A couple days ago, I wrote:
The day didn't end on such a wonderful note, however. When we got home, I saw the boys' room covered with toys and games. I
An anonymous person wrote a comment and told me I was wrong to tell Jackson to pick up his things. I didn't publish the comment because, although the person probably thought she was giving me sound advice, she assumed a lot of things that were incorrect. She didn't know the whole story. She thought Jackson was my oldest and I was making him clean up the younger kids' messes. She also didn't know that Austin had not dumped out the games and Jackson had lied to me about that. And she didn't know how Jackson had been talking back to me in a very disrespectful manner all day. But her comment got me thinking anyway.
When the little kids make the mess, I do actually ask the older ones help them out oftentimes. You may think it's unfair and yes, in a way, I agree that it is. However, when those same older kids were 2 and 4 years old, they didn't have to do all the cleaning by themselves. So why should the ones who are currently 2 and 4 have to do all the picking up themselves? Usually it's me who helps the little ones clean up their messes, but I don't think there's anything wrong with expecting the older kids to help keep the house clean as well.
Now I'm not saying that you're wrong if you do things differently. I can understand the reasoning behind not making the older kids clean up after the younger ones. I'm just telling you how it is in my house. Everyone pitches in. Period. In a large family, I think it's important that everyone helps each other out. And, especially since the kids share rooms, that means the older ones are enlisted to help clean up the smaller ones' messes sometimes. Plus, my older ones earn allowance for helping me watch/care for their younger siblings, and for doing chores like taking out the garbage, unloading the dishwasher, etc. I just hate hearing, "But I didn't do it." My answer to that is usually, "Well I didn't wear your clothes, yet I washed them for you. We all pitch in and help out."
That said, I do try to make sure I don't take advantage of the older kids and expect them to care for my little ones or help out too much. They are just kids themselves and don't need or deserve the level of responsiblity that I have.
So, I'm curious - those of you with more than one child, how do you distribute chores among your children? Do your older children have more responsibilities or not? Do you make the older kids help out with younger ones? Do you feel that with age, come more responsibilities and more privileges or do you strive to treat all children exactly the same?
There isn't a right or wrong answer to this; I'm just curious as to your thoughts on the matter. So, please be respectful to others when you post your comments.