What chores do you expect your preteen to do?

(73 Posts)
Flippityjig Sat 10-Nov-12 21:24:35

My dd aged 11 currently only clears the table after a meal.

She has asked for a pocket money increase - she currently gets £1.50 a week. I have said I will increase it if she takes on some chores at which point she seems to lose interest a bit, well, she stops asking!

I'm thinking things like making her bed every morning, tidying her room once a week, cleaning the hamster cage, maybe hoovering downstairs once a week or dusting?

So I wondered what other children of similar age do.

Perhaps even more important, I would love her to do these things without me nagging repeatedly, any tips?

LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 19:29:02

DDs are nearly 10 and nearly 9.

Every night they set the table for dinner, clear away afterwards and load the dishwasher. They then wipe down kitchen table, and working tops.

Every morning before school they unload the dishwasher.

When they get in from school, they hang up their coats, bags, put shoes away, clean out lunch boxes.

They make their own packed lunch, and clean their own school shoes (they have to be kept polished).

Every night before bed they do a quick 5 mins tidy of their playroom (their bedrooms stay tidy, because they have a playroom). Theiy give their playroom a thorough tidy every other week, the night before the cleaner comes.

When their bedding needs washing they strip their own beds.

Every other week (when the cleaner doesn't come) they dust and Hoover their bedrooms.

Every night, after their bath, they put their underwear in laundry basket, hang up any re-usuable uniform.

See far too many Mums picking up after, carrying around, babying their pre-teens...and completely make a rod for their own backs, and actually do their child no favours whatsoever. And, your child won't love you, or respect you the more for it, either.

Hulababy Tue 13-Nov-12 19:32:56

DD is 10y. No particular set chores and pocket money isn't linked to anything - although we reserve the right to cancel or reduce pocket money if we feel it is justified. DD gets £3.50 a week pocket money. It increases by 50p on each birthday.

DD is just expected to pitch in, same as me and DH, with household stuff. We all do something as it is the family house - so all the family are involved with keeping it sorted.

Her room is the key thing she is always expected to do - keep it tidy, make bed, etc. But she will also do other stuff too - sort washing, sort clean non-iron stuff to go away, fill/empty dishwasher, make dinner, make hot drinks, tody up in general, run hoover round, set/clear table, etc.

LaQueen Tue 13-Nov-12 20:03:01

Forgot to add - they make their beds every morning (not to my standard, but they're getting there).

And, they pitch in if we're washing our cars, pottering in garden.

They don't get pocket money. At present we buy everything they need. Stuff they want is bought for them depending on their recent behaviour and willingness to do their regular daily chores. They're clever little girls, they soon learned how the system worked wink

Once DDs go to GS, we will start them with a small monthly allowance, say £20 which they will be expected to manage themselves, and use for treats, magazines, trinkets- once it's spent, that will be it, no more. As they get older we will increase their allowance, but it will be expected to also cover their clothes bill(apart from uniform/coats and shoes).

Our friends have used this method with all 4 of their DDs, and it's worked well and taught them how to manage their money (fairly) sensibly.

To be honest, even once they're teenagers, I don't think we'll increase their chores much beyond what they do now - though I will be looking to include a limited amount of ironing, and some cooking (DD1 likes to cook).

There's a lot of homework at the GS, and I don't want their schooling to suffer at the expense of them doing chores.

FarrowAndBollock Tue 13-Nov-12 20:10:39

Bloody hell. I think this might be one of those threads where only the people whose children are doing an impressive lists of chores will reply. Reading this, mine do virtually nothing. They do odd jobs for a biscuit or DC2 will clean most of the windows for a couple of pounds. They may run the odd bath or tidy up sometimes if asked.

The don't have much time, to be honest, between school, afterschool clubs, quite a lot of homework etc. I fully intend to send them out into the world as cooking, cleaning, ironing experts though ... but I haven't started at this young age.

