should my teen do chores and work?

Yvonda - posted on 06/29/2010 ( 213 moms have responded )

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my son will be 17 in August, he works with my husband in the summer, and it's construction work so I know it's hard on him, but he and my 11 year old daughter have days that they have to wash dishes and dust the living room, this is their only chores besides keeping their bedrooms clean, my problem is my son thinks it's unfair for him to have to work and then come home to do more work, if I let him skip a turn, my daughter says it's unfair. what do you other moms think of this?

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Diana - posted on 07/11/2010

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We don't call them chores any more. My teens are 16 and 17. There are certain things that need to be done around the house on a daily basis and WE ALL do them. My house has never been cleaner! If it needs to be put away, then put it away. If it needs to be picked up, then pick it up. If you used it, clean it. It is more a matter of courtesy to clean up after you make a mess. We consider the household jobs to be family time. I appreciate the help around the house. And they know it.

Tracy - posted on 07/11/2010

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I think all children should have to do chores, i am a SAHM who is disabled and my kids started doing age appropriate chores as young as 5, picking up their toys etc. But my kids are now 20,18 and 12 and all 3 know how to do their own laundry, cook, clean, do finances, etc. My oldest two have f/t jobs, yet they still have chores everyday. My youngest goes to school and still has chores. They are 5 of us here who make the mess and 5 of us here who help clean up the mess. My husband has a full time roofing job so I know what construction jobs are like, I know my kids can live on their own and take care of themselves with or without a partner just fine. They do not get allowance as they live here, my DH and I don't get paid to do housework, neither do they. It's all about being a family and family works together to get the house clean. We have many animals and they help with those as well, my kids have many friends who have had everything given to them and once in a while they complain, but my DD's friends know her chores have to be done, before she can go out they even come over and help her sometimes lol and it's things they don't have to do at home, they are excited to sleep over and make a big breakfast the next morning because they either don' t or they are not allowed to cook, they are 20 for God's sake, when will they get to learn? To me it is crazy to think at 18 or 20 a kid does not know how to cook/clean/take care of finances. My 18 yo has his car payment, insurance, gas and cell phone he needs to pay. My 20 yo has insurance, gas, cell phone and cc bill to pay for.They understand that mom and dad just can't afford to buy them those things if they want it they must work outside the home to get them. My 12 yo does her chores and and is able to get her horseback riding lessons, a pool pass and her brother and sister even pay her to do their chores sometimes, so she makes extra money that way. My 2 oldest could move out at anytime and completely take care of themselves and their house with no one else's help. They both graduated with high honors, my 12 yo is in advanced classes, and does chores everyday, the chores won't hurt them, they just have to be told that they live here, they need to contribute with the household stuff. My 12 yo can cook some dishes better than me, she loves to cook, so we try to make the chores ones they don't mind as much.
Good luck, I think your son will need it when he moves out and has no idea how to take care of himself, I hope he doesn't move far because he will be expecting you to still take care of him.

Marla - posted on 07/11/2010

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I also would like to state that our son is 19 and he works 40 to 60 hours a week in the summer and is a full time college student during the conventional school year and is currently taking summer classes so he will graduate a 1/2 semester early. Our daughter is 12 years old and does what she is asked to do. They do not have a set chore schedule, they do what we ask them to do. Our daughter does do more than our son at this point but when they were younger, he did more than she did....I think if you set expectations for your children then they learn to follow those expectations. We are not unrealistic in our expectations. We expect good grades, we expect them to do what they are asked to do and we expect them to respect us and those around them. Just as we are expected to act and react in all aspects of our lives we expect that from them!

Danielle - posted on 07/11/2010

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I will agree your son should have chores.. I have a 16 year old daughter (almost 17) she has had chores since she was 6 and each year she has more or at least different chores to do. My husband and I both work out of the house, so as a family with our other daughter who is 9 (almost 10) we all have household chores to do. When I did not work outside the home, I did all the household work as that was my job then.. I do not want my daughters to feel that they are the only maids that live in this house or their house later in life.. I think chores are a part of life so just get the chores done and the fun will start soon after.

