Children and Chores - Lone Tree,IA

Updated on September 06, 2013
Y.M. asks from Lone Tree, IA
25 answers

What chores do you have your children do? I'm just trying to get an idea of what/how many chores the average family assigns to their children.

More specifically, children ages 5-8 or so.

My 6 year old has started to have a terrible attitude about all things chore related. Additionally, she seems to think that everything she is expected to do is a chore. Examples: Putting the cap back on the toothpaste, changing into play clothes after school, eating her dinner....all chores in her opinion. She's lost her mind.

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answers from Dover on

This is how I see it:

Things done for self care should not be considered a chore (brushing teeth and hair, bathing, etc and yes, that includes putting the tube on the toothpaste so it doesn't dry up and can't be used). Having personal responsibilties should also not be a chore (clearing own dishes, putting own clothes in hamper, picking up after oneself)

Chores would be something done for the mutual benefit of the family/household (taking trash out, cleaning, setting the table, doing laundry...just plain helping out).

For this reason, I don't really have a lot of "chores" that I assign my 6 year old (or really my older son either). If they are doing their self care and personal responsibilities, I really don't have much in the way of chores that I need them to do all the time but when I need a hand I ask.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

At that age my kids:
made bed
put away laundry
fed dogs
picked up dog poop
cleared table
unloaded dishwasher
picked up toys

I consider hygiene (teeth brushing, showers, getting dressed) to not be chores, but part of being responsible for their own bodies.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

My six year olds have the following chores:

Put own clothes on
Make bed
Brush teeth in morning
Put homework folder into backpack
Carry backpack out to car

Wash hands when entering the house
Pick up toys (although I frequently help)
Set table (if we're running late I do this)
Carry own dinner dishes to sink

They also help on a weekly basis with some of the cleaning - they usually clean the sliding glass door and the glass coffee table, help dust, and they love to sweep the floors.

I wouldn't say my kids are perfect with chores, and I could be a lot better with consistently requiring chores to be done... but it's a process. Refusing to do chores or complaining about them is like talking back or whining in my book - it has a consequence. Right now for not doing chores, my kids lose reading time at bed because that's their favorite thing.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Putting the top on the toothpaste...for some reason that cracks me up. I can just picture the discussion over that .."chore" Tell her from now on she will only have ONE chore. let her celebrate that victory for a while. then inform her the only chore is to do what her mother tells her. period. Every time. Without arguing. Tell her this is to stop arguing over so many chores.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

My 9 y/o feeds his lizard (crickets and fresh veggies daily) and keeps his tank clean. He also feeds the frogs.
My 5 y/o feeds his fish and the cats. He also gets the chicken eggs daily.

Both of them put dirty jammies in the am/clothes in the pm in the laundry baskets in the laundry room daily. Clear their plates from the table after meals. After I fold laundry they take their clean clothes up to their rooms and put them in their drawers (I do help the 5 y/o with this). They both help in the garden and yard by pulling weeds and the oldest does mow part of the lawn. They also p/u their toys daily.

When I am cleaning house the 9 y/o usually sweeps the kitchen and the 5 y/o dusts. They bring down their linens from their beds on saturday morning and help me make the beds after I wash everything.

EDIT: and I do not give them an allowance. My boys also help bring in groceries and usually do what I ask them to do (in addition to their regular stuff) without too much complaining/arguing.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If you want to have your kids have a good work ethic have them do chores.

I had my kids start doing chores when they turned 4. Then it was just put plates on the table. When they got older we added the silverware and non-breakable glasses and napkins. When they became strong enough they carried out the trash.

When they became 8 they were washing dishes and drying dishes. When they turned 12 they started washing and folding clothes. We added the more complicated chores as they grew older.

Good luck to you and yours.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

We keep a chore chart each week, each chore equals 1 point with a weekly goal of 100 points. It has things like- put clothes in hamper, be nice to baby sister (that one hardly gets checked off- haha), help someone each day, get dressed in the morning without being told, clean up toys in house, put shoes in designated place, eat all of dinner etc. At the end of the week, if he makes his goal, he gets a special treat of his choosing (reasonable one of course). It works pretty well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

My 3yo DD has chores...

She is responsible for picking up all of her toys every night.
She also takes out the bathroom trash every Sunday. (The only bags small enough for her to handle. Lol.)

She also helps with my chores. She carries one end of the laundry basket, and puts clothes I hand her into the dryer. When we fold, she matches the socks or folds hand towels and washcloths. She also puts away all of her clothes into their correct drawers.

She also sorts silverware into the dishwasher, or puts it away when it is clean. She is responsible for putting her own dishes in the sink when she is done with her meals.

She also holds the dustpan for me when I sweep, and "mops" when I am done. (I usually have to redo it... But at least she tries. Lol.)

