So what I ask you is this:
Do you have a chore schedule that works well for your home? How do you divide the labor and when do your children do these chores? (eg: after-school, nights, weekends) Where do you post these chores? Are the children allowed to pick and choose, switch, or trade, or are they locked-in to what they've been assigned? What are the consequences for unfinished chores?
And furthermore - do you pay allowance for chores? Our kids do not get allowances, and I am loathe to give them money for doing things that need to be done to keep a household running smoothly (like setting/clearing dishes). They need to realize the value of contributing to the household without expecting anything in return. (Besides, if someone's getting paid for housework, it's going be me - I'm just sayin' . . .) However, I am not opposed to giving them money for special projects that go above and beyond the daily duties. I think it teaches a good lesson about thrift and charity to have to make decisions about your own little pile of filthy lucre.
While I'm asking you to divulge your Household Secrets of State, I might as well keep going. I'm in a quandary about how to "let go" enough to let the children manage on their own. Let's put it this way: it takes a herculean effort, and some hard-core avoidance, to keep me from re-making Older Girl's bed in the morning. I have taught myself to honor her commitment to the job by not correcting it, and she really has gotten better over the years. How often do you step in when chores are not done to adult satisfaction? Do you make the kids do them again? I am afraid, for instance, that if I tell Older Girl to mop the kitchen floor, that I will become possessed with an uncontrollable desire to follow behind her with a rag and hit all the spots she misses. Nothing inspires more self-reliance than being subconsciously told that you aren't capable enough to wipe dirt off of the floor, right? (But sometimes doing it myself is so much faster.)
I am not a clean-freak, per se (although there are many who would dispute that claim), but I am a dyed-in-the-wool perfectionist, with a little dollop of OCD thrown in for good measure. Plus, of all the members of the family save Baby Girl, I am the one who has to spend the most time in the house just looking at the state of things. Am I unreasonable?
Oh, and one more thing, how do you divide the labor? According to age? Ability? Obviously, there will be things that The Boy cannot do on his own, but that's not a get-out-of-jail-free card. There is no such thing as a free lunch in these parts.
This is a work in progress for me, and I'd appreciate your input. If you don't have kids yet, how did the work detail go down in your childhood home? Regular readers and lurkers unite, and give me some straight talk about chores. Have at it, peeps!