Kimberly - posted on 07/11/2010

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That's life...it may not seem fair, it definitely seems exhausting at times, just do it, get it done...here's where the choice is and it is NOT whether to do or not do, Being cooperative helps my family be more relaxed. Sharing in the maintenance of the house makes the work lighter for everyone, I have three boys and I would encourage them to care for each other, for me and dad, it's all about perception. What is the payoff for grouching about doing chores? Especially if it's somthing that has been done the whole of your life. I love my mom, I'm going to help her by just getting it done, period

Barb - posted on 07/11/2010

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well i have 2 rteenagers i workall day still gotta do the washing andthe dishes sometimes they clean there rooms otherwise i just shut the doors prob wouldnt kill yr son 2 help with the dishes as he still lives at home but good luck though.

Ann - posted on 07/11/2010

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I think your daughter should be told that her brother who is in fact 6 years older than her and is working all day with his father is doing enough work. Ok - his room should be his responsibility. But if he is working in construction all day when your daughter is off then that should be enough. After all when he was 11 he was doing the household chores too. She should understand this. That is what I would do anyhow. It is great that your son and his father have such a good relationship that they can work together. Good luck

Vonkisha - posted on 07/10/2010

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THAT'S THE REAL WORLD WORK,CLEAN.. ETC... YOUR DOING A AWESOME JOB STILL MAKE YOUR SON CLEAN..

Sherree - posted on 07/10/2010

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Dear Yvonda,

A resounding "YES!" your son should still do "chores".

How wonderful that your son works with your husband, and thereby learning about responsibilities of the outside world. However, that does not replace the responsibilities of the home.

I humbly say that your daughter is justified in thinking that it is unfair for her brother to be excused from home responsibilities. Consider the message that being excused from home responsibilities coulod send: that working outside of the home is more challenging, more time consuming, more tiring, and more important than what needs to be done at home.

Also consider how the decision could effect your son's choices when he is in an adult relationship, building his own home.

Once your daughter takes on a job, will she still have home responsibilities? My son and my daughters are all responsible for taking turns washing dishes, taking out the garbage and recycling and compost, taking care of their clothes.

Because of childhood experiences that I have had, I try to keep home responsibilities as gender nuetral as possible :-)

When I was a kid, the girls (my two sisters and I) had to take turns being in charge of kitchen set up and clean up. My brother did not have to, because "he mowed the lawn." So my older sister also started mowing the lawn, which resulted in kitchen rotation of only me and my younger sister.

I wish you luck in your decisions!
Sherree

Linda - posted on 07/10/2010

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looks like u got alot of replys to this one i have been haveing the same talk with my 15 yro daughter who works 3 nights a week goes to school and is only asked to alternate washing up with her brother keep her room clean and pick up after herself she too doesnt what to wash-up, however i believe i am not asking too much and i now see that other kids do far more chores than her so i will be sticking to my guns over this. now i dont charge her board and she doesnt save should i be taking 20% of her pay to bank ????

Dede - posted on 07/10/2010

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I have six, three boys and three girls. They all were taught to help in the house. Women are not slaves of men. We all live there and everyone can help. It is only fair. When I was younger we were told we did not live in a hotel. Annd in the service everyone cleans up after themselves. My son is married , they both work and have a baby. He helps his wife in the house.

Jennifer - posted on 07/10/2010

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My 19yr old daughter works, goes to college and does chores, my 16 yr old does his chores when he comes home from Upward Bound every week. Its not unfair, its life. Whats he going to do when there is no mom to do it for him. Not keep a clean house or feed himself. I told my children they are old enough and while at home they must learn to juggle life as a adult, if she thinks this is hard trying doing it on her own. I worked full time, college full time and did all the household chores, but at 5 yrs old I started to include them in things and when they aged gave chores starting little, now I am not their maid and have better things to do. Yes of course I still catch their back, we are the moms thats what we do, but I feel they must learn to pull their weight in the family, everyone has a role. but I know when they leave my home they can care for themselves and have been taught how to clean, cook, wash, work etc. Whether they live like it is their choice. Well thats all, I don't mean to sound harash but I have had this arguement the end of school with my son. Its just how I feel.

