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Thread: I think we are doing our children a disservice...

  1. #19

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    Rouge, it is so important to me that my kids know how to do things for themselves. How are they going to survive if we don't teach them. Parents seem to do so much for their kids these kids days. I worked with a girl who moved straight out of her parents home to her married home, she didn't know how to wash, cook or really just survive. It was quite sad.
    I was the youngest of 6 and I had my jobs to do growing up, so I make sure the kids have jobs too.
    DS1 is going to be 7 in Sept and I was talking to a couple of other Mum's at school pick up. Somehow and I can't remember how it came up, one of them asked me if DS1 can wipe his own bottom after going to the toilet, I quizzically answered yes and she replied her DS1 doesn't. She still does it for him I asked her what he did at school and she said he just didn't go.
    I have another GF who has relatives that give her kids money, and not just $2 here and there, everytime they see them they get $50 or so!
    I also make sure they know the value of money, DS1 has jobs and gets pocket money and when he asks for something from the shop I ask if he has enough pocket money.
    Great topic Rouge!


  2. #20

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    See I think all of you ladies are wonderful mummies! You are raising your children by encouraging and insisting they help out! I think this extends to financial education later on too - teaching our kids to save up for things that they want and not just buying them for them, you can't teach the feeling you have when you've bought something yourself. I work with a lady who has paid for everything for her adult kids - first car, rent while at uni and she was horrified that I and others were expected to pay board while at home and earning a wage. "I couldn't expect my kids to pay to live at home' well, they will have to pay when they live away from home, you are instilling financial skills for life by encouraging them to pay their way.

  3. #21

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    My kids have chores...nothing major buts its just one of those things that come living in a big family. I do tend to turn a blind eye to lots of things they dont do...yes im a softy but I had so many thing's I had to do as a kid I resented having to come home from school some days.

    I love making work fun...eg we pump up the stereo when we vaccum, yell out commands when we have to pack stuff away, beat the timer ect.

    Ive only just let Dudie get his own breakfast but I honestly prefer to do it. He showers independantly. Yes..Im one of the ones that babies a bit at home but they also know what they HAVE to do. Maybe its cause off everything my babies have been through already

  4. #22

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    I totally agree with teaching your child to do chores. My ideal would be to have my girls leave home knowing how to cook a basic meal, wash their clothes and operate a vacuum, and manage their own money My mother is OCD and she did every thing for us children because "our way" was just not good enough. The result being me leaving home with no life skills and it took along time for me to be able to "fend" for myself properly. My 33 yo brother still can't do a thing!!! Thankfully my DH taught me how to cook and living with his family when I was younger helped. I totally loved being with his parents because they expected everyone in the family to do their bit.

    In saying all of the above..How do I get my nearly 5 yo to help me regularly??!!! She simply refuses until I threaten to throw out her toys until she puts them away!!!!

  5. #23

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    My nearly 3 year old has to pick up his toys in the lounge and help tidy his room. He feeds the dog most nights and helps cut up veges for tea. He dresses himself, opens his food packets etc. Basically if I think he is capable of doing something then he does it himself.

    I am amazed that a 7 year old won't wipe their own bottom - DS has been wiping his since he TT at 2.5, it never occurred to me to continue doing it for him (although I do help if he is having trouble and asks).

  6. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by maz View Post
    Ive only just let Dudie get his own breakfast but I honestly prefer to do it.
    Don't get me wrong I love doing all that stuff for them too. In fact I cook them a hot breakfast before school at least once to twice a week, but I think it's more about knowing they can and they will, giving them the chance ykwim? I think you can nurture and mother your children without depriving them of the ability too iykwim?

  7. #25

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    Sorry, haven't read all the replies but just had to say YES! Couldn't agree more. My Mum kept an immaculate house and did EVERYTHING for us. Just because she was clean and tidy, didn't meant that I learnt to keep my own house this way. The opposite. I never learnt to pick up after myself and I still struggle with it. I'm almost surprised when I come home to find that the breakfast bowl I left in the sink is still there... it used to just disappear!

    I really hope that I follow your example and manage to teach my DD the way you have yours. Great post Rouge.

  8. #26

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    In my group of friends all the kids have their jobs to do - I think it is usual. We use a timer so there is a finite amount of time - each child has their jobs according to age.

    My ex husband had no jobs as a kid (they had a housekeeper) & he thinks children shouldn't have to do anything. I think it's important for children to learn that we are all responsible for the house. They even help pack the lunches. I cook breakfast as it's important to me that they go to school well fuelled - I do all the washing, ironing and folding. Sometimes they will help to pair up socks etc and they all put their own clothes away.

