No Chores for My Kids -- Life With 3 Teens

toddler vacuuming

Photo by akme10607

It's hard enough raising one teen -- but three?! Welcome to RAZmom88's wild and wonderful life. Each Thursday she shares the week's drama or joy.

Chores Are My Job, Not My Kids'

My husband is very particular about our home and keeping it clean and organized.

When both he and I worked full time, everyone -- my three children included -- were expected to pitch in. We never had a list of duties for each person, but everyone was expected to keep the house clean. After dinner, everyone takes care of their plate and helps out. This is still true now.

The difference is that now that I stay home, I take care of the home. So my 15 year old and 18 year old, who are both living at home, do not have set jobs. Neither does my other 18 year old, who is away at college. I make all the beds, vacuum, dust, and do the laundry and most days cook the meals. I have all day while they are at work or at school.

I have about eight hours and it only takes about two hours a day to keep things under control. I also volunteer and our local food bank once or twice a week.

I've often wondered what stay-at-home moms do with their time if they make their kids do chores. My 15 year old son Zack has just one chore: If it snows, he has to shovel the porch. Last time he just left it, and his father had to do it when he got home from work. He wasn't happy about that.

The positive thing about making all the beds and doing the laundry is that I have full access to all their stuff.  Not that I'm nosey, I'm just cleaning up.

Weekly Spending $$

We give the kids money to spend each week, but we don't call it an allowance and they do not have to earn it.  We found this system helps to keep us on a budget. Before we started this, they would randomly ask for $10 here and $5 there. It got out of control. Now they have a set amount each week and have to budget it for themselves.


What's your rule for chores and allowances? Should a stay-at-home mom be solely responsible for the daily housekeeping and general chores, or should teens be expected to pitch in?

Previous journals:

Driving Tests, Borrowing the Car

Dating Older Women

My Son Smoked Pot

Laptops and Lung Cancer

Too Young for Love?

Abusive Homes, Faith

Shopping and Sleeping Arrangements

Sports and Vampires

Fighting Siblings

Competing Brothers

Teen Drinking?

Meet the Kids

behavior, discipline, life with 3 teens


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MomIWant MomIWant

My children are spoiled when it comes to chores, they both only had dishes and garbage.  I do all the rest.  Occasionally on a Saturday afternoon, I will make them clean up something other than their room, but....usually I just do it.  We do not give out money though.  They have to have their own "play" money (they both have jobs) and all "extras" they must pay for.  Senior year of high school, they had to pay their own lunches.  They went/go to a private high school & graduation expenses were as ridiculous as the tuition, so their contribution was lunches. 

Fallaya Fallaya

My dd is only 18 months old, and as young as she is, she has certain "chores" in our home: she puts her dirty clothes in the laundry bin, she helps pick up her toys after playing, and she takes small bags of trash to the door. My theory is this: this is OUR home, not just mine, so I shouldn't be expected to do all the work in the home. There's nothing wrong with a child learning the value of working, even as a toddler.

Pollymom Pollymom

I don't think of it as a way to make someone do "my" chores while I sit on the couch...I'm a SAHM and I plan on having my kids help with everyday chores around the house. It's about teaching them that these things need to be done so that when they're older kids and also when they're out on their own, they can be responsible for themselves and not have to call home saying, "Mom, how do you work the washing machine?" or something. Besides, their spouses will appreciate it. LOL

I also agree with Fallaya, this is OUR house and everyone living in it should pitch in to help.

RAZmom88 RAZmom88

I believe maybe I didn't explain myself as well as I could have.. Everyone does help keep our home clean, we just do not have chores... All 3 of the teens do know how to use the washer, dishwasher, vacuum and even a broom and may be asked to use one of the above at any time, or they may just see that something needs done and do it. I never thought of it as a chore but they do put dirty clothes in a hamper and hang up wet towels. Everyone in the family makes a contribution, my contribution just happens to cleaning the house and making the meals... They go to school and participate in sports and other activities. Dad goes to work..

nonmember avatar Linda Bailey

Humans are social animals much like a wolf pack. Children feel needed when they share in the responsibility of maintaining a home. Knowing you're needed allows you to feel secure and it allows one to feel important. If a child is not expected to help but rather is taken care of what message does that give. Age appropriate expectations are also essential for the development of a healthy sense of self.

6in5y... 6in5years

     My children do not have set chores or chore lists either.  It would be more of a "chore" for me to have to figure all of that out ! lol  They have always lived in a clean home and naturally just picked up on the fact that there are things that we just do everyday.  I can understand what you are saying.  Putting your dirty clothes in the hamper isn't a chore it's just something you do when you change your clothes.

     My kids like yours are capable of using the washing machine and the vacuum but no they do not have "chores" either.

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