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What chores are appropriate for 8-11 year olds.

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I am a mother of three and I need help around the house constantly. It seems as though I am always the one cleaning and trying to keep things neat and tidy. The husband does not try and help out with the chores, and so I am trying to enlist the children. They are very lazy and I have to tell them over and over again to do their chores. Someone has suggested to me that I get a chore chart. Has this worked for anybody? Has taking things away from children had any affect on them doing what they know to do?

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I would like to suggest that you explain to your husband that you need help! I've got a thread up here somewhere explaining how mine does nothing. In the last few days, we've talked and he has been asking me what he can do to help.

We have four children and I tried to get them to help since I sure as heck wasn't getting it from him. I got a lot of backlash so to speak because they never saw dad doing anything!!

Anyways, you asked about appropriate chores for 8-11 year olds. Obviously keeping their rooms clean as well as picking up anything they've dragged out into other areas of the house. Those two things should be rather simple for most children of that age. I have my 9 year old scrape the dishes after meals and place them in the sink. Depending on maturity levels, you can even have them rinse them and load them into a dishwasher. I also have her sweep up the kitchen floor. I LOVE all the little wipes for cleaning. She can easily do windows, floors, even dusting!!

We did try a chore chart at one time. Honestly, it was just something else I had to keep up with. I also did not like the fact that my children were given the idea that they earned something "special" for helping. They helped to create the mess. Why can't they help clean it up? Now if they did keep up with chores on a semi-consistent bases without a lot of hassle, I did give them a small reward here and there. I just did not want the little chart that basically guaranteed them something after a certain amount of checks or stars.

We also tried another type of chart for a period of time. It was suggested to me by a friend and worked great with her family. Anything and everything they did earned points. The points were to be used for watching tv, playing electronics, phone time, etc. I can't say it wasn't a great motivator. They weren't allowed to do anything they considered fun without doing something to earn that time. I can say that it caused a lot of friction between the children individually.

I've tried taking things away as punishment for not doing a chore. That's never worked with my kids. They always find something else to do. When they couldn't find something, their energy turned to what appeared to be intentionally trying to drive me insane!!

posted 8 years 2 months ago
That's an interesting perspective, Widow, on the chore chart. I've heard of those, and people have suggested I try to implement them with my two girls (5 and 7), but honestly it sounded like way too much work - and more of a "chore" for me!

My kids help me with the dishes and putting their clothes away, picking up toys, etc. They also help me sweep the floor, and even mop (with supervision). And we have "declutter days," when I take a big garbage bag into a room and throw away junk mail, broken toys, etc. that we just don't need and wouldn't be of use to anyone else. The girls help me pick things up and throw them in the bag.

I would think 8-11-year-olds (certainly the 11-year-old) could help with vacuuming, in addition to all those other things. Seems like I was doing that for my mom when I was that age. Heck, I was cooking and doing the laundry (by myself) for her when I was 12!

Personally, I think a reward system for chores is messed up (we don't even do an allowance). If you live in the house, you help with the upkeep (fortunately, I do have a husband who helps me out with cooking and cleaning too - once I've "hinted" at what needs to be done long enough).

Punishment doesn't really work with my girls either, when it comes to that sort of thing. What helps more than anything for us is to try to make a sort of game of it - all work together and get in some quality family time while doing it. It makes cleaning time so much more pleasant!

posted 8 years 2 months ago
I've never tried the chart system... I suspect it wouldn't work for us. I've never really had to deal with my daughter not doing the chores that she knows are hers to do. I think she probably knows that I'm stubborn enough to let them go until she *would* do them. Crazy

I think maybe what I'd do if I'd be dealing with it is to not do things that I know she enjoys like our mini-road-trips until her chores are finished. That would include trips to places like the cupcake bakery she likes once in a while (not often!) or movies out, etc.

I think we all need to find out what works for our own kids, because if I know anything at all, it's the fact that kids are so very different and there's no way that what works great for one family is going to be the "magic answer" for another.

posted 8 years 1 month ago
I did try a chore chart once, but to be honest it was probably me who didn't reinforce it, so it didn't really work. But it did put the idea out there that these are some of your basic responsibilities around here, and those things do get done more often, although I usually still have to prod.

What I would like to know is who to just get tidying and cleaning ingrained in your kids, so you don't have to always be nagging!

posted 8 years 1 month ago
Chore charts are good for those that have excellent organizational skills and are consistent with its use. I tried one and it worked for a while but then I would forget about it so it would just hang there. I try different methods getting my children to help out around the house and have used the "take away your privileges" method. It works for my son but not my daughter. For the most part, they help out quite a bit and it is beneficial to all of us.

My children are 8 and 10 and they can do just about everything around the house. I have taught them to do laundry, wash dishes, load the dishwasher, sweep the floor, clean the bathroom, and am starting to teach them how to cook. They already know how to use the microwave and the oven which are the easy aspects of cooking. My son knows how to mow the lawn and loves doing it since it makes him really feel like the man around the house.

I think if you are willing to teach them how to do it then they are old enough. Most times, they are more willing to help if they feel it is something that would be for an older person such as a teenager. I would definitely try talking to your husband and let him know that you need his help which will also show your children that it takes everyone in the family to help out.

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