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

  1. #55

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    I thought of this thread yesterday, when DS did the vacuuming for the first time, vacuumed up his balloon and screamed about it. His choice was vacuuming or picking up the toys in the sitting room.



    Is it mean to make him do chores?
    Point 1. He doesn't see it as a chore. He runs to me if I ask him to set the table, he is so proud to do that. He likes doing the laundry.
    Point 2. If you do it all your life you just do it. It isn't a chore. For me, cooking is not a chore as I'm used to baking and helping Mum cater for 20+ people for a small family gathering.
    Point 3. One of Mum's regrets is not getting me and Sis to do chores. It would have been good one-on-one time, she says, and teach us useful skills.
    Point 4. As a child I was told I wasn't able to do things. As a teen, I was lazy for not doing said things I was always unable to do. That sets you up with a bad mindset. I'd rather DS make a mistake and it not be a big deal. I'm petified of breaking crockery even now.

    DS's chores are not chores. He is never forced to do them, he wants to. OK, tidying up he is made to do. But all chores bar tidying up toys he loves. He is more proud of setting the table than he is of playing with his cars. Children want to be helpful and useful, why not make them feel good about themselves and teach them useful life skills in the process?

  2. #56

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    I don't think it about not letting them be free to be children. Kids get a good feeling from achieving anyway, but for me it's more about the community thing. Pick up the mess you make yourself, help out others who need it, keep the world a beautiful place.

    When we go camping, we leave the place exactly the way we left it. When we go for a walk we pick up the rubbish we see. The children do it because they want to.

    I think you have to start young (not enforced in horrible ways) so it's 2nd nature, not a pain in the butt. There is nothing worse than kids that expect someone to clean up after them, and unless they do it themselves they WILL expect it. Because the mummy/tidy fairy always has before. Add in a teenager attitude in the later years......

  3. #57

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    So how do everyone's kids go now with helping out around the house?

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    My kids have been brought up to help out around the house.
    Espacially now as it is just me and 7 of them...I still do a lot of it but they have chores to do and I do expect them to be done.
    The older 4 get themselves ready for school and make their breakfast, they have to make their beds and keep there rooms clean, occasionally hang clothes out for me, the older two will put their own clothes through the wash and hang it out.
    We have a night roster where one clears the table and feeds the animals, one cleans the bench and stacks the dishes and one takes the bin out and helps with the others...the roster is in the kitchen so they can clearly see who's turn it is.
    The outside bins must be taken out, clothes folded and occasionally they vacuum.
    I don't expect them to do much for the little ones as I feel that is my responsibility but they help out in many other way.
    (Sounds like a lot but it isn't really)

  5. #59

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    Rouge: i agree totally, i was wondering, how old was you DD when she started doing somuch. DD is 2.9yrs and she does a bit, knows she has to put away some toys before she gets more out. she puts her dishes/cups in the kitchen sink when she is done with them. takes her pile of clothes to her room and sort of puts them away after i have sorted them.

    My mum has a totally different idea of a parents role, she belives that its her job to do EVERYTHING for her children. my grandma had a big hand in raising me so my upbringing is a little different to my sisters, but my 14 year old sister cant cook a simple meal for her self, she actually rang me from the uk to ask me how to make pasta...she does NOTHING in relation to house work or anything and i think it really shows in the sort of person she is growing into!!!

  6. #60

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    Great thread!! (lovely to see Lu's name too).

    I keep making the error of doing things for dd1 (3.5 yrs) instead of letting her try and do new things as I still see her as my baby. I have to consciously say to myself "let her have a crack at it" and help her do the task if necessary and not take over.

    So for me it's a work in progress, but then again so is parenting eh?

  7. #61
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    absolutely agree Leesa. ongoing project.

    i have a 4.5yo child.

    she is pegging up wet laundry (small items that she can manage)
    taking her own dirty laundry to the place it goes.
    folding up her dry laundry and putting it away (she can reach everything, except clothes needing hanging)
    taking her dirty plates to sink (needs reminding every time, despite doing it 100% at kindy)
    washes up plastic stuff
    our rule is one box of toys out at a time. pack these away before getting out another box.
    i've finally gotten thru to her, that THIS year is the practice time, for learning to wipe her own bottom at toilet time.
    i'm dressing her on Kindy mornings to make it faster. She dresses herself on non-kindy mornings.

    i was hoping she would be coping better with wiping herself by now.
    I'm sure there are more things i could have her doing, to encourage independence, just not sure what they are.

    she is not getting money, or stickers or anything, for what she does. Sometimes we use songs.

    i would like her to bring her kindy bag inside, once we've gotten home.

