Awhile ago I was asked if I might share what our children do around the house? You bet.
Children & Chores
It’s just downright hard raising kids, no?
The other day I was delegating extra chores to the children, and it was entertaining to observe their reactions. One rolled her eyes. One flung himself on a chair and cried, “Oh, why?!” Another slid towards the door and ducked out, hoping he wasn’t seen, while The Eldest sermonized on the injustice of it all.
I did have one child quietly and immediately go grab the broom. (What an angel.)
I had the thought that this would be a lot easier if I could just hire a nanny. Except that I’d probably need 5 nannies to get all this work done.
Yeah, like 5 nannies, a cleaning lady, a cook, and a mechanic. That’s what I’d need to run this circus parade.
Just What In the World Do Your Children Do Anyway?
Now, before I begin, I must remind everyone that just because my children do these particular tasks, doesn’t necessarily mean that yours will need to too. All families are different and have different needs after all.
So without further ado, here we go.
The Eldest (12 yrs. old)
1. Makes breakfast for everyone Monday through Friday.
2. Takes out all trash, whenever needed, because she once complained about it.
3. Wipes table at lunch.
4. Dries dishes at supper.
5. On Saturdays, cleans main floor girl bathroom, hallway, homeschool room, and front door area.*
Twin #1 (10 yrs. old)
1. Washes dishes at lunch.
2. Washes dishes at supper.
3. On Saturdays, cleans basement living room, laundry room, and stairway.
Twin #3 (10 yrs. old)
1. Dries dishes at lunch.
2. Sweeps floor at supper.
3. On Saturdays, cleans basement boy bathroom (gross, just gross) and upstairs living room.
Child #4 (8 yrs. old)
1. Sets table at breakfast
2. Sweeps floor at lunch.
3. Vacuums garage rug after supper. (Ha!)
4. On Saturdays, cleans boy bedroom and garage.
Child #5 (6 yrs. old)
1. Sets table at breakfast.
2. Wipes table at lunch.
3. Carries cloth napkins to laundry after supper.
4. On Saturdays, cleans baby room and girl bedroom.
Child #6 (3 yrs. old)
1. She does nothing though.
2. Just nothing.
3. What a slacker.
The Toddler (1 yr. old)
1. Just wrecks stuff.
2. Like all the time.
3. At least she’s happy!
There are other things they help out with too. For example, this summer the twins had to water all 200 bushes and trees twice a week. This took them about 3 hours a shot.
And of course all the children help weed and care for the garden and all that.
Chores as a Consequence For Bad Behavior?
We are firm believers in administering chores as consequences. In fact, I’m really into using consequences to my advantage and to the benefit of the house.
For example, if Twin #1 punches his brother, I just pause a minute and look around. Hmmm…what needs to get done around here? “Twin #1, you will now need to wash all the living room windows.”
“Now you’ll need to wash the dining room windows too.”
I know allowances work for some families, and I’ve even heard of families incorporating math with the administration of them, which I think is admirable, but just the thought of that overwhelms me. In fact, I don’t carry a lot of cash around, and really, I don’t want the hassle of paying the children to do things. Call me lazy. Or just plain busy.
That said, I do bribe them from time-to-time with odd jobs. For example, the other day I wanted the junk drawer organized. I didn’t want to do it. I offered Child #5 a handful of gummy bears, if she’d do it? Gladly.
Then, I wanted the van washed. “Boys, want to earn $3?”
And then sometimes they get creative and accost me with a proposition.
“Hey, Mom, would you like the van vacuumed too?”
“We’ll do it for $2.”
Last Question on Money
From time-to-time the children do get money from us and from relatives on birthdays or whatever. So, then, what do the children do with their money?
We require them immediately to put half of whatever they’ve received into their piggy banks, which eventually gets deposited into their savings accounts.
The other half they may do with as they please. Usually they just stuff it all in their piggy banks anyway.
Any other questions? Be sure to ask!
*These Saturday cleanings are supposed to be very thorough. Each child has a check list of things that they must do to each room. Now, there are slackers among the ranks, and we do have to help those slackers to remember to actually DO their cleaning…