My poor kids…they *think* they are so mistreated. I left a note for the oldest to empty the dishwasher when he got home from school today. Luckily for him, he did it…this time. Somehow the occasional notes that I leave tend to get get overlooked. And then I hear, “Ooops, we didn’t see that (bright white) piece of paper (with your handwriting on it) laying on the kitchen counter!” And sometimes I hear, “Why do I have to do it? Other kids don’t have to do this stuff!” Then they have to do the job anyway, but with me being irritated at them for not having done it already. Life is so unfair according to them.
As far as chores go, I also ask them to take out the trash, straighten their rooms, take their dishes to the sink, take the dog out, put their clean clothes away, bring their dirty laundry to the laundry room, give the dog food and water, and even sometimes to [insert gasp here] turn off the lights when they leave a room. That last one seems especially hard for them to remember to do, even though it should be the easiest (it’s not even a chore!).
Are these requests unreasonable? Do they require payment? I personally don’t think so. They are just part of living in a house and being a family. And because I know this question will come up, the answer is ‘no,’ they do not get a regular allowance. On the rare occasion that the kids go above and beyond the call of duty they get money, but for doing the every day basic stuff they do not. However, don’t worry for one second that they are somehow deprived…I promise they are not!
I want my kids to know how to be self sufficient. They need to know how to do basic stuff around the house, and they also need to know that there isn’t a laundry fairy who waves her magic wand, the trash doesn’t sprout legs and take itself to the big green container outside, and the dishes don’t jump in the shower and then back into the cabinet when they are all clean and dry.
So I’m very interested to know if my other parent friends out there have your kids help out around the house and what kinds of things you have them do. Do you give them an allowance for typical chores (I guess that depends on how you define “typical”)? Do your little angels do their chores without having to be asked and then reminded? I’d love to get some feedback.