What age should your child start chores and how much allowance is OK?

Michelle - posted on 06/03/2011 ( 160 moms have responded )

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I have an almost seven year old daughter who needs to learn responsibility . What chores do you think are acceptable and what about reward system or allowance?

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Carrie - posted on 06/04/2011

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I have 3 daughters. They are 10,9 and 7. They all 3 have been doing chores since they were 2. Of course they are all age appropriate but now till this day they are very responsible and always help with chores. I have never given them an allowance but they earn money when they do something bigger like pulling weeds without me asking them. I never give them to much but whatever they earn they put half in saving and the rest they can spend. It is a great opportunity for my husband and I to teach them how to save and and how to be responsible. I have also taught all 3 of my girls how to cook when they turned 4. I taught them how to ground beef carefully and ever since that they can all cook just about anything and know how to clean up after themselves. I say teach them young and lead by example and you will have a very responsible child. :)

Melissa - posted on 06/04/2011

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I have a 10 year old and a 8 year old. I have created chore charts (things that need to be done such as brushing their teeth, doing their homework, not arguing, taking dishes to the sink, gathering dirty laundry and putting it in the laundry room etc.) these things I do not pay for, they are expected. We also live with my mom as she has had mobility problems and needs us so one of their things (I have a chart for each of them) they have to help Grandma 1x a day. Then I have a couple of charts that I call above and beyonds, things I do not expect them to do but if they do it I write their initial on that square (like helping grandma after they helped her 1x, helping mom, helping dad, Helping with dishes, helping with laundry, sweeping the porch, picking up sticks in the yard etc) for the above and beyonds I award them .10 per square. We just do not have the money to pay an allowance but I want to reward them at the same time. for the have to do's I reward them with chips that they can turn in for computer time or wii time, that way they do not just get lazy free time without earning it, each chip is worth 15 min and during school time they can only cash in 4 chips a day. It works for us and it can be modified to each family's have to and above and beyonds. I want them to eventually learn that blessing someone by helping them is a reward in itself.

Kerri - posted on 06/04/2011

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My son started helping out at 15 months, by simple as helping me pick up his own toys when done playing. It's all about routines. He is 6 now and I do not have to remind him to clean up after himself and do his best to make his bed in the morning (something we do everyday). We do not have a set "allowance" for him but we remind him that we have to work to get things we want. I found chore charts on line that can be individualized from 2 to as many as you want chores, when he completed them he marked them himself. He enjoyed it because the charts were cartoon characters he liked.

Emma - posted on 06/04/2011

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My son is 4 and he loves helping out around the house, although he does not consider anything to be a chore as I have never used that word. He loves helping me to do the washing up (even if it does take me an extra 20mins to do with him), he makes sure he takes all his dirty cups and plates, etc to the kitchen, he has to keep his room tidy, he helps me vacuum and he loves to help mop the house. His favourite thing to do is help water the plants in the garden! I expect him to tidy up after himself and to help me out if I ask him to but he does not have a daily schedule. He does not get pocket money but if he has been particularly helpful one day/week he will get a treat in the shop. Bad behaviour will take the prospect of a treat away. I think it is important to teach children about looking after themselves and taking responsibility. As he gets older I will allow him to do more jobs and will expect him to do more aswell!

Nathalie - posted on 06/04/2011

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We have 3 children, 9 yrs, 6 yrs and 4 yrs. All have chores to do do ranging on their ages. The 9 year old has to clean mirrors and windows, the 6 year old feeds the dogs every day, the 4 year old helps me empty the dishwasher and water the flowers - if i have a busy day cleaning they all muck in, dusting etc. They have to keep their own rooms tidy and tidy up after themselves (this isn't a chore, just a daily responsibility. I myself started young, emptying the bottom part of the dishwasher and my sister the top, i believe its great to teach them responsibilities, plus it helps me.
They each have $5 a week pocket money - this can be deducted through behaviour though - use of bad words, or fighting or back chatting will have 50 cents knocked from their pocket money. A mark is put by their name when they break the rules and at the end of the week we add it up and they receive the amount that is left. Then it is up to them if they want to spend the money or save it. This system has really helped the kids control their behaviour. If they want to earn more money to save up for something, they ask me for extra jobs....raking the grass after it has been mowed, helping with the washing - there are always jobs to be done! lol

Tammy - posted on 06/03/2011

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I don't believe in regular chores for kids. I didn't grow up with them and neither will my daughter. Though, I do believe that a child should learn to clean up after themselves and keep their room tidy, make their bed in the morning, bring their dishes to the sink, stuff like that, but that's it. It's okay to once in a while ask a child to help out, but they don't need regular chores to learn discipline and responsibility. And regarding allowance; kids don't need to be paid to be kids! As a child, I could never understand why my friends received money on a regular basis. Whenever I needed something justified, my parents bought it for me and then later as a teen, they just gave me the money I needed. Some might say, it's to teach them to handle money and to save and all, but they don't need to be give money in hand to teach that. My parents put money in a savings account for me and I got to see the sums grow in my savings book.

