Every family does this different! There's no handbook on this parenting gig and even if there were we wouldn't all follow it.
In our house the regular chores are quite minimal, but the expectations are varied. Emptying of the dishwasher is the girl's only regular job. Even writing that feels silly, but there are lots of other chores that they are asked to do as needed: setting the table, helping with dinner, cleaning the bathroom, dusting, window cleaning, car cleaning, yard work, and DAILY pick up of the things they've dispersed around the house.
Room cleaning is an interesting one and they are on 3 different expectations here. Our 13 year old is really good at knowing when her room is in need of pick up, so she gets full decision making on room cleaning. Our 11 year old is TERRIBLE at knowing when to clean her room, so we figured out the best approach was to make Wednesday room cleaning day. Since daddy instituted that rule we've eliminated a ton of arguing! Our 4 year old has been known to do an amazing job cleaning his room (better than the 11 year old), but most of the time it's mama who still does pick up in there.
The bottom line for us is this:
make sure everyone is contributing
remain flexible to individual schedules and social lives
never cave to cleaning tantrums
don't let it get so bad that everyone is freaking out
and most importantly MODEL the behavior you want them to follow.
In terms of allowance, we've never had one in 14 years of parenting and I have no plans of starting. I don't want them to think that cleaning comes with any reward other than a home and family that feels taken care of. The biggest source of income earning for our kids has been childcare. We pay the girls for child/sibling care when we are working. In other words, if we are going to school conferences or grabbing groceries, we don't pay, but if we are needing help to make money then we pay. It's worked well for us all.
What does your family do?
Here's a look at how I make piece with a common and frustrating chore thought.
Here's how I do some of the work:
- "Why am I doing so much of the work around here?"
Who does this thought belong to?
- Me and an age old story of motherhood and caretaking.
What purpose does this thought serve?
- None, it puts me into victim mode.
When am I ready to release this thought?
Where do I need to put this thought next?
- Somewhere I hope never to see it again.
Why am I giving this thought power?
- It glorifies all that I do in a weird and twisted way.
How can my WHY and or purpose lead me to my next action?
My WHY is GROWTH.
GROWTH asks me to engage everyone else in helping, not just for my piece of mind, but for their growth and devlopment.
GROWTH reminds me that I'm only a victim if I choose to be.
GROWTH says, "The choice is up to you, how do you want your home to feel and what are you willing to do about it?"
This work is EVERYTHING.