Tammy - posted on 07/10/2010

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Many of us work all day and have to come home and do chores. How do they learn what needs to be done. We go to work (or school) all day and there are things to be done regardless, clothes, make dinner, and keep the house tidy. My child tried this one time after a long day after school. (She was 15 at the time) I told her ok. I will give you MY list of things I have to get done from the time I walk in the door, until I go to bed. She only got into the about 5 things on the list. And she said mom you win, I cannot do all this and my homework and go to bed on time. I work a full time job myself. Everyone pitching in helps for a home to run smoothly. She learned that lesson that day. Yet, being a teenager, they do slack from time to time to do there "own things".

Things do come up (competitions, school plays, colds) so the kids swap nights. Which means sometimes they end up with it two days in a row to even things back out.

Alison - posted on 07/10/2010

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Angie has the right of it. Responsible household members have to do chores after work. In order to raise a self-sufficient person, you need to expect him to do chores. At 17 he's getting off light. My 14 year old son does his own laundry, cooks dinner once a week, mows the lawn and is responsible for kitchen cleanup on nights he does not cook. Tell him to man up and do the chores.

Michele - posted on 07/10/2010

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I agree with Leslie! If he thinks all he has to do is work then he won't do the chores and think that his wife will do all the work. It is an equal society now, especially since the wife sometimes works as well. Everyone is part of the family and can help out a little bit.

Lee - posted on 07/10/2010

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Yes he should contribute. My husband and I both work and we both do housework. I'm about to have another baby and will have some time off work and we will all continue to contribute to the chores I'll be working looking after 2 babies work outside the home would be much easier. If my husband didn't believe that we were both equally responsible for running the household and didn't contribue he wouldn't be my husband.

Tina - posted on 07/10/2010

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Does your son contrubute part of his pay to help with household expenses? If not he should still wash dishes, dust and whatever other chores you ask of him. This is part of his being in a family and doing his share to make it run smooth. It also is teaching responsibility for someone besides himself. My son is the same age and he not only does dishes, but he pays one of our household bills. He volunteered to pay the bill. It is teaching responsibility.

[deleted account]

I would have to say YES! My son is 20, has a job and will be going back to school this fall and he still has chores to do. They way I see it is...You work and have to come home and feed them, he is old enough to understand that he should help around the house. Oh by the way, my son even pays rent and I make him do chores.

Connie - posted on 07/10/2010

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Our definition of family responsibilities is that everyone pitches in wherever. I personally will take care of my daughter's or my son's responsibilites if they are unable to do so. If they were working day jobs and home for dinner then I would expect them to do their responsiblities. I have worked two jobs for most of their lives - they eat a lot of food - and my husband works shift work. Depends on the dynamic of the family...I don't believe that children should not have any family responsibilities because when they are out on their own they will be required to take care of themselves - whether they have a partner or not.

Janet - posted on 07/10/2010

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When we go to work as adults, we still have to come home and contribute to the household. Especially at 17 - almost adult - it is something important for him to understand. Otherwise he might think that when he gets home from work, his wife should handle all of the household duties!

Susan - posted on 07/10/2010

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Teens should absolutely have chores to do. first of all, it gives them a sense of responsilbility and they should be doing chores before becoming a teen. They chould be in charge of keeping their rooms clean, dusting, helping in the kitchen, whether it is with cooking, set up or clean up. If they do not have these responsibilities at a early age, they depend on their parents to do everything and it makes it more difficult to get them motivated.

Heather - posted on 07/10/2010

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You have to work all day and come home and do chores too. Cooking, helping with school work etc... The real world you are working all the time. If they work outside the house and come home and do chores still they will be better prepared to handle both when they have their own place. They will have to do more cleaning and cooking then.

Maggie - posted on 07/10/2010

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I had this issue come up at my house. I had my son still do his regular chore. I explained that when you leave home to start your own life you'll have to work and still come home and clean. When my son started to say how unfair this, I gave him the option of paying his sister to do his chores just like you would a maid service. He decided doing the chores wasn't such a hassle.