    I personally think it grows a good sense of responsibility and recognition of just how much work goes into life!

  9. #27

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    DD1 often helps me dry the dishes and put them away, has been doing so for quiet a while too! today i got her to dust all the skirting boards! she loved it
    i also make her carry her school bag for kinder and hang it up etc..

  10. #28

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    I agree, when i was younger i had so many things to do, chop wood, dishes, help cook tea etc etc, i see kids (inc my younger brothers) who don't do half of what i had to do.
    DD1 helps put her toys away, she likes to help make her bed and hang out the washing (outside or on the clotheshorse) she pretends to vac and also pretends to clean... actually she did clean/dust her bookshelf the other day while i was doing it.
    She's not even 2 yet so i am sure the novelty will wear off soon enough but while she's at this age and it's fun and she thinks she's helping i will encourage her to do it... maybe then when she's older i can actually relax and watch her..

  11. #29

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    We live by the rule that we all live in the house, so we are all responsible for maintaining it. We are all individually responsible for our own spaces (bedrooms) and we all chip in together to do communal living areas. I will do the bathroom, kitchen and laundry myself though. I think it is vitally important that kids are encouraged to help otherwise they have zero clue on how to maintain a household when they are out on their own. Plus it teaches responsibility and they have more respect for their belongings instead of just taking it for granted that clothes magically appear in their drawers and things put themselves away and stay tidy. I just don't get these mums who do absolutely everything for their kids because we may be their mothers, but that doesn't mean that we wait on them hand and foot and do everything for them.


    Plus we live on a farm so things are a bit different for us because our kids are essentially part of the family business. We all work together to mark lambs, shift sheep, cut burrs in the paddock or pick up paddy melons. DS1 will also spend a day in the shearing shed when we are shearing as a rouseabout sweeping floors, penning sheep and sorting wool. DH has even started to teach him a bit about wool classing as well. In a few years we will let him do some tractor work during sowing.

    That might seem like a lot for some of you, but its not. They all understand that if everyone chips in, then the work gets done quicker and we have more time to spend doing the fun things.

  12. #30

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    Trill, I would love to have some land for my kids to grow up on. We had a few acres when I was a kid and every morning I had to (depending on the time of year) make up milk for the calves and feed them, feed out hay/grass for the horses, feed the chooks/collect eggs, hand-milk the cow etc- it was great. I really loved it.
    I do remember that I was doing all that during high school and my best friend didn't even make her own lunch.

  13. #31

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    This is making me sad. I wanted SO MUCH to do things as a child. But I vacuumed the carpet wrong because the pile didn't all go the same way. I once burnt the label on the back of a pair of jeans, so I only got to iron three times. I took too long drying up. I daydreamed. I used to help our elderly neighbour do her weeding, but wasn't allowed to at home. Sometimes I could use the secateurs (sp?) if mum needed to run around after other people on a Saturday afternoon, but she'd generally do it again after I had and whinge I hadn't saved her any time. I had to put clothes away, once they were washed and ironed for me. My sister lives round the corner from mum and guess what - some days she comes home to a fresh-cleaned bathroom and ironed clothes. Yes, it's nice that it's done - but she doesn't really like it.

    DS is allowed to help with ANY chore he wants to do. Sweeping, cleaning, dishwasher, cooking (not just baking!), washing machine, gardening, grocery shopping, washing the car... I only insist he tidies his toys away. And we both do that together. Well, I played with them too. I haven't taught him to make the bed yet - but DH's mum did that for him right up until we got married, and six years on he only gets up after me one day a week so I haven't quite taught him that one yet. I do tend to put away his clothes - in from the line after dinner, put away while DS has his bath. It's the way the day works out for me. He picks his own outfits and can dress and undress himself, although he often asks me to do it. Sure - why not? This phase isn't going to last long. Same as his constant stripping off. I bet that won't be a problem 10 years down the line!

  14. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Zaidie View Post
    This is making me sad. I wanted SO MUCH to do things as a child. But I vacuumed the carpet wrong because the pile didn't all go the same way. I once burnt the label on the back of a pair of jeans, so I only got to iron three times. I took too long drying up. I daydreamed. I used to help our elderly neighbour do her weeding, but wasn't allowed to at home.
    Yes, well to begin with, you need to be a realist an accept that things won't be done to perfection, but they are only children afterall, it's not that you want the work done by them, it's that you want them to learn for the future. Sorry that this thread is bringing up sad memories for you

  15. #33

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    whilst I do agree completley I find it hard to get my children to listen to me they comepletly disrespect me which I see as my own fault for not starting the whole chore thing earlier I just always thought its much quicker for me to do it and I feel a sense of guilt for having them do things for me.