ChicMama25 Tue 13-Nov-12 20:13:35

Well dd is only 7 nearly 8 but she has to tidy her room, put plates in the dishwasher, her dirty clothes in the laundry basket and she has to help dh with the gardening at the weekend - well she likes the last one so not really a chore. She gets no pocket money - I put money in her CTF every month towards uni and put food on the table and clothes on her back (and pay for her school so I'm skint)

insanityscratching Tue 13-Nov-12 20:14:08

Dd doesn't have any regular chores but is expected to lend a hand if asked. She is responsible for feeding watering and cleaning out her hamster.

BerthaTheBogBurglar Tue 13-Nov-12 20:31:22

You're not wrong there, Farrow.

Dd (10) tidies her room when nagged, puts her clothes away (when the pile is too big to walk around), goes to the shop for bread etc when I've run out, and entertains her 4yo brother a lot. She's also learning to do his blood glucose tests ... (she asked to, he doesn't mind, and it could safe his life one day!).

All 3 dcs tidy up (when nagged) and put their clothes in the laundry, and their coats/school bags in the right place, and set the table if they're in the kitchen at that point.

But I must start getting them to put their plates in the dishwasher.

I'd feel mean getting them to Hoover once a week - that would be more hoovering than I do ...

Blipbipbeep Tue 13-Nov-12 21:36:31

I'm so glad that I have read this. DS1 (12 yrs) has to do most of the chores mentioned on here at some time or other and he makes such a huge meal out of it!

According to him I am the worst slave driving mum in the world and NONE of his friends have to do anything more than put their own breakfast cereal in a bowl apparently even that amounts to child abuse

He does get pocket money but nothing formal; he gets a fiver if he wants to go swimming or spend the day at the skate park for example and I put £5 into his bank a/c every month <I know its not much but I'm a bit skint>

FarrowAndBollock Tue 13-Nov-12 21:46:05

I have just showed DC2 this thread in the hope he would realise how many chores other children do and how lucky he is not to have to do the same. Instead, he noted everyone else got more pocket money than him and asked for a rise! hmm

defineme Tue 13-Nov-12 21:58:45

Can I just say to those planning to give kids a clothes allowance at age 11: I had this when I was 11 and it was truely crap. I made really bad choices, looked a right state in ill fitting clothes and got told off about inappropriate uniform at school. I think 11 year olds need a bit of guidance when choosing clothes ...

My 7 yrolds get £1 a week and choose to put it in their money box that requires a tin opener to open it or they can spend it-they mainly choose the money box. They clear plates, tidy room and generally help out if asked eg dd hoovered downstairs on Saturday and ds sorted the recycling, we all cleared leaves. Tbh they beg to help with tea and it's often me saying no I need to get on. I've never made a bed, other than when I change it, so I don't expect them to-do you mean straighten the duvet?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 13-Nov-12 22:05:07

My older dc 21 and 17 have always just mucked in with whatever needed doing. One washing dishes, other putting away. Cleaning cars, tidying rooms, washing in baskets and ironing school uniform. (there wasn't much). Now they are at uni, working, college etc they help if they are around, but now its more DIY linked with dh.
dd is 8 and does her own room, puts dishes away, helps with shopping, washing in baskets etc. She doesn't do homework/ never will, but she does have lots of activities so will probably end up with far fewer chores than older ones had. Only linked to money if they don't pull their weight. For larger jobs now older dcs will get paid. Pocket money was/is 50p per year of age up to age 10, then £1 for every year after. At 14 have own cb and pay own bills except shoes, coats.

marriedinwhite Tue 13-Nov-12 22:42:04

I have clearly gone very badly wrong. Mine get a healthy but modest allowance and I don't expect them to do anything except treat the house with respect and do their homework and their best at school. They put their own clean laundry away, put their dirties in the laundry basket, can make themselves a simple meal and ds helps unload the shopping from the car. They also have to organise their kit, etc., for school on a daily basis.

They are almost 18 and 14.

