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?

rockinhippy Wed 14-Nov-12 13:14:47

DD 10, in theory is fully responsible for…

Setting table
Clearing up after herself, this includes bed making, clearing putting her dishes by the sink after she's finished, not leaving things lying around after she's finished, be it clothes, toys or whatever
Put away her own clean laundry
keep her room tidy
Empty the dishwasher & put everything away.
Sorting out whatever she needs for school the next day - be it PE kit or whatever.
Sometimes makes her own packed lunch.
Empties & puts away/ready for washing todays packed lunch the minute she gets in from school - followed by a drink/snack & do the dishwasher.

Rules are, we only remind her once & then its forfeit - so she'll be missing YC, TV or similar - we make sure she sees it as these are privileges she earns by doing her bit to help keep the household running smoothly - she gets £4 pocket money now, which has been a small raise every birthday to bring it to that at 10, but its made sure that she understands that its not linked to chores, as I too feel thats a bad idea - though she also as an "older, more responsible girl" gets an extra small chore each birthday too

I say in THEORY as thanks to a catalogue of various injuries over the last 2 years, its been very hard in practice as she's been everything from on crutches, sprained neck & arm in a sling & she has milked it to do nothing where she cangrin, but ATM she is on the mend & actually seems quite glad to be able to help out again, bless her she has hated being infirmsad - but I'm not expecting that to last long - she'll be "forgetting" everything she can get away with soon enough - until we pull YC & then she'll remember againgrin

sieglinde Wed 14-Nov-12 13:15:58

Mine is 12 and gets £4 a week, but this is not payment for chores; chores are part of life, and just normal.

Washing dishes and/or drying and kitchen cleanup inc. wiping benches, table and stove every third night - we don't have a dishwasher.

Keeping room tidy and vacuuming same

Feeding her cats and cleaning up after same

Ironing own clothes for special occasions.

general house cleanup for visitors etc

Maintaining fire n woodburning stove if parents are busy

Generally being helpful if asked

MrsMarigold Wed 14-Nov-12 13:20:47

Blimey I must be harsh - my DS is only 17 months and he has some chores. He feeds the cat with some assistance and gets out nappies and wipes for hs sister (aged just 2 months). I fully intend to ramp this up - my husband used to make a cooked breakfast for his parents when in prep school and I feed and cleaned out the pets, made my bed and polished shoes.

LaQueen Wed 14-Nov-12 13:29:17

I think by involving your DCs in the daily chores of running a home, you are giving them some genuinely helpful, worthwhile training for life.

Growing up, I didn't especially appreciate/enjoy helping my Mum with chores, but I was learning from a Master - and so when I had my own home, I easily had it running like clockwork.

Growing up DH Didn't. Have. To. Lift. A. Finger.

When I met him at university, he had never made his own bed, used a hoover, or cooked a simple meal for himself. At High Table he had to pay a mate to iron a shirt for him hmm

Pathetic.

CremeEggThief Brazil Wed 14-Nov-12 13:31:37

I think you're right in what you say, LaQueen.

are you married to my DH LaQueen? when we moved in together I had to teach him how to do the dishes!!

OTOH, my mum used to make us loads of stuff, inlc cleaning bathrooms everyday (in turns but it was just two of us) when on holiday, and go to bank, post office, run lots of errands because she was working full time. I used to hate it!

I expect help from my dds, but I try to keep a happy medium and not overdo it, even though I am sure they'll still think it's too much.
At 11&8 they are expected to keep room tidy, put away their (folded) clothes, dirty ones in laundry basket, help set table, and clear after themselves.

They also helpa lot with their baby brother and sister (9 months), so I can't complain!

drizzlecake Wed 14-Nov-12 14:18:03

Perhaps rephrasing it as 'what should teens do to help run the home' instead of using the word chores might help and what about asking DD what she suggests to do to help run the home.
Then it is harder for her to not do it, it was her suggestion after all.

But I made my DCs do stuff, though it is hard work, but def worth it imo. They adapted to life away from home v easily and came back with scare stories of other flatmates doing daft things (wiping kitchen down with pure bleach for one, another one living on breakfast cereal (she became very aggressive over time!)).

NAR4 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:30:55

My older children are 12, 14 & 16. They are completely responsible for cleaning their own rooms, putting laundry in their wash basket (there is one in their bedroom), putting their clean clothes away and emptying the dishwasher as part of a house rota. Now I am finding household chores rather difficult (pregnant and have PGP), I put a list of jobs I would like done on the fridge and pay them £3.50 per hour for any they choose to do. This has limited sucess but they can't get pocket money any other way. They have their hobbies paid for and any equipment and clothing that goes with it, but any cash has to be earned.

