I’ve been going crazy lately with all the stuff I have to do around here. Dishes, laundry, pick up toys, make the beds, clean the house. You know how it is. There seems to be a never ending list of things that need to get done. As soon as one mess is cleaned up, two more have suddenly popped up out of nowhere.
Even worse, I wasn’t getting any help. Nothing’s more annoying for me than to be cleaning up toys that I didn’t take out only to have some little person taking out more toys behind me. When I did ask for help, I got no as an answer.
I’m no rookie at this “asking” thing either. I never phrase things as a question. I do add a please at the end of my statements, however.
“Pick your toys up, please.”
There’s no question there. It’s a polite command. Yet still, I got a no.
So, I decided to try a chore chart. I had read that two year olds are capable of doing simple chores. Also, I think chores are important. I think they teach kids how to be a member of a family and that we help each other out in our family and that there are just certain responsibilities we have. I think it also is a good way to teach some life skills. I won’t always be there to clean their houses for them.
I was pretty sure my oldest two could do some things around the house and make my life a little easier. I found a cute, customizable chore chart online. I like them because there are different characters to choose from and they print so the kids can color the picture.
Then it was only a matter of choosing age appropriate chores. I wanted them to be able do the chores easily, mostly by themselves for two reasons. First, if I have to help, then it’s not really helping me out. Second, I don’t want them frustrated trying to do their chores. I think this should be a confidence building thing. So I put the question to Twitter and got some good responses.
@poopscoopinmama suggested my 5 year old could set the table and sweep, my 3 year old could carry dishes to the sink and pick up trash, and they could both put their toys away.
@frelle suggested a 5 year old could make their bed, strip the sheets weekly, use baby wipes to clean door handles and light swiches, use a Swifter in the bathrooms, empty trash cans, and clean bathroom mirrors with some help or supervision
@CaitsConcepts said picking up toys and cleaning mirrors/television (or at least the parts they can reach)
So I got my little list together. Then I had to cut it since it was kind of long. No Cinderellas here (yet). I decided to give them each four things to do. Since I have a lot of fighting when things are not exactly the same (another parenting problem I aim to figure out), I only gave them each one unique chore.
They both make their beds, clear their dishes from the table, and pick up their toys. Ella helps feed the dog and Sammy helps take out the trash.
We’re starting week three right now and it’s going decently. Sammy is really into it and reminds me that she needs her stickers. She even does extra things like clear everyone’s dishes, set the table, and help Ella make her bed. Ella. Well, Ella is Ella. Sometimes she does it, sometimes she says no. The stickers aren’t a big motivator for her.
I’m thinking of adding a few to Sammy’s. She does hers easily and seems to enjoy it. And that would give her more stickers, which she would love.
I do not give any money associated with the chores. I read, and agree, that chores should just be done because they need to be done. An allowance is a separate thing and not a reward system. I’m planning on starting allowance when they start kindergarten. Seems like a good time. Be looking for my how much is the going rate for allowance questions on Twitter in September.
Do your kids do chores? What ages were they when you started giving chores? Do you have any to add to my list?