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Shelaughs

Housework For Children

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How much do you expect of your children in regards to housework?  How much do you expect of an 8-year-old?  A 5-year-old?  I am trying to gauge if my expectations are realistic.

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:wave:  Hi SheLaughs!  Good to see you.  We met our dds when they were 11 and 13 so I don't really have any advice.  I can't remember when dusting and cleaning the bathroom became my "Saturday chores".   I did have my 8 yr old nephew helping me do animal chores in the early evenings.  He enjoyed doing things with me anyway.  He could only do what was safe and possible for him though. 

 

MtRider :shrug: 

Edited by Mt_Rider

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Depends on the child. We took turns dusting the corner shelf loaded with fragile bric bracs when were 5 and 6 years old. But some children are clumsy and this would not be a task for them. Daily emptying trash , working in the garden, helping with canning, sewing, making bread or cookies with supervision in all tasks until they can be trusted to do it well. Clearing the table and washing dishes . All household chores can be delegated within reason.

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Oh my, that was such a long time ago for me. We lived in small apartments when son was little so there wasn't much he could do. I remember giving him chores he liked to do and usually it was along side me. I let him help me fold clothes like socks and wash cloths etc. I did make him pick up after himself. Put toys away when he was finished with them, leave the bathroom like he found it after a bath and things like that. When he was older I told him if his clothes weren't in his basket and turned the right side out, I wouldn't wash them and I was only doing laundry once a week. I wasn't working at the time so I didn't mind doing it but I wasn't going to hunt them down.

 

He was always busy in Jr. high and high school with sports and school work so I didn't have him do much. I'm sure if I had been working away from home at the time it would have been different. To be honest, I come from a different generation where moms did the housework. And as a rule, boys didn't do housework. Sad but true. I wouldn't be that way now!

 

My 2 year old grandson puts his dirty laundry in his hamper every night. They have a routine where dad strips him down and throws his dirty clothes around his room and g'son goes around and gets them and puts them in his hamper. He thinks it's so much fun. He also likes to throw things in the trash for mom and dad. He 'helps' his dad work on things around the house and 'helps' with yard work with his little play lawn mower and play leaf blower. Those aren't really chores yet though. I guess I'm not much help after all.

 

I found a couple of websites that might be of some use though:

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting-challenges/motivating-kids-to-clean-up/age-appropriate-chores

https://mom.me/kids/5995-how-many-chores-should-my-child-do/

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/chores-for-children#1

 

 

And it's good to see you back!  :hi:

 

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 9:43 PM, Shelaughs said:

set or clear table How much do you expect of your children in regards to housework?  How much do you expect of an 8-year-old?  A 5-year-old?  I am trying to gauge if my expectations are realistic.

 

I can only go by what I was taught and expected to do and when.  

3-4 years:  pick up after self, dress by self;  can help wipe up spills (not harp things, but liquids ;and cheerios), sweep with a whisk broom and small dustpan alongside Mom or Dad

 

5 years (a gold time when children are eager to help) add to the above: set the table with melamine or non-company dishes, help scrape dishes & clear table, feed the pets and make sure they have water,  make sandwiches (supervise if sharp knives required), work a toaster or microwave (supervise until they get the hang of handling hot food).  Help with some yard work - raking, picking up potatoes when an adult digs them, hand weeding (supervise to make sure they learn weeds from plants - having them pull grass is a good start and easy to teach).  You can also start teaching what weeds are edible at the same time, but CHECK carefully since younger eyes don't always ID plants as well as older ones.   Pick up windfall fruits (apples, pears) and take to compost pile, or throw over the fence to the neighbors horses (or cattle, if they can eat that particular fruit).  At this age my mother started a nickle a day allowance IF we did our basic chores - put dirty clothes in the laundry pile, set or clear table (as assigned - I had siblings and some chores were rotated).  The table setter had to clear the days work off the table first and wipe off the vinyl tablecloth before setting; the clearer had to wipe off the table again for food spills & crumbs, then sweep the dining area floor.  Keep it simple, and only a few chores at a time - you don't want a drudge, but a cheerful helper.  You will get griping a-plenty later in teenage years anyway.  Just cheerfully ignore that, and repeat my mothers mantra...in this family, everybody works, then everybody plays.  If they dodge chores, just save them for the next day.  When Saturday comes and they are doing nothing but chores, they will learn to take care of things while they are still small -  it took me a couple of Saturdays to learn that, myself.  :busted:

 

7 years and up:  Daily chores started being assigned - one indoors and one outdoors, in addition to keeping your room clean, laundry picked up, and the table chores.  Washing dishes was added (one of us washed, one dried) to table chores.  We had a dishwasher part of the time, then the dishwasher had to scrape the dishes (food scapings went in the dog food pail and were checked for dog-safety by an adult before feeding) and rinse off what needed to be rinsed and loaded the dishwasher.  The dryer had to unload it and put away the dishes.  {Pots & pans that did not fit were hand-washed; along with certain things that were not allowed in the dishwasher like Mom's cast iron fry pan and Dads stainless steel thermos (woe betide the slacker who did not rinse out ALL of the soap from either one!)  The fry pan was dried using a stove burner (a big deal at that age).  Other chores that got added & rotated included picking up all the wastebaskets and burning the burnable trash (we were rural, and burning was allowed).  The family automatically rinsed & set aside re-cycleables (unburnables) but those were pretty few.  Organic trash was tilled back into the garden as fertilizer.  These all were considered "table chores" one person set & cleared the table, wipinig it off before and after supper; one loaded the dishwasher and/or washed the dishes and swept the kitchen & dining room floors; another unloaded the dishwasher and/or dried the dishes and put them away; and the fourth *the yopungest usually) emptied all wastebaskets & burned the burnables.