Heather - posted on 07/10/2010

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I ask no more of my son than I do of myself! Unfair....well learn now tht life requires work and no ts not aways fair. I think his "job" earns money for his car, gas, insurance and upkeep as well as the other fun stuff he like to do. Chores...its part of being a family. Having help leave more time to spend time together and therefore strengthens the family ties. As far as your daughter, I tell my other son his older brother has been doing chores yrs longer and its really not his place to tell me whats fair and not. Good luck!

Krista - posted on 07/10/2010

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Do you work? Isn't it unfair that you have to work, come home and cook dinner then do some laundry? That is life. And that is what you are teaching your kids. Yes, it is hard. But life is hard sometimes. I don't think you are asking too much at all. Tell him to be thankful he has a sister that shares these chores. : ) Good luck.

Angel - posted on 07/10/2010

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Oh and my husband has NEVER asked me to clean a bathroom, he said "girls dont miss when they use the toilet therefore, we men need to clean the toilets." The 20 yr old and I know how to clean one properly but he has the boys do it, and they have to wipe the sink out after they shave,. And I have been a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) since 1998 when the youngest was born. And the 2 oldest are my step children and have lived with us since then. And they say to all their friends they respect me more than most because I am fair when it comes to their chores.

Jana - posted on 07/10/2010

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I try to remember I'm raising a son who will one day be a husband. His wife/family will benefit from him knowing how to clean, wash clothes ect. My son is 15, I back off a little on chores when he is in sports during the school year. Otherwise he does a few simple chores. His grades are great, his attitude is fantastic as much as I appreciate that helping out a is part of being in a family. Doing chores isn't going to kill anyone, it is more about contributing to the family. Change the word from chore to contribution.....good luck.

Angel - posted on 07/10/2010

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Our kids are 20, 17 and 11 and our rule, which has worked with 2 teenagers so far, is that on days they are off work outside the home, they have to do dishes. If they want to go out and do something after work, if they didnt do their chore on the weekend then they dont go. If they were at college or on their own they would have to use their day off to catch up on the household stuff they are too tired to do after work. Just as I'm sure your husband does. Explain to your daughter that when she has a job outside the home then she will be skipping days but when he was her age he did the work. Oh and when my kids whine about "thats not fair" which I cringe over all the time because kids arent fair with anyone even their friends, I tell them that whoever told them life was fair lied. My 17 yr old son, currently just graduated, works 2 jobs, is planning to go to college in the fall and still does chores on his day off, spends 4 hours on facebook every night, does his own laundry, keeps his room clean and even does chores on days he does work to help out plus finds time to go out with his friends 3-4 times a week. Our only exception is during exams and tests at school, that week we allow them to spend time studying but they still ended up helping out at home for a break.

Tracy - posted on 07/10/2010

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I believe all children should carry their load at home, even if they work outside the home. We as adults do this and we are suppose to be preparing our children for the big cold world.

Linda - posted on 07/10/2010

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being in a family or community requires contribution if it is to be successful. as adults most of us work outside the home and then ~ hey there is still laundry to do, toilets to clean, a yard to mow, etc etc. my kids have two days a week that "regular chores" are not required. they get to pick those two days. age doesn't exclude responsibility. ask your son what area he would like to contribute to the family and see if there is a home job he is willing to take on. does he contribute financially to your home? you can always move to the extreme of no home chores then he can prepare his own meals, clean his own dishes, and live as an individual in your home...but is that what you are after? do you and your husband work outside the home? ask the question what is it he wants and what is it your family needs. and how can you all get behind each one's goals?

