The Sweet Harmony of Jobs and Chores for Kids


Jobs or Chores? Chores or Jobs? Which one should you have in your house?

GREAT NEWS, PARENTS!!!! Sharpen up those pencils and start making lists because you get to have both!

Think of it this way:

CHORES are the tasks around our house that everyone needs to do in order for the house to run smoothly. This includes:

  • Doing dishes
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Feeding the pets
  • Emptying the trash
  • Mowing the grass
  • Cleaning the common living spaces
  • Shoveling snow

Chores also includes personal responsibility items – these aren’t about the house running smoothly as much as they are about teaching household skills and discipline:

  • Making your own bed
  • Doing your own laundry (after about age 10)
  • Keeping your room picked up
  • Cleaning your own room – despite weekly discussions to the contrary at our house, cleaning and picking up are indeed two very different things!

Our kids receive an allowance that covers all of their expenses. This includes clothing, shoes, school lunches, activities, charity, savings, etc.

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In exchange for their allowance, they are expected to do their chores without argument, complaint or reminder AND they must be pleasant to live with. No teen sass.

We think of their chores and allowance as a salary, similar to what they would receive in the workplace. This allows them to learn to manage a budget and spending by giving them control of the money we would have spent on them anyway, as their parents.

JOBS are mom and dad tasks we are willing to pay someone else to do, or are things we would pay a contractor to do.

Jobs pay kids over and above their monthly allowance and include:

  • Washing windows
  • Power washing the patio
  • Detailing cars
  • Painting rooms or house exterior (dependable kids only!)
  • Trimming shrubs or other more skilled yard labor
  • Irrigation repair

We have teenagers now and they know how to do just about any task around the house that Bret and I would do. Certainly some of these jobs require a level of experience and training that not all kids have.

What about you? How do you handle jobs and chores in your home?