Do you spy on your kids to make sure they are doing a good job?

United States
August 28, 2007 5:06am CST
Most times I have to keep a very watchful eye on my young daughter or she gets in all sorts of messes. I can't leave the room for a minute or else she will end up standing and jumping in chairs or chasing the cats. But, that's part of being a kid, I guess! And, when it comes to doing chores, it's a real struggle. Most times I have to ask her repeatedly to do something for me to help out around the house. And, yet, she still refuses to do the job. And, then when I leave her to do the chore, I have to peek around the corner to make sure that she has not become distracted and started playing. I am not sure if this is the best strategy, but she's still very little and learning the right things to do. I don't want to seem like I am hovering over her until the job is done. That only causes her to rebel and stop being cooperative. Do you spy on your children while they are doing their chores to make sure they are doing the job right? Do you have to keep an eye on them to make sure they are not up to mischeif? What are your best suggestions for getting kids to be more cooperative when it comes to chore time? Please share!
1 person likes this
10 responses
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
23 Sep 07
My daughter is 10 (tomorrow -11) and she has a chore list. She made this list by herself and we agreed upon it. She is to complete all the chores each week with no begging or asking her to do them. If she does a good job- then she earns her allowance. I’m sure this won’t work for you as your daughter is a lot younger. How about a chore chart- with stickers and all. What are her chores you ask her to do- Put away toys? Hang up coat? Make boxes and when she finishes the job put a sticker on the square for the day- Explain to her that after so many stickers, she will get a reward (Possibly lunch out at McDonalds- if she likes that) or a new book or something. I did this with my daughter when she was younger- She didn’t always do her chores at first and I just did them for her- but she didn’t get the sticker either. She very quickly caught on and started to do things on her own. No, the answer to your question. I do not spy on my daughter to make sure she is working and not playing. That is her choice but she knows it has to be done and correctly at some point prior to dinner to make her allowance. I do check certain jobs (like dusting the entertainment center- it’s a once a week job)
@maddysmommy (16243)
• United States
30 Aug 07
I use to when he was a little younger just so he didn't hurt himself but nowadays i let him go off and do his thing in his room. I check on him all the time though but I do give him space. When he does his chores he gets constant reminders and I do follow it up but a little later and not immediately.
@andrejuly84 (1047)
• Romania
29 Aug 07
i hate my mom or my grandma doing this when i was a child.they would spy me also now if they could.don't think i will spy my girl when she'll grow
@alfecris (181)
• Philippines
29 Aug 07
one good thing on spying your kids of what they are doing is that you will know what to do next when you want to teach them of something or atleast you will see how they work on to something bad or good. it is not that you are getting their privacy but it is still your obligation to teach them or discipline them as a parent so that they will grow up as a whole. fully as a person with good character and personality. though we can say that no one is perfect but atleast they are the kind who are the best that in the future you would be proud of.
@carlaabt (3508)
• United States
29 Aug 07
My son is still little enough now that he needs help doing his chores. I help him pick up his toys and at 18 months, that is the only chore he has. So of course I make sure he doesn't get distracted, because we are usually doing it so we can move on and do something else (Like eat!). When he gets older, I will probably check up on him when he is putting away his toys by himself or whatever other chores I give him. I want to make sure that he is doing the right way, and doing it when I tell him to. It will help him be more responsible. I don't have any suggestions for getting kids to cooperate, since my son is so little that he still does what I ask him to, just because he loves it when I tell him he's my big helper. :)
• United States
29 Aug 07
Being a 22 year old with parents who "spied" on me like that my entire life, I can honestly say that it was really good and helpful until I turned 13 or 14. After that it basically ruined my relationship with my parents. Keep in mind, I was always a very good student, well behaved, and I never rebelled. I never even dated in high school. Even though I had nothing to hide, I was still in desperate need of private space completely to myself. My mom going through my stuff when I wasn't home, then lying about having done it (she wasn't very good about putting things back in the original place) was hurtful, and made me extremely wary about trusting her to the point where I ended up not trusting her at all. She would promise to give me the space I want, then proceed to go back on her word. In all, I think it would be best to evaluate your own situation. Little kids need a ton of guidance. But if/you don't make the procedure painful for them, through a meaningful rewards system, you can instill self-motivation. DO NOT spoil them, or they will just demand more when they are older. For little kids, give them a penny for just doing the job, but a nickel for doing it really well. Put it in a transparent piggy bank so the kid can see exactly how hard they've worked in substantive form. In the age of coin counters, the dollars can add up, and maybe she could afford to buy herself a new doll or something eventually. But, because the coins you are using are so small, you won't break the bank. When she is older, a traditional allowance might work better, while still instilling the self-motivation to work hard in order to get what you want.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
