Why I Don’t Stress about Kids and Chores

posted by Andrea | 02/3/2017
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As my kids get older, I get more and more questions about kids and chores…

  • What chores do my kids do?
  • Do we use chore charts?
  • Do we give allowances?
  • What ages do we start chores?
  • Do we have punishments for not doing them or rewards for accomplishing them?

I’ll be honest, I feel like my kids are too young to be worrying about chores yet — and even as they get older, I just don’t see myself stressing out about making sure my kids always help with specific chores every week.

Yes, Dave and I definitely want our kids to help out around the house like we were expected to help out when we were growing up… but sometimes I think our current society goes a little bit too far trying to make chores fun, creating fun printables, and getting our 2-year-olds to master a ridiculous number of tasks around the house.

I don’t know exactly how Dave’s family divvied up household chores, but I do know they all pitched in to help (even his Dad, who still regularly helps his mom around the house).

That said, I DO remember how we handled chores in my family — and I promise it was nothing fancy or complex. There wasn’t a specific age when we started doing a certain chore, we didn’t get any sort of regular allowance (my parents tried this at one point but never stuck with it), we didn’t use chore charts, and we didn’t have elaborate systems or procedures to make sure all the kids were doing age-appropriate and equally divided chores each day or each week.

My sisters and I made our beds, we kept our clothes picked up, we packed our own lunches, we usually cleaned out the dishwasher when my mom asked, and we took turns vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, folding laundry, and washing mirrors based on whoever was the most readily available when my mom wanted or needed help.

And I know there were plenty of times my mom simply did all the cleaning because it was faster and easier… and because she knew she would do a better job.

Also, I would just like it to be known that I never once did the laundry until I was living on my own in college — and I think I turned out just fine! 

Of course, I’m not saying YOU shouldn’t use chore charts, give your kids an allowance, or encourage your children to help out around the house. And certainly, if you have a system that works well for you and your family, KEEP DOING IT (and maybe share it in the comments for other who are interested!)

However, if you have ever felt stressed out or overwhelmed by the thought of implementing chores around your house, making a cute chore chart, coming up with prizes, or nagging your children (for the 300th time) to make their beds, I would encourage you to take a step back, inhale a very deep breath, and think about what you are really trying to accomplish.

My main goals for our children are to be kind, honest, generous, Jesus-loving adults who make a valuable and positive contribution to their future families and communities. I know this can be achieved whether they learn to do their own laundry at the age of 7 or 27… and whether they did a whole host of chores during their childhood years or not.

Obviously, that’s taking it to a bit of an over-generalized extreme — but it does serve to make my point that kids doing chores is not the “end all” for how great of a parent you are (or I am).

So often these days, it feels like a competition for whose kids are helping out around the house at the youngest age (I literally know 4-year-olds who can clean an entire bathroom fairly thoroughly!) or who has the fanciest chore chart.

I do understand the appeal behind teaching children to do chores — both from the standpoint of teaching them valuable life skills and alleviating some of our own household responsibilities.

BUT… I have a feeling our children will learn just as much (if not more) by watching how WE act towards our household responsibilities as they will by being forced or bribed into doing specific chores as young as possible.

Let me give you a couple examples from our own family: 

Although it might not be perceived as a “chore” our kids have watched Dave and I take off our shoes, hang up our coats, and put our gloves/hats/bags away in the mudroom immediately after walking in the door — and I would honestly be shocked if any of them came to your house and didn’t immediately remove their shoes and coats. Even James can get his own shoes off and waits fairly patiently (while saying “mama! coat! mama! coat!”) for me to take off his coat.

Our kids see Dave and I pick up the toys whenever we’re finished playing — and after many months/years of encouraging them to help us, it is now second nature for them to help pickup. I’m certain that if you asked our children if they enjoyed picking up, they would say “no”, but they have learned the habit so they do it without much thought (most of the time!)

Our kids see us load the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen faithfully after every single meal. We don’t leave piles of dishes sitting around, we don’t leave sticky residue on the tables or counters, and we don’t leave food sitting out. Everything is completely cleaned up within a few minutes of finishing our meal (except for a few dishes that might need to be washed — but we stack those neatly next to the sink). And even though I rarely ask Nora to do anything other than help me unload the dishwasher, she has watched me load it enough times that she knows where the big plates go, where the small plates go, where the cups go, and where the silverware goes. She also understands that cleaning up after mealtime is something that simply needs to be done and really doesn’t take all that much time. I’m sure she will do more in the kitchen eventually, but for now, I’m content to let her learn.