    She asks me if i will teach her to cook, when she's older.
    (we've made home made pizza, muffins, pancakes etc)

    when i was first out of home, at 17, i lived on weetbix for years, as i had no idea how to shop for food, how to prepare it, how to cook it. i was shooed out of the kitchen when i showed any interest, cos my mother decided she would teach my sister but not me. weetbix gets really boring, really fast.

    i remember starting ironing teatowels and hankies (burnt myself so many times), then the whole family's ironing. i remember hanging out washing, but not being allowed to use the washing machine. Making beds, i don't remember being taught how to clean, but would be set tasks - scrub the windows with newspaper and metho. i think i learnt more about tasks, on girl guide camps. My mother's style of teaching was to mock and criticise, not actually teach or encourage. i always wanted to know how to darn, know it's a skill. My mother had so many skills.

  8. #62

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    at pretty much 2, DD does a lot - she is little miss independent and wants to try to help with anything and everything - so we let her try pretty much everything that is safe for her to try. we explain to her why she can't do what she wants to do, but we let her watch what is happening so that she knows WHY. she is a brilliant little helper with a lot of stuff - at the moment, her "chore" of choice is to vac the floor - she knows how to start the vac, and she will push it back and forth on the spot. very cute. She also has a habit of stealing hankies from DH's pocket and cleaning any surface she can find. it has a definite ewwww factor, and i have to go back and clean them all again after she is in bed, but it's sweet that she tries.

    Yesterday i cleaned the bathroom sinks - she helped the whole time - carrying bicarb and vinegar between the bathrooms, giving me the rags etc as i needed them. when i clean the oven, she will hand me paper towel, hold the bag for me to turf it in.

    she grabs her own clothes and makes sure we have the right bits and pieces. grabs her nappies from her room when her nappy bag is being packed, tries to put her clothes away (she mixes them up, but we don't say much - we just fix it later - she's still little so i'd rather encourage than discourage!)

    at dinner time, she asks to get up and watch the preparation. she will help get bits out of the fridge with instruction (milk, butter, vegies from the crisper). She will get her bowl from the cupboard and go and wait at the cupboard for her cereal in the mornings, and takes her dishes to the table and waits to be picked up

    she helps with the washing (washer and dryer are on opposite ends of the laundry - we empty the washer, she walks bits over to the dryer and puts them in while we put the next load in. if the dryer is done, she will empty it. she collects up her washing and takes it to the bathroom and puts it there to be washed. she will help clear the nappies and clothes from the airer if she can reach it.

    still helps in he garden, checks the mail every day, helps take out and bring in the bins every week (both here and at Granma's)...

    i guess we are trying to take the emphasis off things being chores and make them a normal (and hopefully enjoyable) part of every day life. i don't want to molly coddle her and then all of a sudden need her to do things and have to fight to achieve that.

  9. #63
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    so cute about E and the hankies, BG.

    i'm scared to involve bilby in the meal prep, if i have any discussion with her about what is for dinner, she starts big tantrums about what she ISN"T going to eat (which is usually 100% of the meal). I've been finding mealtimes so depressing, my latest strategy just to get thru dinner, is to say "i'm not discussing this with you" (while i'm doing prep) and that is the only way i've saved my sanity. I've started eating dinner again, whereas before, i was so stressed, i coudln't even eat myself.

    i love what you're doing with E, it's what i had imagined i would be doing with bilby. But sounds like you and your DH do it together. when together, X and i had polar opposite ideas about food and cooking, so never presented a united front. Her listening to him complain about eating anything healthy.

  10. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigi View Post
    i love what you're doing with E, it's what i had imagined i would be doing with bilby. But sounds like you and your DH do it together. when together, X and i had polar opposite ideas about food and cooking, so never presented a united front. Her listening to him complain about eating anything healthy.
    i think we've been lucky in that we both have a similar philosophy for how to approach it - and it's something we've talked to mum about (she is E's carer when DH and I can't be due to work etc) so it's a constant approach. it's very different to what i copped as a child, so it's been an interesting evolution for me (and my folks - they don't necessarily agree with what we do, but they respect it - mum cos it's the thing to do, dad cos he is intimidated by the fact DH is NOT intimidated by him - and because of that, i'm not any more either). if something is said or done that we disagree with, either with my olds, or with each other, we voice that straight away and then discuss what we think is going to be best

    in terms of food - E will eat her vegies every time - if she is getting fidgety/tired etc, she will ask for yogurt rather than dinner - we negotiate to encourage more veg in, and then offer a small amount of yogurt. we are very lucky in that we've not yet had any food dramas with her. if she doesn't like something, she tells us - and because it is rare for her to refuse something new, we respect that it's a taste thing. i don't like everything, so i respect that she doesn't. if she was a fuss pot, it would be harder to have that stance though

