Getting Kids to Help With Chores

July 29, 2011

An adult and a child using dusting clothes.As a working parent of 6 kids (the oldest 4 are in a 5 1/2 year age span), the kids helping with chores was a given. Our system was the job jar. All household chores were written down and put into a job jar. Pink paper for the under 6 set, and yellow paper for those school age and above.


Every Friday, we all sat down and everyone, including parents, drew their jobs for the following week. We had a chart hanging on the wall that had everyone's name, their jobs for the week, and a space for Mom (or Mamaw) to sign off when the job was done satisfactorily (without more than one reminder) and finished each day of the week.

On Saturday, anyone that had their assigned chores done at least 6 out of the 7 days, participated in a "treat day". We took turns choosing the treat for the week, from a list provided by Mom (depended on time and money available). The treat might be a picnic, a trip to the pool, a movie, a trip to the zoo, or a Baskin Robbins ice cream treat, etc. Anyone not completing their assigned chores was left at home with grandmother, with no TV or phone privileges for the weekend.

In the early days of course, a 6 year old assigned to cook supper needed a lot of help from Mom or Grandmother. By the time they were 10-12 years old, they (boys and girls) could all plan a menu. They could make a edible, balanced meal for the family, fix lunches for school, vacuum, mop, etc.


From 9th grade on, they were also involved in budgeting, balancing the checkbook, writing the checks for monthly bills, seeing that they were mailed, making the grocery list, and shopping for groceries.

We do not give our kids enough credit. Even a 2 year old can empty a waste paper basket or pick up toys, and put them away. It is not just a case of helping out Mom. Everyone lives there, eats the food, and wears clothing. Everyone needs to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for their home.

When we don't teach our kids to clean their homes, wash their clothes, cook a decent meal, manage their time, manage their money, and accept their responsibilities, we do them a grave disservice because someday they are going to have their own homes and families to manage. You can't teach those things by starting the week before they leave for college.


By slee15

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July 30, 2009

Take a sheet of paper. With a pencil, write on one side all the chores that the person doesn't like to do/needs to do. On the other side, write a corresponding reward.

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July 3, 2012

Take a bin with their left out stuff in it and add a print out that says this:

Pick A Chore

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July 28, 2011

When my kids (and fosters) were young, I bought a roll of tickets (like those at a carnival). They are available at places like WalMart. I made lists of chores, age appropriate for each child.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
July 26, 2011

I know people with multiple kids. Some of them don't think chores are for kids. One says it's all women's work (hehe), and getting them to help out is a chore in itself!

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February 3, 2014

My daughter has mirrored closet doors, we use them to keep a daily check list of things to be done. She loves putting the check by the item, or sometimes a mini artwork flower.


At the end of the day, we wipe off the checks and she's ready for the next day.

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July 23, 2014

When my kids were younger, each had plastic hangers, a laundry hamper and clothes basket in their favorite color. They knew what laundry was theirs and were responsible for putting it up, just by the color of the hanger and basket.

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November 19, 2007

This is a great way to organize your kids to do chores.

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10 Questions

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July 18, 2011

I'd love some ideas on how you do chores. We have four small girls. We agree they need daily chores to do. We agree that some things need to be done because you are a member of the family. Where do "just because chores" and "receive allowance chores" start and end?

By NellieMom


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July 18, 20110 found this helpful

My siblings and I never received an allowance, doing chores was just part of being a family. We grew up on a farm and us kids had lots of chores, both inside and outside. My daughters never received an allowance. I did things differently than my parents did. From the time my kids could walk, when it was nap time or bed time we walked around picking up their toys and putting them away, this was teaching them when they were really young.


From there it just progressed. Kids don't need an allowance for doing chores, in fact I don't think they should be paid to help around home.

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

The chore division comes where you decide it does. One suggestion that worked in our family was that chores which benefitted the individual child ( picking up toys, cleaning the bedroom, doing own laundry) were free. Chores that helped the entire family ( lawn mowing, cleaning the bathroom(only had one), vacuuming, laundering towels and sheets) ,were paid. Payment was once a week, and in cash. You have to adapt the chores to the child's age and ability.


For example, my daughter was very tiny, and could not reach the bottom of the washer to take laundry out, so I got her a pair of long handled tongs to fish the clothes out. She had a stepstool to reach the washer controls. Whatever method you choose, try to accept the child's efforts as much as possible, because nothing discourages their efforts like having it criticized or done over by parents.

