Chores are a funny thing. Some families believe children shouldn’t be paid for any work they do around the house. Since they are part of a family they are expected to do things around the house to pitch in. Others have detailed chore charts and pay out on a weekly basis. Wherever you fall in the whole “chore” debate there are definitely things to be learned from how every family handles chores. Now every family does things a little different so you have to adapt to your lifestyle and personality. But this is how the Farrant family does it. I wrote about this before here but I figured I would give an update now that my kids are a year older.
So what do my kids do for their jobs?
Well there are some family contributions that my kids do simply because they live in the house and are a part of this family unit. For example, my kids have to clean their rooms and the playroom each day. That is not something I pay them for. They also have to turn all of their clothes right side out and bring it to the laundry room each week. I then wash it and fold them and put them back in the basket. They are then expected to put the clothes away. However, we do pay for extra responsibilities on top of that. Each of my kids have chores where they earn money each week and we pay them half their age.
Kayla – age 6 earns $3.00 a week
1. Putting all shoes away at the end of the night. We are always in such a rush around here that we put our shoes right by the door and kick them on and off as we come and go. At the end of the night she puts them all back into our cubbies in our mudroom.
2. Vacuuming the kitchen floor. With a small handheld vacuum she zips around and vacuums after dinner on the opposite nights that she has dishes (see below).
3. Putting the pillows back on the couch. After pillow fights, lounging around watching TV, fort-making, etc., our pillows are a wreck. She is responsible for fluffing and making the pillows look nice each day.
4. Kayla sets the table for dinner. I get down all the plates and cups and set them on the counter and she fills all the water and puts everything on the table.
5. Kayla is responsible for helping mommy make salsa and muffins each week. We usually make a double batch on Sunday and, of course, make sure we do the salsa dance before we start 😉
6. Since Kayla turned 6 she has now taken on the job of putting away the dishes from the dishwasher. Neither of my kids like this job. Isaac rallied now that Kayla is 6 that she could split the days with him. So she does the dishes Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Isaac – age 9 earns $4.50 a week
1. Empties the dishwasher Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Since he can’t reach past the first shelf in our kitchen cupboards he will stack the rest on the counter and then Tim or I will put the rest away.
2. Folds all kitchen rags and puts them away. Each week I wash all our microfiber cloths and he neatly rolls them and puts them in the drawer.
3. Clears the table after all meals and puts all the dishes in the sink and throws away all the paper products or excess food.
4. Help prepare one meal each week with mommy’s help. Kayla loves helping in the kitchen but Isaac –notsomuch. So this was a way that I can get him in the kitchen with me and teach him some basic skills. Hopefully his wife will appreciate that one day.
5. Vacuum the kitchen floor Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
6. And his new job since he turned 9 is to collect the trash from all the trash cans around the house and put them in the large trash can the day before trash pick up day.
How do you pay your kids?
On Sunday is payday. Tim handles that. Each of the kids receive their allowance and they get to give back to God. We have shared with them from the Bible what God expects them to give back. Kayla is the generous one and usually gives $.50 each week. Isaac gives the 10% but then, oftentimes, will give some of his money when he sees a need like giving money to a local children’s hospital or helping to buy shoes for kids in Haiti, etc. We use our spend, save, give jars to reinforce this visual aspect of money management.
What if they don’t do all their chores?
My kids have never really said no they won’t do it. But if they don’t do it for some reason they lose $.50 per job not done. So 5 missed jobs in a week for Kayla is no money. We have only had them lose their money once each though. It hasn’t been an issue before.
What if they whine and complain?
I always try and sympathize with my kids first. I know chores aren’t fun. So I will say, “Buddy I know chores aren’t fun. Mommy doesn’t like washing dishes but I do it so that our family has clean dishes to eat off of. I am so grateful for the part you play in helping our house run smoothly. If you need a minute by yourself to be able to have a good attitude while doing it, that is fine. You can go up to your room and have that minute and when you are ready you can finish your job.” Since they hate being alone they usually change their attitude on the spot. But there are times, Kayla needs that minute and takes it.