  11. #65

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    I think most of you are wonderfully on the right track.
    As a school teacher I am amazed at how totally hopeless some children are at caring for themselves.
    Please teach your kids, before they go to school, these things: How to open their lunchbox and any package that might be in it. How to put on/take off a jumper. How to put a hat/jumper/lunchbox and close their bag. How to put on/take off their own shoes, if they can't tie laces get them velcro shoes. How to wipe their bottom and flush the toilet and wash their hands. How to say please and thank-you. How to wait their turn. How to carry their own stuff.
    I have been very surprised at a couple of parents who accused me of not being a good teacher as I didn't know where their childs jumper was that they took off in the playground and didn't keep track of. Teachers are NOT parents. Teachers have 20-30 kids to care for so they rely on kids having at least a small amount of self-care skills.
    Having had years of teaching experience I have to say those kids whose parents encourage them to help around the house also learn how to help themselves. They are good at "having a go" then asking for help if they need it. They are aware of what they own and what they have to keep track of. They understand putting their own things away and they realise that being in a class is a team experience. They are efficient at the "housekeeping" type stuff in the classroom which then frees them up to enjoy the learning that takes place. They are generally more popular with other children as they have good personal hygiene and positive approach to new tasks.
    I hope I will be able to instill some of these skills in my new baby, when he/she arrives.

  12. #66

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    We have trouble with shoe tying, DS is left handed and gets frustrated at us trying to show him.
    His school don't allow Velcro shoes so it wasn't an option.
    I don't know if he will manage it this year, he usually ends up crying when we try to show him

  13. #67

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    Jamie is still little but he is very good at following instructions but very stubborn at actually doing wat he is told lol
    he can already get his own cup and his own milk and snacks from the fridge he puts his empty dishes in the sink can get in the high chair himself im not sure wat else i can get him to do his toys arent usually left he puts them away without me asking

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    Well I have a stubborn miss, somedays she is great, but some days. Ssssiiiigggghhhh.

    Yesterday all I wanted her to do was put away one toy that goes in her room, nothing big. Flat out refused all day. Had a tantrum every time I asked. Her dad comes home, he asks her once, off she goes and does it straight away. Was not happy.

  15. #69

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    same thing here LC my lovely little pain in the butt listens to daddy a lot better than me luckily hes so cute

  16. #70

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    BG can your little one come teach my 9 year old a few of those? J/k - she's actually pretty good, keeps her bedroom and bathroom relatively tidy (her definition of tidy and mine are a little different), will come help out with jobs being done around the house without being asked most of the time and is happy enough to do anything she's asked to do. I try not to spend too much time on housework on the weekends she's over though, as the time we get to spend with her is limited to one weekend a fortnight and I'd rather spend it on fun stuff not housework. But she does help me with the cooking and dishes etc.

    I remember when growing up and living with my Aunty Saturdays were housework days - a roster would be drawn up of jobs that needed to be done and we'd draw names out of a hat to see who got what. You could swap out jobs you hated for something someone else had if you wanted (there were 3 teenage girls in the house at the time) but everyone pitched in. Included in the jobs were planning the week's dinner menu and doing the shopping (to a budget). I would love to set up something similar with my own kids when it comes to that stage, as it gave us a good grounding in how to run a household - cooking, cleaning etc.

  17. #71

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    I toatally agree with kids pulling their weight! Thats why I worry about my step children! I was raised to be very independent (but not necessarily intentionally) From the age of 9 I would set my own alarm, get myself breakfast, shower, ready for school, walk myself to school ect because my parents wouldnt get up (even though they didnt work).I washed my own clothes, treated my own hair for nits and if I wanted a friend around I'd have to clean the house myself because it was filthy, so mainly I just wouldnt have friends over. I realise thats an extreme case but my partner on the other hand was always completely babied by his mum and never had to lift a finger, even as a late teenager!
    He is a bit of a chauvinist and was brought up to think that its the womans job to maintain the house. Still, he helps out now and then. But its the fact that he calls me 'mean' and 'an evil step mum' if I ask his kids to do ANYTHING. Actually, its mainly when I ask his boy to help out. Now the boy can not do the littlest things without complaining (or crying!) he has the worst attitude and never puts effort into the job at hand, so its never done properly! its so frustrating that my partner cant see how he is hindering his own childs develpoment ( to worried about being his mate). And it makes it really hard for me and the boys mother! Its embarrising at times knowing i play a role in his up bringing! I just wish my partner would see that expecting things from your children is helping them become adults and as parents one of our primary jobs is to prepare them for just that!

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