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  1. #1
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    Default Older kids and housework

    For those with older kids (mid primary and over) only...

    How much do your kids do around the house? In regards to cleaning up after themselves, and doing houseworky type stuff.

    Do they meet your expectations of what jobs they need to do? Or is there always stuff that was supposed to be done but wasn't?

    And most importantly, do they do jobs without being nagged incessantly? Or asked once or twice? Or do they do them without you even having to ask?

    Honestly this is the most challenging aspect in my life atm. I am SO freaking over it, and have ranted and raved at them many times recently about it (not my best moment, but that's just how over it I am!). I feel like a slave in my own house.

    I guess it doesn't help that I am a single mum, so I don't have another responsible adult to share housework with, or share parenting with. It's all me, 100% of the time, so I guess I just get exhausted of it. But for goodness sake it truly isn't that hard to not drop dirty clothes where you stand and just leave them there, or to put rubbish in the bin and not the floor, or to unpack your freaking lunchbox. I am not even at the point of getting them to do 'housework' at the moment really, all I want is for them to clean up their own cr@p. THEN we will work on sharing housework.

    But I guess what I want to know is, am I expecting too much? How does this all work in other households? I know I can be quite strict with my kids sometimes, and everyone always says they are 'such good kids' etc, but surely it is acceptable for me to expect them to help keep a tidy house? Is it?

    BTW I have tried all manners of tips, tricks, routines, communication styles, rewards, punishments etc etc etc to get them to help out. Nothing ever sticks for long.

    Anyone care to share?

    And please, no stories about how your adorable little 4yo loves to help mumma do the dishes. My kids used to be great at helping, when they were little! For some reason we go backwards with the helping as they get older. I swear tweenagers are a whole different species! Give me a toddler any day!

  2. #2
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    Oooh good thread. My 5 yo is recently more & more TERRIBLE at cleaning up, & I am finding her very difficult. I only expect her to clean up after herself at this stage - pack away toys (with my help)after playing, put her clothes in the hamper, & dishes on the sink. She tears through the house like a tornado, making mess in 10 minutes that takes an hour to clean up. I do most od the cleaning up, she whines, moans and whinges her way through it all. It drives me bat sh!t crazy. A few times I've gotten a garbage bag, set a timer for 10 mins, & said whatever isnt cleaned up by the end is going in the rubbish bag. Ita always cleaned up when I do that,but Its a bit of an empty threat & she might call my bluff one day! Im trying so hard to teach her to be tidy,because I see this as a long term battle with her. Sorry,no advice,but will be eagerly reading along...

  3. #3
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    I'm reading with interest - I have a 9yo and almost 6yo and I am struggling to get them to help around the house. The 9yo especially it's like he does things to make me not want him to help - like feeding the cat he managed to get cat food all down himself, all over the bench just a mess. Anything I ask, including tidying up is met with an argument and when they eventually do it they literally chuck it all on their bedroom floor. Setting the table even seems to be an issue, how hard can it be!

    I'm so worried I'm failing in this aspect of parenting (amongst other aspects too probably!) but I don't know how to stop it from being such a nightmare.

  4. #4
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    Miss 7 doesn't have any specific chores to do, but she is amazing and does everything I ask of her and more. She will help every single time I need it, helping her younger brothers clean their toys up, washing the dishes, folding clothes, doing a quick run through the house and picking random stuff up that her brothers have been playing with during the day. Whatever I ask, she does it. I will acknowledge that I believe this is fairly rare though, based on conversations with school mums! Most of them struggle a lot to get their kids helping.

  5. #5
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    This how it works in our house.
    Everyone has their set jobs. I don't remind or nag about those with exception of my gr1 child he needs reminding. They are just done because they have to be done than and there.

    Washing up, clearing and setting table and cooking one meal a fortnight are on a weekly rooster. It posted on the freezer. This does need reminding. Oh bow I am on that roster too.

