Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teaching Tweens Responsibility

I have had some people ask me how I get my kids to help out so much around the house. Well i did start them out early!
I guess when you are 4 vacuuming seems fun!

Even Haley got into it and she was only 2 1/2! Funny how things they thought were fun are a struggle now.

I mean it is so much fun they used to fight over who got to clean NOW they fight over who has to do it!

We trying really hard to not have "boy" responsibilities and "girl" responsibilities. Cody still loves to cook!

Haley used to love to mow! Well now we don't have any grass because we live in AZ so she is lucky but neither one of them are too thrilled about pulling weeds. But they do.

See we still have them cleaning!

Haley even did a fabulous job cleaning the microwave!

So gross (no judging me!) BEFORE


AFTER - way to go!


We have tried many different techniques with the kids from lists, pick your own responsibility, incentives, grab a chore from the jar, all sorts of things. What I have found that worked for our family is that we did have them start early helping out. We are a family, a team, a unit! We all have to work together to be successful.

Now from time to time I feel a little guilty about making them do some things, while I am tanning outback with my fruity drink with my cute little umbrella. Oh wait that is my dream not the truth! We always work as a team.

However, I am a parent first. My job as a parent is to teach my kids how to be successful in life. My job is to teach them skills so when they grow up they can take care of themselves. I often joke if I died tomorrow (I know morbid) I know the kids would be OK. Cody cooks great! Haley can cook some but she is awesome at cleaning bathrooms and they both know how to load/unload the dishes. They both understand coupon shopping and they both can wash, dry, fold, and put up laundry. That's my ultimate job right? To teach and grow them as individuals.

That has always been our philosophy. I am not treating them bad I am teaching them. In life you have to take responsibility for yourself.  I am bound and determined to not have a kid going off to college that doesn't know how to do their laundry!

When my kids were really little like 2 or 3 they like to think they were helping there momma! They were good at putting up silverware (minus the knives), vacuum a little, give them a rag to dust, give them toilet paper to stock up the bathrooms.

As they got older (6-8) they were able to actually vacuum, sweep, put up laundry, sort laundry, match socks, wipe down counters, take out trash.

Now they are able to do it all. Being a perfectionist I had to learn to let a few things go. Just because the dishwasher wasn't loaded exactly the way I like it, well it's OK because guess what I didn't have to do it.

It isn't that we had any special way to get the kids to do the responsibilities we just expected it.  We are a family, a team, a unit. We live together, work together, and play together. We always say that to do the fun stuff we have to get the responsibilities done and the more we all work together the quicker it gets done.

So nothing special, no secret, just the truth, we are all responsible.


  1. Love it! Gotta put those kids to work. Make them earn their keep!

  2. What a great post! My kids have chores and I think it is so important! I love that they all help out! The other night I had all of the laundry dumped out on my bed ready to fold and I had the boys helping!

  3. Loved the photos of your son young and older cooking--what great shots to save and give to his future wife one day. ;) She'll love you for teaching him all of these skills!