The goal for chores isn’t just to get stuff done around the house, although that is a huge perk! It is to teach them responsibility and that they are an important part of our family where we all work together. Also it is to teach them about money and how to handle it.
So this is how we do it and it isn’t always perfect. The kids complain and pout and mommy loses her temper at messes many times. But we strive for progress and not perfection in our house.
I would love love love…did I mention LOVE to hear how you do chores in your house.
I’ve got 3 boys, almost 11, 8 and almost 6. We don’t routinely pay for chores, as we feel that: a) mommy is not a maid/cook/laundress and b) these are skills they need to build anyway.
Each of the boys is responsible for putting their dirty clothes, towels, etc into the hamper every day. For my almost 6, this happens multiple times daily as he is a horrible clothes horse. My oldest has learned the hard way that what doens’t make it in the hamper doesn’t get washed. He only ran out of clean underwear the one time!
My oldest is actually learning how to do his own laundry now. The boys are all responsible for putting their own clean clothes away – I’ll put things on hangers for them though. They all know that mommy won’t wash what isn’t in their respective hampers – throwing it on daddy’s pile is not acceptable. They get better at this each week.
We all take turns with sweeping and vacuuming – with 2 big dogs in the house and a bunch of dirty boys traipsing in and out, this is a constant need. These guys like to spend time on the floor wrestling with the dogs – but they hate getting covered with extra hair, so they rarely complain about this chore.
#1 is responsible for loading the dishwasher and handwashing the pots and pans. We’ve had several minor rebellions in the form of un-rinsed dishes and glop in the bottom of the dishwasher, but he’s slowly realizing that he just has to wash the same things over and over again when he does that – he’s only punishing himself. #2 and #3 share responsibility for emptying the dishwasher and putting away the hand washed stuff. #3 generally just puts away the flatware and such, but also scours the house for wayward dishes for #1 to wash.
They are all responsible for trash & recycling. We have 3 bathrooms with trashcans, plus the cans in the pantry. They also bring the big cans back up to the house after trash day.
They are also responsible for keeping their bathroom less than disgusting. They are boys – I refuse to scrub pee from more than one bathroom floor. They generally rotate how this gets done. I care less about who does it than that it gets done. My oldest actually loves to scrub toilets, so he does all 3 of them. #3 loves to stand on the counter and clean the mirrors, so he generally does all 3 as well. #2, well, #2 would rather pretend to poop all day to get out of bathroom duty, so I’ve got him scrubbing the tub with diluted vinegar before he gets out of it. Bonus – the vinegar seems to be helping his psoriasis and warts, so he’s not complaining much.
All 3 like to help cook. My oldest has mastered the taco meat, scrambled eggs and spaghetti. #2 has mastered the art of the taste test, as well as microwave anything and cinnamon toast. #3 does a mean scrambled egg sandwich (with toasted English Muffins) and pretty much anything microwaveable. They all have to feed themselves breakfast while I’m packing lunches, so the microwave thing happened pretty early for all of them. They aren’t big fans of cold cereal. Mini pancakes rule the breakfast here.
I know it seems like we make our boys do alot, but really, they need to eventually become functioning members of society AND take care of their own homes. It’s my responsibility to raise compentent, compassionate children, not cosseted ones.
Hi Julie, It sounds like you have a good system down with your boys, and I agree with your mindset of raising functioning members of society. I appreciate you sharing this breakdown of weekly chores and extra jobs. I know other readers will appreciate the information too!
Found this on pinterest, and I can’t get past the first paragraph. You ask your daughter if it’s an ok time to clean up her toys then punish her for disagreeing????
It’s time to pick up your toys, okay?
Or, Kayla, it’s time to pick up your toys.
Don’t ask a child a question, when there is no choice. You shouldn’t ask a question as a parent, and then punish when they don’t give the answer you wanted.