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Old 05-18-2011, 06:03 PM   #1
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Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

I have always thought I wanted a large family. At least 4 kiddos, probably more. But lately I have begun questioning my ability to parent even my 3. My ODD is not very helpful around the house and most of the time downright disobedient and disrespectful. She went to bed crying the other night and when I asked her what was wrong, between sobs she squeaked out that she wasn't my kid, she was my slave. All this because I had asked her to fill up the dog's food bowl. Her attitude is starting to rub off on ODS now too. Anytime I ask them to do anything they ignore me, I end up yelling to get their attention, then everybody's mad.

I think this proves that they desperately and immediately need to be taught responsibility, but I don't know where to start. What chores are appropriate for 8 and 6-year-olds? What rewards are appropriate for getting chores done? I'd really like to have another baby at some point, but I can barely keep up with things as it is! Are there any books that might help (for them or me)?

Don't get me wrong, they are sweet, loving, awesome kids, but somehow they have ended up being horribly spoiled in this regard.

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Old 05-18-2011, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

I think if you do a search you'll come up with a lot of "chore" threads.

Personally I think that kids should have some small number of chores that they are expected to do without any rewards, just as being part of the family. Sometimes a chart (listing the chores and who does what on what days) can help.

What are they currently in charge of (whether or not you consider the things to be "chores" per se)? For example do they make their own beds? Clean up their toys? Put their laundry in the hamper? Put away clean laundry? Clear dishes, set the table, load or unload the dishwasher, etc?

ETA: given their ages, whatever you decide, I'd probably implement the new plan by sitting down with them at the table and talking through things. They'll be more amenable to it if they have some input. For example you decide what has to get done and they divide up the chores ("this week Mary will do x, y, and z and John will do a, b, and c"), or something like that.

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Old 05-18-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

My girls (2,4,6,8) know they have to help around the house - especially when DH is deployed like he is now. The following things they CAN do - its doesn't mean they ALWAYS do them and they are by far NOT my slaves! LOL!

My 8yo can do laundry - from loading the washer, adding the soap, and starting, to separating clothes into baskets and folding towels. She also loads/unloads the dishwasher. And she can clean the bathroom sink and wipe off counters/mirrors and edges of the tub. She can vacuum her room and sisters' (bedrooms the only rooms with carpets) and make beds, etc. She sweeps up under the kitchen table sometimes, and she helps cook, but only with supervision. We have hardwood floors, so her favorite thing to do is I give her a wet washcloth and she 'skates' around the room in her bare feet on the washcloth spot cleaning the wood floors.

6yo loads/unloads dishwasher and can put the clothes from the washer to dryer and start the dryer, and wipe down counters and tables. She picks up her toys and likes to help dust with the swiffer duster. She puts clothes away in drawers and can wipe up spills and spots.

4yo can unload dishwasher and help pick up toys, put her clothes away. Keeps her 2yo sister occupied while we're cleaning, etc. Usually I tell her to clean up the toys and it takes her awhile with 'help' from the 2yo.

2yo puts the silverware away when clean - she loves to help sissies! She can pick up toys too.

Now, with that being said, the girls know they are required to help out around the house. We spend a little time cleaning every day, and one big clean once a week. We used to have a chore chart with fake dollars to 'spend' at the 'chore store' but now I just do tally marks on our whiteboard. They are never guaranteed a tally mark. When they do something without whining or fussing, without being asked, or exceptionally well, they get a mark. If they start fussing and whining or I have to tell them more than a few times to do something, they get a tally mark taken away.

Every few months we count up the tally marks (they usually have $7-10) and they get to shop at the 'chore store.' Its a tupperware container I have that I fill with dollar items (like at Joanns or walmart), lip glosses, markers, stickers, clearance little petshops, bracelets, etc. Each of them is assigned a dollar amount and they can spend their money. This seems to work well with my kiddos, and sometimes I don't even tell them when I'm adding a tally, but I always warn them if they continue to fuss I will erase a tally.

My 8 yo had a discussion with us how her friends get an allowance, but I told her that we provide everything she needs and there is no reason to pay her to help out her own family and clean up HER messes.

I would sit down with them and ask them what one thing they want to do every day, and what one thing they want to do once a week. Like 'I will pick up my toys every night before bed' and I will wipe off my bathroom sink every Saturday morning. And start from there.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleta
Now, with that being said, the girls know they are required to help out around the house. We spend a little time cleaning every day, and one big clean once a week. We used to have a chore chart with fake dollars to 'spend' at the 'chore store' but now I just do tally marks on our whiteboard. They are never guaranteed a tally mark. When they do something without whining or fussing, without being asked, or exceptionally well, they get a mark. If they start fussing and whining or I have to tell them more than a few times to do something, they get a tally mark taken away.

Every few months we count up the tally marks (they usually have $7-10) and they get to shop at the 'chore store.' Its a tupperware container I have that I fill with dollar items (like at Joanns or walmart), lip glosses, markers, stickers, clearance little petshops, bracelets, etc. Each of them is assigned a dollar amount and they can spend their money. This seems to work well with my kiddos, and sometimes I don't even tell them when I'm adding a tally, but I always warn them if they continue to fuss I will erase a tally.

