Monday, February 21, 2011

Time To Hammer Down Some Rules!

We have an issue with chores in our house.

Better yet, I have an issue delegating chores in our house.

Someone once convicted me saying that I am not teaching my children how to be responsible adults by doing everything for them.  I need to get my children to do more than they do around the house.  Here are the current chores":


Emptying the kitchen trash daily and taking it to the curb once a week.

Feed and water the dog although I almost ALWAYS do this.  I just notice when they are out and then refill which usually happens at when he is at school.  I just need to make him do it every night before bed or everyday before school.  It’s the whole follow-through thing that I have to train myself to do.


Doing the dinner dishes although this usually means I wash and she dries them unless days in which we have a messy dinner and I give Parker a bath.  Then she does it all herself.  It’s not very often though.

Clean the bathroom before guests come over.  If you’ve been to my house, you know this doesn’t happen every time we have guests either.  I usually have to hound her to clean the bathroom

Focus On The Family has an amazing list of suggestions and ideas for chores and getting your kids to do them without nagging them. 

Ages 2 and 3

Personal chores

  • Assist in making their beds
  • Pick up playthings with your supervision

Family chores

  • Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket
  • Fill a pet's water and food bowls (with supervision)
  • Help a parent clean up spills and dirt
  • Dust

Ages 4 and 5

Note: This age can be trained to use a family chore chart.

Personal chores

  • Get dressed with minimal parental help
  • Make their bed with minimal parental help
  • Bring their things from the car to the house

Family chores

  • Set the table with supervision
  • Clear the table with supervision
  • Help a parent prepare food
  • Help a parent carry in the lighter groceries
  • Match socks in the laundry
  • Answer the phone with parental assistance
  • Be responsible for a pet's food and water bowl
  • Hang up towels in the bathroom
  • Clean floors with a dry mop

Ages 6 and 7

Note: This age can be supervised to use a family chore chart.

Personal chores

  • Make their bed every day
  • Brush teeth
  • Comb hair
  • Choose the day's outfit and get dressed
  • Write thank you notes with supervision

Family chores

  • Be responsible for a pet's food, water and exercise
  • Vacuum individual rooms
  • Wet mop individual rooms
  • Fold laundry with supervision
  • Put their laundry in their drawers and closets
  • Put away dishes from the dishwasher
  • Help prepare food with supervision
  • Empty indoor trash cans
  • Answer the phone with supervision

Ages 8 to 11

Note: This age benefits from using a family chore chart.

Personal chores

  • Take care of personal hygiene
  • Keep bedroom clean
  • Be responsible for homework
  • Be responsible for belongings
  • Write thank you notes for gifts
  • Wake up using an alarm clock

Family chores

  • Wash dishes
  • Wash the family car with supervision
  • Prepare a few easy meals on their own
  • Clean the bathroom with supervision
  • Rake leaves
  • Learn to use the washer and dryer
  • Put all laundry away with supervision
  • Take the trash can to the curb for pick up
  • Test smoke alarms once a month with supervision
  • Screen phone calls using caller ID and answer when appropriate

Ages 12 and 13

Personal chores

  • Take care of personal hygiene, belongings and homework
  • Write invitations and thank you notes
  • Set their alarm clock
  • Maintain personal items, such as recharging batteries
  • Change bed sheets
  • Keep their rooms tidy and do a biannual deep cleaning

Family chores

  • Change light bulbs
  • Change the vacuum bag
  • Dust, vacuum, clean bathrooms and do dishes
  • Clean mirrors
  • Mow the lawn with supervision
  • Baby sit (in most states)
  • Prepare an occasional family meal

Ages 14 and 15

Personal chores

  • Responsible for all personal chores for ages 12 and 13
  • Responsible for library card and books

Family chores

  • Do assigned housework without prompting
  • Do yard work as needed
  • Baby sit
  • Prepare food — from making a grocery list and buying the items (with supervision) to serving a meal — occasionally
  • Wash windows with supervision

Ages 16 to 18

Personal chores

  • Responsible for all personal chores for ages 14 and 15
  • Responsible to earn spending money
  • Responsible for purchasing their own clothes
  • Responsible for maintaining any car they drive (e.g., gas, oil changes, tire pressure, etc.)

Family chores

  • Do housework as needed
  • Do yard work as needed
  • Prepare family meals — from grocery list to serving it — as needed
  • Deep cleaning of household appliances, such as defrosting the freezer, as needed

Do you know why I like this chart?!?!?  Since I’m so lame at dolling out chores, it has a section for 16 to 18 year olds!  I know, I know, it should be set in stone by then, but it’s not.  At least in my house.

ALSO, according to this chart, Parker is ready to start some chores.  I think he will be great at it!  He LOVES helping pick up his toys and cleaning.  I’m afraid he has a little bit of OCD in him :)

I’m going to get to working on something more concrete that is tailored to my family with these recommendations and I’ll share with you soon what I come up with.

I think this may be harder on me than it is on the kids.  I’m going to have to relinquish some control and the face the fact that there may be times it isn’t as clean or put away as good as I would like.

Wish me luck!


Debbie said...

I had to learn to let go awhile ago. Talk about taking a deep breath. I'm not saying I'm perfect at it (or anything else for that matter) but much better than I used to be. And Sage LOVES to help right now. It is awesome!

Delina said...

Hey thanks for posting this! I am constantly trying to think of what 'chores' I could start with my younger ones and this list is perfect!!