How do you encourage family members to help clean?

Tami - posted on 11/18/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Lately I have felt like I am the only one of seven people that tries to clean/ keep clean in the house. I understand my husband does work 10 hours a day but he could help just a little even if it is to get my step -daughters to help . At the ages of 14 and 10 it should already happen since they've been with us for 6 yrs. we also have a 5 and 3 year old. I try but it's hard when I am also nursing a 4 month old. I do the cooking as well. It may get clean but then respect and pride to keep things this way does not happen. we don't have extra money to make allowences either. Maybe there's something that I havent tried yet. Thanks

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Ruth - posted on 12/29/2010

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All of my children have to do chores every day . We have assigned chores based on age. there privlidges depend on whether they do there chores or not . For example 12 year old has to take out the trash to the bin every day, he has to unload the dishwasher and make his bed . I wasraised like this and it is like earning your keep. Keeping a household is not a single persons responsibility . Families for years have always pitch in to keep a household running. The younger ones can help too they just have to be buddied by there older siblings. I hope this is helpful

Buffy - posted on 01/01/2011

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the ages of my children range from soon to be 12 - 5yrs and one on the way. i have daily responsibility charts hanging on the wall for mon - fri for each child. the chart includes things like brushing their teeth and hair and cleaning the bathroom after they use it; putting laundry away; cleaning bedroom; feeding pets; homework, ect. the kids get to earn fake money for the weekly family fun auction which includes things like fun pencils, costume jewlry, small toys, candy, picking out the movie for family movie night, mom brings a special lunch to school and eats w/them, one on one date night with parent of their choosing (all auction items have their own starting price. so obviously the large items the children learn to save up for and learn the value of saving). they don't have to do everything on the list 100% in order to earn the fake buck (we call them CTR (Choose The Right) bucks); cause that's not realistic, but the majority of the list has to be done and checked off. i also have another chart that shows them which chores they can help me with to earn self esteem (responsibility chart), chores that earn extra game/computer time (light duty house cleaning), and chores that earn REAL $$$$ (not that much, but enough to be worth it) (things like cleaning the car or raking the leaves ect. This allows them to choose. If they choose to help, then they are rewarded. If they choose not to help then they miss out. We also have a behavior conduct barometer. (i stole this idea from my son's teacher). I have a yard stick and it is color coded based on good to naught behavior. everyone starts on the same every morning- the good color. if they choose to misbehave then they move their clothes pin to the next color (at this stage they get a warning that the next move is to loose a CTR buck), if they break a house safety rule then they move their pin again and loose a CTR buck, the next move is to loose tv or game time. ect.... note: all the kids have a positive starting point each morning. you always need to start positive and give them the opportunity to increase or decrease by their own accord. that process is vital to a growing child to learn to make positive choices. they need plenty of encouragement also. there is no need to nag. just simply remind them that it is their choice to succeed or fail. and as a parent it is our job to LET them succeed or fail in order to let them learn. they will make mistakes but it is best to learn young. encourage, encourage,and encourage!!!! stay positive because, negative remarks feeds negative behavior. and with all things it takes practice and more practice. just remember the process of how you learned to ride a bike. you started with help and encouragement, sure you fell sometimes, but you were encouraged to try again and again and again.... and guess what? you DID IT!!!

Danielle - posted on 11/19/2010

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Throw a fit......that's what I did. I threw a huge fit and when I was done my hubbie looked at me and said "How can I help?". So we sat down together and made a chore chart for the kids along with a list of punishments if they don't do them. Now it is Hubbies job to check their chores at night and make sure they are done so that I am not stressing about them. Our kids are 15, 11, 9, 6, and 3. They all have chores that are age appropriate. The big ones for the 6yo are cleaning his room, brushing the dogs, putting away his clothes, and wiping off the dining room table after dinner. The 3yo has picking up her toys when she is done playing with them, putting her shoes in the shoe basket, and she likes to help fill the dogs food bowls. If they don't get their chores done they lose TV or video games. Good luck and I hope this helps.

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Jana - posted on 11/19/2012

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Tell kids your throwingtoys away and do it if they don't pick up! Put your husbands cloths in garbage bags out in the garage and tell him here honey i sorted our laundry...Mine is Done!! Drastic WORKS!!

