Here is an example:
Me: Hey, Lucas, can you help me by cleaning up this room real quick? It should only take you five minutes.
Lucas: Can you just ask the other kids to do it? They were the ones that made the mess.
Me: Right, they probably were, but I asked you to clean it up.
Lucas: That's not fair. I was just sitting here. I didn't make this mess.
BLA BLA BLA excuses excuses excuses...it goes on and on and on.
I have learned to use some tricks to avoid these debates, and I gotta tell you: From 3 years old (maybe even two) all the way up to (almost) 11 years old, these tactics work far better than asking children to do something on the fly. Understand that these ideas work for me, because I have several children to split the responsibilities between - if you only have one child, well...you'll probably have less chores for them (and more chores for you).
Get the basket out and write a chore down on pieces of paper. Put those pieces of paper with the chores on them into the basket and let the children "win" them, like a lottery. They each get to draw a chore. I am always surprised at how well this goes over.
A Weekly Chore Chart
These are the two examples that work well for me...what do you do to avoid the talking-back syndrome?
By the way, as an addendum of sorts, I wrote another blog post called Chore Chart for Large Families. It has been working for me for many months now! I think, if used in a similar way and on a smaller scale, it could work well for smaller families, too.