What do your children do around the house?


After reading the Duggar thread I was curious what everyone has their children do around the house.

Every day my kids pick one room-their choice-to clean. They have to clean the room well. My youngest only has to do the hall and she picks up the paper on the floor or wipes off the computer table. My older three are responsible for harder rooms, like the bathroom and kitchen.

I am not a stickler over bedrooms, so their bedrooms are usually messy but now and then I get a wild hair and make them straighten their rooms.

They take turns doing dishes, unless one of the older boys cook. Then their father and I do dishes.(The cook for that day never does the dishes:) )

They have to feed and water our three dogs. I also make them clean the poo in the yard about once a week.

The boys mow our acre yard but they have help from our neighbor who has a riding lawn mower. They do a portion of his yard in return for him doing most of the back yard.

When we had chickens I made the boys clean out the chicken hutch.

The oldest babysits occasionally for free-our choice not his. When I am sick he has helped do teach the girls their school work-we homeschool. He also reads with his youngest sister most days. I do everything else involving school.

When we live the house my paranoia means that I make each boy take one of their sister’s hands and walk with them. This ensures that I know where everyone is. No four isn’t a lot but I have this insane fear that I will forget someone.:eek:

When my oldest son turned 17, I made him get a part time job, plus he has always known that if he didn’t continue with school after 18 then he would have to support himself.(Yes, I am mean.) My younger son had a summer job working on the farm which he will have again this year. I will make both my girls get a part time job when they are old enough to do so.

My kids have plenty of time to do nothing and be bored.

So, I was wondering what everyone made their kids do around the house. What are their responsibilities?


Our kids (now 16, 20, 21) pretty much know how to take care of a house and do laundry. Whether or not they choose to use those skills once they are on their own is up to them!

As kids they traded off chores either weekly or monthly.


My 11yo DS has daily chores plus whatever we decide to make him do on top of it. Daily, he feeds and waters the outside dogs, cleans the catbox, feeds and waters the cats, feeds and waters the bird, feeds the fish, cleans his room, and puts away his clean laundry.
Extras are picking up the rest of the house, mowing the yard in the summer, cleaning out the cars, shoveling snow in winter, etc.
The 2yo has to get diapers and wipes for me, throw away used diapers, and pick up her toys. The baby just looks cute. :stuck_out_tongue:


My nearly 2 year old helps me with laundry. She pushes the basket across the house, loads the clothes in the washer (we have a front-loading machine), moves the clothes over to the dryer, and takes the basket to wherever I tell her. She usually doesn’t help unload the dryer, because the inside of the machine is too hot. (Unless Mommy forgot about the dryer being done. :wink: )

She also relocates her toys. I can’t really call it “picking up” because she doesn’t quite understand that things have their proper places yet.

One of her favorite things is helping me sweep. She likes to stand between me and the broom and help me push it (we have a dust-mop kind of broom, so we don’t do back-and-forth motions).

She’s good at wiping the floor (spot cleaning) and pointing out little fuzzies and crumbs. Since we have a scorpion problem, I have taught her NOT to pick up things she sees on the floor, but to just point them out to me. Her little eyes see everything!

I think that’s about it. :smiley: The next child, well, s/he will just be looking cute for a little while (like Teak’s baby).


games for penalties Sat. AM, while mommy slept in after her night job, dad and kids put all the jobs on slips in a jar, played card and board games, losing teams had to pick jobs and do them inside a time limit. All my kids know the basics of housecleaning, laundry, yard care and so forth. thanks to dad, not to me. We simplified bedroom upkeep-sleeping bags, unit storage, kept toys and clothing accumulation down to manageable levels. Our governing principle was guiding our children to self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and self-discipline, rather than catering to them, babying them beyond babyhood, and micro-managing their lives and relationships.


This has been our goal also, to make our children eventually become self sufficient adults.:slight_smile:


Wow, deb. My kids have the almost identical responsibilites as your kids. We have meal chores and a room to clean that they get for a month until we rotate.

My two middle kids also have to feed the goats and chickens. They show 4-H, so they get the chore of feeding and mucking out the pens. My oldest is only 14, so he’s not working yet. Though, his 14 year old cousin has a job at McD’s.

I’ll probably push him into a job when he’s 16. And, my 13 year old dd is starting to get babysitting jobs. Yea!

