Friday, November 28, 2008

Picking Your Brain

On My Mind: When do kids get old enough to be expected to perform "chores"? And when are they old enough to reliably take their dishes to the sink, pick up their own toys, throw dirty clothes in the hamper, rub my feet on command, etc?

What's that, you say? Around the age of thirty five? I thought so.


Mimi said...

I am waiting anxiously for that glorious, glorious day.

LoriD said...

The problem is in the word "reliably". My youngest (3) cheerfully tidies up after she has played, clears the table and puts her clothes in the basket. The other two (8 and 5) often require multiple reminders.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh yes, let me know when you figure that out!

We started having Zoe (2 and 1/2) ask to be excused and clear her dishes when I noticed that ALL the kids at her daycare do it at lunch and snacktime. WITHOUT REMINDERS OR PROBLEMS.

We, of course, sometimes have to remind and reprimand but mostly she does it. The cleaning up of toys.... we're working on that. We do try to limit how many toys can be taken out at once so when she is ready to move on to something else, she is asked to help pick up what she is finished with before moving on to play with something else.

Oh the foot rubbing. Who needs Kindermusik? Why don't they have Toddler Massage Therapy training??

Swistle said...

Ha ha--I totally agree with LoriD about the word "reliably"!

The twins (age 3.5ish) are expected to clear their dishes (PLASTIC) and to bring/fetch/carry when asked (like, "Can you get me a kleenex?" and "Would you put this wrapper in the trash?"). The 2nd-grader and the 4th-grader have to clean up the main house areas (living room, kitchen, hall) of toys before dinner. The baby doesn't earn his keep AT ALL.

Brett_in_Deutschland said...

I still leave toys on my floor

Erin said...

I have NO IDEA.

But I have it in my head that in fifth grade, kids can reliably do their own laundry. That's how it worked for us growing up, and I'm hoping I can pull that off with my own boys.

Kelsey said...

For me, I have to remind myself to set the expectation when they are still little enough to WANT to help, even when the help is not always helpful. You know?

Harper (just turned four) can clear her dishes, help unload the dishwasher when the dishes are clean, help dust, mostly picks up her toys, and straightens up her room -including making the bed (she makes it like a four year old, but the comforter and pillows end up on top), and helps me sort and fold laundry. She'll help sweep, too, by holding the dustpan. It's important to note that she does these things (except for toys/bed) WITH me, but eventually she'll be able to do many of them on her own. Then she'll teach her baby brother. Then I'll rest with my feet up and read all day long!

Anonymous Her said...

I'm not sure. My oldest loves to help, but, again, reliably is the word that doesn't fit just yet.
Still, you have to start somewhere. He feeds the fish, puts his dresser clothes away and throws away trash when I need him to.

d e v a n said...

Left you something here:

Jess said...

Except for the foot rubs, I was definitely doing stuff by that by age 6 or so. By 8 I was doing my own laundry. But it likely depends on the kid.

Jessica @ Snarky Lady said...

Mine are 7 and 5. They are generally responsible for care of their shoes/coats/backpacks, cleaning their room, setting the table and occasional other tasks that are within their range.

Billie said...

The only things that are done reliably in our house:

My stepson complains about anything we ask him to do. Exception: They will fight over filling the cat food bowl. Cats never have to worry about starving when the kids are in the house.

My stepdaughter will help me put away groceries. This generally consists of her handing me the items out of the bag. She is 3 so understandable. She often volunteers to put away the cutlery after the dishwasher washes them.

Lately, due to sheer chaos, I have been making them pick up their clothes, toys and jackets and putting them in appropriate spots. They need constant reminders but they have been doing it.

It has been difficult to get them to do 'chores' because they are only with us for 48 hours. What do you give them in those 48 hours?

CAQuincy said...

Best bit of advice a friend gave me: put all your dishes in the lower cabinets so that the kids can help unload the dishwasher. Genius! And they've all gone through that phase where they "love" to help. The older two grew out of it awhile ago, but the 4-y.o. STILL loves putting the dishes away. (But, yes, the glass glasses are out of reach and mommy does).

I've noticed that the age of dressing on their own has gotten "older" with each kid. Mary: 2. Keith: 3. Izzy: 4-ish--oh, she DOES it, but it's a FIGHT the whole time. (I think that's mainly 'cause she HATES mornings and doesn't want to get up. Me either, kid).

I just taught Mary (the almost-9-y.o.) how to operate the washer/dryer. Heh.

Astarte said...

Our kids both started chores at around 4. Josie now does the harder things, like dusting and febreezing the couch, while Patrick does the easier-but-still-helpful things, like refilling the toilet paper towers, picking up cups and plates from around the house, etc. They each have an amount they can get for allowance for the week, and they earn it on a day-by-day basis, depending on whether their rooms are able to be walked through and if their chore is done. Their allowance is based on their age, so Josie can earn up to $9 a week, Patrick $5, and they must spend all their own money when we go to craft stores, etc. Since Josie gets more, she has to also buy birthday gifts for parties, etc. The only things I get for her now are necessities and the occasional treat. I haven't managed to get them to rub my feet, though. If you manage that, let me know!!!

Oh, and they both have a clothes basket, that they have always used, and they have both carried their own plates to the kitchen since they were able to carry an empty plate.