Bed making is somewhat of a sore spot with Nora because she has a tiny amount of perfectionist tendencies and she never feels like she makes her bed well enough 🙂 Sometimes I make her bed for her (which she loves) but after years of watching me make her bed (and my bed), she usually makes it fairly willingly — imperfections and all!

Like I mentioned above, I am NOT trying to persuade you to do all the housework yourself and never ask your children to pitch in or help out.

I’m simply saying that kids chores shouldn’t be a huge source of stress or the gauge by which you judge your parenting success or failure.

If your 2 year old won’t help you pick up the toys, enjoy knowing you have a perfectly normal 2 year old.

If your 5 year old still doesn’t know how to make their bed, there is still a very high chance they will succeed at life.

If your 8 year old always forgets to clean under the toilet seat, they will likely grow up to be an OK human being.

If your 12 year old refuses to learn how to cook anything other than mac and cheese, there’s a decent chance they will learn once they get sick of eating mac and cheese.

If your 18 year old still has no idea how to do the laundry, I have a feeling they will learn eventually (especially if they become the stinky college freshman).

.

Yes, chores are very useful for teaching responsibility, reliability, and all sorts of other life skills — but as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing that says our children should be doing XX number of chores by the time they are YY years old.

Plus, you know as well as I do that sometimes, it’s just so much faster and easier to quickly clean up and pick up without the kids’ “help”!

I realize I might be opening up a can of worms, but I’d honestly love to know…

What are your thoughts on kids and chores?

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50 comments

  1. Kelly

    02/08/2017

    We have always given age appropriate responsibilities to our daughter. we have always told her she does not get paid for her responsibilities, because every member of our family has responsibilities that come with living in our home. She has learned that everyone has jobs they have to do, and they aren’t always what you want to do in the moment, but are required to live every day. She is helpful and will often ask if there is anything she can do to help us. Don’t get me wrong, some days are better than others, but she has learned ways of simplifying and things to help her when she gets out on her own someday. We DO pay her for her grades. As far as we are concerned, school is her job at this stage of her life. She only gets paid for A’s (which may seem strict but she is a straight A student lol) and has to split her money into savings, free spending and charity. She has an extra checkbook register to keep track of her spending money which also helps with learning to budget. She earns the number of years she is in age (12 at the moment) per A. This system has always worked well for us and although you can’t bounce a corner off of her made bed (which my army dad would do with me) she makes her bed every day without being asked and that’s a win in my book!

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    Andrea Reply:

    this sounds really smart — paying for grades but expecting chores to be done for “free”. I never really thought about school being the kids’ “job” before!

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  2. Jenn S.

    02/06/2017

    I think your approach is sound. It is bizarre to me to see chores and housework forced on toddlers.

    That said, it bummed me out a little to see that, “even,” Dave’s dad helps at home. Why should he be exempt in such a manner that his help with housework, when given, warrants an, “even?” Perhaps it was unintentional, but it just kinda read to me that for some reason he should not be expected to contribute to household tasks…so when he does, it’s a treat.

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  3. Stephanie Paulus

    02/04/2017

    Wow, thank you so much for that refreshing post. To be honest, chore charts drive me crazy and I can NEVER keep up with them. I am a homeschooling mom of 5 (0 3 6 9 and 12) and yeah some days I just send them down stairs, listen to a good podcast, and do it myself. Thank you for that permission.

    I did want to share one thing that I just started doing on Saturday morning and it has been one of those “light bulb” moments in motherhood. I do a quick run down of what needs done and write each job on a slip of paper. (I like to include fun “chores” like “give mommy a hug” or “get some chocolate chips” as it keeps things from dragging out.)

    I put all the slips of paper in a basket, and then the race begins. They grab a piece of paper and go do the chore trying to see who can get the most papers. When they finish, they get to do something with mommy, and the one who got the most papers(did the most chores), gets a bonus. (whatever my brain can come up with) My three year old, has his name on some of the papers as a buddy for whoever is doing that job.

    We had the whole basement cleaned in 45min the other night. My husband was amazed. The kids love it because they get to do something with mommy, and I get a clean house fast. Also, I am teaching them that when they pitch in and lift my load, I have more time for them. So for what its worth, I just thought I would share.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, sometimes it’s just easier to do it yourself! thanks for the tip about the basket of chores. maybe when my kids start to read, we’ll implement something like this!

