TALK BACK: chores

I didn't grow up in one of those families that encouraged pulling your own weight when it came to household chores. In fact, my mom did most of the housework growing up, with little requirement of us. I think she suffered from that "if you want something done right, do it yourself" syndrome. I know I am predisposed to this as well, so I am trying to learn to delegate early. I think having kids participating in the housework not only makes life easier, but teaches them about responsibility, ownership and natural consequences.

How do you encourage your child to participate in chores? What are some things that younger kids can do to help out? Do you use a reward system or incentive to motivate them? Share your tips and tricks with us.


  1. We are currently working on a chore system for our kids. My boys are 4 and 6. I try to encourage them to help out-- basically, if I need help getting the laundry downstairs I have them help me. They are generally exuberant in their assistance LOL.

    We have started doing chore charts that include things like making beds (I just kind of accept whatever they give me as long as I can tell they tried), putting away their laundry, picking up toys, etc. These are linked to their allowance-- they get a nickel per chore-- but they only get paid if they help cheerfully without complaining.

    So far it really has worked wonders. They like to help, and even if it's not perfect at least they're learning to help out and do something around the house other than let Mommy wait on them. :)

  2. we have a chore chart for dinner time chores....

  3. I ask for help when I need it. AND, generally this means the kid that is closest will help me pick up a few things. I DO NOT believe in giving money for chores. I have a step-son who is paid for his chores at his mothers house and now refuses to help unless there is money involved and I feel disgusted!!!!
    Helping each other in the home is very important and I think these are lessons best learned by observation and then integration. The kids see my DH and I offer each other help with tasks, and they are occassionally called upon to also add their efforts. We do not pay them for doing things that they need to learn to do for themselves anyways. Nobody paid me for cleaning the toilet or washing underwear, why should I pay them for picking up the clothes that THEY have worn?!? I think to teach kids self discipline, it is easier to just show that the activity itself has its own reward. I do make sure to express appreciation for helping and also use the chores as teaching excercises. I feel that as an adult, there is not always a monetary drive for doing your own laundry or for personal hygiene, the reward is being a responsible individual, and learning how to do things on your own. These are very valuable lessons that cannot be bought with allowance money!

  4. I've found that the virtual chore chart works for me. I use a site called Handipoints chore charts to make printables and it's really been fun so far!


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