28 Aug 07
"Spy" is such a strong word. No. I don't spy on my kids. I "watch out for them" and I "check up on them". But, I would never SPY on them! Okay, maybe I would. lol Maybe I have! I do think that it's a parents responsibility to keep their kids safe. It is also our responsibility to teach them to be self sufficient. We need to teach them to take care of themselves. Part of teaching them, means checking up on them. Part of keeping them safe, also means checking up on them. The tough part, in my opinion, is figuring out when it's time to stop keeping them safe and when to start letting them become more independent. That's where I am right now with my kids. They are at the age where they need to start becoming independent, but they are also at an age where they can get themselves into some serious trouble if they aren't careful. I think most parents should go with their insticts and then end up doing a good job. Of course there are some who take things too far. I'm pretty sure I'm doing okay so far. I may have gotten a bit off track here...Sorry. I have had the same challenges with my kids regarding cleaning. I think it's normal for them to become distracted somewhat and I think it's okay for the parent to make sure they are staying on task. Sometimes it's more work to make them clean up than to do it ourselves, but part of our job is to teach them to do certain things too. One thing that works with my daughter (and I readily admit I don't do this ALL the time) is taking away privileges until the task is done. She loves to talk on the phone and online. If I want her to do something "now". She doesn't get to use the phone or computer until it's done. Then, the only problem is that we each have a different definition of what "clean" is. Good luck and take care.
• Vietnam
28 Aug 07
i have no kids, but yes, i plan to spy on them. when i was a kid, i hated it when my parents spied on me. however, i'll spy on my kids, not to scold them afterward but to know if they're hiding anything from me, then wait for them to tell me the truth. :P
@jbb316 (1779)
• United States
28 Aug 07
My son is ver little and just learning about helping and learning and doing a few little chores. But if I ask him to do something like pick up his toys I will peek around the corner and not let him see me, just to check and see if he is doing what he is supposed to be doing and to make sure he is not into something he is not supposed to be into. If he has gotten side tracked then I will show myself and "remind him" of what he is supposed to be doing. Sometimes I do have to remind him once or twice and offer a little help. Now he is getting to be little Mr. Independent and likes to do things for himself and he likes to be my helper. At least he is trying. He does a good job for the most part. What more can I expect from a 3 yr old? Thankfully, I have got him started on the right track.
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
28 Aug 07
If I could get my kids to DO chores, I would watch them. lol. They are older (not even kids I suppose) at 21 and 16 and they don't do much around here. The older one works two jobs but the younger one, who used to shovel and do all sorts of things, suddenly got lazy. He mows when we rag on him but mutters a lot. When they were younger, I let them do the best they could and often I ended up redoing whatever they did without them knowing it. I remember I asked one to make my bed and what a mess. But he tried and I thanked him then redid it when he was outside. I think there is no harm in watching over your kids to be sure they are doing what you asked and not drifting off. I have to keep my younger one on task doing homework or he will forget he even was doing it. I watch and, if he is suddenly watching TV or something, I remind him to do his homework and turn off the TV. He claims he NEEDS the TV to do his work. I tell him when he done, the TV goes on. So I guess I do watch over them still. We used to have a star board. I would make a grid with the kids' chores on it and, when they did one right on time, they got a gold star. If they needed a lot of prodding but did it, they got silver and, if they didn't do it or ponly did some, they got a sad face sticker. They really liked to compete for those stars and would pick on each other if one got a sad face so I just pit them against each other and gave them a little motivation. The first to get 10 gold stars got to pick when he wanted for dinner or got a small toy or something. Yeah, I know we shouldn't bribe our kids but it worked. I may have to try that method again. lol.