User - posted on 11/13/2012

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i also get overwhelmed , sticker chart...sounds crazy but it works even for the older kids..umm....give them a no chore ticket ..when u see them do good ,,give out a ticket..then they will not have to do the chore,, and then make the ones who don't help ..even if you have to stand over them holding the baby

Ruth - posted on 11/08/2012

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Hi , sounds like your busy . I don't define my kids from my step kids Number 1 everyone is responsible for the home you share.

Your 14 year old needs to be pulling her load , having a family meeting and holding her responsible for what you feel like she can handle .

Always having everything in writing including your expectations and the discipline that will come if the chores are not done .

Example she and one of the next oldest are responsible for dishes on three night a week. So after dinner on Wednesday you giver her a nice reminder . Then on Thursday morning when the dishes aren't done you impose the consequence that was already set but still hold her responsible for that chore . It will become normal to all the kids .

As far as your husband counseling helps sometimes , talking to him about your needs and getting a mediated feedback can really give him a aha moment if how much help you really need



Hope this helps , quote back on questions,

Ruth

Anju - posted on 11/08/2012

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I was searching for some help about getting family members to help out. I was searching and I found this site. I did read all post but they were nothing like my problem. So I would like to share with you all. I am 25 yr old and I live in the house where all family members are older then 18. I am the oldest one in the family and I have sister who is 19 & brother who is 18 . I am been out of job since march. I am working around the house and keep it clean. I do everything cooking, cleaning and do stuff around the house. I have no problem in working in the house but I don't get help from my brother & sister at all. My brother doesn't live with me but whenever he is here at home he doesn't do anything either. If they do something and something get missed place then they don't even care to put that in that place. If they see that some paper / someone's mail is fell on the floor then they don't even care about pick up and put it on its place. This is nothing, they don't even throw out empty soda bottle or throw a garbage outside. I am been cooking and cleaning but my sister or brother don't come up to me and tell me that you have done all cooking and cleaning then let me do the rest of the dishes.They comes home and just walk in to their room then once they finish lunch / dinner back to their room. If I have not done dishes then I have to take care of it next day. I want everyone to work together and do everything around the house. They do stuff when outsiders/ guest are in the house then why not when just family members are here. I will be appreciate if anyone has solution for it. (I have a biggest problem that I can't see stuff dirty. I don't even like to go in their room because everything is around the room, clothes, papers, books & a lot)

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I have 6 kids (3 boys and 3 girls). We started teaching cleaning up toys at 2 and 3 years old. Followed by putting your clothes in the hamper. Next was making your bed, put your dishes in the sink, Pick up the trash, Laundry, sweeping the kitchen, keep the living room floor cleaned up, vacuum, take out the trash, cat box, rabbits & chickens..., and has expanded during this past year to mowing the lawn (10 & 8 yo boys). Now, added into it all is farm chores bc we just moved onto a farm! So, there are the calves (bottle fed still) and pigs added into it too!
I have become more of the housekeeper once again, and the kids are out helping Daddy more in the morning and evenings! The girls do well at keeping their room clean and folding laundry. The boys are grounded bc their room is a mess constantly, they aren't doing their homework, and they are rebelling in a way against the new chores of animal care!
When they were little and we were first starting, they had chore charts, stickers, rewards, then the white board. Now, they know their expectations and for the most part are good helpers! (btw they are 10, 8, 2 - 6 1/2 yo, 4 1/2, 2 1/2). The youngest gets away with a lot bc we are so busy all the time, but, she knows what is expected at the same time from watching the others!
I have "gone on strike" and "quit" too to get things done. There are times when I will warn my husband about the house and tell him I am going shopping and expect it clean when I get back. Know what? He will sit in front of the tv while the children clean the house! I am jealous, BUT, all he has to do is SPEAK and they DO!
The kids have had to make their own dinner, quite a few times before! I suppose I go to the extreme when it is necessary, but, it works! And with 6 kids, ya gotta do it to stay sane at times! :)

Chrissy - posted on 01/10/2011

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I went on strike when I didn't get help. I would ask my oldest to empty the dishwasher and she would whine...I tell her fine, then I don't feel like making your dinner...and walk away. They would get done because she knows that I mean business ( it has happened before where I didn't make no one dinner! They made PB&J sandwiches) Same goes for my 2 younger girls. If I ask them to do something, and they whine, I tell them I don't feel like doing something they want and I don't do it.......

