Sheila's Books
Click on the covers to read more or order autographed copies!

My Webrings

Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Members!



Medical Billing
Medical Billing

For ALL Your Graphic Needs

Dine Without Whine - A Family 

Friendly Weekly Menu Plan
Organizing Kids' Chores: Just Do It!
command central
Photo by Evelyn Giggles

When it comes to kids' chores, there is no perfect solution except one: just do it.

No matter which method you choose of having kids do chores, the most important ingredient is the same: consistency. If you assign chores, but then don't follow up to make sure they're done, kids won't do them. If you tie chores to an allowance, but then forget to give the allowance, kids won't do them. If you teach a child how to clean a toilet, but then never look to see if they did it properly, kids won't do it right. They decide whether or not this stuff is important based on whether you act like it is important. So if you want your children to do chores, make it a priority!

And to make it a priority, you have to make it into a routine. Decide when they're going to do chores, when they're going to receive an allowance (or the payment for chores), and when you're going to verify that the chores are done. It might be everyday at a certain time; it may be every weekend; it may be every month. There is no right way. You just simply have to pick one and stick to it, or your children will not know what to expect.

Chore Time
Photo by Peachy Weasel

With that in mind, here's a big picture look at how we have done chores in our family.

We tied chores with allowance from a young age. At age 3 we started assigning chores (like folding face cloths and using a wet cloth to wipe down the bottom cupboards in the kitchen), and then every year we'd add a few more things. The chores were written on the fridge, on a chart, and we'd tick things off every week.

They had certain "responsibilities" they had to do no matter what, like make their bed and put their laundry in the hamper and tidy their toys. The chores that they were paid for were more things that helped the family as a whole, and didn't relate to looking after themselves alone.

By the time my girls are 18 I want them to completely know how to manage a house: how to do laundry, how to grocery shop, how to organize a kitchen, make meals (including a Thanksgiving dinner!), clean furniture, and scrub floors. Every year we introduce more things to them, and they're getting more and more competent at these things.

Do you want to download some chore charts you can use with your kids? I have free ones right here (along with charts you can use to organize your own chores and schedules!)

And, if you want to read some more, here are a few other posts I've written about chores:

How to get toddlers started on chores.

Deciding What is "Clean Enough". An overview of chores from an adult point of view.

Why I sometimes think I have Chore Distraction Disorder.

Now, how do you organize your children's chores? Do you put all chores in a jar and have the kids choose them? Do you assign them at the beginning of the week on a rotating basis? Do they always do the same ones? Do you use charts or do you use cards? Let me know in the comments! Remember: what system you use is not nearly as important as the fact that you use a system consistently!

Labels: , ,


At 8:34 AM , Blogger Christie said…

Work is something we all need. I don't mean that we all are obliged to be productive, but that work satisfies a need in us. I'm linking a post on work that I wrote a little while ago.

I actually wrote it when I was a mom of only four children--before my foster daughter came back to our home!


At 4:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Interesting post. I used to tie chores to allowance but recently saw some advice from Jean Chatzky on The recommendation is to use allowance primarily as a teaching tool and take away privilidges when chores are not done. There are good arguments either way. Threejars is a great site and helps parents manage the whole process more easily and all online. I would recommend it to anhyone looking for a solution.


At 6:48 PM , Blogger Herding Grasshoppers said…


We vary our system and assignments from time to time, and - of course - as the kids get older and can handle more responsibility.

I got a great idea from a military mom with nine kids. She has three lists for each room/area of the house - daily, weekly, and monthly. Each list details what is expected and what supplies are required.

I've adapted her lists to our needs, and added seasonal/annual lists too. It's been a HUGE help in getting organized! And the boys know exactly what to expect.

I think the bigger issue, though, is not the actual organization but the attitude. I've been trying to instill in my boys these ideas:
* I love you
* My job as a parent is to prepare you for launch
* Doing everything for you is neither kind nor truly helpful
* We're a team, and everyone needs to contribute
* Chores aren't a punishment, they're a fact of life
* You're growing up, and as you mature you will take on more responsibilities
* Responsibility is the key to privileges

Just my two cents,



At 8:08 PM , Blogger Tessa said…

We've just started really focusing on chores with our 2.5 year old. But he has certain ones that we've just made routine. Brush teeth, go potty, feed the cat. He loves to feed the cat and has been doing it for several months now. But lately I've started working with him on certain things like picking up his toys and books and putting them in the right spot. I'll be honost, we haven't really figured out a "system" yet, mostly I just tell him what to do when I think of it. But I'm hoping to make him some picture cards that he'll be able to do. I started using the index card system from "Sidetracked Home Executives" and he's very interested in my box so I figure we will make him his own cards. There's just some sort of good feeling when you get to flip the card over to transfer it to the next day when you're finished with it. Even my husband (who helped me catch up on my cards last Saturday) said it felt good to finish a card!

Post a Comment
<< Home

About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

See my complete profile

Follow This Blog:

 Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Follow on Twitter:
Follow on Facebook:

Important Links
Previous Posts

Popular Archived Posts
Christian Blogs
Mom Blogs
Marriage/Intimacy Blogs
Blogs For Younger/Not Yet Married Readers
Housework Blogs
Cooking/Homemaking Blogs
Writing Links
Blog Design by Christi Gifford

Images from

Related Posts with Thumbnails