Amy - posted on 12/05/2008 ( 11 moms have responded )




Hello out there! I am the mom of 4. 3 boys and 1 girl. Ages 12, 10, 7, and the girl is 5. Any advice on distributing chores and getting them to actually do them on a regular basis??? This is my first post and I can not tell you all how excited I am to connect with others who can relate to having a larger family!!!! I look forward to learning a lot!


Jillian - posted on 12/14/2008




LOL!!! Good luck with that..and when you figure it out please let me know!!
I also have 4..3 boys and 1 girl...16,14,11,8. Everytime I try to distribute the chores it's a big fight..I think the main thing is to stick to your guns and not try to make your kids like you all the time...I'm finally figuring that out..I used to give up and do it myself but I'm starting to change that...


View replies by

Debbie - posted on 03/29/2013




So many charts are a quick fix and then fizzles, but I found a program that actually worked for many years. It is simple for the parent and fun for the children. It is an adaptation of the token economy where children earn tokens for good behavior. It is highly evolved and carefully explained with step-by-step "battle plans" for sucess. As a frustrated mom with high strung and strong-willed children, I had lost the joy in Motherhood. So when I found the book called: From Combat Zone to Love at Home: The Happy Face Token System I was intrigued. It was just what I needed. I call it the ultimate parenting surivival manual for frustrated parents and it comes with a parenting survival kit CD with print ready charts as well as a parenting class that discusses the book and program. With the happy face token system children will give happy first time obedience while calling you the best mom in the whole world! I didn't believe it until I tried it. With the 30 day guarantee that is offered with my purchase, it was worth the try. It worked like a charm. The first time I tried using it, I had explained the family rules: I want you to come the first time I call and I want you to ask me what you can do for me. (That's what I always wanted, but never got!) So I tried it. I called.. I need help....All the children came running and said, "What can I do for you Mommy?" I was shocked! I was so happy I said, "Oh, nothing. I just wanted to see if you would do what I asked you to do! Each of you may have 1 happy face token just for doing that. They clapped their hands and said, Oh thank you mommy, you're the best mommy in the world! There are lots of adaptations given in the book and ideas in case things run dry, but believe me the children will want to use the program so they will keep you on the program. It seems to have a built-in consistency factor that gave me the credibility I needed to mean what I said. No more empty threats! The children earn tokens and then cash them in for things on the uniquely different Reward List. They don't earn things, they earn "rights" i.e. the right not to feed the dog for 1 day, the right Not to make my bed, etc. You've got to try it to see it. Here is a link or two for finding joy in your journey of motherhood. Good Luck!

Angela - posted on 09/30/2009




I have 8 that range from 14 to 2 so they had to start pitching in and doing chores just to have time to breath and do fun stuff so I made a chart for each kids on the computer so it was personalized for each kid at each age then laminated it so they could re use it when they are done with a chore I let them have a dry erase marker that they get to draw a smiley face with the little ones loved it and the older ones knew if they got so many smiley each week there was a special treat or outing or something new to do

[deleted account]

My kids don't have "chores" if you were to ask them, they just do things because they are part of a family. They are 8,6,5,3 and each does as they are able. They put away all the clean laundry, seperate the dirty laundry, clear their own places from the table, set the table, make their beds, clean their rooms, strip and re-make their beds (older two help younger two with fitted sheets), bring groceries in, vacuum when asked, clean bathrooms when asked. I think because it is not "chores" we have encountered very little resistance. They still have days they don't want to do what I ask, but I ask why I should have to make up 5 beds and they generally see the logic and pitch in. Is it fair or equal? Nope, sometimes the same poor kid is around at suppertime, but generally it doesn't bother them, cuz we work together cuz we are a family. When they get older I may have to come up with a formal system, but this works for us. Probably b/c I don't have a formal system for house cleaning, I clean when needed. Which with 4 kids is often as you all know!

Emily - posted on 01/28/2009




Mine are all really young, so we haven't started formal chores yet... though they are required to help around the house... it's just always under supervision.

But, I grew up as the oldest of seven, and this is what my mom did. Each of us had one "daily job" which was something like empty the dishwasher, sort laundry and take upstairs, empty bathroom garbages and make sure they have toilet paper, etc. We each had our jobs for a month, then rotated through them. We couldn't really complain that someone had an easier job that month... because we'd get a chance to do that job eventually. We also had "weekend work" which was just an extra chore like cleaning a bathroom or vacuuming something. This work had to be done before we were allowed to do anything on the weekend. When my brother wants to go skiing early Saturday mornings... he has to do his weekend work Friday night.

[deleted account]

My new method is to write every chore on small rectangles of cardstock and assign a point value per chore (ex Dog poop is 10 pts, unload dishwasher is 3 pts, etc).  I lay all of the chores out on the kitchen table on Sunday nights and the 6 older kids pick their chores for the week.  They have to have 3 points per year of age.  They then write them down on a weekly chore list and check them off as they do them throughout the week.  No chores completed equal no privileges on the weekend.  It works!  They have "ownership" in what they selected and can create no chore days by what they select.

Teresa - posted on 12/08/2008




I have 6 kids, and they have always done chores, I distributed chores according to thier age, just little things like cleaning thier own romm, making beds, cleaning thier bathrooms etc. everytime they do them they are rewarded, maybe just a star on a chart or a good job done in front of everyone at the dinner table, i found that praise goes a long way, If they didn't do thier chores then let them pick a consequence, mine hate consequences and it makes them responsible for thier own actions. try it and let me know how it goes.

Amy - posted on 12/08/2008




Wow! Thank are on the ball. I love the "learning" idea. And I like the idea of the younger ones pairing up with older. Thanks for the help!

Charity - posted on 12/06/2008




Welcome! My four daughters (3, 5, 7, and 9) and son (10) remind me each day of God's blessings in my life. At this point I'm in the training stage with my kids and chores. I give each child a specific chore to do for several months, one they are learning and another that has been previously learned. I also give one that is a daily task and another that is biweekly. For example my son is learning how to clean bathrooms and is in charge of cleaning the table off every meal. My 9 year old is learning laundry and is in charge of sweeping the floors. My 7 year old is learning how to do the dishes and in charge of dusting. My 5 year old sets the table and helps sort the laundry. My 3 year old helps put silverware away after the dishes are washed and picks up toys. After several months the older kids switch chores. The younger ones are paired with the older kids and "help" with whatever they are old enough to do. The daily chores must be done first before they can do anything "fun." I schedule specific chore days: Mondays and Thursdays are laundry, Tuesdays and Fridays thoroughly clean the bathrooms, Wednesdays and Saturdays dust all the furniture. I like to have the biweekly chores separated so that I can supervise how well the chore is being done without feeling overwhelmed by trying to do it all in one day. These must also be completed before they can go play. Are there days this doesn't work? Absolutely! But usually this works for us.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms