To ask 9yr old DS to put 2yr old DD to bed so often?

(64 Posts)
NickNacks Sat 06-Apr-13 19:54:37

He's the only one she doesn't scream the bloody house down for.

DD is very much a mummy's girl and when I put her to bed she screams and cries for me to come back and it takes a good 45 minutes to settle her.

With DH she is much the same, still cries for me and DH feels rejected when all she calls for is me when he's being so lovely to her.

DS1 takes her to bed and she's a completely different child. I do her teeth give her a kiss in the hall and he tucks her in, reads her story and leaves! I hear her cheerfully say 'Bye, DS!'

WIBU to ask him to do it a lot for the next few weeks? DH and I will still do it every few nights but if everyone is happy with this? I really don't know!

Euphemia Sat 06-Apr-13 19:56:08

How does DS feel? It sounds like a lovely arrangement to me. smile

Yes YABU. Hes 9. Its not his responsibility.

NickNacks Sat 06-Apr-13 19:57:31

He loves doing it! They're very close and he loves her, always has been very helpful.

It isn't his responsibility but it's giving you a break. As long as DS is okay with it I don't see a problem.

I agree it's not his responsibility.......but, if he doesn't mind doing it and you use the time saved to spend time doing something nice with him, then maybe if he does it for a few weeks it will break the screaming cycle and you and your OH can do it again.

MrsBombastic Sat 06-Apr-13 19:58:42

It's a hard one... if he doesn't mind in theory it's not a problem.

I wonder if your DD genuinly prefers your DS putting her to bed?

Discuss it with your DS, if he's fine with it and genuinly doesn't mind then great, I think there will be obvious issues when he is not there, for example if he stays at a friends over night ect.. maybe you could alternate the nights so that if she goes to bed nicely for mummy, her DB will put her to bed the next night?

I would make sure you tell him how grateful you are.

Mrmonkey Sat 06-Apr-13 19:59:12

If he is happy to then why not, some children set the table, stack the dishwasher, sort the laundry yours puts his little sister to bed.

SirBoobAlot Sat 06-Apr-13 19:59:47

Think it depends on what your DS thinks about this.

I used to put my younger brother to bed a lot for a similar reason, and when we were both younger as well. He was bottle fed, so I would give him his bottle, read him a story, and put him to bed, I think from when he was around six months old? But as he was older, he wanted me to put him to bed, so it was easier for everyone if I did, including me!

If your DS is happy doing it, and it doesn't start to feel like a chore etc for him, then letting him do it every now and again seems quite nice to me.

candr Sat 06-Apr-13 20:01:17

How does he feel about it? If he is happy then go with it but be prepared for him to turn round and say he doesn't want to one night. You could have DS be the last one to go in and say good night to DD if that keeps her calm after you have done story.

Euphemia Sat 06-Apr-13 20:01:24

There's something nicely old-fashioned about it. smile

Like, 100 years ago older children would have helped out with younger ones as you'd have been, I don't know, tilling the fields or something. smile

NickNacks Sat 06-Apr-13 20:02:26

That's what I'm hoping soontobe

I'd love to put her to bed and her go to sleep happy and straight away but it doesn't work out like that. I'm thinking a couple of weeks like this and we can take over again.

If he or she ever said they didn't want to then of course I wouldn't make them!

NickNacks Sat 06-Apr-13 20:04:38

candr that would be a great 'next step' to me doing it altogether.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Sat 06-Apr-13 20:05:38

If he is happy, it is nice for both. I don't see the problem, but if he starts to moan or seems to dislike it, then you need to rethink. Could you take over one of his usual chores as a thank you for him doing this?

ifancyashandy Sat 06-Apr-13 20:08:45

Apparently (I have no memory of it) my 2nd eldest brother used to put me to bed. I loved it. He loved it. My mum (I am now in my 40's) doesn't seem to be the sort of parent to put kids to work grin.

My brother and I love each other very much. T'is bond building.

NotMostPeople Sat 06-Apr-13 20:09:58

I think it's fine but I'd think of a plan to get dd to settle with both you and your DH. You really don't want to get into a situation in the long term where DS is the only one she'll settle for. Could you begin to pop in to the room as DS is reading her a story to give her a kiss and gradually increase it with DS leaving earlier and do the same with DH?

ParadiseChick Sat 06-Apr-13 20:11:12

How sweet! Yanbu, as long as he is happy to do it and you let him know how awesome he is!

It's not about who has the responsibility, your a family, families do stuff for each other!

quoteunquote Sat 06-Apr-13 20:12:53

It's lovely and will serve them well as they grow,

Mine love doing things like this for each other, and as siblings all like each other, and choose to hang out together, because they have always done nice things for each other.

