Chore Expectations
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  1. #1
    Registered User Nada.Leona's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Halifax, NS
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    Default Chore Expectations

    How much do you expect your children to help out with around the house? How much do you expect an 8-year-old to do? A 5yo? I just want to be sure my expectations are reasonable.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Boundary Waters, Minnesota
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    It's hard to remember back that far. Our kids did most of the housework, but then we had lots of kids.

    Kids the age of yours can help with cooking, doing age appropriate tasks under your supervision, with responsibilities increasing as they get older. By 6, ours helped make cookie dough and roll it into balls, set the table, dried dishes that weren't heavy, sharp, or fragile, started sweeping floors, made their own beds, put their own laundry away, etc. Basically easy stuff the weren't likely to get hurt doing. Your own expectations have to be reasonable. A floor swept by a 6 yo isn't likely to be spotless, but they have to start somewhere.

    The 8 yo should be able to take on somewhat more difficult tasks. Every child is different so you have to assess what they're capable of.

    It goes without saying they should already be doing things like putting away their own toys and anything else they drag out.

    Whining and a bad attitude got rewarded in our house by more chores or ickier chores. Our kids were pretty good workers because nobody liked picking up dog crap. A lousy job earned a do-over. They learned pretty quickly it was faster to do it right the first time.

    I made sure to cook a meal one on one with each of our kids in rotation. With 8 kids, they liked the attention and it was good for bonding without the distraction of others around.

    Kids get a lot out of chores, even if they complain about. They develop pride in a job well done and like contributing to the family. They learn responsibility and feel more grown up. Even a small allowance helps them learn the relationship between work and money. They also start understanding that Mom and Dad don't always have it easy.

    We never assigned tasks based on gender. Our girls had to learn to use tools and drive a stick shift just like our boys, and the boys had to learn how to cook and do laundry, for example. When we put in a pool and needed to fence our yard, the kids and I did the whole thing ourselves. At the time, the oldest was 14 and the youngest was 6, and they all contributed according to their capabilities, even if that was only fetching drinks for those doing the heavier work in the summer heat. We did a lot of DIY stuff and the kids worked right along with us on all of them.

    You might be surprised by what your kids are capable of. Just be patient and be there to guide them, but don't be too quick to decide they can't do something, unless of course they might hurt themselves.

  3. #3
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    have to admit I am not great at the reg chores. Kids do what I ask them to do but since I only work part time I tend to do things when they are in school because it is my routine and it is during the day.

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