The four older kids also have to watch their little brothers in shifts during the school day. Otherwise, they are all over us while we are hsing.

My dd is starting to make lunch many days. And, my older son does heavy lifting and trash duty.

I need to figure out a way to work them into laundry…


As youngsters my parents had only one rule regarding household chores and that was that we looked after our rooms- no toys or clothes on the floor and made our own beds. We were not (and are not) expected to do specific chores around the home - although this does not mean that we do not. My mothers view was that had children not cleaners.

My brother and I are self sufficient though we can both cook and clean (and whilst I do not iron I am capable of it).

And I feel that this was a good system but my h2b was also not expected to do any household chores and has had to be taught the simplest of hosuehold duties since getting his own place so I think it depends on the family - I enjoy cleaning nothing gives me a better high than destressing by thouroghly gutting a room (but that could just be me!)


Wow. I am pretty strict as far as chores go as far as all of my girl’s friends parents (did that make sense?) are concerned. It seems nowadays no kiddos around here have any responsibilites. That would explain all the graffiti all over the city. I hate it here.
I have a puny little list of things the girls must do for each day. It never changes and there are no questions/arguing about it.
I should make my girls read this thread.
I like things clean, so I usually bear the brunt of the housework. I assume as they get older, more will be loaded into their duties.


Please come to my house and gut it for me.:stuck_out_tongue: I need to really scrub my house from top to bottom.

I didn’t have to clean up either. My grandmother did everything. Now that I am older I realize how much we took her for granted. We-meaning my siblings and I-did little to make her life easier and much to make things harder, such as not putting away bread or wiping up after ourselves.

Most of my friends who did not help around the house, were surprisingly rude to their parents. (I am not saying this of you, of course) They seemed, like me, to simply take for granted that their clothes would be washed and their bathrooms clean.

When I grew up, wow! life changed drastically. I had to figure out how to clean, how to organize my cleaning and how to keep everything clean.

I think that for the most parts having your children help around the house makes them realize that they are invested in the family as a unit. They are part of the team-if you know what I mean. It gives them pride-unless you are really overworking them-and a sense of accomplishment. I often feel that my children have much higher sense of self esteem then I ever had at their age.

I’ve also known some parents who seem to enjoy the martyrdom of being able to say, “Look at everything that I do for you.” Doing everything for the child then becomes a subtle form of manipulation. I am not saying though that this is true of anyone on this forum, just that I have seen this happen.:frowning:


they drive me nuts…
they make messes…
they eat a lot…
how about yours?
(can you tell it’s Christmas break?)

Kidding, they do dishes, help with laundry, pick up, clean bathrooms, vacuum and mop. We are not very scheduled though, and that HAS to change with four of them now.


Ack! If you could see both my bedroom and fridge.:eek: I am very disorganized but homeschooling helps me in that I know that when I get up certain things have to happen. If I want the house straight, we each have to do a room. I wish that I was an clean freak though.:blush:


hats off to you home schoolers… every day is like Christmas break. Oy vey! :thumbsup:

I did it homeschool-- for a while but I am just not cut out for it.

My fridge is clean, my room is not (although it’s mostly my girls’ leaving their trails of toys, stuffed animals and shoes…uhm GO MESS UP YOUR OWN ROOM!!) we are hanging in there. I am in a nurse-a-thon growth spurt right now with the newborn so my house is naturally going to be messy. Although I am experiencing some angst towards dh for not doing a wee bit more to help. OK a lot more. :frowning:

WOW I think I am just so tired and drained I am nonsensically rambling. Amazing I just spelled nonsensically.


My older kids biggest regular chore is babysitting. They can do laundry, dishes, and cook just fine too, although I probably don’t ask them to do those things often or regularly enough. They pretty much are clueless at the general concept of picking up though.

My youngest, who is 5 likes to help and volunteers all of the time. My 7 year old though becomes incurably deaf whenever asked to do even the smallest task. This thread is a good reminder that I need to not give up on him. I know how important it is for him to have the skills to pitch in and help out.


The current children (as well as the ones who are legal adults) all had chores based on age and ability.

