responsibility...





a big part of kid's schooling at home is participating in the responsibilities of taking care of the home. like most kids their age, i assume, they have various chores they must do on a daily and weekly basis. as they get older they take on more responsibilities... not always happily of course, but they are learning that chores are a part of life. i want them to be able to care for themselves (and those they choose to share their lives with) when the time comes for them to do so. some days are better than others when it comes to chores. i guess like adults they go through phases where they are very helpful and organized and then there times when it like pulling teeth to get them to help. i'm not sure if they do more chores than kids who attend school but they do more than they they did last year when they were in school full time and responsible for homework. of course,with them home there is more work to do and less free time for me to do it in, so i really do need their help.

you can see above we keep a list of chores in the kitchen (the numbers written by them are their suggestions for what they think they should be worth monetarily... ha!). our kids get a weekly allowance but it is not tied to chores, other than it is expected they participate in helping run the house. allowance is for the extra things they want to buy, pocket money. i have to say, generally it is easier to get them to do daily chores more than weekly ones. i don't know if routine makes it easier. my son has more responsibilities because he is older but personality wise he is harder to get motivated to clean up. he is naturally messier like me (something i've worked on my whole adult life to overcome because i don't like mess). he is really helpful when you ask him to help with your chores though. sidney is naturally neater but likes to do them when she feels like it not when asked. they both have to make their beds and pick up after themselves, clothes, toys, etc. i always have them hang up coats and put shoes away when we come in but it is not yet a habit for them. they clean their room and playroom once a week but still need me to do a good deep cleaning every once in a while as they aren't that thorough yet. jack henry has taken over most of the responsibilities for the chickens since the baby has been born and also walks the dog. he helps feed the dogs and cats as well. they help set the table and both have to empty the dishwasher everyday. some nights they clear the table and put everything in the dishwasher and i would like them to slowly do more of the clean up and food preparation. they often take out the garbage and recycling. they have just started taking responsibility for putting away their clothes and will start washing their own as well. sid seems to like this idea as her close friend does this.

one of the biggest ways they help is with the baby. this has gone on since she was born but they help more and more as she gets older (under a watchful eye). they both know how to hold her and change her (though they don't do it often). they are responsible for sitting and playing with her while i do things needed to be done. keeping her entertained in the car is super helpful because she hates car rides! my son likes to sing to her. pretty much anything i need help with the baby they are really open to doing. of course she pays well in smiles and hugs!  i think having younger siblings (or babysitting) has a profound effect on children's sense of responsibility (it did on mine) and i'm glad my children have this.

what do your children to around the house? did you start off young or wait until they were older? do your kids have any surprising chores? my friend's daughter is 8 and makes bread for the family every week nearly without help! my kids like to help bake but they are no where near that. did you grow up doing chores and felt you were ready to take care of yourself as an adult? or was it a big learning process (cooking certainly was for me!) what about your partner? i know this subject has been discussed endlessly but i still find it fascinating!

6 comments:

Melissa Crowe said...

Annabelle is responsible each day for emptying the dishwasher and making her bed; on Sunday when we clean the whole house, she strips her bed and cleans her bathroom. That doesn't sound like much for a 13-year-old now that I'm writing it... time for more chores?

Cary Walker said...

well your house seems pretty clean and clutter free, so maybe that makes it easier for all of you:) i'm in the process of trying to declutter a lot of the house so i'm hoping that will help too! i will be glad when my kids are old enough to clean the bathroom regularly!

Melissa Crowe said...

You're right--we're pretty minimalist, so pick up/clean up is generally quick. You don't seem like you have a super lot of clutter, though. I love your house!

Cary Walker said...

i take pictures around teh clutter:)

Elma said...

OH my kids can be a pain in the you kow where:( I had a chore chart which seemed to work much better than none. OUr Abigail takes care of the chickens and bunnies and really never complains she just does it lall the time. She also loves to bake and do anything in the kitcehn. Caleb is a ok but Adrian not so much.

Cary said...

i know how you feel elma. it seems like this is a struggle for most parents. i keep hoping it will get easier but... i'm sure i was a pain to my mom too!