As more options become more age-appropriate, I add them on. Here lately, she has been putting away the clean pots and pans now that she is strong enough.

Pretty much, any time *I* am doing chores, she is helping in some way. I am a firm believer that EVERYONE in a household contributes to the maintaining of it. I am also somewhat against 'assigned' chores, and prefer to teach my DD to pitch in where help is needed. Of course, I may wind up revising my stance if I have more kids later on. Lol.

I also don't attach any reward to doing chores.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hey M.!!

My boys are 11 & 13.

They have the following chores:

Emtpy trash cans on Sunday and Wednesday
Collect dirty laundry, take it to laundry room, separate it
Set table for meals
Fix drinks for meals
walk the dog
ensure the dog has fresh water and food - daily.

Clean up their games and toys (NERF guns and soldiers as well as XBOX and Wii controllers). If I touch it - or worse step on it? It's MINE. If they didn't care enough to take care of it - they can't have it. They know I'm serious.

My 13 year old has to clean their bathroom....they have to learn sometime!!

They are expected to take care of the things they use - mouth wash, shampoo, body wash, tooth paste, etc. those are expected as normal "care" of yourself and your living quarters.

Each of them are required to show a "bag drag" after

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My children each have chores they do to the best of their abilities. This includes but is not limited to:

Doing laundry and all that entails including putting it away
Keeping their rooms clean and beds made
Putting dishes in the sink/washing dishes by hand when needed
Cleaning the bathroom
Taking out the trash
Making lunches for the week
Dusting the house
Sweeping/mopping the dining area
Washing their table and chairs - they have their own dining set

I'm sure there are more things I'm not thinking of but in our home everyone helps out all the time. The chores can and do change at any time for any reason. Basically it boils down to if you are asked to do it, do it to the best of your ability and ask for help if needed. Everyone contributes and it is NOT ever going to be equal amounts but we all must work together to run our home.

My children are 9 and 6.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

it must be a developmental thing with the 6 year old. I had a long chat yesterday with my oldest about how putting her hair brush away was her responsibility, and she moaned about it being a chore!

my kids sort and put away their clothes, the oldest helps make her bed when we wash sheets, they clean up the crumbs in the kitchen after dinner, adn they keep the playroom and their bedroom floor clean. they also clear their place settings after they eat, get their own water, and I'm working on getting my oldest to take over setting the table for dinner. She also is in charge of picking tomatoes, strawberries, etc from the garden. outside toys also have to get put away.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My kids have had chores since they were 3 or so - it takes everyone's help to keep things in semi-order.

The chores rotated weekly are keeping the tables and counters cleaned (after every meal), laundry (bringing it downstairs, starting the washer, moving it to the dryer, and putting it in the basket for dad or I to fold), and vacuuming the living room.

They are also responsible to keep their rooms tidy, the boys change the trash whenever needed, all 3 take turns unloading the dishwasher, they all help clean the bathrooms, they take turns dusting things in the house (my daughter - 10 - likes to pledge the stairs and my son - 6- likes to Clorox everything we touch), etc.

If they get in trouble, they get to do all 3 "regular" chorse for the day - never a big hit.

My kids are 6, 8, and 10..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

"She's lost her mind."

Yeah, they do get that way, sometimes, like it's all a giant inconvenience.

So, my kid is six and his chores include:
Setting the table
Making his bed
Making sure his clothes make it to the wash
taking out the recycling,
Picking up his room
helping out in the garden (picking berries, usually)
Ensuring his outside toys are cleaned up
Clearing his dishes from the table
Emptying garbage cans on garbage days
Putting away groceries/toilet paper
Putting his clothes away
Plus the homework/self-care stuff (this includes rinsing the sink basin after brushing his teeth)

IF I have to do a chore for you because you're being stubborn, you will trade me time and do a job for me later, at MY convenience, not yours.

IF you complain about doing the chore, you will be assigned that chore until you can do it without complaining. Once we can do the chore without complaining, you may ask to trade it for another one.

IF it needs to be done right away and you refuse, you can go sit on a chair until you are ready to do it. Depends on the task, what's going on, attitude, etc.

