Thursday, September 26, 2013

clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere

(please try not to be distracted by this shot of toy and book tornado action in my girls' room)

how much do you make your kids do to clean up after themselves?
what chores do you make them do?
my girls are 3 and 5, and it's hard for me to know what to expect and see as the norm.
matt is not a fan when i ask a question in my blog posts,
but i am so curious as to what others do and how other parents teach their kids to clean up after themselves or in general.

i'd love to hear what you expect/require/do on their behalf/ignore/allow...
and how do you do it? verbally? with a chore chart? 
(i can't help it- chore charts make me think of college and the chore wheel that my roommates and i had. oh the joys of communal living)
any tips for me?


  1. i am not a super fan of chore charts (which is weird for a family therapist to say, probably), except they often LOOK really great. we do not have the boys (ages 3 & 9) make their bed every day but both have to put their clothes in the hamper, clean up their toys, and clear their dishes every day. if there is a large mess on the floor, they have to clean that up before they pull out another activity. to reduce the sheer volume, we also have active toys (in room/toy bins) and inactive toys (in the basement) - they have to switch things out if they need/want them. since kindergarten, 9 yo also has weekly chores: his current household chore pick is taking garbage/recycling out (including emptying bathroom garbage), changing sheets on the bed, and sticking with the morning/evening routines...he gets a weekly allowance for these. he can do some shredding on the side if he wants some extra cash. 3 yo is required to pick up toys along the way...and then he loves to put groceries away or help wash dishes as his "job."

  2. not a chore chart fan either...the chores vary from day to day but chores are part of our family and our way of life. some-days they help int he garden, wash dishes, vacuum, walk the dog, do the laundry, dust, sweep, whatever needs to be done they are expected to pitch in and help. the big job now is to get them to pitch in without asking...perhaps too much to ask of a 11 & 10 yr old...but some day...

  3. My kids are exactly the same age. Their "chores" are: making their bed, picking up their room, sorting the recyclables, emptying the dishwasher, putting their dirty clothes in the hamper and set the table for dinner. The only one that is really a fight is picking up their toys. To combat that, I just go in silently with a large plastic garbage bag and donate anything that is put away to charity. It took one time of actually doing it for my kids to NEVER leave toys out again. So much so, that when my 5 year old see me with a trash bag (even when it's for trash) he scrambles to his room to check on it's cleanliness. We don't do a chart though. Just verbally reminding them.


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