Thoughtful Thursday: Kids ‘n’ Chores!

Tonight I did something in the kitchen that I haven’t done in a very long, long time. In fact I cannot even remember the last time…

All by myself, after supper, while the kids were taking baths/showers, I emptied the dishwasher!

Why don’t I ever empty the dishwasher anymore?? Because these days I have a host of little people around the house who are absolutely capable of accomplishing this task, and each day they take care of it for me, the sweet things. Only the 10 and 8 year old deal in breakables; the 7 year old empties “non-breakables” and the 4 year old helps at random, very enthusiastically, but definitely still learning.  He started trying to help with the dishwasher because he watched his big siblings work at it, and wanted to help too.

Earlier this week, the 4 year old began making his bed all by himself, and not because I taught him. He has watched his big brothers, whom he shares a room with, and he hears me each day praise their efforts.  Monday morning he proudly called me to his room where he pointed triumphantly to a very well made-up bed, especially for a 4 year old’s first effort. And I was delighted!!  To think: after all these years of teaching the older ones how to do chores, they now not only complete their own work, they are training the baby of the family too…what a deal!

Of course there are days when chores are not done cheerfully, and Mommy must urge and nudge and yes, even perhaps threaten…but on the whole I am blessed with sweet help from my children.

So, all this talk of dishes and bed-making prompts me to ask you, Dear Reader: what do you do around your house about Kids’n’Chores??  Do your kids do any? Do they do none? Do they do it all while you lounge on the couch and pop Godiva chocolates into your mouth one by one??

If your children help around the house, how do you organize chores for each one, and if they attend traditional school (as opposed to home-schooling), when do they usually accomplish their chores?? Do you pay allowances for helping, or not??  How do you deal with bad attitudes toward helping around the house?

Please do chime in with your two cents on this topic; it is always great to hear ideas from other parents!  I have heard many a parent groan that it is just easier to do the housework themselves rather than go through the agony of trying to teach their children to take responsibility and ownership of chores, but I think I am finding out that once the kids learn, the entire family reaps the benefit of everyone pitching in to help as they are able.

So, pull up your favorite comfy chair, enjoy a warm cup of coffee (I will bring the Godiva chocolates!) and let’s chat chores!

2 Comments

  1. Randa Garrett
    Nov 19, 2009

    Let me start by saying that my daughter is only 20 months old. However, just this week she has been wanting to help me load and unload the dishwasher. She can pull things off the bottom shelf and then hands them to me to put away. I then hand her the stuff off the top shelf. She will walk the three steps to the cabinets and then hand it back to me. When I load thing into the dishwasher I will hand her the silverware to put into the basket. She’s done this all on her own without me asking. I’m not sure where she got it from, but I’m liking it. After Christmas she will move into her toddler bed and we’ll start with bed making then.

  2. Angie Hull
    Nov 19, 2009

    Our kids are 18, 9 and 7. Yes they do chores. No they do not get paid for them; we believe that is part of being in a family and that it is beneficial for the child (children) to have a sense of belonging and chores “jobs” as we call them at our house is a good way for them to “belong”. Our oldest loads the dishwasher and sweeps/mops the kitchen and bathrooms. Our nine year old makes his bed, scoops poop in the back yard, clears and sets the table and unloads the dishwasher. The kitchen duties he does every other day and our 7 year old does the same kitchen chores on opposites days. Our 7 yr. old does unload everything. He used to only unload the low stuff, he used to say he was too short to unload the high stuff. But after his well visit in Aug. we discovered that he was only about an inch and a half shorter than his older brother so now he unloads everything!!