Jurisdictions: Giving My Kids Responsibility Over One Area of the Home

When all my kids were little I did most of the cleaning around the house. As they got older, I taught them how to help me with chores. Each year my little helpers got better at helping and more efficient at cleaning . As we added more children to our family (we now how six) I realized we were starting to step on one another’s toes when we had our scheduled chore time.

Jurisdictions Giving My Kids Responsibility Over One Area of the Home, JanelleKnutson

Instead of having each child do a few chores all over the house, I divided up the rooms of the house and gave each child a jurisdiction or area of the house that they are responsible for.

What I like about this concept is that each child can tackle their jurisdiction on their own time. We no longer have a scheduled chore time. Instead, each child must pay attention to the state of their jurisdiction (or area of the house) and then be responsible to keep that area from getting overtaken with clutter and filth. I often give a gentle reminder now and then to the younger ones to check their jurisdiction but for the most part, the kids are doing a good job keeping up with their responsibilities (maybe not to my standards, but I’m learning to let that go).

Of course, everyone has to be considerate to pick up toys, school work and their own personal belongings from any given room and we all pitch in with dinner dishes and folding laundry. I’m planning on rotating jurisdictions a few times a year so everyone learns to care for each part of the home but here’s how responsibilities are divided up now:

Age of Child


What do they do?



Keeps the laundry from taking over! We all help fold but she does everything else.



Sweeps the floor and wipes the counters and sink at least once a day.



Wipes the counters and sinks every day and rotates sweeping the floor, cleaning the toilet and wiping the mirrors.



Must empty the trashcans around the house when they are starting to get full.



Makes sure the hallways are clutter free and swiffers our tile hallway about twice a week.


Honestly, it doesn’t really matter if we label the work our children are doing chores or jurisdictions. The important thing is that we are allowing them the opportunity to be productive members of the family and training them to be responsible for the care of the home.

I’d love to hear how you handle chores or jurisdictions in your home. Leave a comment and share your creative ideas!


  1. This sounds amazing. Your children must be very well trained.

  2. What do you do when the children don’t maintain their jurisdiction standards? I have one child who is very neat, and another that is less tidy. How do you handle it when one “isn’t pulling their weight?”

    • Hi Ashley! Great question. I have several children who are less tidy than I’d like! First, I try to consider whether the child really isn’t pulling their weight or if I just have really high standards that they aren’t able to consistently meet. (I have one child who has the ability to keep their area up to my standards but their personality really isn’t super tidy so they struggle with consistently meeting my standards…. so I lowered my expectations for that child’s area.) Next, I think about whether the child just needs some guidance, instruction and/or gentle reminders. It takes time for kids to get into the routine of maintaining their jurisdiction and some of my kids are still young enough that they need my guidance every day. Finally, if the child is really just being lazy then I remove a privilege (such as television time) until they can show that they are responsible to care for their jurisdiction. In our family, chores/jurisdictions are a responsibility that comes with being part of the family. If you don’t participate in the family responsibilities then you miss out on the family fun/privileges. I hope that helps!

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