Eight Year Old- Responsiblities?

Updated on January 10, 2011
S.M. asks from Charleston, WV
15 answers

Our daughter is an only child, so we are aware of our tendency to do too much for her at times. Just wondered what your eight year old does in terms of chores? What are their dailly responsibilities? Also, how much do you assist them with bathing/showering, doing their hair, dressing, etc.?

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answers from Houston on

my daughter will be 8 in about 2 weeks so i feel i can answer.

1.She feeds, cleans up after and changes the litter box of her cat
2. brushes twice a day, flosses once by herself
3. fold all dishrags and hand towels
4, puts up dry dishes
5.brings in the large empty trash cans from the street to the porch
6. gathers the little trash bags from bathrooms.
7 keeps her own room , closet clean and bed made
8. cleans her own bathroom (including counters, and floors, not toilet)
9.showers by herself, runs baths by herself, `
10. Puts her own plate/bowl in the sink.
11. is expected to clean up after, herself, brush her own hair, dress herself, clip her own nails
12. helps with little sister, this includes changing diapers (not every day, but at least once in 3 days, helping clean her up. buckling her into car seat, watching her and playing with her in her room when company is over.

for all of the 'house stuff " that is not exclusively hers she earns a dollar a day. If she continues to keep her "a " average she will have a laptop by summer. We are getting her a phone with very limited minutes for her b-day because she has been very responsible, and sometimes she asks to do more.

When i was 8 my mom died and i was basically responsible for everything under the roof(literally) after that, i went into my teen years quite responsible

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answers from Johnstown on

When our older daughter was 8, she was responsible for her homework first & foremost. Then she was to pick up her own toys and make her own bed. She would see that her dirty laundry was taken to the laundry room. She would assist me in folding clean under garments, match socks and fold towels/wash cloths. She was responsible for dusting her own room except for the areas she wasn't tall enough to reach. She was expected to help with dishes 2 nights out of the week. Once a week, she would help me put groceries away. Other than that, she had (and still has) it pretty darn easy.

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answers from Indianapolis on

As an only child I can tell you what my responsibilites were at that age. I too was spoiled but I had to do my share. I washed dishes once a week. Had to keep my room cleaned. Had to make sure my dirty clothes were in the hamper and I helped fold. I loved being with my Father so I started cutting the grass with him. I also had to dust the furniture.

As far as bathing I was doing that by myself then. My mother showed me how to wash myself so her assistance wasn't needed. She took care of my hair for a while. I was probably about 11 or 12 before I was able to do my hair on my own. Good luck!

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answers from Cleveland on

Well there is a big difference between what my kids can do and what I really expect of them every day. My DD just turned 8, on a daily basis she is expected to

complete her independent school work, (we homeschool)
dress, brush teeth, put clothes in hamper, make bed, bring cup and put in dishwasher
clear her place after breakfast, rinse and put in dishwasher, wipe table
feed dog, turtles, fish
empty trash cans
put away laundry

She picks out her own clothes and generally does her own hair ect.

Now on the other hand, I have a 6 week old, and had a very difficult pregnancy, between DD and her older brothers (age 11 and almost 10) they can sort, and load laundry (i don't trust them to do the soap) put laundry in dryer (and empty lint trap, which my husband can't even seem to do, lol). vacuum, dust, put away dishes, fold towels and put away all of their clothes and take out the trash.

Since I am a stay at home mom, I do feel it is my job to take care of the house, so I do whatever I can and will help them in the same way that I expect them to help me if I need it.

