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What is an appropriate amount of chores for a child to do each day?

Trying to make up chore charts for my 12 & 4 y/o. I know what they are capable of doing as far as chores go, but what is an appropriate amount of chores for them to do each day? Would 6-10 chores a day be considered too much for a 12 y/o? How many chores for the 4 y/o? I am also thinking of having my 12 y/o be responsible for 1 room in the house besides his bedroom. Is that too much?

Also, if your child has chores, are they responsible for doing them every day or only on certain days? Ex. If one chore is to vacuum, would you have that be an every day chore or an every other day chore? We have pets and allergies so this is something which does need to be done everyday regardless of who does it.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 5:52 PM on Apr. 16, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • I would say keep it at individual chores. If you give a twelve year old a room chances are they'll look at the ceiling and have no idea what to do and do nothing. lol Really! Its easier for kids to spell it out. I would say the 12 year old should be in charge of vacuuming, doing her own laundry and cleaning her bedroom and if she has her own bathroom that too. That should be about it for her. During the weekends you might add in one or two more chores for her like on Sat and Sun she has to actually scrub her toilet, sink and bathtub (rest of the week basic clean up unless it needs it) and maybe have her bring in the mail and newspaper every day too. You don't want to over burden her with all the homework and stuff kids have these days. (Cont)
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:00 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • That sounds like a lot for the 12 year old. I'd say just a few things a day (like maybe sweeping any floors that can be swept, taking out the trash and keeping the table cleared), and then have a once a week big chore like the responsibility of the cleanliness of one room. Remember, at that age, they do have homework and you want them to also have time to be a kid, but they should have a decent amount of responsibility.

    For the 4 year old, a couple of simple chores like helping put away dishes and setting the table I think are enough beyond the normal "clean up your toys" type thing.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:01 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • I would say keep it at individual chores. If you give a twelve year old a room chances are they'll look at the ceiling and have no idea what to do and do nothing. lol Really! Its easier for kids to spell it out. I would say the 12 year old should be in charge of vacuuming, doing her own laundry and cleaning her bedroom and if she has her own bathroom that too. That should be about it for her. During the weekends you might add in one or two more chores for her like on Sat and Sun she has to actually scrub her toilet, sink and bathtub (rest of the week basic clean up unless it needs it) and maybe have her bring in the mail and newspaper every day too. You don't want to over burden her with all the homework and stuff kids have these days. (Cont)
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:01 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • (cont) Your 4 year old should 1) put away all of his toys, art supplies etc. 2) Make his bed every day 3) put his dirty clothes in the hamper and help you fold laundry that is clean and put away basic things like towels 4) Put his plate in the sink after meals 5) put away his tooth paste and brush after brushing his teeth 6) light dusting with a feather duster (don't expect him to do a good job just yet!)
    The work is simple and easy for the 4 year old so it takes much less time. Thats why the list for the older child is shorter. She might also feed the animals or take them for a walk if they are dogs!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:04 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • Sorry idk why it double posted my first answer!!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:05 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • OP here... thank you for the advice. I'm really trying to find a happy medium here and figure out what would be appropriate because at 12, I was responsible for cleaning an entire house spotless, top to bottom. Which of course, I feel is way too much for that age. On the other hand, at 12 my DH was only responsible for about 3 or 4 chores, none of which included any heavy duty cleaning or even cleaning in any rooms whatsoever. His mom basically took care of everything. In fact, the first time he ever did dishes, laundry, or vacuumed wasn't until after he moved out of his parents home. While I have nothing against this or anyone's parenting styles and while yes, he did turn out to be a very responsible adult, I also want my kids to learn to be responsible for the messes they create and to not be thinking that someone else is always going to be picking up after them.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:16 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • the 12 year old can pick up the kitchen(rinse dishes,wipe counters,take trash out,mop) or the bathroom(wipe toilet ,take rash out or mop).. the 4year old is a bit to young maybie the 4y/o can help keep his room clean and pick up after himself.
    BUSYLOVINGHIM

    Answer by BUSYLOVINGHIM at 6:21 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • OP here again. Here are the lists. Pls tell me if you think this is too much or whatever & where you'd tweak this.

    12 y/o:

    -feed pets (2x per day)
    -walk dog (daily)
    -take out trash (on trash night - 1 day per week)
    -dry & put away dishes (daily)
    -collect dirty laundry & take to laundry room (daily)
    -vacuum 1 or 2 rooms or sweep kitchen (not both & only every other day)
    - clear & set dinner table (daily)
    -straighten up - ex: pick up & put away his toys & school things & whatever other messes he makes (daily)
    -puts away his laundry (as needed)
    -puts away toys in the yard when done playing (as needed)

    He is also responsible for keeping his bedroom tidy & I gave him the family room to do but all he really needs to do in there is dust & vacuum (its a small room). I gave him this room b/c thats where his PS2 is and 9 out of 10 times if the room is messy its b/c he was in there playing & left it tha
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:35 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • My 14 year old boy cleans up after our dog every day, he feeds her, gives her water. He also takes out the trash cans on pick up days. My nine year old, picks up shoes and takes them to everyone's room and also empties out kitchen trash and bathroom trash (every few days), my 12 year old daughter is in charge of cleanin up after dinner (picking up dishes, putting them in dishwasher and cleaning the counters) We've had this routine probably since my 9 year old was about 6, and it's worked out for us, no one really complains that it's too much. Now on house cleaning days (typically weekends, we all split up the house, and our big kids usually alternate their part of the house they did the weekend before). We used to give the kids allowance for doing their chores but stopped about 2 years ago, now they just get rewarded for good grades/behavior.
    LuvmyFam6

    Answer by LuvmyFam6 at 6:36 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

  • OP again...

    for my 4 y/o:

    -helps with dusting
    -helps with putting away his toys
    -helps with putting away his laundry
    -helps to pick up toys in the yard when done playing

    Please keep in mind that my kids do not do these chores every day and that I am only trying to find the middle ground here of what is appropriate for them to do. Thanks for any input.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on Apr. 16, 2010

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