 

Indoor chores included (as assigned):

weekly chores - 1) clean the bathroom (wipe down sink, clean toilet -carefully - using Saniflush & a brush once it stopped bubbling, empty the small trash basket, and hang up the towels neatly if they were still clean, picking "stuff" up off the counter and putting it away - combs, bobby pins, miscellaneous stuff that gets scattered about;  2) vacuum carpeted areas throughout the home(weekly); 3) vacuum non-carpeted areas throughoput the home (weekly); 4) dusting (weekly); these weekly chores were rotated among 4 children on Saturday (house cleaning day).

 

Doing laundry was an inside chore - one washed & hung the clothes out on the line, another person folded.  The good news was that the folder was allowed to watch TV and choose the program while folding clothes, so when there was a particular favorite program on, there were volunteers to fold clothes!  

Piano practice was mandated 15 min a day (set the timer) and 3 of us took lessons.  Baking a cake or a couple of pies or a batch of cookies could be assigned as an inside chore.  Making a meal or snack (popcorn and koolade on Sunday afternoon) counted too.  Churning butter was another 'in front of the TV' chore, so was treasured. 

 

Around the age of 13, maybe younger, depending on child's abilities, they could be expected to help pack vegetables for freezing (scooping out of the ice water after blanching, measuring into freezer bags and running the bags down to the freezer); scalding, peeling and smooshing tomatoes into canning jars for Mom to can ('put up a canner load of tomatoes' was a common summer chore for more responsible children who can work the stove and handle boiling water), and de-hulling strawberries was a good chore for a quite young child, where it did not matter if they got squished a bit by small fingers, because they were made into jam. On baking days, three of us children would be set to peeling apples with safety swivel peelers for 3 apple pies (the oven held three at a time).  Mom would core and slice the apples until we were coordinated and responsible enough to do knife work, then we made the fillings after she set up the crust-filled pie plates for filling.  Even later, making the pies simply became another indoor cooking chore.  And yes, boys and girls alike did both kinds of chores.  

 

Outdoor chores included: hoe a particular number of rows in the garden (depended on age), mowing one of the lawns (divided into front, back, 2 side yards, orchard...about 1/2 acre each) husking a bushel of corn or snipping ends on a 5-gal pail of green beans (Mom froze & canned). Picking apples was a family fun thing, the older children got to climb up and pick, the youngest child would look over the apples separating the bruised or cut ones (to be canned immediately), the culls (kin was marked or scabbed, so we sold these very cheap to those fixed income retirees who wanted cheap apples to put up), and the pretty selling ones.  We had a sign by the road, and many folks stopped for apples and honey, our best sellers.  

In our late teens our parents would drop us off at the local produce sellers area (near a big box store where all the small sellers were) to sell apples.  We were allowed to keep the cash (!) from produce we picked, packaged and sold. ( I sold strawberries, raspberries and apples.)  Helping to work the bee hive was a treasured change to work as a grown up with Dad, robbing the hive for our honey.  We sold a lot of raw honey back in the 60s & 70s - we had a centrifugal extractor which spun the honey out instead of heating it to separate it from the combs.  

As soon as we had received hunter training (my Dad taught us to shoot) we were allowed the privilege of trying to hunt alongside our parents which was a great treat;   we always fished, but usually were too squirmy to sit that still for long, LOL. 

 

I was raised in such a way that chores were basically anything we were physically able to handle (heavy lifting, for example, was closely monitored as to what was too much)and what needed doing, and working with sharp objects or machinery required teaching & monitoring until we "got it" and could be trusted not to cut of any fingers.  We were taught to work along-side our parents, because  at our house, EVERYBODY WORKED TOGETHER, THEN EVERYBODY PLAYED TOGETHER!  It is surprising how helpful even a very young child could be in little chores, if Mom & Dad let them try and are not overly critical while they are learning (kids can be clumsy...I sure was!)  Chores were tied into learning life skills (canning, hunting, yard work, sewing, you name it) then Mom & Dad would come play:  baseball, soccer or volleyball in the yard with Dad after work (I learned how to his a softball playing "work-up"); running through the sprinklers in our bathing suits with Mom on a hot day; driving to the swimming pool or a beach for swimming when dad got home (it was amazing how cool you felt all evening after a nice hour or two in the water!) or going camping, hunting , fishing, canoeing (we had 3 canoes in our fleet), and the like, on week-ends.  

 

It wasn't slave labor - it was the way things were.  Now, many years later, I bless my folks for the lessons I learned from them, and the fun we had.  Sadly, many classmates who had no chores, also had no play times with the family.  As adults, they tell me how envious they were of my family's fun times both working and playing.  Funny how time puts perspective on things, isn't it?

 

Sorry for the long post.  I get carried away sometimes.  If you can make work fun, and keep it age appropriate, you are golden!

Edited by kappydell
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:hi: Shelaughs,

 

We were raised doing chores on a farm. Mine started around age 6-7. Gardening, feeding animal, milking cows, cleaning gutters, etc.  house work, typical “keep it clean” and looking nice. 

 

IMHO, children learn a lot from being responsible to complete tasks assigned to them. If that makes any sense. 

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Giving them the feeling that they play a vital part in the family is positive.....even if they complain.  :whistling:  

MtRider :pc_coffee:

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