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  4. Natalie

    02/04/2017

    I loved that post. I finally feel less guilty for not forcing my kids to do chores when they were younger. By the way, they are now 13 and 17 and they are the sweetest boys. They are thoughtful and respectful. Of course, unless we ask, they will not help. But when we ask him, my 17-year-old will shovel the snow, vacuum the house, empty garbages and he will make his bed if he knows company is coming. Thank you for that post Andrea.

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — glad I could help you feel less guilty! My mission for this post has been accomplished 🙂
    Also, your son sounds like a perfectly normal (possibly more helpful than normal) teenage boy. You must be doing something right!

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  5. Laura McCarthy

    02/04/2017

    Two of the things that are important for kids to develop in childhood are competence (being able to accomplish things) and autonomy (being able to do things on one’s own). These skills give kids a strong foundation for grit, a positive mindset and hope among other things, knowing that they are capable. There are lots of ways to build these skills, and parents modeling that “can-do” attitude and carrying out household responsibilities is a great way to do this. At some point, kids need to be taught how to do things and practice those skills themselves and being required to participate in household responsibilities is one way to do this. Young kids also LOVE to help and become truly helpful. I find when I’m overwhelmed with house management, it really helps to get the kids doing more. In our house, we discuss the “Jobs” not “chores” (who wants to do a chore?) a couple times a year and my kids (7,10) decide which they’ll be responsible for like feeding pets, putting away laundry and clearing dishes. They have about how many as their age. It’s hard not to quickly take care of their jobs for them, but at their age I’m focusing more on building their abilities.

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    Andrea Reply:

    This is so great Laura — thanks for sharing!
    And yes, I totally agree! Just today, I let Nora use a “sharp” knife (a.k.a. not a butter knife) to cut up a few extra baked potatoes so I could make them into fried potatoes. You would have thought I just gave her the best Christmas gift ever by how excited she was to be allowed to use a sharp knife “all on her own”!

    Also, I like how you call them “jobs” and not “chores”. I guess I don’t particularly mind the term “chores” but this is something to think about as I feel kids might get more excited about “job” versus a “chore”!

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  6. Jennifer

    02/03/2017

    My son is five and I have always had him beside me doing chores. I want him to know and agree that these are things we just do to take care of our home and that in our family we help each other out. I also want him to be a helpful husband one day. It’s important to note that the few chores he sort of has “assigned” to him all developed naturally as he watched me do something and just started copying me and eventually I asked if he wanted the “job”, things like folding hand towels, matching socks, putting away silverware, wiping counters, etc. These are also not scheduled at all, just as needed. I think when he’s older I want to keep including him and letting him choose ways to be helpful. I hope If he gets to choose and it has become natural to be helpful, then there won’t be issues. Some things may be scheduled, like trash days, but I am not a big fan of using charts, though they are great for many families, especially with children who have behavior issues or for parents who are trying to implement chores with older children not accustomed to helping out. I would like to offer pay for extra or big jobs like mowing, cleaning my car (pretty please, son!), etc. I like the idea of a general allowance and a list of things he must purchase on his own. That’s how my parents raised us. I loved learning about budgeting on my own like that.

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — I hope he cleans your car for you someday too!

    and yes, Dave and I DEFINITELY do plan to have our children help out with house and yard work on a regular basis once they are a bit older. Right now, Nora “helps” when she wants to and is excited to be helpful. I just want her to stay excited about it and not dread when I ask her to do something!

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  7. Susan

    02/03/2017

    I am not a neat freak, but with 7 kids I never seemed to catch up. They helped, but I never did a chore chart, rewards, or allowance. They all did their own laundry by the time they were teenagers (which was its own scheduling challenge but necessary I thought), and I would assign chores as needed. My house is cleaner now than it was back then, as my youngest is 19 and things just don’t get that messed up anymore. However, my oldest daughter thanks me for keeping a “clean” house and teaching them to clean–she sees many of her peers who either don’t know how or don’t care about keeping their house clean. As much as we want to just “do it ourselves” because it’s easier, we are ultimately rearing adults who need those skills.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yes! With 7 kids, you definitely have to have more systems in place.
    And yes — I definitely DO plan to have my children help more with household cleaning as they get older. They need to learn how to clean — just not when they are 2!

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    Susan Reply:

    Your example is inspiring to moms who are looking for help in this area. I am way beyond this phase of life, but I pass along your ideas to my girls–they are right there. Thanks for all you do!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Susan! I hope your daughters will find it useful!