[deleted account]

i think all kids need chores
their rooms/ their hang out rooms/ helping with laundry etc
we need to prepare them for adult life but we also have to remember that they are kids also and do need friendly reminders lol
my son is also 17 during the school year he does not work for several reasons: 1) i believe all his attention should go to his school work so i feel that is his work and esp since he does have adhd i could not imagine him trying to juggle
2.) he is very active in boy scouts and it is very difficult for a teen to find a job and also tell them that on alot of weekends he has his boy scout activities and he is unable to work
we only have one child so we can afford a nice allowance for him
but i do think that if u have him do his chores during the school year ( so in a way he does go to work as school is his work) you should remain consistent during the year
do you include the amount of chores with his allowance ie the more chores he does the more allowance his extra chores not his usual mandatory things such as his room and hang out video rooms

Sue - posted on 07/09/2010

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I would go halfway towards him,by cutting his chores down to either dishes, or dusting,and tell your daughter that the same will happen for her when she begins work.Let it be his choice which he does so that he feels he has some control.Another option is that he uses some of his hard earned cash to up your daughters pocket money, and he pays her to take over his chores.

Michelle - posted on 07/09/2010

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Both of my children do not work yet as they are too young- however they work with a youth group 4 days a week- they are expected to do their chores everyday also- they do probably 90% of the chores around the house- they have to learn responsibility for life when they are adults.

Lisa - posted on 07/09/2010

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Your husband needs to step in an mention what chores he does to help the family on weekends. Your son is also making money for his job and needs to be reminded that house hold chores are a way to belong to the family (that is if your daughter doesn't get paid). If she is getting an allowance for keeping her room clean, then he needs that incentive to, or he can pay his sister to clean it for him LOL.

Kecia - posted on 07/09/2010

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Of course he should. Participation in the family is a must. Perhaps if you feel as though he is putting in work via his outside job, cut one of his chores out to lessen his load.

I - posted on 07/09/2010

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i have 3 chn 19-24, right from as young as 10 [ with parental support] they were doing pamphlets and paper runs, and being paid a portion of the wages only, as i was the one doing most of the folding! feeding them, clothing them, running them round, yes they grumbled and moaned, and yes they rebelleded for now, but the end result is that one of them is at 19 in the army, and unless a dependent child is in the picture is not on a benefit and does not want to be. they have learnt the appreciation of paying their own bills, saving, moving out of home and no they do not rely on me for handouts of money.

so yes i think they should work to support the house, but to the degree that you feel they are able to! all my children are well adjusted, can defend for themselves [and 2 of them live away from home and out of their home town] independently, the youngest, must be old and mature enough if they take him on as a solider!

dont feel guilty about the jobs, no job done, = consequences - job done well, = rewards, Parents run the house, parents pay their bills for now, and parents are still their guardians.

stay strong,

Suzie - posted on 07/09/2010

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At seventeen my son worked and still did chores. It is called responsiblity. He has to learn what life is about. Not everything is the way they want it or we want it. What is he going to do when he is on hs own? He will have to work and take care of his place. Even if he complains have him some chores. Maybe not as much as your daughter. Just explain to your daughter he is older and he has other resoponsibilities. My older son is soon to be 19 and the youngest is going to be 11. Been there done that. Good luck. It will work itself out. Just stay on top of it.

Wendy - posted on 07/09/2010

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I work full time, as does my husband. We still do "chores" when we come home. Once your son is out on his own, he will have to keep his own apartment/home clean as well as working full time. If he thinks it's unfair to have to do chores after working, then he should pay his sister to do them for him. He still needs to understand responcibility. I know that teenagers are difficult to keep on track with chores, but they must understand the responcibilty of tending to the home. Of course, that is just my opinion.

Christie - posted on 07/09/2010

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Are you going to follow him around for the rest of his life doing what he should be responsible for? I think you are getting him ready for life where he will have to work full time as well as look after himself. If he is going to college, he will have to work that in too. You are doing the right thing by requiring him to help around the house. If he doesn't want to do it, let him pay his sister to do it for him.

[deleted account]

I believe that when two parents both work outside the home, then they should share the household chores (inside and outside chores). There was nothing more upsetting to work 40-50 hrs/week and then come home to all the household chores. That was a big reason why my marriage fell apart. I didn't have any time to myself since I was doing all the cooking, cleaning and yard work from quitting time until bed time while he sat around the house! Now that I'm a single mom and as my son is nearing adulthood, he's been taking on nearly as many chores that I do at home now. If he takes on a job, he benefits from the rewards (a paycheck) but still has his home chores, just as he would if he were living on his own. The saying around our home is that both of us make the mess, both of us can clean it up!

