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  1. #1
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    Default Your expectations of school age children regarding helping

    What are your expectations of school age children regarding helping around the house? Specifically I mean, keeping their rooms tidy, putting clothes in laundry basket and tidying shared living areas if they have left toys/blocks/books there.

    I don't so much mean other household chores like setting table or cleaning areas, just tidying things that are theirs.

    What about getting ready for school? e.g drink bottle in sink or lunch box in kitchen ready to be filled.

    The children in question are 7.5 and 9.5.

    I am finding myself nagging to get stuff done and my partner is suggesting I am barking orders. I have tried schedules and linking basic room tidying to pocket money with a tiny bit more success however my step kids have a really different living environment with their mum which I try to be sympathetic too but at the same time we work really hard for our house and belongings and seeing things not being respected is really taking its toll on me.

    Have got to the point where I just shut their doors and let DP handle it but we have a rent inspection tomorrow and I have collected 3 laundry baskets full of stuff from my step daughters floor and the room is filthy as I have not been able to clean it for weeks.

  2. #2
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    I think your expectations are entirely reasonable. My 4yo puts her dirty clothes into the laundry, gives me her lunchbox after school to empty/clean, sets the table, tidies up the playroom and her bedroom (with help from me) and puts her dirty plates on the bench after eating. Even my 2yo puts her dirty clothes in the laundry and puts her plate on the bench with direction from me.

    I don't have older kids so I don't know how you could encourage them to do their chores but linking it to pocket money seems a good idea and reiterating that it's all about respect and you shouldn't be expected to clean up after them constantly.

  3. #3
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    I expect those things OP from my 3&5yo.

    I link chores to food. Make your bed every morning and get dressed gets you breakfast. Otherwise it waits till you do it. Tidying up playroom gets your lunch/dinner. Etc.

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    My 8 & 5 year old have to pack up their own toys, pencils, rubbish etc. they have to clean up their room before going outside or before bed, dirty clothes to the washing basket, etc.
    Sometimes they forget little things here and there and I take over cause I can't be bothered asking, but I always remind them as often as I can to instil good habits. My 8 year old is often more forgetful than my 5 year old actually.

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    DD is 7.5 and has had a chore chart linked to pocket money for about a year. She still needs regular reminding as she's very high energy and easily distracted.

    We expect her to straighten up her bed each morning, dress, brush hair, teeth, check dog's water and pack her lunch box (which I've "packed") and homework into her bag. In the afternoon she has to empty her lunch box -scraps into bin, containers into sink - feed dog, lay out clothes for next day, dirty clothes in basket, towel hung up and all her toys cleared from the rest of the house. About once every 2-4 weeks she gives her room a big tidy up, 70% of the time she needs me in there helping to stay motivated.

    We're really trying to help her develop a routine of just doing these things without us asking, but it's not really happening. The chart does help though as she always looks at it to see what needs to be done next as she wants to get her full pocket money amount each week.

  6. #6
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    I agree with Sunnybambino and Rose&Aurelia.
    My 4 year old even helps his 2 year old sister with some of the chores.
    My 4 year old tidies his room, puts dirty clothes in the laundry basket, sets the table, puts his plate and cutlery in the sink after meals, feeds the dog, helps with some cleaning like wiping windows or doors, puts rubbish in the bin, he even helps me weed the garden.
    My 2 year old can do some of the above too, with a bit of help and direction from us or her brother.
    In terms of keeping their toys tidy, the deal is, if they don't pick them up (with mine and DH help), at the end of the night I get a bag and anything left out gets "confiscated" until they earn it back by tidying up properly. I've only ever had to do it once.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to MadSci For This Useful Post:

    Rose&Aurelia&Hannah  (09-07-2015)

  8. #7
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    Default Your expectations of school age children regarding helping

    Yes I agree that your expectations are reasonable. My almost 4 yo knows each day he has four jobs (feed dog, set table for dinner, make bed, and clean his room before bed). He also brings his plate/cup to the sink after meals, puts his washing in the hamper, tidies his toys away in the family room and helps me with various chores/cleaning.

    But he is fairly amicable when it comes to helping...I dare say in a few years he may not be so willing!

