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smallthunder
12-12-2005, 01:37 PM
Hi --

I have drafted the text for a children's book -- almost against my will, really -- and now I need some input regarding the possible age of the protagonist.

At what age would you have -- or did you have -- your child(ren) take on house-hold chores?

In particular, at what age would cleaning the bath-tub be an appropriate chore?

Thanking you in advance for your input --

Inspired
12-12-2005, 03:04 PM
It depends how they're doing it. If they're using chemicals, you'll want the child to be older, otherwise they'll have cleaning solution all over them. And, I've found that my children do an okay job at actually getting the tub clean around age 8.

KTC
12-12-2005, 03:17 PM
It's something we would never allow our kids to do.

scarletpeaches
12-12-2005, 03:48 PM
The whole point of having kids is so you don't have to do the chores yourself, surely?!

Inspired
12-12-2005, 03:55 PM
I only have my kids do that one occasionally, so they have a little training for when they're older. Honestly, they don't do a good enough job for me. It is a rather tough job. Cleaning the bathroom sink and the toilet are much easier and more fun. Soap scum is a tough and evil thing.

KTC
12-12-2005, 03:59 PM
Scarlett, Scarlett. I guess if you had kids you would have your jeans mended by now?

scarletpeaches
12-12-2005, 04:01 PM
A very good point, there, my Canadian Brother-Poet.

KTC
12-12-2005, 04:04 PM
Did you ever notice how the two of us have a tendency to hijack threads? Maybe if you start now on the children thing, you can have your jeans mended by around 2013?

scarletpeaches
12-12-2005, 04:05 PM
Or September next year, if I 'pull' at a Christmas party?

KTC
12-12-2005, 04:06 PM
Ummm. Newborns are not very good at mending jeans. I'm not sure if you know this or not?

scarletpeaches
12-12-2005, 04:08 PM
Are you kidding? Here in Scotland we have them on the washing up before they're a week old.

smallthunder
12-12-2005, 05:22 PM
Are you kidding? Here in Scotland we have them on the washing up before they're a week old.

OK, I'll qualify my question, then: At what age would you have -- or did you have -- your NON-SCOTTISH child(ren) take on house-hold chores?
:tongue

scarletpeaches
12-12-2005, 05:29 PM
To be serious (for once) if I had children I would have them doing chores as soon as I could. By that I mean picking up toys and putting them back in the toy box as soon as they were old enough to play with them. Proper chores, well...putting dirty clothes in the washbasket, how hard is that? Unless you're talking about a teenager of course. Pre-school age I guess. Hoovering, dishes, etc...maybe about 8, 9, 10? Saying that now, it seems young but that's what I used to do. My gran used to give me between 10p and 50p for each chore I did, and I thought I was getting a good deal which shows how long ago I was that age...

I have friends whose kids do chores, and they might seem young (under 10) but it really depends on the chore and the maturity of the child - for instance, will they pour the bleach down the toilet or drink it?

My attitude is - you live in this house. You help to keep it clean.

Jaycinth
12-12-2005, 07:44 PM
I bought little toy brooms and dust pans as soon as they could toddle. By the time my son was two, when I swept, he swept. He liked to show me how much dusther could get in his little pan. When He was three I bought a dust buster. He would crawl around under the table and the hard to reach places to 'bust the dust bunnies!' Making beds and folding towels came next, along with feeding pets. Matching socks. Let me see, by now we are 6.

Raking leaves, taking out the trash and making sure the recyclables were together and out on the correct day.

Then baby sister became two and the dust buster and broom became hers.

My son read the legends of Hercules and started picking up his kid sister every day to get strong. I pointed out yard work would be better, so he spent the next few summers hauling 40 -50 lb bags of sand, mulch, topsoil and gravel around the yard for my landscaping projects.

Let me see, by the time he was 12 and she was 6, they did all of the household stuff except the deep cleaning of the bathroom. ( They wouuld clean, but I always went in afterwards and did it again. Tub scum is hard to get rid of.) I do the laundry, they fold and put away. Vaccuum their own rooms. Put away dishes, clean counters, vaccuum the living room, dust...

You see, they can't have their friends over unless I think the house is clean. I don't have time to clean because I have to feed them and that means a job. And when I get home..If I can't have my writing hour I am not a nice person. They clean. I cook. No problems.

