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So We Chatted About Chores and Shared Some Great Ideas


How do your kids help around the house and how do you hold them to it? Do they complain? Do they get paid or are they simply expected to help out because they are part of the family?

In our Twitter chat today, we shared experiences, commiserated, and shed some light on new ideas.

Some parents pay their kids for chores – at the end of the week, according to how many they’ve done. Some kids earn “tech” money (time for electronics) at week’s end, upon the completion of chores. Other parents simply expect the kids to do the chores — because they live in the house. Those kids may also receive an allowance – separate from the chores – merely as a money management learning tool. Lots of ways, lots of options. It just depends what works for each of us, and our families.

How do we get these kids do their chores? Reminders, certainly, reminders. Reminders for these distracted teens. One mom writes down the chores on a dry-erase board as the kids seek satisfaction in wiping off the completed chore. Another mom gives each member of the family a sticky note with a list of chores. Much portable, we all agreed, for those distracted teens (and husbands, but who said that?).

One of the ongoing, looming challenges for us all is: How do we consistently hold our kids accountable – on a regular basis – for completion of regular chores amidst the competing aspects of homework, sports, extra-curricular activities, and needed sleep? It’s an ongoing challenge. And not one that’s easily met.

We all agreed that natural consequences work best. Forget to unload the dishwasher like you were asked? Well, there’s the overflowing sink of dishes to now be loaded, dear. One mom chooses not to “do” or serve her kids when they resist her request of the chores to be done. If one can’t do his or her fair share around the house, one mom can delegate the lunch making right back.

Is there any way to make these chores fun, one mom asked. Music helps. Setting a timer for the big jobs. Divide. Conquer. Pitch in as a whole family, at one time. Many hands make light work. One mom noted that the sooner kids understand that chores just simply aren’t “fun,” the better. That’s good realization for the adult days — fewer disappointments and acceptance of the realities of “life” that way.

Nobody really tracks the completion of chores, per se. Yet a chore chart is always a consideration. And we all find it helpful to post a “grocery store list.” If you want it bought, put it on the list. This encourages kids to take some responsibility in the “food category.”

And lastly, one mom noted that “it’s never too early to start.” She taught her now 13 year old to dust – at 18 months.

How do the chores go in your house? Keep the dialogue going. There’s always soooo much to chat about. Stay tuned for the next Twitter chat. We’re throwing around subjects like sleep and healthy snacks for teens.

1 Comment

  1. happyhippiehome says

    I expect my children to pull their weight around the house at a relatively young age and I have never had too many problems with it. I do not pay them because they are simply doing their part. However, I will pay for extra chores beyond what is on their list.

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