    When I was younger my Mum had a rule that any toys left out at the end of the day were put in a basket. If they were still in the basket at the end of the week they were donated to charity. Needless to say, after one sad visit to the charity shop we started picking up after ourselves

    Good luck
    Last edited by Patience86; 09-07-2015 at 13:20.

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    My 6 yr old is responsible for packing toys away and putting clothes in the hamper. He is also required to help bring the shopping in from the car, scrape and bring his (and everyone else's) dishes to the sink, wipe the table down after meals, get ready for school independently (we have a chart to help with this, so he remembers what he needs to bring each day eg library bag, sports clothes, etc.).

    I also get him to help pack away his sister's messes (she is 16 months). I have had people tell me this is unfair but the way I see it, we are a family and we help each other.

  10. #9
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    I agree with others OP, though I too have had this struggle due to a completely different lifestyle at their mum's. Consistency is the biggest factor and I also found that it helped coming from DH as I didn't want to be the big bad evil stepmother. I sat him down one night and had a very frank discussion about how much the lack of respect and untidiness upset me. He took it on board and became the one to do the nagging. He quickly got sick of nagging and there became quite strict consequences instead! Like no netball if DSD bedroom was untidy etc. we call them back every time they leave something lying around or not hang up their towel etc. the kids soon quickly learn that they don't want to keep being interrupted all the time by having to come back to do stuff they should do in the first place. I also said for probably a few months almost every day - if you don't do this who do you think has to! That's why I get so frustrated with you sometimes!!

    Here are the things that now after 12 months extremely hard work by both of us they do on their own:

    They make their bed as soon as they get up in the morning. No made bed, no breakfast or play.
    They take all dishes to the sink every meal after they are finished.
    Get dressed and brush teeth.
    Pack their bags on their own and fill up their water bottle.
    After they are fully ready and bags are at the front door ready to go, they are allowed to play (no TV before school as they were rushing and not doing things properly and forgetting things for school).
    One gives dog water and other gives biscuits.

    In afternoon they empty lunch boxes and put up on sink for washing.
    Alternate getting the mail.
    They hang their own towels up and the bathmat and make sure everything away in bathroom.
    Set table and clear table (alternate).
    One takes out recycling rubbish and other takes out normal when required.

    They also on the weekends dust and sometimes vacuum their rooms. They also help us change their sheets every week and their bedrooms are tidied every night with a bigger clean up on sun arvo.

    Now we help them with any tasks they are not sure of how to do but we don't link them with money. The child psych told us that everyone is part of the family therefore it's not fair to leave all the chores to any one person or the adults. So our mantra became everyone lives in the house therefore everyone helps out. We had a big question of should we link chores to pocket money or not? He said that chores are expected as they have to learn to do them but children do need pocket money. So we give a small set amount a week that they have to bank half and the other half they can spend (9yr old gets $6, 7yr old gets $4). They can earn extra pocket money if extra chores are done. Only time they don't get pocket money is if their behaviour is atrocious but that's never happened yet.

    We do have strict consequences for not looking after property as this was a big thing when I grew up and it really upsets me. Things get absolutely trashed at their mums house so we now have separate bags, uniforms, shoes, everything. Recently DSS $15 lunchbox came home cracked beyond repair. After hearing the story we decided he needs to contribute to a new one. Harsh to some other people but piously this has taught him to look after his things better.

    Hope this helps, it is so important to have DH support otherwise it's so much harder for you!

  11. #10
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    I have an 8yr old.
    Everyday chores she is expected to do without reward are
    - keep room tidy (incl bed making)
    - dirty clothes in laundry
    - clean clothes i place in her bed for her to put away each day
    - pack & unpack schoolbag
    - tidy her own toys around the house
    - put any dishes, cups etc she uses in dishwasher


    Chores she helps me with to earn pocket money/canteen money
    - put away siblings clean clothes
    - sort & fold clean laundry
    - pack away siblings toys
    And what we call a 2min room blitz where together we go into each room put on a song on iphone and clean/tidy that room till the song finishes.

    My 4yr old tidies her own room with prompting & puts her dirty washing in laundry and packs toys away when asked.


 

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