My eldest is back from uni,very short visit, his youngest sibling has loved taking him a tray of luxury breakfasts in the morning, the middle one has been cooking him lovely lunches, they have missed him so much, because he did get involved with them when they were little.

so those bed time stories will be returned in kind.

Just make sure you thank him and tell him how wonderful he is each and every time.

unionjackcovered Sat 06-Apr-13 20:13:16

My dd10 loves putting her younger sister to bed, if he's happy with it, no problem!

babyradio Sat 06-Apr-13 20:13:43

It sounds nice to me, but just keep an eye on it like others have said. I'm sure it's good for him to feel that he has some responsibility too even though he is only 9. Maybe you could arrange for him to have a little treat of his own too as a thank you?

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sat 06-Apr-13 20:15:25

Awww bless them.both!

I think.its fine my 10 and 8 yr old often read bedtime stories to my little two, they all like it smile

If he is happy it sounds fine to me smile

McNewPants2013 Sat 06-Apr-13 20:33:32

If he likes doing it, then continue to do it.

Perhaps he likes that you get to spend so time with him after his sister is in bed without her screaming the house down.

PinkCanary Sat 06-Apr-13 23:43:44

I think it's lovely. And it helps your Ds understand that families are about give and take. Of course there will be ways that you can show your gratitude to DS but he's old enough now to take responsibility for a few things.

My 9 yr old DD came home from school 2 weeks ago and asked to make me a brew. grin We've not looked back since! Am sure she'll reach a point where she'll grumble but I was once in her position too. That's just the way of the world.

lottieandmia Sat 06-Apr-13 23:46:47

My dd who is 9 probably would not take kindly to having to take her 4 year old sister to bed, the most she will do is take her to the loo! If he doesn't mind then I don't think it's wrong...

sjupes Sat 06-Apr-13 23:54:15

Dd(8) puts ds(17mths) to bed or up for his nap every now and again she also gets his milk for me <we should get our own cow the amount he goes through> she loves doing anything involving him and he likes having his big sister sing him up the stairs and sort his teddies nicely for him smile

As long as ds enjoys it and knows it's appreciated i'd do it

sjupes Sat 06-Apr-13 23:55:55

Dd makes the best cup of tea in the world. It's a fact.

although im sure she thinks i piss the bed i always have to remind her to fill my cup up

sashh Sun 07-Apr-13 06:15:56

I would make sure you tell him how grateful you are.

I'd pay him.

It's above and beyond normal jobs.

juwie Sun 07-Apr-13 06:21:08

my oldest12 loves taking his baby brother5 to bed and all my 3dc do other little chores, i think its important for them to help so they aren't completely useless when they move out and have their own families.

aufaniae Sun 07-Apr-13 06:34:52

Ooh I feel uncomfortable about the idea of paying him tbh. It seems wrong to me, like it's tainting something very natural and sweet.

I agree the OP should show how grateful she is, but if he's paid it becomes more of a job. I wouldn't want my DS putting DD to bed for money; it might make him feel more obliged to do it when ge doesn't really want to. But if he enjoys it why not? I agree with others it would probably help their bonding.

The only concern would be long term, you could get into a situation where only DS can put her to bed, so OP you need to be canny about this and keep trying yourself some nights.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sun 07-Apr-13 06:44:21

*I'd pay him.

It's above and beyond normal jobs.* hmm

It what being part of a family is, they both like it, so leave them to it. If one of them wants out let them too.
Putting children to bed is not a job, all the preparation before is, but the OP does that.

exoticfruits Sun 07-Apr-13 06:50:29

I don't think you should pay him. I can't see why it is beyond 'normal' jobs.
When I was 9yrs I often used to bath my 3yr old brother, put him to bed and read him a story. I loved doing it and still look back fondly on those times. I certainly preferred it to other jobs around the house.
As long as he is happy.

ENormaSnob Sun 07-Apr-13 06:54:18

I think now and again is fine but I wouldn't be doing it every night.

My eldest 2 do a lot with the youngest but more on a playing level rather than childcare iyswim?

Tbf though my opinion is biased as being the eldest of 4 and had a shit time growing up. I still feel resentful now and am careful not to make my eldest feel the same.

EasilyBored Sun 07-Apr-13 07:09:50

As long as he is happy to do I think it's lovely.

Somehow you have to find the balance between letting them have a childhood, and teaching them that all the family has to chip in to keep daily life running. I don't think bedtime is a.chore thpugh, if he likes it. It's a nice way for him and his little sister to bond and be together.

