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  1. #1

    • Man O Lantern
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    Kids and Chores?

    I was wondering what you all have your kids do for chores....or what YOU do for chores around the house. Also, what kind of allowance do you pay?

    I have a ten year old with a terrible, horrible track record of never doing her chores. She has no major motivation (money does not and never will motivate her, nor does getting in trouble, being grounded, whatever) and has never done her chores with any regularity or frequency. She had the same chores for years: feed the cat and the turtle, fold the towels, and clean the bathroom sinks once a week. We added vacuuming the family room and hallway when she turned 9.

    We were waiting for her to DO her chores without being told, either using a calendar or a chart or her own freaking memory.....and she had the same ones for 4 years and never ever got them down. We've hardly even paid her allowance, because there's never been a week that has gone by IN FOUR YEARS that she's done them without being told, reminded, pleaded with or else I've just done them for her.

    So my seven year old.......has been dying to take over. She now feeds the cat and the turtle, folds the towels, and cleans the sinks. It's been a few weeks and I've never had to ask her to do anything. Not once. She's gotten paid the last three weeks!!! It's been wonderful!!!

    My ten year old still has to vacuum downstairs, do the dishes, and sweep the kitchen. I feel like maybe I should add something outside?? It seems like her friends have WAY more chores.

    What do you think??? Also, we're thinking of paying her $5/week even if she doesn't do her chores, $10 if she does. I hate this idea. But I feel like maybe if she knows what it's like to have money, that she'll want to earn more??

    Ugh. Help!!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    my mother was a control freak- every week she made an excell spread sheet with our chore assignments and then at the bottom, there were special "paid chores" (clean out the garage, pull weeds, sweep the sidewalk, ect.) that were up for grabs, if you did the chore then you could earn extra money.

    Maybe the way to do it would be to post a list of chores that need to be done and assign a value to each chore, like .25 or something small. Have the kids initial the chores when they are done, then at the end of the week their allowance is based on how many chores they did.

    I guess it rewards the kids for helping out and punishes the ones who don't, but it also puts it in their hands and leaves you out of it. I guess its more fair.

    Or else your 10 year old is just one of those kids who will never want to do chores ever and you will never be able to visit them because their house is a helath hazard. But at least you tried! Good luck and let us know what you decide to do!
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  3. #3

    • Man O Lantern
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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    Quote Originally Posted by dramaqueen
    Maybe the way to do it would be to post a list of chores that need to be done and assign a value to each chore, like .25 or something small. Have the kids initial the chores when they are done, then at the end of the week their allowance is based on how many chores they did.
    Oooh!!! I like that! My seven year old will be a billionaire with that system. I can see her knocking her sister down the stairs in order to earn 25 cents first.

    I think we'll give our current system a few more weeks....see if we're having a honeymoon period with the younger girl. The ten year old.....it just might work!

    The very first chore chart we used to have when my oldest was six included things like putting her laundry in the basket and hanging up her coat at school (she used to walk in the door and TOSS her coat!! ). She's a total slob compared to everyone else in the family. Which is so weird.....she's so smart, everyone--parents, teachers--think she's probably a cleanfreak at home. But she's NOT. Not at all. Her room is FUNKY smelling. Ugh.

  4. #4

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    K & T both have chores...

    K is almost 11 and does the dishes, folds the laundry and empties the litter box sometimes (bless her heart...) she gets an allowence if she does her chores with out being asked. she gets $1 a day, more for extra chores.
    We had the same problem, always nagging her to do them and she rarely fot paid because more days than not she wouldn't do them....so we started a new system, she gets paid daily if she does her chores...immediate cause and effect! no more she did 2 days but not all 5 or 7) but she has to do them all to get paid...really sucks to do one chore but not the other and not get paid, but it got the mesage across, now I rarely have to ask her....or a simple "did you do you chores?" works magic.