Self-care and the regular chores earn him $1 a week to spend and $1 which is saved for him (to save and give); extra helping earns more money. (Like vacuuming a room, emptying yard debris buckets while I work, being a helper while I clean out an area.) We call the chores 'family jobs' and the extra's 'dollar jobs'.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

When my children were young, I asked them to sit with me and tell me what their fav things were ,whether it was a toy or watching movies and we put them on paper in the order the kids liked them, the first being their #1 best thing ever and so on, I posted a lists on the fridge, and for each time a child was told to do something (or stop doing something) they had to mark an item on the list. They weren't allowed to play with (or do the activity, ) until they could tell me why it was taken away and learn to genuinely apologize for it. If they continued to misbehave they would mark another item to be
taken away,and so on. The punishment for multiple incidents was losing those items/activities for at least 24 hrs. I put the responsibility of choosing back on the child making them understand they chose what to have taken away, and they could just as easily earn it back by acknowledging what they had done. It worked very well enough thru young teenage yrs, keeping in mind the items were more activity related, (Friday night footbal games , going to the mall, cell phone use,and so on) Chores were setting the table for a meal, sweeping the kitchen, taking out the trash, dishes, etc age appropriate, there all kinds of things they can do,...Cleaning thier own room was their personal responsibi;lity and not considered a chore. Won't hurt to try it ,.... C. s.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I've done a lot of thinking about this. In my opinion, kids should share in the doing of daily tasks in a household, and ultimately, I'd like my kids to learn how to keep their homes neat and tidy. Step 1 for me is to teach them that if they continually put things back where they go, right away, then there aren't as many chores to do. To that end, I found a medium-sized metal mesh trash can (so you can easily see what's inside it) and put it on the stairway landing - a central, easy to see place in our house. If/when I find something that has not been put back where it is supposed to go, I put that item inside the bin. In order to get it back, the child must perform a chore of my choosing - cheerfully and without drama. Any attitude or drama, and the item is mine for at least a week, after which time the child has one more opportunity to do the chore cheerfully. I reserve the right to give the item to Goodwill if the attitude is poor the second time around.

You'd be surprised how quickly kids learn to pick up after themselves using that method!

In terms of what chores I have the kids do, it really depends upon what needs to be done at that moment. Today, my 8 year old earned herself the right to vacuum the downstairs to get back 3 small items she'd left out. I told her she could vacuum a room for each item. Once I inspected and saw she had done a good job, she received her items back. My 11 year old cleaned the kitchen to get her iPhone back (washed dishes, unloaded the dishwasher, wiped down counters and the front of the fridge, wiped down the microwave inside and out, cleaned the sink). Other times, I might have them collect all the dirty laundry from around the house and then sort it. The other night, they folded laundry. Whatever you think they can do, that needs to be done, have them do that. If they see it needs to be done (not just that it is on a chart or whatever), they seem more willing to participate cheerfully.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

My 7.5 year old cleans her room, sorts clothes, picks up living room, picks up toy room, cleans out car, helps younger sibs with baths.

My 5 and 4 year olds help with all of the above too to a little lesser extent but they do their own room and toy room.

Soon I'm going to have my oldest doing laundry, dishes and bathrooms, I just haven't taken time to teach her yet.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I expect my kids to make their beds and pick up anything on their floors each morning, tidy the bathroom counter, sort laundry and put away their folded clothes, fold rags and towels, empty the silverware from the dishwasher, rinse and load the dishes occasionally, keep the playroom clean, keep their things in the right places, take the trash and recycling out each week, match socks every couple of weeks when I have singles to sort, and other random things I think they might be able to handle. Sometimes they surprise me and want to vacuum or mop. Score! We don't really call them chores, it's just expected and part of their routine along with showering (not their favorite!!) and teeth brushing, etc. I noticed my daughter figured out that if she keeps her room clean I don't have to ask her to do it. It took her a while, but once she figured out I expected it to be cleaned each day, she just picks up her laundry and keeps it nice now. It gets easier if you stick with it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm looking forward to reading your answers, because I know I need to give my 7 year old more responsibilities around the house.

Right now, his only "jobs" are to put away silverware from the dishwasher when I'm unloading and to match socks from the laundry.

Other things he has to do, but we don't call them jobs (chores) are put his dirty clothes in the hamper every night, put away his toothbrush and toothpaste after he uses them, put away toys after playing with them.

My 3 year old puts away plastic cups from the dishwasher because they are in a low cabinet, and has the same other non-chores as his brother (clothes, toys, etc).

ADDED: Some good ideas here. Although I'm surprised at all the people who say their kids unload the dishwasher. My kids can't reach the cabinets to put things away. Are all your cabinets low or if not, are did you include chores that they don't do completely independently? The stuff I listed (not much I know) is what I ask him to do completely on his own.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughters are 6 and 9. Usually it is their responsibility to keep their room clean and to clean the living room every Saturday.

On laundry days, we have them switch the laundry out (take clothes from washer, put in dryer, put new load in washer).

We have them do other little tasks here and there (sweep the floors, for example).

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answers from Washington DC on

DS is 7. He (like your daughter) views a LOT of things as chores that I think are just part of self-care/personal responsibility (like being good at school or reading 20 pages), but whatever, he can think what he wants as long as they get done.