I wasn't expected to do routine chores either but when I left home, because I was used to living in a clean and tidy environment I kept a clean and tidy environment.

BackforGood Tue 13-Nov-12 22:55:48

My youngest dd is 11 (in Yr6)
She gets £1.10 a week pocket money, but it's not directly related to jobs - everyone who lives here has to muck in with what needs doing.
She is expected to...
cook evening meal once a week
hang/put away all clean washing that comes back
keep some semblance of order in her room (she's hopeless at this, but that means it doesn't get done rather than anyone else doing it for her)
whichever of the dc isn't cooking has to lay table / get everyone a drink for evening meal
generally do when asked (so not every day but most days there will be something) tasks such as getting the washing out the tumble drier and giving it out / unloading or loading the dishwasher/putting drying up away / make the odd cuppa for me / taking the rubbish out / gathering up the washing from around the 3 laundry baskets / type thing.
every now and then join in general household cleaning type chores when I have a splurge

Gymbob Tue 13-Nov-12 23:00:46

Am I over-paying mine? They are 13 and 14 and get £8 per week each. They do have to do chores for that, put laundry in wash bin, put away underwear, make beds each morning, keep their rooms tidy, and clean them once a week. Strip and make their beds once a week. Put their school bags and shoes and coats away, hand over their pack-up boxes, set and clear table when asked, dry and put away pots and pans that won't fit in dishwasher.

It seems like a lot now i've written in down, but it seems like they're always sat on their arses, and i do have to nag, nag, nag to get things done. I'm not always 100% successful, but I keep on nagging....

I wasn't asked to do anything at home, and when I left I couldn't look after myself properly - my husband taught me to cook when I was 24, but I'm still like Wendy Craig out of Butterflies if anyone remembers that!!

Gymbob Tue 13-Nov-12 23:03:28

Oh, and they're supposed to clean their shoes every week for school - of course if I don't remember to nag them they don't do it.

They also have the opportunity to earn extra if they want it. DD2 gets 20p per item if she irons. she was great at that when she wanted to save for something, but now that's passed she's not interested. I hate bloody ironing.

Gymbob Tue 13-Nov-12 23:06:26

Whoops sorry, just realised this thread is for pre-teens. sorry - but they do behave like pre-teens and the youngest only turned 13 three weeks ago - does that count?!! blush

BooksandaCuppa Tue 13-Nov-12 23:09:35

That doesn't sound like a lot, gymbob; most of what you say is just looking after their own stuff, apart from the table and pots and pans bit. I wouldn't class making their own beds/tidying rooms/putting laundry in wash basket as a 'chore', it's just being independent, surely? I think I would only class contributing to the rest of the house as a chore.

Ds is 11, does his own bed, dirty laundry in bin, clean laundry away, tidies/dusts own room, sets/clears table every day. Empties dishwasher/does polishing/mows lawn/cleans windows/sorts washing on an ad hoc basis. He gets no pocket money. But does get bought books more or less whenever.

I realise we do need to convert this at some point to proper pocket money...

DeadTall Tue 13-Nov-12 23:21:04

Bertha "I'd feel mean getting them to Hoover once a week - that would be more hoovering than I do ..." grin quite!!

DeadTall Tue 13-Nov-12 23:22:44

gymbob yes!! I loved Butterflies and really looked forward to the slop / burnt offering moment at the dinner table grin.

Fozzleyplum Tue 13-Nov-12 23:26:24

My DSs are 11 and 9. They make their own beds, lay the table, put their plates in the dishwasher and put their school clothes ready for the next day and laundry in the washing machine. They are generally expected to clear up after themselves and there are consequences (not financial) if they don't.
DS1 also cleans his own footy boots and helps look after his rabbits (DS2 allergic so is let off). I've been toying with the idea of teaching them to cook; currently, DS1 makes tea and sandwiches and DS2 does omelettes and both can bake, although I tend to hover. They also do jobs like clearing up leaves and pressure washing when asked. Occasionally, they hoover.