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  8. Jas

    02/03/2017

    Growing up, we didn’t have chore charts or allowance, but we were expected to keep our own rooms clean, put away any toys and books we took out, put our own dishes in the dishwasher – basically clean up our own messes. We also helped out with other chores whenever we were asked, but I think my mom did most of the heavy duty cleaning.

    My daughter is too young to do any chores herself, but we do try to have her nearby and talk to her about what we’re doing when we pick up her toys, fold and put away her clothes, clean up after her meals, etc. I don’t want her to think it all happens magically in the middle of the night!

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  9. Chris from Normal

    02/03/2017

    As a child I didn’t have set chores, my mom made all of our beds and cleaned our rooms and I think I turned out ok also. I’m a bit of a neat freak and organizer!
    I think with children ( and some adults) if the “chores” are approached with a positive attitude and made to be fun, kids will be more willing to do them. With my grandson, I make games out of what we’re doing-picking up the spilled Cheetos, putting away his Legos etc.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I think you’re right about the “approaching it with a positive attitude” part. I think that’s why I’m so apprehensive to start actual chores too soon. Right now, they have fun “helping” me clean… but I think if I actually made it a chore that they HAD to so, they wouldn’t have as much fun.

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  10. Elizabeth

    02/03/2017

    Andrea, great post. This is why I love you so I love the sanity you bring to topics. I might particularly love this because I in no way wish to further complicate life by setting up chore systems and trying to get my kids to fall in line. I don’t think those who do chore systems are wrong, but the thoughts of it make me feel stressed! I also love the excellent point you make about the consistent modeling of taking care of the house. I do believe our actions will always speak louder than our words.

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  11. Pamela

    02/03/2017

    The only “chore” my two year old has is to put her clothes in the hamper every night….and it doesn’t always happen, lol! But usually she loves doing it and we respond with a lot of praise. If she’s in the middle of a meltdown over something, I don’t make the meltdown worse by demanding she do her chore…we just start again the next day.

    She also loves to push buttons so her other “chore” (if you can call it that) is to push the dishwasher buttons after I’ve loaded it. She thinks that’s the BEST!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well for 2, I’d say that’s pretty normal!

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  12. Julia

    02/03/2017

    I find it interesting that your perception of the motivation for assigning regular chores is for character building. In our house it’s because I literally can’t do everything by myself! I haven’t figured out a system yet, and they are still young enough that it’s not a strict regimine, but I am all about some age appropriate chores. If they can empty the silverware while I put the baby down for a nap, then we can enjoy playtime together while she’s asleep!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well we might be at slightly different stages of life right now too. That dictates a lot, I think! Dave is really good about helping me with housework and, so far, I haven’t felt too overwhelmed by it. Plus, at this point, Nora is the only one who could really offer any amount of help, and even her “help” is so slow and sloppy that I could do it much more efficiently on my own.

    Not saying I never let her learn, but there are times when I just want it DONE!

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  13. susie

    02/03/2017

    That’s how I used to do it when my kids were your ages, but now I finally made a chore list and it has been working better. Interesting how you have always said to do what works best at the time in your life. Chore lists used to never work, but this new season in my life the list cut back on fights between the kids . We have 6 cleaners, 5-15 and they do one job a night. The older kids are having a harder time adjusting to it, but its easier for them to understand why I added a chore list. The 5 year old does not do a very good job, but at least its not all up to me and the kids know they are not the only one doing the work.

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    Andrea Reply:

    well 6 kids versus 3 kids is a lot different! And I’m glad you found a chore chart that works for you!

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  14. Christa Reinhart

    02/03/2017

    Great post. I know I don’t need one more thing to stress about. My kids are 2, 6, 12 and 14 and I have yet to come up with a chore chart or give them allowance. They pitch in when I ask, they see our examples and in the case of my video game loving 14 year old, he asks what he needs to do in order to play his video games. He knows work before play. And if he doesn’t want to ‘work’ to get video games, then he is more than welcome to play with his other toys, play outside or read a book -all great alternatives in my opinion. Thanks for this refreshing post. It’s important for children to feel like part of the family and pitch in like everyone else rather than being told they have to or being ‘paid’ to do it. They should just do it.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Christa! I appreciate your perspective too — since you have a couple older children so you know what works later in life too!

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  15. Sarah

    02/03/2017

    I agree 100% children learn about household responsibilities from the example set by the adults in the home. I have family and friends who are at their wit ends expecting their children to pick up and be tidier than the adults in the home. Why would a kid clean their room easily when the house is a disaster? The expectations children have to be so perfect is saddening. People forget children are learning and just trying to figure themselves out! Aren’t we all?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    *wit’s end

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  16. Amy

    02/03/2017

    I agree with you, Andrea! I have two, 5 and 3. My five year wakes up everyday and makes her bed before leaving her room. She also hates messes and will pull everything out of her closet and reorganize it neatly without being asked! She sees me do these things and has just naturally picked up on them. My 3 year old boy doesn’t like picking up but does it reluctantly. Both of them like to help me do other things as I ask like put away laundry, dust, set the table etc. So far, I feel like this is enough. I’m determined not to link money to housework because housework and cleanliness are part of a healthy lifestyle and not something I feel is optional.
    But…..I’m wondering what can I link an allowance to??? Anyone do something original here that I could use?

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    Ashley Reply:

    I struggle with this, too! We received an allowance as kids for doing household chores and it was a great tool for teaching financial responsibility. But there is this pull of, household chores are a part of life and if you live in this home you must help!

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    Andrea Reply:

    I could go either way on this — I think there are pros and cons to both paying kids for chores and not paying kids for chores.

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    Alison Reply:

    We do a little of both. Each boy has a morning chore and a daily chore M-F (they are home because we homeschool). Those are a required part of the family. Then we pay for extra, bigger jobs. Mowing the lawn, vacuuming the car, watching their sister while I’m at a meeting. I figure I’d pay someone for those jobs, but I wouldn’t pay someone to take out the trash or pick up the boys room. They only get the paid jobs as needed (not on a regular schedule), and they only get paid if the job is done to our satisfaction. We have docked pay for sloppy mowing, etc. I didn’t start being diligent with chores until they were about 6 or 7. Their family chores change based on the needs of the family and their capabilities. For example, recently I got fed up with them not putting their clean clothes away and instead just dumping them back in the laundry basket (argh!), so now they do their own laundry. Natural consequence and less on my plate :).

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    Andrea Reply:

    This is great — thanks for sharing Alison!
    I love the thought process that you WOULD pay someone to mow your lawn and watch your baby, but not to pick up their room, etc. That’s a great way to think about paid versus unpaid chores!

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    Ann Reply:

    Our children are grown now, but when they were about 10 & 12 yrs old, my husband read Ron Blue’s book about Money. After that my hubby gave our
    children $XX every month. I think it was $50 in the early 90’s, BUT he also
    explained to them that this money should be used for:
    1. Giving
    2. Saving
    3. School supplies
    4. Travel $ to spend on family trips
    5. Clothing
    6.. ???(I can’t remember!)
    Boy, did they LOVE this! But they had to figure out when to save and when to spend, decide IF some school supplies could be re-used, instead of NEW every single year… Also, they learned when paying a clerk for a $5 item + tax, and they paid with a $10 bill, their change should be approxmately $5, a valuable lesson for life. To this day, they manage their $ well.
    Your children are younger, so this would have to be implemented on a much smaller scale, but could probably still be helpful!

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    Andrea Reply:

    This is so awesome — but I’m guessing it takes a bit of work and persistence on the parent’s part as well, right? I had friends growing up who did this — and I always thought it was such a great idea. I’ve kept it tucked in the back of my brain for when our kids are several years older!

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    Andrea Reply:

    sorry amy, I got nothing for the allowance thing, but if no one responds, I’ll post it as a reader question on my FB page tomorrow!

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    Audra Reply:

    Have you read Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze? It teaches to pay for some chores that would be expected but to also save some for the “you’re a member of this house so you help” category. The ones are paid then help the kiddo learn financial responsibility…give, save, spend.

    Honestly, I’m having a hard time doing it with my 7 year old. He’s great at helping out if I ask him to do a household task. He’s not good at following a chart and doing a task on his own….probably to be expected for his age (although he follows lists and is independent with many other things). Anyway, my concern is teaching the financial responsibility even at a young age. My little guy is not an “I want I want” kid…..it’s difficult to get birthday and Christmas ideas out of him so he never has anything that he wants to save for. I’m thankful for his contentment on one hand but worry he’s not going to learn the concept of save up and pay for it. LOL!

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    Andrea Reply:

    No, I’ve never read that book — maybe once our kids are a bit older.

    Also, your little guy sounds totally normal — I’m sure you have nothing to worry about. If you are modeling good saving and spending, I’m sure he will pick that up. And YAY for a child who doesn’t want to have everything they see!