Hmm got off tak here didn't I.

Sorry, the answer is 2. You start chores at two, and add on from there.
And no allowance for chores. You do chores because you are part of the family and that is what families do. You get cash from parents for extraordinary efforts...like grades and such. No entitlements.

P.H.Delarran
12-12-2005, 08:07 PM
I was 8 when the bathtub cleaning became my weekly chore. Yuck. But it was out of neccessity, as my mother's health was poor, and it was just the two of us. I also did all the cooking, vaccuuming, ironing, etc.
I now have five kids, and cleaning the bathtub is one of the hardest chores, so they get that around age 10.
However, as soon as they were old enough to learn to start scrubbing their own bodies,(age 2-3), I began teaching them to "clean-up" the tub after a bath..put the shampoo bottles back in place, wring out the washcloth, wipe the water off the floor..etc.

Dawno
12-12-2005, 08:51 PM
Chores that were related to general housekeeping (as opposed to just picking up our room or taking our plates to the kitchen) were attached to allowance at my home. When we were old enough to want an allowance we got new chores. I believe I was about 10 when my mom started having me clean the tub and sink in the bathroom.

WVWriterGirl
12-12-2005, 10:48 PM
When I was old enough to take baths on my own, I cleaned the tub. My mom didn't "scrub the tub" two times a week because after you took your bath, you cleaned the tub right then and there so it wouldn't build up. We were a three-person family (I was an only child) and everyone was responsible for their own bathroom mess.

I say, if you're comfortable with letting the child bath without an adult present, the child should be able to clean out the tub afterward.

Eveningsdawn
12-13-2005, 12:49 AM
I was washing/drying dishes by the time I was seven (I'm 18 now) and various chores followed, inluding fulltime barn chores at age 9. It was never presented to me as chores, though; I always liked drying dishes and otherwise "helping mommy".

I fully clean the bathroom bimonthly and have done that off and on since I was about 11.

RubyRoo
12-13-2005, 01:24 AM
I do vaccuuming, cleaning, polishing, dishes, sock matching (urg!), clothes thingying etc.

Munchkin
12-16-2005, 08:48 AM
My mom didn't give me chores. :scared: I'll go and duck now. LOL

She had very a very strict mother who made her do everything around the house, while she (my grandmother) did.. well not a whole lot. So my mother decided that when she had a daughter she would never have chores. What wound up happening is I'm in my 20's and still dont' clean a house so great.

blisswriter
12-16-2005, 08:51 AM
My daughter is 8 and I think it's appropriate for her to clean her own bathtub. Even though we use a non-toxic blend of baking soda and white vinegar, I still watch her when she does it, as anything that gets in the eyes can cause irritation.

My daughter loves to wash dishes, but it's mostly so she can play in the water. I nix this one at every opportunity but my hubby seems to think it's okay.

Her other chores consist of cleaning her room and classroom (we home school) when I can no longer stand looking at the mess. I also require her to clean up after herself in the kitchen. (She uses the toaster and microwave regularly.)

Frank Zafiro
12-19-2005, 11:07 PM
Hi --

I have drafted the text for a children's book -- almost against my will, really -- and now I need some input regarding the possible age of the protagonist.

At what age would you have -- or did you have -- your child(ren) take on house-hold chores?

In particular, at what age would cleaning the bath-tub be an appropriate chore?

Thanking you in advance for your input --

Bathtub...9 or 10, depending on the kid. The cleaning substances are dangerous if they get it in their eye or mouth...and expensive, too, if they use too much.

My kids are 14, 11 and 4 (though the last two remind me that they turn older in March).

The older two are responsible for:
* cleaning their own rooms
* sorting their laundry and putting it away once washed
* cleaning "their" bathroom (the girl has the upstairs, the boy the downstairs half-bath)
* feeding/watering the dog OR taking out trash (they switch every month)
* the boy scoops the dog poop and the girl dusts

The youngest is responsible for:
* cleaning his toys up
* feeding the cats
* helping with his laundry (more of an exposure thing, really)

All are responsible for spot pick-ups as requested and the older two will either set or clear the table for dinner and occasionally do dishes (we have a dishwasher, so it's not that much work).

For all of that, they get slave wages...the older two get $20/month allowance and the youngest gets $10/month. Of course, half is mandated to go into savings...and if the other half is subject to fines if they don't do their chores.

