Getting step-daughter to do chores?

Allison - posted on 03/14/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




How do I get my step daughter to help out around the house without sounding like the evil stepmom from Cinderella? She has no chores at her naturaly mom's house and does nothing to pick up after herself. I'm tried of playing maid.


Kayla - posted on 03/18/2010




i had the same problem about a few months ago. what i did was make a chore chart for all the kids. they each had the same amount of chores to do with no one getting more or less. with rewards all the same. (within age group) my "step son" had to help with feeding the dog while my daughter had to help with feeding the cat. one helped with laundry they other helped with dishes.. they both helped with setting the table. they also both had to pick up their own toys. the rewards were written on a posterboard & they got to chose which one they would like. if they didn't do chores they didn't get a reaward. some rewards were picking out the moviefor the night, getting to play with playdough, etc. at the end of the week we added up the chores & gave each of them money to go to the store to pick out something they wanted. usually $5.00. it has seemed to help in my situation. because they can visually see they are doing the same amout of chores with the same chores... no one is getting special treatment!!! best of luck!!! & if you need more details feel free to ask!

Brittany - posted on 03/16/2010




Put your foot down. Dont be afraid of the "Step-mother" syndrome because then she will walk all over you and treat you like you are nothing. You deserve respect and she needs to show that. Tell her that while she is in your house, she needs to listen to you and respect what you say, Also...her father needs to back you up also...if he doesnt then what you say wont have any meaning behind it. My boyfriend has 2 children of his own who are 5 & 6. I tell them to do something and typically they ignore me, so my boyfriend backs me up and tells them to listen to me. I still struggle from time to time because I dont feel it is my place to punish them or them going back to their moms and telling their mom I was being mean and having to deal with that. But you HAVE to show her who is boss and get her to realize you mean business. Ask your husband to back you up and ACTUALLY back you up not just him blow it off type of back you up but really tell her to listen to you.

[deleted account]

How old is she? My 7 year-old cleans her own room, washes the dishes off after dinner (I put them in the dishwasher, but she rinses the food and stuff off for me) and vacuums the living room every saturday (she wanted that chore!). I would say to make a chore chart. Include you and your hubby on it and any other kids you have that are also old enough to be doing chores. That way, your sd won't feel singled out and she'll see tht everyone (who's old enough) has to "pull their weight" so to speak.

One chore I think every child should do (and I have my 2 year-old do as well) is keeping their room clean. Picking up toys at the end of the day and making sure they put things away after they are done playing with them are great things that help teach responsibility and cleanliness at the same time.

Good luck!


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Kim - posted on 03/17/2010




It's hard to try and train a child that is older that doesn't have the same standards in their other household. Be patient at first because it will take time to "unlearn" this behavior, at the same time be firm about what you expect. I would just simply explain that this is your household. Her mom gets to make the rules at her house, you make the rules at your house. When my kids leave stuff laying around, it gets taken away. When they exhibit that they are cleaning up after themselves, they get their things back. A chore chart can help...schedule certain chores on certain days but picking up after yourself every day is a must. Make it easy by having a place to organize things. There are consequences if I have to remind them too often, such as losing dessert or a toy or a playdate, whatever will be most effective. Most kids like to feel like they are helping, you can start by having her help with tasks so she gets used to the idea of cleaning and reward her for her help and be sure to offer encouragement "Gosh! Doesn't that look much better! I feel so much better now that ABC is clean, dont you?!" It can be challenging, good luck to you!

Marili - posted on 03/16/2010




It sound like us, Chanel is 10 yrs old and living with us for 2 and a half years. I had the same problem, she was very spoiled and just demanded. I just put my foot down, I spoke to my husband and explained the problem, luckily he agreed. I got a point system up in the kitchen. On top I have 1 - 30numbers (days of the month) and on the left side 1- 10 (good - naughty). She gets a mark for every day. Between 8-10 she is good. From 7-5 is average (borderline) and below 5 she gets punished. I dont give hidings I take something away. She has a chores list in her room eg. clean her room and pick up all her stuff. School stuff must be done and packed away before she goes to bed, etc. If she doesnt do that or listen or talk back (in bad cases) or do her chores one point is taken away. If she does bad at the end of the week we take something away eg. TV, riding bike, riding jboard or going to friends.
It works for us and you cant believe the difference. She's not a perfect little girl but we understand each other. I love her to bits and treat her like my own.
Hope this helps.

Jessica - posted on 03/15/2010




I agree with Holly. Make a chore list and give her a reward after all her chores are done that way she will hopefully like to do them.

Henryetta - posted on 03/14/2010




i started to take possesion of things that any of the kids left in a common area of the house, this let them know they could not be slobs here just cause they had been allowed to at their moms. they now understand that if they just put stuff away they wont have to go for periods of time without it!

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