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    Samantha Reply:

    My kids are also 5 and 3, and like you, I did not want to link housework to money. I also didn’t want my kids doing a job just to “get paid” when I knew I’d need to do it again. At this age, kids get $1 and think they can buy any toy st the store…definitely not an argument I’d want to get in to every day!
    To avoid this, I have a tall-ish mason jar and a bag of small colored pom poms. Each time I ask my children to do something to help me (pick up their toys, clear the table, put dirty clothes in the hamper, wipe the counter, etc), they earn one pom pom. If they do something to help around the house without me asking first, they earn 2 pom poms. They work together to fill the jar and when it is full, they can each pick something on Amazon or Target (I’m all about free shipping) that is up to $10. This helps my kids work on number recognition from 1-10 and also teaches delayed gratification (they have to wait for the item to be delivered). They can also pick activities instead of a toy. If the item (toy or activity) is more than $10, they can “save” their jar and add it to the next jar when it is full (for a total of $20). This helps them realize that they need to save for bigger items. It usually takes 3-4 weeks for the jar to get full, and they are very motivated to earn pom poms.

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    Andrea Reply:

    This is such an awesome idea Samantha!! Thanks so much for sharing — I might just have to implement this in our house!

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  17. Heidi

    02/03/2017

    My girls (6 and 4) help with meals, put away their laundry (after I wash it), and pick up their bedroom and playroom. They help with meals and meal cleanup, but we don’t try to do anything “official”. We do have a “20 minute clean up” every night where we all work on picking up the house and completing those small tasks that have to get done every day. We may get something more formal and organized later but right now, that’d just be one more thing for me to remember to monitor! 🙂

    [Reply]

  18. Kellie Denton

    02/03/2017

    Bwahaha! I found this post so refreshingly honest! I’m pretty OCD about cleaning but I’m married to a man who “forgets to clean under the toilet seat” and I think he’s still an OK human being. HAHA! Thanks Andrea!

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  19. Nellie

    02/03/2017

    Interesting post.
    In my experience young children want to do the same things as the grown-ups so I let mine do that. Then comes the phase when you need to nag and nag and bribe or revoke privileges and nag and… rince and repeat.
    And then you hurt your back and are unable to do _anything_ for six weeks and suddenly your tweenies are superbly capable of handling the whole household. (Of course, once you are on your feet they become curiously incompetent again.)
    When the kids’ father and I separated I told my eight year old son that cleaning the bathroom is a gentleman’s job. Since he had seen that this was his dad’s chore he assumed I was right and he took over. Go figure!
    I totally agree with you Andrea, they tend to be able to care for themselves (or learn to care for themselves) when they grow up, no matter what.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yes, my children love to “help” me to housework — but it’s actually not all that much help (as I’m sure you know). I try to let them help with some things (like dusting and wiping things) but I do lots more when they are sleeping at night 🙂

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  20. Kelly

    02/03/2017

    I couldn’t agree more Andrea. I grew up never having chores and never really did laundry until I went to college. have to say that I turned out well. I helped around the house with different tasks that needed done and did was asked me of at the time. I will never forget when my sister was about 8 someone asked her what her chores were and she said taking a bath and I have to brush my teeth :-).

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — that’s great Kelly! Thanks for the laugh 🙂

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  21. Shelley

    02/03/2017

    Well, since you asked….:) Your house and children remind me of mine several years ago. When they were little it was as natural as breathing for my kids to have a hand in everything. I love a clean house and they love their mom and we actually had fun. However, something seems to change when they become teenagers. Little kids make a little messes but somehow teenagers can touch every room in the house in just a few minutes! 🙂 I have noticed that by making my son clean bathrooms, his aim suddenly got a lot better. Kids that have to clean, I believe, make an effort to keep the house cleaner. No “chores” here but a few things they have to have done to have their free time on the weekends- bedrooms cleaned, family room vacuumed and dusted, and their bathroom cleaned. Although my kids will occasionally gripe, deep down they appreciate the discipline because they have friends whose houses they cannot go to because it is a continual wreck.

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    Rachel Reply:

    I agree completely with Shelley!! It was way easier when they were little! Now mine have certain things they need to do each day after school before having any screen time. It works well.

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    Andrea Reply:

    I agree — I’m sure our kids will do more once they are older, but I just have a hard time being super strict about “chores” for a 5,2, and 1 year old!

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