I don't give them too many chores to do on schooldays; they both get a fair bit of homework and one plays a LOT of sport whilst the other has music practice. It's a balance between getting them to contribute and having some downtime.

DS1 gets £5 pw pocket money and DS2 gets £4. I don't think an allowance would work with boys of that age. I will pay for basic (ie non-label) trainers etc, so they have to pay the top-up themselves if they want anything more flash. It's certainly made DS1 think twice about jumping on the Jack Wills/Hollister bandwagon. I will buy them books, but all other toys/magazines/comics have to come out of the pocket money.

madbengal Wed 14-Nov-12 05:16:47

DD gets £5.00 per week and it is dependant on her chores she has to keep her room tidy, she feeds the cats and puts away her washing. She will get asked other things to help out as part of the family and is learning how to Iron and the washing machine atm LOL

SofiaAmes Wed 14-Nov-12 10:02:35

My dc's get pocket money unconnected to chores. They are expected to do the chores as a member of our family. So dd (10) and ds (12) make their own beds, keep their rooms tidy (ok this one is a work in progress), fold and put away their own laundry and do all care of bird and crayfish. They have been doing these chores since they started school. Obviously my expectations of the quality of their performance has changed as they have gotten older.

Issy Wed 14-Nov-12 10:02:39

DDs are 10 and 11. DH and I both work FTOH but we have a daily cleaner.

We have been running a new pocket money scheme for about a month. The DDs get paid for chores such as clearing the whole table (not just their plate), hanging up the washing, bringing in the logs or emptying the dishwasher. Chores aren't optional but they are paid. Bit like work!

Provided they've completed £2 worth of chores, they can earn bonus amounts. Bonuses are paid for high scores in tests, 'commended' lessons, being ready before the school run lift arrives rather than a few minutes later for faffing around DD1 or ringing a friend to organise a playdate for shy DD2.

We sit down together on Sunday evening and work out who's done what and what they've earned. It's a ridiculously complex system, but the DDs seem to enjoy the complexity, bit like a board game and the family discussion is fun.

DD1 also gets a clothing allowance of £20/month for everything other than essentials (underwear, uniform, coat, boots). So far, she's made a pretty good job of spending it and it means that her friends get to accompany her for hours of agonised decision-making in Gap, rather than me.

I like the pocket money for chores etc. system because it gives us a way of putting our money where our mouth is: We all have to help out in the house but your help is recognised and appreciated. And there are things that matter to us, including doing well at school, challenging yourself, being polite enough to be on time and being nice to your sister. Although on that last one, DD1 can earn 10p every time she says something nice to DD2. It's an option to make like a bandit which she's so far utterly failed to expolit!

colditz Wed 14-Nov-12 10:06:14

Ds1 is nine, has ADHD and autism, and he makes me a cup of tea, he can unload the dishwasher and he puts shopping away. Ds2 is six, and he fetches washing and sorts it into light and dark, tidy his room and put clothes away.

CremeEggThief Wed 14-Nov-12 11:58:36

I give DS (10) between £2 and £3 a week. He is expected to keep his room tidy, put his dirty washing in his laundry basket, pick up clean(ish!) clothes off the floor, unload the dishwasher (only tends to go on every other day, as it's just the two of us), strip his bed and put it in the machine every other weekend, and put his lunch box in his lunch bag every morning.

I think I do far too much for him, and he isn't very good at organising himself, so I'm going to stand back more and let him get on with things, as I worry about how he is going to cope when he's a bit older. I only started asking him to put his own lunch box in his lunch bag last week, for example, and I have to stop myself from picking up his clothes if I see them on the floor (oh, how it bothers me!).

One thing I can't let go of yet is putting his clothes away in his drawers- I couldn't bear the thought of clothes not put away neatly and rotated. I am borderline OCD about order, tidiness and everything being in its place or the same way around, so that will be very hard.

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