    Washing the rule is if it isn't in the washing basket I won't wash it. I have teens with no clean uniforms for school. I just let them figure it out. One hand wash and dryer hers and the other found a not too dirty one. The kids do on occasion peg out a load maybe 1 or 2 a week. It used to be a set job but we are changing about a bit at the moment. So for now it's a random job.

    Their Rooms are totally there responsibility.

    Random jobs are where we get the big fights. They ones that aren't written down anywhere. I am always getting the but I do all the jobs line.

    Oh and when they do something to make me feel like they are trying to get out of that job, they get put on that job for a week/fortnight/month. Obviously they need more practise so they can get right next time.
    Last edited by LoveLivesHere; 05-11-2015 at 06:30.

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    I'm a single mum of 3 (age 4, 9 and 12) and I'm fighting the same battle. ..Every.single.day. The picking up towels and clothing, unpacking lunchboxes and putting away foodstuffs and crockery are the bains of my life... I too have tried lots of things and nothing seems to work for long, so constant reminding and nagging is the order of the day at this point.
    They are however very good at doing their "chores"...they each have rooms they are responsible to keep clean and tidy in order to get their pocket money. The deal is, if I ask them to do something, including picking up after themselves, then they need to do it when I ask, and as a rule they do. It's the every day stuff they fail at. My 12yo has got much better recently. ..maybe it's an age thing

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    I'm struggling so much with this!!

  8. #8
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    Mine are all responsible for their own belongings...clothes in washing basket, putting away their clothes that I have folded, emptying school bags, making beds (I change the sheets until they are 12...and then it's their job), packing away toys etc. The putting their own things away is the biggest battle but the rule is that if on cleaning day it's not spotlessly tidy to be cleaned then they clean it themselves (and it gets inspected...so it has to be clean to my standards). About once a month or so I make them sort out their storage boxes that they have dumped stuff in without putting away properly.
    From 8 years old they empty the dishwasher in the morning. This is their responsibilty until the next sibling turns 8, and then they get to choose what chore they want responsibility for next. At 12 they get two household chores. I give them the list of possible chores to choose from. I have explained to my kids that not only do we work together and help each other out as a family, but I am also teaching them how to be an adult. I don't give them anything too time consuming...jobs include things like bringing in the washing every day or vacuuming twice a week etc.
    Do they complain? Sometimes. But if they avoid or do a half hearted effort then they are made to do extra. And if I have to say no to a playdate because my child didn't do their chore and needs to go home and do it, well so be it. This is a huge currency for my kids so it works well.
    I also have a chore box...so if I'm picking up their stuff then it goes in the chore box. If they want their item out of the chore box they have to do a job for me. That can be anything from folding washing to picking up dog poo to washing the dog or even cleaning the bathroom. We have had the chore box in place for two years...and only one of my kids (the youngest) still has stuff on it on a regular basis. The others have learned it's just easier to put your stuff away.
    If the chore box is overflowing on bin night it gets thrown out (and yes, I follow through).
    I don't expect perfection. If I can see that a decent effort has been made I will finish off for them. If they've been generally pleasant and helpful to live with I'll return the favour and surprise them by doing something for them.
    My system is not without its flaws, but overa
    ll it works well enough.

  9. #9
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    Oh and yes, they get reminded about their responsibilities.

  10. #10
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    Oh my god, my kids must have it easy lol...I have two daughters aged 8 and 10. Just recently we moved to a bigger house where they now have their own bedroom. They now know they are responsible for keeping their rooms clean, as well as that, they are to jobs when they are asked. Like for instance when I get the clothes off the line, sometimes they are to fold their clothes and put them away...mine and my partners too. I will ask them to vacuum sometimes, or do the dishes (rarely) and they complain everytime like, oh I don't feel like it, or what do you ever do for us? Haha please kids, who pays the rent so you can have a roof over your head, or the electricity so you can play your Wii. Last time my daughter said she didn't feel like doing something I asked her to do, I said, oh well I don't feel like taking you bowling for your birthday....that changed her mind a bit.. they have it so easy.


 

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