The chores they do unpaid are part of contributing to the household and its their choice if they choose to earn pocket money or not. Don't get any moaning about it, other than the occassional 'I was going to do that, but he's already done it'. They do the chores on a first come, first served basis, so it is down to them to get on with it if there is a certain job they want.

I know my children are older, but this has been the system since they started school.

Lavenderhoney Wed 14-Nov-12 19:49:19

I loved butterfliessmile
I don't do pocket money , I thnk they are a bit young. Maybe when ds is 6. Also, its about independance not chores for me. My dm did everything and I was useless at 18. No idea how to cook, make a bed, make toast...
Ds is 5. started making his own bed about 6 months ago unprompted. He puts his pjs under the pillow and arranges his teddies. He hoovers his room if I get the Hoover out, but he says it's boringsmile
They both tidy up toys and enjoy it, but all toys have to be put away before tea, so there is incentive. Plus bedrooms I tidy at bedtime with some help from dc if they want. Ds and dd lay the table, help clear, unpack dishwaher put dirty clothes away.

I don't nag, but just try to make sure they can do stuff as they get older. Ds loves to cook toosmile

It helps that dh does his share too. The dc see its just life. Ds is writing now, so soon he can write the shopping list.

LaQueen Wed 14-Nov-12 19:55:51

Claire possibly grin

When I met DH he just used to take all his dirty laundry home, twice a term, in a dustbin liner for his Mum to sort out. We had laundries in halls, but he couldn't be arsed with that.

He barely knew how to wash dishes either, I think he'd done it once when he was 8, for his scout badge, or something hmm

I think it was just an incredibly shoddy way for his MIL to raise her children. I don't think it ever occured to her that just because she saw no wrong in being her DCs thankless skivvy, other people would think her DCs were freaks who needed to damn well grow up, quick sharp.

lamename Wed 14-Nov-12 20:14:47

I know it's bitchy, but I find unhelpful DCs really unattractive - when they get to a certain size, lolling about with their mouths open (literally or otherwise) in the evenings, or worse at other people's houses, just isn't pretty.

MareMeva Wed 14-Nov-12 21:00:52

My little boy is only 14 months old and not very helpful around the house as of yet, but I have started asking him to put things away, and he is absolutely delighted when he gets it right. Boys in particular should be encouraged (gently persuaded?) to help tidy up if we don't want cleaning to be seen as woman's work and we don't want another generation of grown men who expect a woman to not only wash but to go hunt for their dirty socks. I think it is important for children to realise that although housework is work, almost no one gets paid for it. I was expected to clean and tidy growing up, and got no regular pocket money.

PiedWagtail Wed 14-Nov-12 21:34:43

Well, my two are 9 and 5 and they (1) set the table for breakfast and help clear away after, (2) cldar their own plates etc to the kitchen after a meal, (3) help daddy with gardening and leaf clearing (but they love this), (4) put their own washing in the laundry basket and help to change their beds, DS (5) gets 50p a week and dd (9) gets £1.50 a week. Am training ds early!

Emandlu Wed 14-Nov-12 21:43:58

My kids are 12 and 9. They get £5 a month from their grandparents. We give them no pocket money at all.

They are responsible for keeping their bedrooms tidy, washing up, drying up, setting the table, tidying up,after themselves, putting away their clean washing and putting their dirty washing in the correct washing basket. They also will do any jobs we ask them to as and when we ask them, so this can be dusting, hoovering, cleaning the bathroom etc though these jobs are few and far between and generally coincide with a house viewing.

jodee Wed 14-Nov-12 22:00:57

DS, 12.5, doesn't do a huge amount of chores, tbh. He is expected to make his bed every day and change his bedding (when I remind him), put dirty washing in the washing basket and clear the table after himself at dinner and remove cups/plates from wherever he has been eating/drinking back to the kitchen. In the spring/summer he will cut the grass, and sometimes wash the car.

I agree with Farrow, he will be self-sufficient by the time he leaves home, but in the meantime he has enough on his plate with school/homework.

swanthingafteranother Wed 14-Nov-12 22:01:15

after reading all those posts about helpful pre-teens I just wanted to cheer some poor sap up and say my three dcs are decidedly unhelpful.