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answers from Hartford on

My son is 8 as well and an only child, for now ;) His daily stuff consists of feeding the dog and cat and giving them fresh water at breakfast and dinner. He is in charge of taking out the garbage and recycling which is sometimes only every other day. He must pick up all his toys through out the house every night before bed. I don't get on him too much about his room. He "cleans" it on Sunday and runs the vacuum in there. He is responsible for making sure his clothes make it to the hamper. He also puts away any of his clean clothes and hangs up his shirts. I tried to get him to be the one in charge of picking up the dog poop in the yard, but quickly found out it wasn't worth it, so hubby got that duty back. I have keep the front hall clean by lining up the shoes and making sure all the coats are hung up. He does pretty good if I throw anything else in there and ask for a hand. He also helps me carry in the groceries and put them away. He does all his showering, dressing, teeth ect on his own, with the occasional spot check. He gets himself up in the am, makes himself breakfast, brushes his teeth and gets dressed sometimes before I am even out of bed. With all that being said.... He needs constant reminders about school things, like actually getting his completed homework into his bag or remembering to bring back his library book.
Oh yes, he clears the table after dinner.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My youngest is 8. She is smart, strong, independent, and can be quite a handful when is gets into a mood! She is responsible for putting all of her dirty laundry in her basket. I wash, fold and put away only once a week. She is 100% responsible for finding, selecting, and dressing herself with all clothes, shoes and outerwear. I will cut out tags, because she is very bothered by sensory issues, such as these. She brushes teeth 2X daily. She showers independently. She hated me brushing her long hair when she was younger, ultra sensitive to tangles. It got to be enough of a battle that she now happily wears a short cut, and takes care of it 100% herself. This year she earned ear piercing, and that she also takes care of 100% herself. I would love to have her make her bed, but she has bunkbeds, and that is difficult, even for me. She has to pick up her own toys and things. Homework has to be done first after school before play time. She feeds the dog when we ask her to, and takes turns scooping dog poop in the back yard with her sister (so every other day). Other chores are as we ask. Sometimes she empties waste baskets. She actually loves to help clean bathrooms. We will probably start a table set/clear rotation with her older sister in the near future.

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answers from Cleveland on

hi! I have 2 boys - my oldest is almost 9, and the younger one is 6 (we have a baby girl too, but she is too young for chores lol). We expect them to help out with everyday things as needed (feed & walk the dogs, empty/load dishwasher, set the table, take out garbage/recycling, take cans out/in from the street on garbage day, fold/put away laundry, etc). They both shower independently, but we do smell checks occasionally, to make sure they are using soap/shampoo (with boys, it is always good to double check!). They also dress themselves, and pick out their own clothes, although i have a clean underwear check that i do each morning (somehow boys just don't feel the need to wear clean underwear). We also have a chore chart - both of them have 4 chores they are expected to do each day (ex. sweep/mop kitchen or living room, dust piano, wipe front of oven, pick up toys/trash/etc in den, vaccuum, wipe down table, clean & sweep bedroom/playroom, clean toilet/tub/sink in bathroom, etc etc etc). They are not allowed to use electronics of any kind (leapsters/tv/wii/computer) until their chores are completed. It actually is a nice system - this weekend my hubby and i slept in until 8/9 (the baby likes to sleep in, which is awesome), the boys were up at 7, and all of their chores were done before 8. It is a huge help with keeping the house clean and organized too - with 5 people, it gets messy quickly! Hope this helps!

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answers from Houston on

By 8 years old, I was doing laundry and doing all household duties (including deep cleaning like scrubbing toilets/mopping/windows/vacuum/dust/dishes/cleaning bathroom and kitchen surfaces and fixtures, keeping the house picked up, keeping my room clean, and helping cook dinner as well.

I did the above chores every single Saturday (there was a check off list) and a few of them I did daily as well.

For showering/dressing/hair, I did all that too.... but I had waist length hair so my mom would help me comb it and style it on occasion. I wish I had more control over what I would wear, my mom dressed me like clown it felt like.