    I think I need to start my own thread as i need some major advice..thread coming

  16. #34

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    Your not alone. I feel exactly the same way. And even though all my kids are under 4, they still have "helper jobs" to do. Ds1 will often bring in the garbage bins with me, help me unload the dishwasher, help me cook dinner (his pers fave), help me fold washing. They will usually pick up toys when I ask but at the age they are its often only after a threat of putting them all in the bin

    I believe you have to start young, I think alot of parents leave it too late to implement discipline and things like chores. So Im getting in while they arent going to really argue with me so that in 5yrs time chores will be seen as normal everyday occurances.

    Ds1 has to put away his lunchbox, sleep sheet, hat and bag at preschool. The teacher told me it was to help them learn independent thinking; because Im not always going to be there to do these things for them esp at 'big school'.

    What I find ridiculously funny is that Dh is very adamant about the boys doing chores and helping around the house because 'they live here too and Mum is not their slave' yet HE grew up with his mum doing absolutely everything for him and he still struggles to help me around the house. I told him he needs to step up because why have the boys do it when he cant even do simple chores? I can remember when I first met the inlaws his mother telling me one night as Dh was washing the dishes after dinner 'this is the first time he has ever helped me around the house' and I was horrified; but then again FIL is 60 and he has only JUST started doing chores to help out MIL. Apple didnt fall far from the tree which is why Im getting in while the gettings good with the kids.

  17. #35

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    I haven't read previous posts, and may be repeating things, but I also agree that children need to help around the house. I think it gives them a sense of where they stand in the family, as well as knowing that they are a responsible part of the family too, not just mum and dad. It helps them know that they too can have an effect on family dynamics. Apart from just helping mum/dad clean up things it helps them to achieve an identity and self concept of being capable and a meaningful part of the family dynamic. It enables them, plus gives them skills which sill last a life time.

    My kids at 2 and almost 3 1/2 do alot for themselves. They both feed themselves, they choose their own clothes (with the occaisional gentle suggestion from mummy if we're going out!), DD dresses herself almost entirely and is told to try to do things if she says she can't. I won't help her if she says she can't, I will tell her she can and to try and if she isn't able to then, she needs to say 'I need help mummy', because I feel that by telling her that she can, but maybe with a little help is helping her understand that she can do anything, though you sometimes need help with it. They both have to clean their toys before bed, they bring their plates to the kitchen and put them in the sink. They help me by bringing me things if I ask for them, like a nappy if DS needs a nappy change, or a cloth from the kitchen if there is a spill. They can have a choice of snacks to eat within reason. I always explain why they can or can't eat certain foods. They sometimes help me cook. They both help me sweep the outdoors area, they help garden......they do alot actually. But I think that I will get them to do as much as I can while they enjoy it and think it's fun, and then when they start to moan about it it will just be expected that they do it and it will be their chores that they have to do.

    I have worked with children (young children 0-6yrs) who are soo...helpless (not exactly the word I want but can't think of another) in doing things for themselves, it's rediculous. I have had 4yrs unable to feed themselves with a spoon, so they just won't eat if not fed. 4 and 5yr old children who won't even try to do things because they are told by parents they can't do it ('No mummy said I can't put my own shoes on so you have to'). It's really sad that parents don't realise the power they take away from children by doing things for them, just because it's more convenient and quicker for the parent to do it. It is like giving a child a disability in a way. To tell a child they can't, is to tell a child don't bother trying.

  18. #36

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    GREAT post Rouge - couldn't agree more

    When my DH and I moved in together, he was hopeless as the MIL didn't get her boys to do anything around the house as they wouldn't do it right (her way). To DH's credit, he gives everything a go now, and our housework and cooking etc is well shared and I plan to raise my son to know how to run a house by the time he leaves home. Chores will obviously be age appropriate but he'll always have some level of responsibility in the house.

    Yesterday we baked a cake together - in truth it was more a hinderance hehehehe, and his 'extra' ingredients (he sneezed into the mixing bowl LOL) weren't particularly appreciated, but its all setting the groundwork for working together. Already DS loves to sit next to me with the basket of dry washing and help me 'fold', its very cute and its all time spent together.

    Have loved reading through this post and hearing what other kids are doing at different ages, gives me some good idea's as DS grows, thanks Ladies

    Naomi

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