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Chores for 4yo

(21 Posts)
Cat98 Sat 03-Nov-12 12:05:28

My 4yo doesn't really do set chores to help out apart from tidying his room/playroom occasionally (though he moans about this when asked) and taking things to the bin etc. he likes to help dusting sometimes.
Should I be asking him to do more or have specific set chore/s daily? Also how do you enforce them if they are reluctant?

Fuzzymum1 Sat 03-Nov-12 12:22:08

Our five year old has to help with tidying etc and similar things to yours. He also has to lay the table for dinner each night, that started a good year ago when he was 4. He has to get enough knives and forks out of the drawer and set them out on the table. It was fun for him to begin with then he started not wanting to do it for a while but we just kept calmly reminding him it needed doing and now he does it without being asked most days.

sarahtigh Sun 04-Nov-12 22:47:13

putting toys away, carrying dirty plate/dish to sink after meals, small helping tasks, putting shopping away, carrying small items, putting shoes clothes neatly when takes them off

encourage other helping (even when it would be quicker yourself) putting veg in empty saucepan before you add water, cleaning table with cloth though he will miss bits, dusting using brush, most small children enjoy doing "grown up" stuff, my DD age 3 loves cleaning even though it is not really clean and certainly at best only clean in parts I encourage it as a good habit and she will get better

HolyAutumnGoldBatman Mon 05-Nov-12 00:42:04

The only things I ask him to do regularly are 'looking after himself' type things like folding clothes when he takes them off or putting them in the washing basket, clearing his things off the table when he's finished, tidying playroom/bedroom, putting bath things away when he's finished, hang towel up when he's used it etc.

I'll also ask him to help out with things as and when I need someone to help with it (he's number 3 of 4, so the jobs are shared out amongst the 3 older ones). This is ususally things like getting changing bag/coat/shoes etc for the baby, set the table, collecting washing from the laundry baskets, helping put packed lunch bits in everyones bags etc

When he's reluctant I explain that we all have to pitch in and help each other and that's just the way it is.

JackThePumpkinKing Mon 05-Nov-12 00:58:30

Yep, looking after himself things here too.Tidy room, takes out own plate, gets his own pudding (strangely more than happy to do that one), and helping take stuff in from the car. He has to carry his own stuff (mostly) when we're out and help pack his stuff if we're away for the weekend.

I am very much looking forward to the day when he is old enough to Hoover the house and make me a cup of tea smile

Bubblenut Mon 05-Nov-12 01:01:10

Bit young at 4 to do 'chores'.

Making things a bit more fun than chores is probably best

JackThePumpkinKing Mon 05-Nov-12 01:01:14

How long til someone comes along accusing us of treating our children like servants and spouting such crap as "they're only young once - why have children if you don't want to look after them" yadda yadda

Fuzzymum1 Tue 06-Nov-12 10:57:13

"How long til someone comes along accusing us of treating our children like servants and spouting such crap as "they're only young once - why have children if you don't want to look after them" yadda yadda"

Hahaha - My eldest is at college and they had someone in to speak to them about uni etc. They had a questionaire to fill in - 20 questions such as "do you know how to use the washing machine?" "do you tidy your own room" "Can you cook a meal", "can you make a cup of tea" "Do you do any paid work" He answered yes to 19 of the questions but at least 3 or 4 of the 20 kids answered no to every single question! Some of his contemporaries have servants rather than parents it seems. I asked him if he thought I was unreasonable expecting him to be so independent and he laughed and said "Of course not! How would I cope when I leave home if I've never learned to do any of this stuff?"

JackThePumpkinKing Tue 06-Nov-12 11:04:05

Exactly grin

KentuckyFriedChildren Tue 06-Nov-12 11:09:12

My dcs (5 and 3) help by putting their clothes in washing, keeping their room clean, putting rubbish in bin, putting plates etc in dishwasher when done (and scraping any food into bin first), putting washing in machine and taking it out again, wiping down table with baby wipes (I clean it myself as well but at least there is never dried food etc). They can also make their own sandwiches/ get fruit etc and get their own drinks (tapwater). There's probably other things too but u can't think just now.

WitchesTit Tue 06-Nov-12 11:21:32

The idea that everyone pitches in and can be seen to be helping each other is integral to family life, and will work as long as your ds can see everyone doing it happily with no moaning or nagging.

My aunt (when she was adopted by my grandparents at age 4) would make her bed, get her own breakfast and be washed and dressed and standing by their front door at 6.30am sharp, following the strict regime drilled into her at the children's home.
My gran would break down in tears each time she told us this story, usually if she saw me nagging my ds pick up his toys.

She was firmly in the 'let children be children' camp.

Cat98 Tue 06-Nov-12 14:42:49

Thanks all.
I completely agree that it is important for children to help out. Maybe "chores" is too harsh a word but you know what I mean! I was brought up not having to do much around the house at all and it didn't do me any favours - I couldn't boil an egg or make a bed when I went to Uni!
I want DS to be confident looking after himself and pitching in.
I try and make it fun (eg as mentioned he does like helping me dust) but sometimes I will ask him to tidy up before bed or something if he's been playing and he makes such a fuss!
It sounds like just bits and bobs is the way to go at this age though rather that "set" jobs that need to be done each day?

JackThePumpkinKing Tue 06-Nov-12 15:01:00

Hmmm I think set jobs works really well actually - just things like taking their own plate to the sink, putting their own stuff in the bin, or clothes in the laundry. DS has to tidy his room at the end of the day - not negotiable. I do help him sometimes, and he used to moan about doing it. He doesnt anymore though as he's realised there's no point grin

Cat98 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:03:27

Thanks. He will do it if I help him (tidy room) but that tends to involve me doing the lions share and him putting away one toy and then playing with something else while I clean up grin
I sometimes let this go as I feel at least it's a start but wondering if I should be stricter!
I'm going to make sure he takes his plate to the kitchen after meals then and puts dirty clothes in the wash each night now. Start as we mean to go on hey wink

JackThePumpkinKing Tue 06-Nov-12 15:03:36

Meant to add that I think It's teaching them to be tidy and helpful from the word go, and not have the assumption that someone picks up after them or that the cleaning fairy does everything grin

Cat98 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:04:40

Too true.. DH and I both had lovely doting mothers who were great in so many ways but did far too much for us, and we both say that's not a mistake we want to make with DS!!

Cat98 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:05:40

It's taken us 7+ years of having our own house to manage to keep it reasonably tidy, and <whispers> I <still> can't put a duvet cover on!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 06-Nov-12 16:04:51

DS just turned 4 and has always put his toys away at the end of the day but good to read about clearing/setting table - they sound like things I can definitely get him doing now as well and seem to be more "chores" that help the whole family

farrowandballs Thu 08-Nov-12 15:56:00

DS (5) lays the table, makes his bed, clears table/loads dishwasher (but we use melamine plates)

JackThePumpkinKing Thu 08-Nov-12 16:13:06

DS (4yo) has just started washing up grin. Only his lunchbox and other plastic stuff really, but he loves doing it and I'm more than happy to let him!

Now.. when can he start making cups of tea?

FireOverBabylon Thu 08-Nov-12 16:22:02

DS is 3. He has to help put toys away to get something else big out even though he'd rather I did it and he also takes cutlery to the table and puts his clothes in the washing bin when he goes in the bath.

Often he likes doing things like dusting or hoovering because he's being like mum or dad so he doesn't have specific tasks but he does have things we ask him to do. I guess it's almost like participating in the running of our home, rather than chores per se.

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