Ultimately, it's about teaching them a little responsibility and how to share in the work load, and building some work ethic and money management...and it is just a little bit about me not having to scoop the poop anymore (I still mow and we all pitch in on the shoveling of the snow).

KelseyF
12-19-2005, 11:24 PM
I bought little toy brooms and dust pans as soon as they could toddle. By the time my son was two, when I swept, he swept. He liked to show me how much dusther could get in his little pan. When He was three I bought a dust buster. He would crawl around under the table and the hard to reach places to 'bust the dust bunnies!' Making beds and folding towels came next, along with feeding pets. Matching socks. Let me see, by now we are 6.

Raking leaves, taking out the trash and making sure the recyclables were together and out on the correct day.

Then baby sister became two and the dust buster and broom became hers.

My son read the legends of Hercules and started picking up his kid sister every day to get strong. I pointed out yard work would be better, so he spent the next few summers hauling 40 -50 lb bags of sand, mulch, topsoil and gravel around the yard for my landscaping projects.

Let me see, by the time he was 12 and she was 6, they did all of the household stuff except the deep cleaning of the bathroom. ( They wouuld clean, but I always went in afterwards and did it again. Tub scum is hard to get rid of.) I do the laundry, they fold and put away. Vaccuum their own rooms. Put away dishes, clean counters, vaccuum the living room, dust...

You see, they can't have their friends over unless I think the house is clean. I don't have time to clean because I have to feed them and that means a job. And when I get home..If I can't have my writing hour I am not a nice person. They clean. I cook. No problems.

Hmm got off tak here didn't I.

Sorry, the answer is 2. You start chores at two, and add on from there.
And no allowance for chores. You do chores because you are part of the family and that is what families do. You get cash from parents for extraordinary efforts...like grades and such. No entitlements.

You know, I'm really impressed by your answer. This seems like great parenting. I'm only 18, without children of my own, but I've lived with a slobbish ten year old step sister, and lived in France with two extremely spoiled children who liked making the messes and watching their nanny/housekeeper pick up after them. What a great way you've initiated their help without force. The idea that they can't have their friends over unless they clean is a great idea (and one I'll remember in the upcoming years)! I think so many parents these days just expect their kids to randomly wake up one day and start chores, which didn't work with me or any others I have seen, but including it in the routine from the very beginning is a great idea. I just wanted to share that. :)

sassandgroove
12-20-2005, 08:41 PM
For a great corollary to Jaycinth's post is her post on the housecleaning tips thread.

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=299372&postcount=40

I started chores at a very young age, and as I grew my responsibilty did.

StoryG27
12-20-2005, 08:52 PM
My kids are in charge of the bathroom and the living room, they rotate weeks on chores. One week, my daughter will clean the bathroom and my son has the living room. Next week, they switch. (daughter-8, son-7) And of course, keeping their rooms clean is their responsibility.

They really put an effort into what they do, and whatever soap scum or whatnot is left behind when they're done, I deep clean it later. The older they get, the less I have to clean when they're done. If my daughter has the bathroom, then I usually don't have to clean up after her.

BTW, if they take care of their chores all week, on Fridays they get fifty cents for ice cream at school and they think that is the greatest payment ever...If only they could stay so innocent and naive.

UKREVIEWER
12-20-2005, 09:01 PM
I'm NOT a child, but I HATE cleaning the tub! However, after reading these posts, you've given me a few ideas! Perhaps 'Scrub-O-Tub' should become one of my son's new chores! LOL It sure sounds like fun, when put like that!

He's 10 by the way, and I have to pay him for the chores he does do! And constantly remind him...

Tracy-Jane

meryl
12-22-2005, 06:06 AM
I didn't have formal chores as a kid... I made my bed and kept my room very organized. Didn't know how to do laundry when I went off to college and learned quickly ... and I am okay with that because I had a chance to be a kid. Childhood doesn't last long and we have enough responsibilties as adults. Furthermore, kids have other chores... it's called "homework" and "practicing."

My parents didn't give me a formal allowance or anything like that and I've always been responsible with my spending and saving. As I got older, I got better at it -- and this applies to a lot of things in life.

Kids today are growing up too fast... I'd rather use the free time to spend it together as a family.