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August 7, 2007

I have 4 daughters, 11, 7, and twins that are 5. I am ashamed to say they have been quite "spoiled" when it comes to helping out with chores around the house up until now. I am a stay-at-home-mom and I have found it's easier to just do things myself, but I am finding it harder and harder to keep up with the cleaning!

I was hoping I could find some ideas on how I can make up a "chore list" or something similar that will help in getting my girls to participate in the upkeep of our house. What has worked for you or what hasn't worked? Any feedback is much appreciated!


By Marta (Guest Post)
August 7, 20070 found this helpful

Maybe this will help...

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By Sara (Guest Post)
August 7, 20070 found this helpful

I started by using a chore chart I found online that is printable. I started off putting just two or so chores per week. As they get the hang of doing these chores, add more. My kids no longer need the chore chart! They did complain a lot and would say they didn't want to do them. So I retaliated by telling them I didn't feel like cooking supper or doing their laundry!

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August 8, 20070 found this helpful

I think it is good to have your kids help with chores. I have a two year old son and he already has to help pick up his own toys and help do other small tasks. This website has info on how one stay at home mom of 8 kids(6 still at home) raises her family. I know she has a page on there about kids and chores. I think it is good for kids to have chores growing up. After all they will have to know how to cook and clean when they are adults on their own! Good luck!

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August 9, 20070 found this helpful

We have found the the reward system helped a lot. Have a chore jar, then assign points to each job, more for harder chores, etc... Then at the end of the week add up the points, whoever has more points gets to pick out something fun to do as a family. We have a jar of fun (inexpensive) family fun things to pick from. Hope this helps get them in the mood for chores.

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By shari (Guest Post)
August 9, 20070 found this helpful

I learned this through a parenting class and at first I wasn't too sure how it would work. I have 3 daughters, 10, 12, and 14 years old. I used to have to fuss all day long trying to get just their rooms clean. Then I decided to try this new technique. First decide what it is you would like them to help do then you give them a choice: clean bathroom or do dishes, for example. they get to pick what to do and do not feel like they are being told what to do. It worked like a charm with no fussing all day. ALSO another approach i use is the timer method, make a BIG deal like its a race. you set the timer for 15 minutes. You clean in one room for this set time when the timer goes off you are done in that room. my girls and I will all clean in one room and you will be amazed how much can get done in a short time frame. We turn the radio on and when we are done we have the rest of the day to do whatever we wish.

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August 9, 20070 found this helpful

I have an 11-year-old and 9-year-old twins. There is a certain amount of cleaning they are expected to do without getting paid, such as making their bed, cleaning up their rooms, etc.
Whenever they want to buy something and need money, I use that as an opportunity for them to earn money by doing cleaning chores. I make a list of everything that needs to be done and assign a monetary value. They each take turns choosing the tasks they want.
Typical chores for my 11-year-old are vacuuming, scouring the kitchen sink, and windows. The 9-year-olds can clean the bathroom sinks, empty trash cans, dust, and unload the dishwasher.
It takes a few times showing them how, but after that they can do it themselves. I keep a little bucket under their sink with a sponge and cleaner so they can get it out themselves when it's time to clean.
I haven't been able to have them do these jobs regularly, but when they're motivated to earn money for something, they do very well!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 228 Posts
August 9, 20070 found this helpful

google : printable chore sheets or theres one called chart jungle that sends updates.
you could start them each with a balance of say $15 a week then from there, things that DON'T get done are viewed as CRIMES & they get penalized for them by you subtracting funds from their balance.
It would work the same as when I was in school & at the start of the year everyone had an A; all we had to do was KEEP it!

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August 10, 20070 found this helpful

Hopefully it's not too late to teach your daughters to do their chores. They say it's much, much easier to start them off very young. But good luck. I hope something works for you. I strongly encourage you to atleast try. My husband's sister,a stay-at-home mom like you, raised her daughter the same way you've been raising yours (thought it was easier to just do everything herself) and has really reaped the whirlwind as they say. Poor sis-in-law is now raising her daughter's 3 illegitimate children, whom she's also not teaching to do chores. She is trying to raise those 3 little kids and still do everything herself at the age of 56! As a consequence, her health is shot, the house looks like a disaster area, and the kids are getting more and more out of control. So you hang in there and give it a good try. If you have trouble with the girls refusing to all of a sudden take orders from their sweet, easy-going mother who's been doing everything for everybody, maybe a female relative - your mother, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, (somebody who can be tough when she needs to be) could come over for a few days and kind of put your daughters through a sort of chore "boot camp". Good luck!

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