Julia - posted on 07/09/2010

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I am with those who say that chores and work are compatible. Your son does about the same level of chores as my 18yo son and my son works a part-time job as well. We insist that the chores get done but we are not picky about when, as long as they are done at least once a week we are OK. We also insisted that if he wants money, he has to have a job. Learning how to balance it all is part of growing up.

Kerri - posted on 07/09/2010

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If he has a really long, hard hot day, I would not make him do chores after work. If he happens to have a short or easy day sure. Does he do chores on the weekend? Maybe he could do a little extra then and make your daughter feel better, but she also need to learn that sometimes life isnt fair and that she is younger then her brother and he does work hard during the day while she gets to play or do whatever and someday she will be working also.

Sherry - posted on 07/09/2010

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I hope I did not sound harsh. I think that you are doing the right thing by have expectations of your children. You are a hard working parent and kids need to contribute to the family unit.

Sherry - posted on 07/09/2010

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Yes! Yes! Yes! Teens should do chores. How are you to teach them to be responsible and that life is not free unless you set expectations and have them start by doing chores. My husband has gone way easy on both his boys. As a result, both boys have a sense of entitlement. The oldest is now learning how hard it is to make a living and is learning just what makes up a family unit. It takes a team to keep up the house, the yard etc.... Tell your son to get over it that life is not about him.

Elia - posted on 07/09/2010

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sorry but if that is all he has to do i dont see why he thinks its too much. it will take him but 20-30 minutes to get it done. how many parents have to work and then still come home and clean, cook, study or tend to the needs of the rest of the family.

Cassandra - posted on 07/09/2010

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I think it's great that your son is learning about where money comes from and is creating a realistic relationship with money. The truth is we want our children to succeed in the world. Having him do chores at home prepares him for what life will be like when he is on his own. It has been my experience that preparing the oldest child often makes it easier to prepare the next child. They love their older siblings and want be like them. Do include yourself and your husband in the issue of fairness. Give yourself a big pat on the back for giving your children a hand up in life.

Cassandra

Debbi - posted on 07/09/2010

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The job wioth his dad is benefiting his own needs. What about the family's needs? If he is going to be part of the family, he has to act like part of the family! Does Dad sit around and do nothing? I'll bet not. Besides, who is going to keep his home clean when he moves out? You?

Julie - posted on 07/09/2010

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Does your husband do anything around the house when he's done working? Do you have a job outside of the home, & do you do chores when you get home?
The growing years are when kids learn their "life skills". All kids need to learn that the food doesn't magically appear on the table, mom has to make it, even when she works a full time job. The toilet doesn't clean itself, & the laundry doesn't jump into the washer, dryer, & then fold itself.
I think your kids have it pretty good, if those are their only chores! At 18, he could be maintaining his own house or apt. Is he ready???

Angela - posted on 07/09/2010

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both of my daughters began doing chores at a fairly young age. they each received an allowance, but, just like any other job, if they did not do something they received a cut in their allowance. my oldest is now 21. she has held a job since she was 16 and is proud of that fact. she is more independent than she would have been had she been handed everything and is better able to manage her money and pay her bills. (we bought them cars, but the deal was they had to get a job and they would be paying their insurance and gas) my youngest is now 16 and she is enjoying the benefits of having quite a bit more money each week and being praised by her employer for her sense of responsibility and willingness to do her job rather than whine like many kids do. i truly believe being in charge of making sure her part of the chores were done made a huge impact on her work ethic. i did allow them both the choice of continueing to do chores once they had a job. but they both worked some weeknights, rather than only weekends. and it wasn't a summer job. i think if your son is working several hours, maybe he should be given a bit of a break during that time. but when he is not working he should have chores just like his sister. no matter what you do, one of the kids is going to whine, unfortunately. you might reming them both how many more chores they could potentially be given each week. that may stop some of the whining. for a bit, at least. lol. good luck.

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