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answers from Chicago on

at 8 my kids all had house hold responsibilities as well as personal stuff also. they had to each day
make bed / put laundry in hamper
brush teeth
do homework
pack bookbag and put it by the door for school next morning
choose what they wanted in the lunch box for morning
one kid would set the table other kid would clear it 3rd kid helped with dishes
weekly chores were
empty trashcans in bathrooms
take garbage out to cans outside
take garbage cans to street and put on sticker
put their own laundry away
carry their hampers/baskets to laundry room

those were all regular jobs there were other stuff in the summer that they helped with lawn stuff etc

we had chore charts and behavior charts etc which helped know who's turn it was to do what.

as far as allowance goes allowance in our house was not tied to chores. they each got $1 for each year they were in school so 1st grader got $1 5th grader got $5.

forgot the bathing part lol. My mom used to tell us wash up as far as possible and then down as far as possible and then wash possible. cracked us up but got the point across. I was a little more graphic with the boys as they got older and asked them if the picked up the privates and washed around and under and between lol.

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answers from Dallas on

My 8 year old daughter keeps her room organized, gathers her dirty clothes and brings them to the stairs for us to bring down, she takes them out of the dryer and hangs them up. She cleans up after dinner (puts her dishes in the sink, throws away trash) she unloads the top portion of the dishwasher, she puts a new trashbag in. Also she loves to vacuum so she asks us to do that herself.

I also have a 6 year old boy who does everything she does. I started chores at 3 years of age and I feel it is important for them to learn that we take care of the house together as a team. It also gives them self esteem and a feeling of independence.

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answers from Columbus on

My daughter is 8. as to bathing and such, she does it all on her own. I will go and help her rinse her hair if she asks...but that is about it. She also takes care of her own hair. The chores she has are helping with the dishwasher, putting clothes away, help with cleaning her room or any other that she may have had a hand in messing up.

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answers from Philadelphia on

Like the others homework is first. She takes turns with her sister setting table for dinner. They both bus the table after dinner, scrape plates put them in the dishwasher etc. She needs to put her own dirty clothes in the laundry room. She puts her own clean clothes away except for things that need to be hung. She puts her own toys away (lots of prodding). As for bath she does it all pretty much on her own. She brushes her own hair. I run the brush through to make sure and to straighten her part. She chooses and puts on her own clothes but I have final veto on the choice. She handles her own outdoor wear. She needs help with her snowsuit. She also feeds the chickens some days and gathers eggs.

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answers from Denver on

At eight, my kids both bathed themselves, though sometimes they needed reminders to wash in certain places. I did have to help with my daughter's hair. Both of my kids could pick out their own clothes and dress themselves by 2nd grade. They had to do HW after school and a snack, before they could play anything. They had to clean up their room weekly. They each had a chore to do everyday - they took turns setting or clearing the table of dishes, they had to empty the dishwasher of silverware and put it away, they could take the recyclables out to the garage to put them in the container. In return they got an allowance of 3 or 4 dollars a week, depending on their grade. Half had to go into savings, and half they could save up to buy a toy or book or some other treat with parental permission. Each year on their birthdays, they get one more dollar on their allowance and one more chore. This way they learn that work to help the family will be rewarded and they learn some early money management skills.

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answers from Modesto on

At 8 my boys made their bed before school, took out the trash, fed and watered the animals, scooped dog poop in the yard, took turns loading the dishwasher, put away their own laundry that I left folded on their bed, used the can smasher to smash aluminum cans, kept their room clean on a "need to be" basis. Most of the time I let their room be somewhat insane but when I knew it needed to be reckoned with I'd let them know it was time. They got an allowance based on chores done and attitude. Some Saturdays they'd receive 5 bucks and sometimes 10 bucks... it was all about doing it without being reminded and doing a good job.

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answers from Sacramento on

Oh wow. Reading some of these posts, I'm feeling like I make my son do a LOT. He just turned 5 on Friday. :-/ He...

Does all daily personal care (teeth, face wash, dressing)
Picks up toys
Makes bed
Puts away clean clothes (a do laundry and set folded clothes on the counter for him to get and put away)
Takes out trash
Pulls trash cans to curb and back once a week
Brings in the mail
Brings in the news paper
Warms up the car in the morning (we have auto-start... he starts it from in the house and it can't be driven)
Sets and clears table for dinner
and "Helps Mommy" with other tasks as they come up

I'm not sure what he'll being doing at 8, but no less than that, I'm sure :)

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