Christy - posted on 06/03/2011

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I think it's good to start having kids help with chores at age 2. I'm not kidding! Make picking up their toys a game. Have them help you unload the dish washer. Give them a wet rag and they can help you clean the walls. Set them up to the sink beside you to "help" with dishes. I know they'll be soaked, but they love the time with mommy and for the most part it's positive attention!

I started giving my kids an allowance about the time they're 5. I guess it depends on how old all the kids are and how much you have to budget. My kids get $1 for every year they are old. They also have three chores a day they are expected to do, sometimes more!

My youngest is 7. He sets the table, clears the table, takes out the garbage, helps bring the empty garbage bins back to the house on garbage day, washes his own laundry (I don't worry about sorting), helps put it away, (I often help fold it still), unload half the dishwasher, scrub the toilet and the bathroom mirror, wash walls, put away his toys, and feed the pets. He has older siblings that also help with these chores, so he is not expected to do them everyday.

There's a book called "WORK: Wonderful Opportunity for Raising Responsible Kids." It's a fast read and the mom that wrote it explains that you put your child in training. You teach them how the chore is done, then observe each time guiding until they can do it well, about 80% as good as you could do it. She has a huge list in the back of the book of what chores you can expect your kids to do at what ages. Honestly I have my kids doing a bit more at younger ages, but the book was a huge help to me in organizing chores for my kids!

The rule at our house is they don't get any privileges 'til their chores are done. That means no TV, computer, friends, etc. The three chores should only take a few minutes. My youngest is typically done with his in five to ten minutes. He loves his computer time, so he doesn't complain about getting his chores done! Some days he'll get up early and do his chores and then get on the computer before his older siblings wake up and hog the computer!

My allowance philosophy is that I don't buy the kids stuff at the store. If they want something, they can do extra chores to earn more money, or just save up their allowance. I neglected to mention that they receive their allowance every payday for us, which is twice a month. Whatever collections they are working on or new toy they want, they can either wait 'til birthday, or Christmas, or save up and get it them self!

Nikki - posted on 06/03/2011

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I have a 7 year old son who has been doing chores for 2 years now. It started off as taking out the trash and picking up his sisters toys, the next year we added vaccuming and this year he puts dishes away and on the occassion he washes them too! Never really had a complaint from him he seems to think its fair considering everything that I have to do while he is at school.
In my opinion as long as you are not asking her to scrub toilets or anything like that I think its age appropriate. As for the reward/allowance I give him about $10 a month or if he doesn't want money he gets an ice cream on Saturdays. For extra chores he gets an extra $2. extra chores are things like bringing laundry down, helping put it away etc.
It works for me :)
Good luck

Jennifer - posted on 06/03/2011

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I have a seven year old son. His chores are small things like keeping his room clean, picking up after himself, bringing in the trash can on pickup days. I give him $7/week. This prevents the begging when we are out. If he wants something, he has to use his own money!

Shawnn - posted on 06/03/2011

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For a 7 year old? She can clean her room, help with vacuuming, gather dishes for washing, can help with outdoor chores...anything that is age appropriate! And you should probably start soon, otherwise she's going to argue that you've never made her do anything before...

By that age, both of my kids were doing different chores, which included dog poop duty, recycling duty (separating and processing recyclables), sorting laundry, putting away dishes, and they were expected (not as chores) to keep their rooms clean, and their common living areas straightened up.

As far as allowance, I don't believe in one. If a child does the chores assigned to them, then we talk about what they might like to do during the weekend (evenings in the summer), or if they would like to save for a specific thing. We just don't hand out money. I felt that if I were to "give" them an allowance, I'd be inviting argument later. I grew up without one. My parents assigned monetary value to the things that needed to be done around the house and yard. Each time we completed a job, we logged it, and were paid at the end of the week. We were NOT allowed to spend that money either, it went into our piggy banks. Since I didn't agree with that, my hubby and I came up with the system of discussing their desires and helping them make good spending choices (ONLY after they have taken care of their responsibilities)

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