The girls, ages 7 and 8, can:

  • Clear the table.
  • Sort the dirty clothes by color and fabric.
  • Fold the dry laundry and put it properly away.
  • Set the table (although for some reason, we are still working on the fork being placed on the left, and no, the napkin does not go on the plate).
  • Vac the living room.
  • Dust.
  • Make themselves a sandwich and a glass of milk when I can’t cook and they are “starving”.:rolleyes:
  • Sweep the floors (We have a lot of hardwood and vinyl).
  • Make their beds- but we use sleeping bags, too. (Much easier!)
  • Are responsible for getting their clothes to the basement for insertion in the washing machine. If the clothes do not arrive, I have told them, they will not have clean clothes- and I have never been able to train clothes to walk down by themselves! Each has gone once to school with stains on their uniform because on separate occasions, they could not bother to wander down the stairs with their clothes.
  • Wash and rinse their own dishes after using them.
  • Picking up the playroom each evening.

I was really proud of them last weekend. It took us all of an hour and a half to get the garage ready to hold the car (It usually holds “stuff”). The garage was packed with “stuff” and they followed directions beautifully.


asked DD this question earlier today, all I could get out of her was "drive me nuts, yell, and tear the place up"
they are only in the 1st week of a 3 week Christmas break, hope they survive.

they are 13, 11, 9 and 5, and when I was there they (kind of) kept their rooms in order, if you use the term loosely, brought their own clothes hampers down, folded and put away their own clothes, as well as towels and stuff, loaded and unloaded dishwasher, put groceries away, cut the grass and cleaned up the yard (never saw so many yard toys), took out the garbage and recycling and put the containers away after pick-up, got their own breakfast, lunch and snacks, and cleaned up after (kind of, depends on how you define “clean”), with minimal nagging, and sometimes desperate measures like unplugging the TV and video game. they also washed the cars (including grandma’s truck). Oh, they also take care of the pets (cat and hampster, but I since heard the cat has taken care of the hampster)


My boys are (almost) 5 and 2 1/2… and they help around the house with cleaning up their toys, laundry, clearing the kitchen table, bringing in the mail, bringing in the trash and recycling cans…
They still think it’s fun… not sure how long that’ll last!


Actually, right now not a lot. They set and clear for dinner, load and unload the dishwasher, fold laundry and starighten up as needed. After I went back to work full time, I finally decided to hire a housecleaner! It makes things so much easier for me! And I grew up with household help since we lived overseas where it is common, so I know that my kids will not be totally spoiled by this.

Before that, they had specific jobs. I didn’t like chore wheels because it seemed like they were always learning to do a task and never got very good at anything.


My son is 15 and he will empty the garbage, and clean out the cat’s litter box…those are his two ‘set’ daily jobs. He helps fold laundry…and sometimes does his own, if need be. He helps carry in groceries, and cleans off the table after dinner.

My dd will set the table, and help vacuum and fold laundry. She has also helped with cleaning when we are having guests.

We have a landscaper, but that would have been a job my son could have done…but he’s in sports, and it would be hard to add that chore on top of everything, we feel.


Well, I’m not a child anymore, but this was the chore regimen when I was a kid: (there were four of us)

We lived on a farm, so farm chores first:
Each kid (aged 8 and up) had one type of animal to feed (goats, pigs, cows, chickens) based on their physical strength and their size relative to the animals. Whoever did the milking was free from house chores that day. Chores had to be done before meals - no breakfast til the animals were fed, no dinner or homework until the farm chores were done in the evenings.

House chores:
One kid was on cooking. The cook was responsible for the kitchen cleanup too, but not the dishes.
Someone else handled dishes, table setting, emptying the dishwasher, and sweeping the whole living space.
The third kid vacuumed and cleaned the living room, the laundry room, and the entranceway.
The fourth kid was exempt from house chores in exchange for milking.
Chores were rotated based on who felt like doing what or who did what yesterday. The parents had nothing to do with chore assignments.

Laundry and bedrooms were our own responsibility. Our parents had nothing to do with when or whether we washed our clothes or cleaned our bedrooms, except they’d insist we clean the bedrooms at least three times a year. :rolleyes:

Now I live on my own. I invite people over often in order to give myself incentive to clean! I manage to stay on top of most things, except the balconies (which resemble a garage - dumping ground for random stuff) and mopping the floor. I hire a cleaning lady when I can afford it to do stuff like mopping, cleaning the stove, washing windows, etc.

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