    T also has chores but they are scaled down...he's almost 6 and starting to get more, he has to keep his room clean (a bigger job than it should be.), he feeds the cat in the evenings, and helps me clean the playroom at the end of the day when the kids go home... he also helps fold the laundry. (I et them watch tv while they fold, they have gotten really good at it, and K even puts the neat piles in the right peoples rooms... ) T does not get a formal allowence yet but randomly gets something here or there for him what he earns is the next days TV time.
    procrastibating

  5. #5

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    when i was little i had a chart too... if i completed it (and did my school work) i got a mcdonalds ice cream on friday (my mom was a cheap one) some of my chores when i was 7 were

    walk my dog before school
    put away silverwear
    train my dog
    clean room (15 miniutes a day or 2 hours at the end of the week)
    it wasnt that much... i didnt get allowance but i learned that this was to help my family because they help me so much (food, shelter)

  6. #6

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    Money was a big motivator for me. Still is! I don't have kids, but if I may make a suggestion. If she's not motivated by money or whether or not she will be grounded, try taking something away that she REALLY wants. Like telephone privaleges or TV or games. What does she love and can't live without? That's me though.

    My chores as a kid were dishes, vaccuuming, and picking up doggie doo doo. My brother and I would switch off every day for that last one. Trash was also one of our chores. We also alternated the bathroom clean up. And our rooms were a given.

    Oh, and if the younger one is ready to take over, let her. The older one will maybe realize the rewards when she sees baby sister getting them! Just a thought.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    Daily pay......I like it. Another suggestion for my arsenal. I think with my ten year old, we're going to always have to change it up, motivationally.

    Thank you!

  8. #8

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbell
    Oooh!!! I like that! My seven year old will be a billionaire with that system. I can see her knocking her sister down the stairs in order to earn 25 cents first.

    I think we'll give our current system a few more weeks....see if we're having a honeymoon period with the younger girl. The ten year old.....it just might work!

    The very first chore chart we used to have when my oldest was six included things like putting her laundry in the basket and hanging up her coat at school (she used to walk in the door and TOSS her coat!! ). She's a total slob compared to everyone else in the family. Which is so weird.....she's so smart, everyone--parents, teachers--think she's probably a cleanfreak at home. But she's NOT. Not at all. Her room is FUNKY smelling. Ugh.
    lol- sounds like my house growing up! The middle girl is a freakin' genius- she excelled at EVERYTHING in school- but she's a total slob. Nothing my mom ever did could make her care about her chores, it was a useless battle that no one could win. The youngest, however, was (and still is) a total suck up and did everything she could to make mom happy. It was a total wierd power struggle.

    If everything else you have tried with her hasn't worked, then maybe its not worth fighting over, just reward the little suck up.

    As far as keeping the room clean- maybe she just has too much stuff and doesn't care enough about any of it to take care of it. I might suggest telling her that if she wants something new- books, clothes, cd's, whatever her poison is, then she has to go in her room and get rid of something she doesn't want anymore, or else you do it for her. Anything on the floor or under the bed is free game.

    Just some random ideas- I don't have kids yet, but I have been around them enough to not be totally ignorant. The slob is a sophmore in college and lives totally on her own. She is still a slob, but learning responsibility slowly but surely. She is going to a really great liberal arts college and is not the total trainwreck that we all expected her to be.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy4
    Money was a big motivator for me. Still is! I don't have kids, but if I may make a suggestion. If she's not motivated by money or whether or not she will be grounded, try taking something away that she REALLY wants. Like telephone privaleges or TV or games. What does she love and can't live without? That's me though.
    We have taken away her Gameboy, TV, play dates and she's missed trips to the mall, to dinner, and more movies than I can count over the years. She's a great kid, so it kills me to do it, but I will flat out tell her: Do your chores, we're going to go _______ in an hour. And she still will not do them. Not to be naughty, just because.....well who KNOWS why???

    It's so frustrating! Her attention span is super short, I remind her to do things all the time, she means to do it....but she doesn't quite do it. She's super smart, just spacy. She'll go to make her bed, see a book and start reading. She'll start to clean off her desk, then start writing in her journal. Start to clean the sink, and start playing with glitter and brushing her hair.

    But she's ten....she has to learn (somehow) to be more responsible. I just worry about her, and I don't want to be teaching her that it's okay to be flakey ALL the time.

    And the cat and turtle would have starved to death if she was really in charge of them.