They lay table
clear table
load dw
help with cooking
put dirty clothes laundry
occasional lawn mowing
put rubbish out when asked
hoover when asked
shop for food when asked at shop on corner

They get no pocket money...I think we tried to offer it in reward but they never earned it, and in the end we just gave up blush
their rooms are tips
and they never notice any mess at all blush

Lequeen I think I remember once reading that your husband was a delightful man, so that gives me hope that even though my children are not much use, and I have failed to instil a "useful" approach they may yet turn out alright wink

weegiemum Argentina Thu 15-Nov-12 09:42:02

We have 3 dc who are 12.9 (s1), 10.9 (p6) and one week short of 9 (p5).

We have non-negotiable chores which are just part of being a family. These include feeding and cleaning our furry pets (rabbit, 2 guineas and 2 hamsters), laying table and clearing afterwards, loading dishwasher, taking out recycling, hanging up laundry and putting away their own clean clothes. Also theoretically keeping their own rooms tidy - theoretically!!!

Then there are the extras they can choose to do for extra pocket money or "screen" time, or to earn something that they are saving up for. I pay slave wages of about 50p for a job (Hoover the rug in the lounge, empty dishwasher, Hoover stairs, collect dirty laundry and load machine - 50p = 15 mins screen, up to a max of half an hour extra a day. Then there are the big jobs - mainly at this time of year sweeping all the bloody leaves off the ridiculously slippery deck! These earn a premium rate!!

I'm disabled and have a home help/PA twice a week who does the heavier housework like washing floors, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning out cupboards/ fridge etc. She also helps me with form filling, sewing on endless cub badges, things my hands, feet and poor balance won't let me do!

I still seem to spend all my spare time cleaning and tidying Wye I'm not mnetting!

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 10:25:15

lame I totally agree with you.

I think pre-teens, who come to visit, and are polite and ask if they can help with anything when I'm preparing dinner are very charming (and have clearly been properly brought up wink ).

These ones tend to get invited for playdates much more often...

The ones who barely make eye-contact, and don't even say thank you for their meal and just wander off from the table afterwards...not so charming.

LaQueen Thu 15-Nov-12 10:27:16

swan he is absolutely luffly, everyone loves him. For most of our life together he has paid for a cleaner, so that he doesn't have to learn anything domestic (and to stop me nagging him all the time).

But, I can't help feeling that he's missing the point somehow hmm

bubby64 Thu 15-Nov-12 11:08:57

I have 2 DS's, who are almost 12yrs, and they are expected to clear the table and put plates/crockery etc in dishwasher, clean their rooms,put away clean clothes, put their dirty clothes in laundry and help keep the dining room clear (their Xbox is in there, so they spend a lot of time in there and tend to leave cups/plates/wrappers etc all over it unless they are told to clean up!) They also have to make beds in the morning (they have duvets, just shake and lay flat), help with their pets (feed cats/dogs at least a couple of times a week instead of leaving it all for me!). However, if they do all chores, they get £5 a week, and this amount is reduced according to what they have and havent done. Last week, DS1 got the whole fiver, but DS2 got £2.

Adversecamber Thu 15-Nov-12 11:31:46

DS unpacks dishwasher most days, he will make me a cuppa and also has to hoover the entire downstairs once a week. He brings his laundry basket down on a Saturday and will also help put away his own clean laundry. He helps me with food shopping once a week. He feeds the cat twice a day.

He does not always do these thing with good grace it has to be said, apart from the cat feeding.

he gets a couple of quid a week.

NAR4 Sat 17-Nov-12 13:39:59

I agree with MareMeva that I don't want my boys to grow up thinking housework is a womans job. I feel it is my duty to my future daughter-in-laws to train my boys domestically. I am proud to say that when I badly tore my hamstring a couple of years ago, they even cooked a roast dinner by themselves.

Most importantly I think boys (and girls) learn by example, so it is important for them to see their dad doing housework as well as their mum.

AdoraJingleBells Fri 23-Nov-12 01:11:14

Can I join in please? I have 11 yr old twin DDs, one of whom is a stroppy little madam. They are supossed to tidy their rooms, put their own things away instead of leaving them around the house, put their dirty clothes in their linen baskets, lay the table for dinner and put their clean ironed clothes away.

This is linked to £5 a week.

DD2 came up with a list of lot's more than that, but doesn't do her won suggestions. She is now doing her own laundry due to her attitude. DD2 told me today "you do nothing all day" so I'm trying to decide weather to a) lamp her, b) prove her right by actually doing nothing for a month or six, or c) revert back to doing everything and she gets no pocket money because she's not grown up enough. This is not the first time this week we've had words about her attitude towards me.

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