Lia - posted on 01/04/2011

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Right now for me its a bit hard because me and my family have moved in with my brother & his family while we try & save up for a house. Its not easy but it is possible. When we were in our own home, my husband & I definitely made sure our kids had chores. Its important for them to learn these things @ a young age. My childrens ages range btwn 14mths - 19yrs. So obviously baby isn't involved in chores lol but the rest of them from my 7yr old to the 19yr old all get involved in cleaning house. We normally pair them up. The younger boys do alot off the light house cleaning, for eg. picking up clothes/toys & rubbish; also clearing the table after we have dinner or breakfast whatever the occassion. And my 10yr son, 14yrs & 19yrs do the other stuff like dishes - washing/drying & packing. Also sorting out clothes & vacuuming when I can't get around to it. I even get all of them to help me out with there baby brother. Like helping me change him to bathing him...truly greatful when they do make an effort! I ask them nicely first and I am always very thankful & I tell them all the time. I'll be honest, sometimes I may yell @them when they don't listen the 2nd time or I may get there dad onto them but majority of the time...they end up doing it. And the rewards are great too for them & you! So make sure you let them know they will be rewarded. You can tell them or you can surprise them. We normally like to surprise our kids! Pairing up & assigning them regular chores helps! Makes life easier for you and for them cos like they say..."happy wife...happy life" in this case..."happy mum...more fun" Good luck!

Buffy - posted on 01/01/2011

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we haven't had any problems so far with the kids following through with the program while with the sitter. the kids are actually better behaved for the sitter.... and honestly we don't go out all that much, maybe a couple times a month if that. my kids aren't perfect and neither am i or my husband (sometimes we fail with the "no nagging"), but we are all trying because we have seen how bad chaos can be and we want a healthy family relationship. note: ive been to a lot of parenting classes provided by the schools, library, and our local MHMR office. i am always looking for ideas, because i have a medically challenged child and mentally (ADHD/ODD) challenged child that need tons of structure. we all have our good days and our bad days, even kids.

Ruth - posted on 01/01/2011

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Do u encourage this when you have sitters and such ?? Seems like it would be dificult if it was the older kids in charge or a sitter.

[deleted account]

I shut up.
LOL No really I hate when my in-laws try to clean my house. It makes me feel like they don't think I did a good enough job and I despise it when people not of my household touch my laundry. UGH!

Vicki - posted on 11/30/2010

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Lately hubby has been throwing loads of laundry on in the evening and the morning and it helps so much! Less load on me. My children can help with that too and I get them to help me fold and put their clothes away. It sure is hard work to start with but it pays off once they can do it properly. Helps them find their clothes too. :)

Dawn - posted on 11/30/2010

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I have 6 kids ranging in ages - twin 2 year olds to 13yrs. I too have issues with my house staying clean so I'd like to hear ANY suggestions. It seems like every day I wake up and tackle the house cleaning and by the time I'm close to being done everyone comes home and well...undoes everything I just did!! So please any new ideas are welcome this way too :).

Vicki - posted on 11/19/2010

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Oh, and when it comes to hubby and his fair share... I like this saying... "It's gotta work for everyone!" DO declare your desire for help. DO ask for a commitment of help. DO remember to use your manners and both ask nicely and show your appreciation for his efforts and thoughtfulness. :)

Vicki - posted on 11/19/2010

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And offer incentives... like something fun right after the chores are done. Start out by making the chores bite-sized & not too overwhelming for your children. Gradually build up the responsibilities. Give feedback on how well they are completing tasks. This helps so they learn to do the jobs properly and it can be encouraging to them when they do well. Thank them for their efforts often.

Vicki - posted on 11/19/2010

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Start them young! And if they're not in the routine of helping consistently and don't seem willing, try working on chores together. Do persist. It is so worth it when everyone pitches in! Be brave and turn the tide... it can feel impossible to start with but it is very do-able. :)

Jennifer - posted on 11/19/2010

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I have this same prob in my house.. my 7 & 9 year old boys clean their room once a week, pick up their dirty clothes & take them to the laundry room, take our scraps & other little chores. My 18 year old step son doesnt do anything unles youconstatnly stay on him about it. he expects you to pay him for doing dishes or putting his clothes in the washing machine. he wont even put anybody elses clothes in the washing machine & dont let there be anything in the drier cause his will not make it there until i take the clothes out of the drier.. and then it takes a week for him to fold his clothes.. I have tried not cleaning for a few days & surely they would get the hint but nope it just gets nastier.. i work 40 plus hours a week, my husband does as well but in the end i still have to do EVERYTHING!!! I cant give any advice but sure would love some!!

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