can't stand a couch pillow out of place. Clutter causes me to vaporlock. My eye starts to twitch over spilled coffee on the counter and granola bar wrappers on the floor, right beside the trash can.

So I've learned how to be a good housekeeper. But I wish I had learned a lot earlier. I think my mom should have made me do chores. Even if I was bad at them.

All this boils down to.....the Monster is getting chores. He already helps clean up his room nightly, and clears the table every now and then. But I want set rules. Every single day. We have a moderately large family and its going to take everyone's cooperation and help to make it run smoothly. Might as well start now. He's six. He can handle it.

So my question to you, dear readers is: What chores should the Monster do? What is age appropriate for a six year old? How do I track them? Should he get rewards or are chores undeserving of rewards? Are chores considered responsibilities and therefore your reward is a job well done?

Give me your two cents.


  1. My 6 year old does the obvious - cleans her room, clears the table but she also dusts and empties the silverware from the dishwasher.

    We don't give allowances on a consistent basis but when we do give the kids money, we make sure they are aware that the amount is based on what they did or didn't do for the last couple of weeks. They also know that they are less likely to be bought something new (clothes, shoes, video games) if they aren't helping around the house.

    It works in our house. :)

  2. Work those kids!

    E. has chores. No rewards, she's part of the family and she should be a contributor not a little mass of needs.

    We use this wonderful chore chart.

    It's not perfect but it's cute, cheap and keeps E on task with some tactile stimulation of turning the card. We put a card with a big check mark at the end because I feel its important to check all the work you assign so you can catch lazy habits early.

    We have chores for morning: Get dressed, make bed, gather dirty laundry, feed dogs, and wipe the table. In the afternoon she brings me all the trash cans to empty and cleans up her room before daddy comes home. Evening, she feeds the dogs and wipes the tables again. Occasionally, she will put the silverware away out of the dishwasher.

    On that note she's SLOW and it's rarely perfect. I can live with it, we always go back and correct it together. She's already worlds better about cleaning her room.

    And, the chores keep her from making more messes, or getting into more trouble. We heap on the praise for a job well done or a good attitude and I really feel like she feels good that even though she's young she can help the family.

  3. I'm not so sure about the rewards system thing. I never had it. It was just a given that I had chores, had to do them or I had something taken away. So technically, my reward was being able to keep the things I wanted!

    As for something to get him to do, what about starting out with just him picking up his room or the living room. Maybe even start by HELPING you do the dishes. That way you can show him the way YOU want them done!

  4. ahh, I can't wait for the days of slave labor to begin! My parents made me do chores to earn privileges from as far back as I can remember. My mom always made me clean my sister's rooms along with my own (probably why they are slobs today) I remember dusting the piano, sorting the laundry, and pairing socks when I was really little!

  5. Ironic, my stepmom was the same way. ;) I was only in charge of my room...and occasionally feeding horses when she was puking off the porch each morning because of morning sickness. Aww, good times.

    Oh, sorry for the stroll down memory lane.

    To answer your question, I raised boys. They generally aren't into cleaning. So I had to fight the room nasties too. But by age 5 or so, they were made to pick up the toy explosion in their rooms, and put them in the toy box. Even though I had to sit there and supervise. (I confess, I sometimes went back later and did a more thorough cleaning when they were gone)

    Age 8, I'm trying to remember... I know the room cleaning was assigned. And any messes they made in the living room.That was their responsibility. You made the mess, you learn to clean it.

    Other chores were given, such as light housework, with the option of earning an allowance. And I did the pay a dollar by the age. 8 year olds could earn 8 bucks a week if all chores were completed.

    BUT, their responsibility chores had to be done before they could get paid for allowance chores.

  6. Finn 'makes his bed' every morning (which includes stacking his lovies on his pillow and attempting to straighten his bed covers), he feeds the animals, and makes sure to 'remind' us to brush his teeth twice a day. He's 2 so that is the extent of his daily chores, but he also helps us put laundry away and helps with easy stuff making dinner, puts his dishes in the sink, etc...

    In our house, it's a part of being family. When he's older though we will discuss the allowance thing (and have a jar for saving, a jar for spending, and a jar for donating to teach him about money).

    I think that a 6 year old could handle clearing the table after dinner every night, keeping his room straightened, & other easy tasks. He's in school & doing sports too so you don't need to give him very much to do.

  7. Ask your Grandmother....she was the best at making us ALL work.

  8. dont mind the one handed typing lol. emmie is in my left arm so this is not so easy. Kiah has been doing chores sine he was able to walk. I make a chore chart that has the jobs pay labeled on it. He loves to help unload the dishwasher (I do the glass and knives). He takes the clothes from the dryer and puts them in a laundry basket. He takes his bedroom and bathroom trash out. At 3 he his limited but he trys hard.I think it is very important to teach this early. Addie is 14 months old and now cleans all her toys up.

  9. Chores definitely! It gives them more self-worth and prepares them for being out on their own---not that they're going anywhere soon, but good habits should start young. Our three year old has one chore: giving the dog a snack bone after we eat breakfast. She remembers it even when we forget and she gets the BIGGEST kick out of it; it's not really a chore I guess, but it's a little start for when she'll start to do more.

    I'd give Monster something easy to do and hard to screw up at first, like feeding the dog each day, filling a bird feeder if you have one, or taking everyone's dishes to the sink after supper. And obviously, always tell him what a great job he did and how much help he is.

    OMG, my word verification is "poopher". ROFL

  10. We wrestle with this issue - more about are chores worthy of allowance when they should just be part of contributing to the house and family. Admittedly, my kids don't do a whole lot...clean up toys, clear the table and set the table. The older one takes the garbage out.
    When they want to earn money they ask for other chores to do.
    I probably do too much for them, but we'll tweak the system as they get older.


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