The real chores/jobs:
-Take recycling from kitchen to bins in garage daily and sort by type
-Recycling, trash, and yardwaste to curb Wednesday nights and back up to garage Thursday afternoons.
-Check mail and sort by addressee
-Set and clear dinner table
-Own laundry (except for pouring bleach when needed)
-Make bed and tidy room daily
-Clean his bathroom
-Put away silverware from dishwasher
-Help with the cats (he's not old enough to actually be responsible for another living thing without help imo)

There's a mix of daily, weekly, and as needed tasks in there, and he does a very good job with all of them at this point.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My DD does things like help set the table, get her clothes, put up her toys, help feed the cats and help me put away dishes. This week she also helped me get the trash cans up from the curb. When my SD was 6, she would also fold and put away her clothes.

She may feel that it is a "chore" to do things, but those are not chores. Those are just things you need to do because you need to do them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

They have to do chores or help around the house. Period. A family unit makes huge messes, requires a lot of home maintenance, and there is NO WAY that Mom or Dad can be expected to do it all. Especially as kids get older and the messes and work around the house amps up too. This might sound awful but my kids....all four of the beauties....had chores and did not get allowance for them. Why the hell am I going to pay one of my kids for making the beds that they sleep in and mess up, clean their own rooms which they dirty, help load and unload the dishwasher from the plates and silverware they use, or walk and feed three dogs that the BEGGED us to have? No way. No how. We are a family....a complete unit....we all help out and help each other because it's the right thing to do. It's called responsibility and accountability. Now, as my kids got older, the chores would change and be geared toward what they could do and what helped us all out as a family. We have had years of little chore schedules and also chore swapping. We do keep it lively and efficient for all. Right now, our youngest girls are still at home while their older twin sisters are away at college. Some chores had to be absorbed by my husband and I plus the younger two. Pretty will all be on us for good! The girls rotate emptying the dishwasher, feeding and walking the dogs, and they each clean their own rooms and clean their bathroom that they share. My youngest likes gardening with me so she also helps me with a lot of outdoor activities because we like that stuff. Hubby does the trash, all heavy duty labor intensive stuff outside, and helps clean half the house. I usually do all the laundry, feed and walk dogs on weekends, clean half the house, and I also maintain our landscape gardens. We all help each other. Sounds like a lot but we have the house cleaned top to ottom every Saturday morning in about an hour with all hands on deck.
When the girls were little, they had to clean up all their toys, keep their rooms neat, put away folded laundry, help with our doggies, and they also learned to empty the dishwasher and put the dishes away. Life doesn't wait for kids to grow up and move out. They have to know what they're doing way ahead of time. It's life skills. If you look at it that way, it can have valuable meaning. My kids are often praised by others for their resourcefulness, direction, and knowing how to be self-sufficient. I take great pride in knowing that hubby and I have had a lot to do with those compliments!

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answers from Davenport on

We are having that same attitude issue here, ever since 1st grade started ( REAL school) she is constantly whining and lamenting everything she has to do, she has to "work all day" and everything is "so hard, so boring, and no fun"! And don't even get me started on the 10 minutes of simple reading homework she has to do each day!!!!

Mine is 6 too, chore-wise, she has to put away her clean and already folded clothes, clear her place at the table after every meal, keep her room and anything she plays with outside of her room, picked up, and sometimes help fold clothes or put away clean dishes, and let the dog out the door in the AM. Also, my kids 4 and 6 usually get most of their own breakfast, I am down here to help pour drinks or milk on cereal, but they pour the cereal into the bowls, spoons, make toast, etc.

I think the shock of school has made her feel overworked lately.....welcome to life honey.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

my kids will clean up the downstairs of any of their toys/balls etc and throw away any trash they see on the floor. Straw wrappers or anything else that didnt quite make it to the trash. They are expected to clean up their eating area (just putting plates and cups in the sink). Put laundry in the basket. And they also put away their own laundry. If they clean up after themselves then my clean up is a lot easier. The just recently started dusting (6yrs and 8yrs) occasionally they like to vaccuum but I end up going over it again to get it all. They can wash the table and the counters but usually i just give everything a quick wipe down after the dishes are done so its not a big deal. Pretty soon I will be having my son do dishes (although I have huge issues with food and contamination that the thought of him in the sink kinda freaks me out but I was fine doing dishes growing up) He says he wants to so I guess I should let him.

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answers from Los Angeles on

My kids take out trash, make beds, set table and even do their own laundry( since age 8) my youngest 5 sets the table and is now starting to make his bed and hang his shirts from laundry. And clean up toys, their room etc.
older kids make school lunches
All of them take plates to sink after dinner, help clean up table. Help with school breakfast help carry grocery etc.

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