This week’s Friday Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maggie Ellison.  She asked our writers,

“Do your kids help with household chores?  If not, do you plan on giving them any as they get older?  If so, at what age?  Do/will they get an allowance?”

Here are responses from some of our World Moms…

MamaRobinJ of British Columbia, Canada writes:
“I look forward to the day I can give my son responsibility for cleaning the floors!  🙂

He’s three, but he does help a little bit and we’ll definitely keep him involved. We started long ago with getting him to pick up his toys and if he makes a mess he has to help clean it up, especially if he did it deliberately. He also loves to “help” so we let him and show him how (for the things it’s safe for him to do). As he gets older, we’ll expect him to contribute to stuff around the house, but to me that’s just an expectation as part of the family – I don’t plan to attach an allowance to it. Interested to hear other moms’ perspectives, though, especially if they have older kids and know how well that will or won’t work!”

Kyla P’an of Massachusetts, USA writes:
“Yes, my 5yo is very helpful, in fact, just last week she said: “Mommy, I love doing chores, why don’t you let me do them more?” (You should have seen the sinister look on my face after that one, somewhere between the Artful Dodger and Cinderella’s Evil Stepmother).

When I’m cleaning the house I give her a squirt bottle of lemon juice and water to go “clean” with (kids love squirt bottles). When I mop the floors, I have her “skate” around afterwards with two rags under her feet to dry it up. She is also expected to make her bed every morning. Our 2yo son is mildly vacuum obsessed so he gets to use the hand held vacuum on the floors (usually we go over them again when he’s asleep). There’s no money attached to these yet but we do have a chore chart and we do keep a mental log. We associate special treats (like ice cream or a candy from the corner store) with the level of helpfulness they’ve exhibited around the house during the week.”

Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA writes:
“My kids help pick up their toys and put their dishes in the sink. They like to help make the beds (and jump on them) and help fold (roll in a ball) the clothes. Basically, if they want to help with something, I find a way to include them. As they get older, I think they should be responsible for keeping their rooms together and continue helping with things here and there, as part of the family. As of now, I don’t see myself giving them an allowance or making a chore chart, but you never know.”

Multitasking Mumma of Ontario, Canada writes:
“My daughter is 15months and I ask her to pick up her toys and then follow through by having her follow my actions. She’s now beginning to put them away without my having to show her first.”

FireCrystals of India writes:
“My kid is 16 months old and he helpfully picks up specks from the floor and throws them into the garbage bin (without any prompting). The only thing is that, sometimes he is too ‘helpful’ and decides to throw everything he finds on the floor into the garbage bin (which includes any toys lying around).”

Dr. Lanham of Arizona, USA writes:
“My oldest had chores and received an allowance before he started working. Now my youngest has taken over the chores and earns money or perks for a job well done. We have our kids help around the house in order to prepare them for the work force and it teaches teamwork. No matter the age, we should give our kids some sort of responsibility teaching them that we earn everything that we receive.”

Jill of Illinois, USA writes:
“I’ll be honest, I’m not notably structured in this area. I would love to have a chore chart, with incentives attached to helpful behaviors, but at this point we are on what would be a randomized contribution pattern.

I certainly feel that kids should be responsible for their own toys and books, with no reward attached to caring for their own things. A tidy room and functional plaything is the payout!”

CiaoMom of Virginia, USA writes:
“My daughter is 6 1/2 and makes her bed, sets the table, cleans up her toys, and helps put away her laundry and dishes. Doing these things helps her earn TV or computer time each day, although I am lucky because she would do these chores without the incentive.

One good thing about her having been in Montessori is that they learn the concept of responsibility and helping take care of the community. So I did not have to do a lot of reinforcing about why it was important for her to help take care of things around the house.”

ThirdEyeMom of Minnesota, USA writes:
“I grew up with the much detested “Saturday Chores” which were written down on a piece of yellow legal paper and slipped through my bedroom door at 6 AM. I had to do these every single Saturday until I left the house and was paid about $8.00 for my two hours of work. I strongly believe that chores and responsibilities are extremely important for children and I will have my kids do chores as soon as they are ready (for me to determine). For now, they do other small things around the house like help with the recycling, clear the table and sometimes clean the floor. They earn $1 a week of allowance which has been the best thing we could have ever done since it teaches them to learn and understand money and not just keep asking for me to buy them things.”

Courtney Cappallo of Massachusetts, USA writes:
“My 6-year-old has been making her bed every morning since she was four years old. She is not permitted to come downstairs until her bed is made. I also encourage my girls to pick up their toys. They both clear their plates and put them in the sink. The other “chore” the girls do is help me water the plants every day, which they love doing! My two year old loves to help me vacuum, she doesn’t make much progress but she loves trying. I do not give my children an allowance and do not plan on doing it. I believe they are capable of doing the chores that are required of them, also, I believe that they should do them because it is the right thing to do, not because they want money for doing it. Works for us!”

Salma of Ontario, Canada writes:
“My kids do help with chores, but we don’t call them chores. I tell them it’s all about helping the family, and they must give and take.

They are rewarded with pretty much whatever they want (within reason). That was my hubby’s idea. There are pros and cons of course.”

Eva Fannon of Washington State, USA writes:
“I haven’t made my 5 year old take on chores, but she is always asking me how she can help me prepare dinner or clean, so I try find ways she can be involved safely.  For example, I’ll let her empty the bottom rack of the dishwasher, or help me sort laundry and throw it into the machine.  Or if I am cooking or baking, I’ll let her measure dry ingredients.  She also LOVES vacuuming, so I will usually let her vacuum the living room rug.

I never got an allowance for chores growing up, so I am not likely to go that route, but will gladly reward with treats such as a little toy or an ice-cream cone for extra helpfulness.”

What about you… do your children help with household chores?  Tell us how this works in your family!  

And do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers?  If so, email us at wmbsidebareditor@gmail.com to see what they have to say.

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Come back tomorrow to read Jennifer Burden’s Saturday Layover.

– World Moms Blog

Photo credit to Jessica Lucia http://www.flickr.com/photos/theloushe/4908427309/.  This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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