If you have kids, the decision of what allowance and chores are earned and required has probably come up more than once.  I'm presently wrestling with this again with my son.

My guy is 9 year-old, and over the last few years, we've had an evolving list of chores for him.  In addition, we have the added layer of being a two-household home.  In reading up from a number of parenting experts and sources, there are many varied answers for what the proper way to set up the system looks like.  There are also some common threads.

The most common opinions seem to be clear and consistent lists for the core chores, and as much overlap at both households as possible.  It's true there may be different ones at each home, but as much that can be standard can be helpful for routine and clarity.

Jeff Connell, Townsquare Media
Jeff Connell, Townsquare Media

The basic list for kids between 8 and 10 year-old seems to include:

  • Make their bed
  • Get dressed in the morning
  • Brush teeth and hair
  • Tie shoes
  • Water plants
  • Clean up after shower or bath (towels, dirty clothes)
  • Help pack daily lunch
  • Empty trash cans
  • Clear place at table
  • Put away laundry
  • Fold laundry
  • Clean up bedroom daily
  • Bring in mail
  • Remove articles from car
  • Help dress younger sibling(s)
  • Feed pets
  • Straighten up playroom/family room
  • Set the table
  • Clean bathroom
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Bring in groceries
  • Vacuum

In looking at that list, I have my son doing most of those, but perhaps not as regularly as would be advised.  I do have him make his bed and brush teeth before any devices can be used before school.  He also has to homework completed before he can play.

We don't have the sibling or pet situation at our house, and he typically does hot lunch at school, but outside of that I'm doing at least most of the list most of the time.

Are you more strict on schedule?  Do you have additional items you have added to your chore list?  Do you have a daily/weekly/monthly layout to what's expected?

I would also love any insight you have on allowance.  Do you pay for chores, pay regardless, and what do you consider a reasonable amount for a 9 year-old?



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