Getting Children Involved in the Home Chores


My recent blog post “to-do lists revisited” I talked about my kids doing chores.  I had a comment/question: 

Hi Crystal, how do you get your children involved with your chores? Mine do not want to help, they want to play. When I force them to help, they complain the whole time.
I am so exhausted of asking all the time for them to do their chores - just set up the table, fill the glass with water.
They are 7 and 10 and I don't think that asking for help to set up the table is expecting too much from them?
What do you think?

No, I don’t think you are asking to much from them in any way.  You asked how I get my children involved with chores.  It is part of their childhood training.  Chores are not an option or something annoying that must be done.. it is just part of life..  kind of like eating and school, etc..   It is a basic that when we make messes.. we clean them up. It is part of living real life.   I have had my children doing chores since they were little.  Cleaning up their toys, rooms, emptying the dishwasher, taking out the garbage, folding laundry and working with me doing what ever job I am doing.  As they got older they started taking on certain jobs as their responsibility… someone takes care of the bathroom cleaning, someone cleans the living room, someone vacuums, a couple of kids are usually assigned kitchen duty and other jobs are shared like folding the kitchen and bathroom towels (everyone now does their own laundry and the only common household laundry is the kitchen and bathroom towels).  I rotate these jobs around occasionally.  By the time they are 12 they are doing their own laundry, cleaning and caring for their own rooms and their designated household responsibilities and other various jobs.  My girls help with the cooking, my boys are responsible for bringing in the firewood all winter.   

Do they always like to do their chores?  No..  Do they complain? sometimes..  but regardless like eating and sleeping they must be done.. that is jut life.  

If it were me I would make it known that from now on chores are an expected part of the day.  If kids don’t have regular routines and out the blue you ask them to stop what they are doing and work..  it is harder to get cooperation.  But if they already know this is an expected part of their day it becomes a normal part of life’s routine.   

After they know that from this point forward they will have chores to do daily then write them out and give them each a list of their own chores to accomplish each day.  They can morning and evening chores.    

If they complain then you need some way of dealing with. I find that if they know what to expect, they do it regularly, then the complaining is really not a big issue.  If it continued to be I would have to take away some privilege for a day for the complaining.  My children know that it is of no value to complain and find getting their job done in a timely manner means they can move onto the thing they want to do.   

Hope that helped answer the question! 


  1. Like you we start early in the chore department. Our oldest is 2 and has the job of setting the table for lunch and dinner every day. She has been doing this since she was about 20 months. I hand her one plate at a time while I am cooking in the kitchen and she takes them to the dinning room and sets them infront of the seats I tell, "this is daddy's plate" and she will take it to his seat. I can hand her all the forks and she knows that her and her brother have little forks and mommy and daddy have big forks without even telling her.

    The baby is 1 but he too will soon have chores. We are having another baby in Nov. and I'll need all the help I can get.

    Our two year old can also help fold wash clothes and socks when I do laundry....they aren't perfect, but they will be used in a couple days anyway so I put them away in her little balls and she feels like she is a big helper.

  2. Now that my kids are grown I look back and see that a lot of complaining from our kids come because they see that "we" are un-disciplined ourselves!! I would say to the momma with the question check yourself everyday and kindly ask the Lord for discipline, keep your routine so when family chores are required your children will honour your request. In the beginning it will be done out of duty, but in time they will do it out of devotion because it will be a part of the daily process, like eating!! Crystal Thank you for your heart I truly love waking up to your blog,Kelley

  3. Thank you Chrystal for your note, I love it and you give me such confort.

    You are such an inspiration!



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