  10. #10

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    DQ, you KNOW I'm wondering which is you.....the suck up, the slob...the perfect one. Do tell.

    BTW, our four year old is a HUGE suck-up. If either of the older two are negative in any way....she'll be the positive one. It's hilarious. And a total power struggle.

  11. #11

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbell
    It's so frustrating! Her attention span is super short, I remind her to do things all the time, she means to do it....but she doesn't quite do it.
    Huh? What I wasn't listening. Was a little distracted. Kidding.

    Quote Originally Posted by stinkerbell
    She's super smart, just spacy. She'll go to make her bed, see a book and start reading. She'll start to clean off her desk, then start writing in her journal. Start to clean the sink, and start playing with glitter and brushing her hair.
    If you're already taking stuff away and it's not working, I don't know what to say then. I like DQ's idea of how to "clean" up. If it's scattered everywhere and not put away, it's gone!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend DMother
    Girl bonding is just so necessary. It's just as important as "me" time. A good girl bonding session leaves you feeling so refreshed. I think of it as a NEED vs a want. There are just things that you need to talk to other women with. You may have the best relationship in the world with your husband, but there are just times you need your girlfriends. It makes for a healthier and happier you which makes everything else you do better.

  12. #12

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    I am neither of the above described. I guess I was the "surrogate mom" I was the oldest girl and my mom put TONS of responsibility on me. I was always the one in charge.

    Anyways, my specialty was making it LOOK like all my chores were done, even if they weren't really.

    My mom was a total neat freak- we had "cleaning day" every sunday where nothing could be done until everything was scrubbed, vacuumed, washed, etc. If my sisters room wasn't clean, my mom would sit on their beds and force them to clean it for hours on end.

    So I guess my messed up childhood is maybe not the best place to draw child-rearing advice from. All I know is the smart slob resents my mother to no end and probably wishes she was dead. So forcing her to do chores is probably not the best way to approach things because is it really worth the stress and heartache? If the younger two would gladly do the mundane chores, maybe you could find something else for the oldest to be in charge of, something that she would like. That way she has responisbility and motivation and you don't have to fight with her.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    I'm 16, live with my parents, get no allowance, and do no chores.

  14. #14

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    DQ......your mom sounds like my dad! Saturday was our cleaning day. I had to mow the lawn, change my sheets, dust (with Pledge and a rag) all the furniture, vacuum, etc. before I could leave the house or do anything else. On top of taking out the garbage everyday, helping stack wood, the dishes, cleaning the bathroom sinks, putting away my clothes, watching my little sister......etc.

    My room was NEVER messy enough to even get in trouble for not cleaning it up. We had to put away things the second we weren't using them.

    That's why I get so freaked out with my own kids. I don't want them to feel like their childhood is second to chores. Childhood and play come first in our household. I don't even want them to make their beds everyday. If they want to, great, if not, who cares. As long as they do it when I ask them specifically to do it, we're good.

    They do have fewer chores than their friends, and less responsibility too. I'm okay with that, but since my ten year old was six, we've asked her/required her to do chores......and they've always been age appropriate and not out of line, but she's too spacey to get them done. I feel bad that she doesn't have spending money. But then again, she doesn't earn it. Ugh.

  15. #15

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    Re: Kids and Chores?

    I have a college aged child who always fought about chores. He was pretty good about it until the pre-teen years and then it became a lost cause. He became a slob with his space and his looks. I think I tried all the things everyone mentioned and nothing worked.
    I gave up and gave in, he could have anything the way he wanted in his room but had to help with the upkeep of the family room some lawn chores and family activities (like painting,etc..).
    I didn't want to fight and drive him away. As he grew up and into his own person I had to let him decide what is important to him. He's not a neat freak, he's definitely a slob. This is true with school also, he'll be on the long path to college graduation because he's just in no hurry to get done.
    The funny thing is, he is one of the most self assured people I know. He didn't get that from me, I'm a huge blob of insecurities. I feel confident than when he decides things are important to him he will take care of them.
    Whats the answer, not sure, not sure there is one overriding answer.
    Sorry I couldn't help more. Man, guess I needed to vent, thanks for listening!

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