Chores for Children

Is that like Toys for Tots? Ha. Susie’s post on the chores her children do (holy cow) has somewhat inspired me to reconsider our chores at our house.

Wally has no chores. I mean, there are things he is expected to do. But not traditional “chores.”

He is expected to:

  • Clean rooms he has made messy.
  • Put away toys (or books or art supplies) as he’s finished with them, or before leaving an area. (So, before we leave my office, he picks up his mess, including washing out paintbrushes.)
  • Put his dirty clothes into the hamper, put his PJs on his pillow.
  • Help me make the bed on days we make the bed.
  • Put his clean dishes away.
  • Put his dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Hang up his coat, put his shoes away, keep track of hats and mittens.

It’s more personal responsibility and cleaning up after himself, and I do most of the “house” chores.

And why is this? Because I’d rather they get done quickly.

HOWEVER, as Wally gets older, he’s more capable of doing things. I’m hoping to be able to turn laundry sorting over to him completely one of these days (as in, take the clean clothes and put them into piles according to who they belong to). There’s no reason he can’t sweep the floors on occasion.

I guess, however, at least until chores can be accomplished competently and independently, I’m happier with our ad-hoc arrangement. He does many things around the house, just whatever I happen to be doing that he can help with. Am I washing off the table? He can do that. Am I putting wet clothes into the dryer? He can’t reach the washer, but he can take the wet clothes and push them into the dryer (and has been doing that since he was about 2). He can completely empty the dryer, but I still have to be there to make sure he doesn’t crawl into the dryer, which he’s never done, but he IS a small boy and loves small places. Am I folding towels? He can help.

He’s also at somewhat of a disadvantage with just practicality. He can’t phyiscally reach the washer. He can’t physically reach where we keep our dishes (on purpose). Putting away our pans takes logic skills Einstein would admire.

But what COULD he do that he doesn’t?

  • Put away his clean laundry.
  • Start learning how to fold clothes. We tried about 6 months ago and the results were unsatisfactory for me and frustrating for him.
  • Sweep.
  • I”m tempted to say Dust, but I’m not sure why I’d expect him to do something I never do, lol.

2 responses to “Chores for Children

  1. LOL! Yeah i feel like a slave driver since I wrote all that out. I also expect personal responsibility from the kiddos, and that is kind of ingrained in them, for the most part, now. We started all the kids on pet chores.. feeding, brushing etc. Seemed easiest for them to do, and they WANTED to do it because that means they can play with the dog as they work!

    We also have all the kids put away their own laundry.. we have this basket program.. i fold and put it into a basket (1 per person in house) and then each person grabs their basket and puts them away.

    Sweeping is also done by everyone, and in my opinion, not done well. I think the point of chores done by children is learning responsibility, and learning HOW to do to them. I bite my tounge if they are not done perfect because effort is what i am looking for. IF they are not done with effort, and just rushed through, i make them go back and do it again.

    I found there are certain things I won’t compromise on, like laundry folding.. i do all of it. Also washing dishes.. Nope, I won’t eat on half clean dishes! LOL

  2. Pingback: Chores | The View From Here

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