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Forum -> Household Management
Getting children to do chores!

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Post Sun, Feb 25 2024, 8:47 am
I didn't grow up with chores. Therefore idk how to establish them.
I think it's only fair and good for chinuch for children to have responsibilities... my children aren't helping when it's not clear and outlined. I just keep repeating myself..
My husband and I have been clearing the Shabbos tables since we are married...
I'm fed up. By the time children are 8 and above
I they should pitch in.

What's a discipline / chore system I can establish WITHOUT PRIZES. Prizes mean nothing to them. I guess you can say they are spoiled. I would rather need consequences ideas if they don't do their job....

Its time I establish a system, discipline and demand the basic help. I want to start by focusing on Shabbos meals. And remember there's sibling rivalry involved too... So it has to be clear. How do I do it?
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Post Thu, Feb 29 2024, 8:03 am
I find it helps to give specific jobs. My kids never liked it if I said please do this or that but accepted if eg tidying the living room, or do the dusting was their fixed Shabbos job.
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Post Thu, Feb 29 2024, 8:17 am
'Everyone has to make 2 trips to the kitchen with their hands full (including mom and dad)', and we supervise to make sure they are not taking a token fork. They all rush to do the 'easy' jobs (drinks) so we instituted a rule that you can only do 1 easy trip and one harder one, if we feel they are not pulling their weight we tell them. They all see that everyone is doing it, and it doesnt take too long. They rush to do it, so they can pick the 'easier' things to bring in, and then we finish up but once everyone has made 2 trips inside there is not usually much left.
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Post Thu, Feb 29 2024, 8:24 am
For erev shabbos we gave each kid a fixed chore (after discussing with them what they were capable of and would like to do) and made a 'chore wheel' which hangs on the fridge, so they all take turns doing the easier/harder jobs.
Especially at the beginning to get the kids more positive about helping, we started 'likras shabbos party', they have to have done their chores and be ready dressed for shabbos an hour before shabbos, and then they can all come to the kitchen and have a piece of cake etc.
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Post Thu, Feb 29 2024, 9:47 am
I gave my kids shabbos jobs when my oldest was probably 8 or 9 (he's just about 21 now). We did do a chart with points in the beginning, but phased it out after a bit. My son at the time asked me what happens if I don't do it. We had to make it that he wouldn't just not do it. We tied it to computer time (which is limited to start). He couldn't go on the computer unless his job was done before shabbos. If he didn't do his shabbos job on Thursday night/Friday and wanted to go on the computer on Sunday, he had to do his shabbos job + something else. After a short period of testing me, they were just done. I can't say there is never complaining (more from my youngest who is 6), but they do it. Sometimes, I'll let them swap a job for something they prefer, but for the most part they do what needs to get done. Each kid has 2-3 very manageable jobs, which probably takes less than half hour total to do. (take out the small garbages from around the house, put away silverware, wipe down toilet and sink and vanity in the bathroom with a Clorox wipe, sweep, mop, vacuum, clear couches, etc)

In terms of clearing the table. If we remind the kids to help, they will. But not naturally.

But I do have a rule--when I'm serving the food and you're in the kitchen, you are expected to help. If not, you're in my way and I'll ask you to leave the kitchen. Somehow all my kids congregate in the kitchen when I am serving and if they don't help, they do get kicked out.
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Post Thu, Feb 29 2024, 2:36 pm
mine doesn't get a choice.

a trick that works really well by me is having a 'world record' to beat. right now it takes mine 5 minutes to clean the living room motzi shabbos and they're trying to get that down to 4 minutes. I check work after to make sure no shortcuts or dumpin happened and everything is in its right place.

if they every kvetch too much I just "you are part of this family and we all pitch in to help. Does mommy complain that she cooked the food? does tatty complain that he's washing dishes? it's part of being in a family"

no choice. no such thing as no. we all help. the end.
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Post Thu, Feb 29 2024, 3:05 pm
For starters, don't call them chores.
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