Chores & incentives

(12 Posts)
ThresholdMum Sun 14-Jul-13 09:38:41

Hi, I'm about to become a single mum and to go back to work full time. Keen to get DD, 14 and DS, 11 a bit more involved in the housework, partly to share the load and partly to get them more independent. What tasks do your teens and preteens do, and what incentives do you give back? I was thinking having them each choose a meal each week that they cook (both are keen on cooking) and maybe a bag of other tasks (e.g. like clean bathroom) that they pick one of each week.

renaldo Sun 14-Jul-13 09:45:56

all mine 14,14 and 16, own rooms clean and tidied once per week, set and clear table
help with laundry, empty and load dishwasher, some cooking.
no grumbling about turns or fairness.
for extra reward ( might jsu be a lift to cinema or into town) gardening, hoovering.
i never pay for chores. but we have a cleaner so i pay her and we all benefit

No I don't pay for regular chores either, I consider it part of living as a family.
DS17 and 15 here. Regular jobs ; change their own beds once a week, lay and clear table, unload dishwasher, clean bathroom, ironing, grass cutting and any heavy lifting I need. They prepare there own lunches at weekends and in holidays. DS2 bakes sometimes.
I will pay for extras such as fence painting /garage clearing.

dexter73 Sun 14-Jul-13 21:19:50

My DD16 walks the dog, cleans her room and hoovers upstairs. She does does some cooking/baking too. She is working 4 days a week at the moment so that is enough for me.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 14-Jul-13 21:27:04

My dc have always had to help about the house from being toddlers, no incentives required apart from roof over their head grin
Toddlers - helping to tidy toys.
Infants - toys, clothes in basket, clothes in drawers.
juniors - washing up, tidying up, vacuum, dust, polish
Seniors - washing cars, ironing, cooking, cleaning, lawn mowing, basic DIY.

At 16, completely self sufficient and ready to leave home, if money was no object.

felicity1971 Tue 16-Jul-13 10:05:12

Dd12 and Ds13 load and unload dishwasher, set table, walk dog. They're supposed to keep rooms clean and tidy as well but that's not going so well especially Ds room! Oh and I always make them bring down their laundry and then I leave their clean laundry outside their door to put away. I'm am definitely not going in to pick up dirty stuff off the floor! Incentives wise I don't pay them but they get an allowance, lifts everywhere, friends over all the time so they don't do too badly!

BastardDog Tue 16-Jul-13 14:08:55

I have a 12 and 13 yo.

Saturday morning they have to tidy, Hoover and dust their bedrooms. Rest of the week it can be a tip if that's what they want. I don't give them their allowance until this has been done.

They both do their own laundry.

They walk the dog a couple of times a week.

They empty the dishwasher / kitchen bin if asked.

During term time they make their own packed lunches.

Now the school holidays are here I'm going to get them to cook one night a week each.

Other jobs that they can and will do for extra money throughout the year are lawn mowing, car washing, washing down paintwork, sweeping up leaves, weeding.

They also nip to the shop if we run out of bread or milk.

ThresholdMum Tue 16-Jul-13 17:05:46

Great! Thank you all so much, really helpful.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Tue 23-Jul-13 13:51:18

DD, 17: Hoover daily, own laundry, own ironing, cook two days' meals, help wash up, bins, wash car.

Incentive: food, not being embarrassed by DF wearing unwholesome shorts or DM singing. If chores missed for too long change router password/put on baby video with friends present.

flow4 Wed 24-Jul-13 07:58:04

DSes 18 and 13. Own rooms, own washing, own ironing if any. Take turns to lay and clear table, load and unload dishwasher. They both make their own breakfasts and lunches. DS1 cooks a family meal once a week; DS2 does it occasionally. They're both expected to do other jobs (clean bathroom, run vac round, pop to shop, etc.) if I ask, but grumble.

I did pay DS1 for housework for a year or so when he was about 14. He ran through the house in about 90 mins for a fiver. It was a source of constant agro tho (I resented paying him, he resented doing it), so the current arrangement suits us better.

I notice you've got a massive change of circumstances, Thresh. I hope these are positive for you. smile It might be harder to get your DCs to do things if they haven't had to before. If so, it might be worth introducing housework alongside some more positive changes, so it doesn't feel like your new family set-up just brings them more work and grief. I vividly remember DS1 saying to me resentfully, when I was explaining that I needed his help with housework, "It's not MY fault you haven't got a husband to do it!" sad So, being able to say "OK, there are a few more chores, but there's also pizza and a film on Friday and an extra £3 on Saturday!" might really help. smile

BackforGood Wed 24-Jul-13 19:55:27

Mine are now 17, 14, and 11, but have been doing these for 2-3 yrs.

Each take a turn to cook one evening meal a week (they quite like this and sometimes volunteer to do more, as they realise the cook gets to choose what is served wink)
Whoever isn't cooking, between them have to unload the dishwasher, lay the table, get everyone a drink.
Everyone has to chip in to clearing away / loading the dishwasher.
If they want anything ironed, that's up to them.
If they want their rooms tidy, that's up to them.

Mine have always had to chip in to help though - might be a bit of an uphill project if this is all new to them.

Mine are FAR better if they can see "it's fair"... If I ask one of them to do something, it's mainly about not wanting to do any more than the others, which is how the meals works so well - it's all clear that it's equal.

Issy Wed 24-Jul-13 20:10:36

Mine are 10 and 12 (so proto-teens). We have used the start of the holidays and the unexpected absence of our cleaner as a set-up for more formal chores. Each of them needs to:

- Make bed
- Open curtains (why do children never do this but live in a semi-permanent gloom)
- Make and clear away their own breakfast

Then they take it in turns each day to do the 'laundry chore' (take down dry clothes, fold, put on the right person's bed, hang up wet washing from the machine) or 'kitchen chore' (unload dishwasher, reload with breakfast things, empty draining rack, wipe down surfaces). One of them clears up after lunch, the other one after tea.

We're cheating at the moment because we're both out at work and the lovely student who is looking after them is the 'chore enforcer'.

No payment, just no screen time (includes phones, iPods, iPads etc.) the next day if they are not done.

It doesn't seem to be too much to ask them to do in the holidays, although in term time I will probably leave the kitchen chore and laundry chore to weekends only.

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