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C'Moms Speak! April 2007 (On Chores)

By C'Moms Members

Q: How do you incorporate chores into your parenting style? Do you feel giving your children chores is important?

"In our family, there is no question that everyone is responsible for certain jobs/chores. When our children were small, their main job was keeping their areas cleaned up, e.g., picking up their toys and books. As they got older, we started giving them harder jobs.

My husband and I believe, that by giving the kids chores, we are instilling responsibility in them, so that when they leave our home they will have respect for their belongings. We do give the kids an allowance for their part in keeping the home looking nice, but they also need to be responsible with their money. They have been taught the importance of tithing at church, saving for a rainy day, and having a little spending money on hand."

-Becky, pa_wife

"We also believe that chores play an important role in the rearing of our children. They begin by learning to clean up after themselves by picking up toys, etc. We then work on keeping bedrooms clean, making beds, and putting their own folded laundry away. My school aged children also each feed 1 pet and pack their own lunch boxes (with supervision). They receive praise and appreciation for doing these basic jobs, but are not paid. I actually "fine" them for a missed or poorly completed chore.

Each week they have chances to earn extra funds by completing additional tasks such as dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, organizing a drawer, etc. I'll let them know in advance what the payment for the job is and will allow them to redo it if not up to par. They almost always choose to do additional tasks, as they enjoy having spending money.

I also try hard to resist the urge to re-do or fix any of their work. I think it can be very demoralizing to a child. We don't strive for perfection, just one's best effort."


"Oh, I completely agree that chores are important. We must start young, teaching our children to be responsible and build a worth ethic. If I had more of that as a child I'd be much better off right now.

We don't tie chores to money here though. We believe the kids should participate in keeping house as just part of being a family. That's what we do. We all have jobs.

For their work, they are rewarded from time to time: dinner out (their choice), A "treat" from time to time, a monetary gift once in a while, etc. And when it's money, as another mentioned, they are taught about tithing and saving.

We believe children should have chores of some sort early on. If they can drag toys out, they can help put them back, and it just continues from there. As they get older, they help with the trash, the dishes, tidying the living areas, etc. Oh, and feeding pets, when we have them!"

-Tara in KY

"Based on the principle in the Bible "If you do not work you do not eat", we have incorporated chores for the children.

Every morning, after breakfast, before devotions and school, they have an assigned chore. We rotate chores like dishes, sweeping, trash, dog poop pick up, and laundry sorting. The older ones mow the yard and different duties are picked up as they mature.

I think doing chores contributes to a godly character and makes children feel they belong, even if they grumble on occasion at first.

We do not pay our children for daily upkeep of the house type chores. If there is a bigger special job, like painting, we will on occasion pay them or treat them to a dinner out, or a special treat."

-Leslie, luvmy4sons

"We have chores for our children. Our oldest has had set chores since he was about 4. He must feed the dogs and cats every day and make sure they have fresh water. He must also help his grandfather with the livestock each evening. He is 9 now and is taking on more responsibilities such as housework and laundry.

I believe that being given chores gives the children a sense of responsibility. Our kids know that they are responsible for things and I can see it carry over into their daily lives. Our oldest son really seems to be more mature than most kids in his class. I think his chores really have played a part in that.

Our youngest helps pick up toys each night and puts away the movies and books he gets out. He is only 2, but he understands the concept very well. Our babysitter also follows these rules, so it's not confusing to him.

We don't usually give monetary rewards for chores. We will reward them with something special or their favorite dinner and dessert. It just makes our family a little closer when we all work together!"

-Carolyn, momof2bois



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