My 8 yo had a discussion with us how her friends get an allowance, but I told her that we provide everything she needs and there is no reason to pay her to help out her own family and clean up HER messes.
Wow! I love your system! I'm going to sit down with DH tonight and share this with him. I think this would definitely work with my kids. Thank you!
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:55 PM   #5
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

We have chores that they do on a regular basis, there are extras they can do to earn money, and they know they are expected to help when asked. The 10 and 8 yr old get an allowance that is not tied to their chores ($10 a month).

The 10 yr old cleans the kitchen twice a week (whole thing -- dishes, counters, table, pots, etc), the bathroom and litter box once a week.

The 8 yr old works in the kitchen twice a week and does the litter box once a week. Kitchen duties for him are to unload/load the dishwasher and wash pots (but not stoneware or cast iron yet). He just started doing pots.

All 3 kids (youngest is 4) clean their rooms Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those are their chores.

They can dust, do laundry, and vacuum to earn extra money (this rarely happens, though). They are also expected to put laundry away and take care of their things when asked. Setting the table and gathering garbage (bathrooms and bedrooms) before trash day are also usually done by them.


We used to do a chore chart, but most of the time we forgot to keep track of it and then we'd try to back track and it was a mess, so we just stopped and went to the allowance and chores being separate. However, they don't get their electronic time or go play until their work is finished. As we homeschool, they have plenty of time to have everything finished before their friends are home from school.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:04 PM   #6
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

My boys are 5 and 6. They each have a chore when they get home from school and one right after dinner. They don't get paid. If they don't want to do it then they can be in there room until they are ready to do it. There is no arguing over it. It goes smoothly now. When they get older I plan on letting them earn money from extra chores but I think you shoudl always have some chores since they are part of the family, kwim?

I read a book a couple of years ago that had some good points in it. Something like Love and Logic parenting. The main focus of it was teaching responsibility. Like any parenting guide you need to take out what fits your family but I remember liking parts of it.

The chores my kids do is ods gets the mail before dinner and wipes off the table after dinner, 5 y/o ds (whos autistic) feeds the cat when he gets home and wipes the toilet after dinner (he just gives it a once over on the top part. Since he misses the most he gets this job)
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:18 PM   #7
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

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Originally Posted by erlyjo View Post
Wow! I love your system! I'm going to sit down with DH tonight and share this with him. I think this would definitely work with my kids. Thank you!
Thanks - I started off with something a mama suggested on a blog a few years ago, and then adapted it to our needs. It also teaches responsibility with 'money.' Like, if the little stuffie is $8 (even though I only buy it for like $2 lol) and my DD only has 6, she has to decide if she wants to spend a little/save a little, spend all of it, or save all of it for next time so she can afford the stuffie.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #8
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

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Thanks - I started off with something a mama suggested on a blog a few years ago, and then adapted it to our needs. It also teaches responsibility with 'money.' Like, if the little stuffie is $8 (even though I only buy it for like $2 lol) and my DD only has 6, she has to decide if she wants to spend a little/save a little, spend all of it, or save all of it for next time so she can afford the stuffie.
We have the same system!! Only we use "tickets." I got them from the Dollar Tree. They each have an envelope and they collect them. The oldest can turn them in for money or use them to "buy" something on "store night." Sometimes I take them all to Target too and let them pick from the Dollar bins if they have enough tickets. It works great!

Oh and mine get tickets randomly, not necessarily for doing anything specific. Helping around the house is not optional based on your desire (or lack of) to collect tickets. If they obey immediately or help or whatever, they will randomly get one. I usually give at least one a day to each child, mine are 5 and 3. However, the rule is...if you ask for a ticket, you will not get one, even if I was planning to give you one.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

You've gotten good advice and I'm not going to add to it, but I am just cracking up over your daughter feeling like a slave because she had to feed the dog!! Kids. Are. Hilarious.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: Advice needed for teaching kids responsibilty

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Originally Posted by HeatherlovesCDs View Post

Oh and mine get tickets randomly, not necessarily for doing anything specific. Helping around the house is not optional based on your desire (or lack of) to collect tickets. If they obey immediately or help or whatever, they will randomly get one. I usually give at least one a day to each child, mine are 5 and 3. However, the rule is...if you ask for a ticket, you will not get one, even if I was planning to give you one.
Yep, its random here too - and they know better than to ask for a tally. LOL! I had printed off fake dollars, but they would always lose them, or the baby would rip one up, etc. The tally's stay on the fridge. And sometimes I'll let them pick from the bin at Joanns, etc. And sometimes I tell them they can cash in their tallies for a pedicure (all girls who love toes painted) with designs and jewels on their toes My favorite is when we're at Barnes and Noble and they older two want a book - I tell them sure - but that means you start over in your tallies - and they always say fine. I love that they spend their 'money' on books and such!
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