Saski Sun 07-Apr-13 07:20:27

I wouldn't pay him.

I agree I'd be sure to let him know how much you appreciate it.

I have a 10 and 7 year old and my 10 year old does occasionally read him a bedtime story and it's incredibly sweet.

exoticfruits Sun 07-Apr-13 07:22:54

I loved reading, so reading to an appreciative audience was great!

HDEE Sun 07-Apr-13 07:36:49

It's fine. He's not doing the whole bedtime routine. He isn't putting her nappy and pyjamas on and choosing her bedtime.

There has been the odd occasion when I have told my 11 year old to pick up his twin brothers and please out them in their cots and close the door, because its been a hall of a long day and I was at the end of my rope. My 6 year old daughter also loves reading them their bedtime stories.

It's all part of being in a family and doing what works for you. He sounds like a lovely boy, who is doing his part for family harmony.

Maggie111 Sun 07-Apr-13 08:42:51

Doing it occasionally should be part of helping the family out. Making it his responsibility every night I think means you should pay him. I had a friend who was 13 and a free au pair for her much younger siblings, it was cruel.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 09:32:03

I think it is really sweet tbh he is putting her to bed not a huge responsibility is it is he wanting to do it ? he maybe feels involved with his sister and that we all help each other out it isn't all 'mums job' you do know that dd does have you all wrapped round her teeny tiny finger don't you grin

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 09:33:46

Don't pay him it would spoil it why would you pay him it is his sister he is reading his sister a story and saying night night

BrawToken Sun 07-Apr-13 09:37:19

Aw, I think that is lovely as long as he doesn't mind smile

yousankmybattleship Sun 07-Apr-13 09:38:06

As long as he's happy about it then it seems like the perfect arrangement. What a lovely boy you have!

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 09:40:28

Aaaw. How blinking sweet is that? I think it's fine. I was one of 4...well still am! My siblings looked after me all the time! It's fine.

stressyBessy22 Sun 07-Apr-13 11:49:12

I think he should do it occasionally not every night.that way it stays special and can be very useful to you when you really need it.If he does it every time it won't be long before she starts kicking off for him too....

shellbu Sun 07-Apr-13 11:57:31

i think its wrong ,you had her dont palm her off to your son ,you put YOUR child to bed ,it shouts laziness to me .

KobayashiMaru Sun 07-Apr-13 12:13:40

He likes it, she likes it and it works for you. Ignore the whingers. It's called being a family, you're the mother, not the slave who must do absolutely everything. Families share the load around, thats the point of them.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 12:13:59

It is HARDLY palming off the poor boy is putting his sister to bed not sending him up a chimney to sweep seriously palming off and laziness is are very strong words to use imo, I do think children like to be involved in family life and this is no different they are a family he is helping out no biggie he isn't being forced

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 12:15:22

and the novelty will wear off with either brother or the little evil genuis that is the 2 year old wink she will get bored and start wailing for mum again soon

LittleEdie Sun 07-Apr-13 12:21:06

I'm really shock that anyone would have an objection to this. There's nothing wrong with children having 'jobs' around the house, and this sounds like a nice one. Everyone wins. If it were a DD doing it I wonder if people's perceptions would be different?

stressyBessy22 Sun 07-Apr-13 12:26:50

littleedie Reading your child a bedtime story and tucking them in should not be regarded as a chore

shellbu Sun 07-Apr-13 12:30:01

thats what mothers or fathers do , put children to bed , i didnt feel like a slave putting mine to bed , it is laziness when there are 2 parents sat on their arse and let a 9 yr old do it cos they cant be bothered with her crying ,jobs are fine for a 9 yr old but child care , i dont think so .

KobayashiMaru Sun 07-Apr-13 12:30:16

she didn't say it was a chore. hmm

MordecaiAndRigby Sun 07-Apr-13 12:31:23

I'm sure the 9yr old much prefers this arrangement compared to listening to his sister bawling and having stressed out parents.

MordecaiAndRigby Sun 07-Apr-13 12:32:28

It's good bonding too.

As well as educational benefits with the reading out loud.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 12:32:34

they are not sitting on their arses he wants to do it it i s a nice thing for him to do no different from a child helping a younger sibling on with their coat or shoes or whatever, or is that lazy parenting too

LittleEdie Sun 07-Apr-13 12:34:04

Childcare if they were on their own in the house with the child - no. Childcare with the parents in another room - why not?

shellbu the way you say that makes you sound a bit nasty.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 12:34:28

*It's good bonding too.

As well as educational benefits with the reading out loud*.

^ ^ that I do think children can be quite self centered sometimes and think the world revolves around them

McNewPants2013 Sun 07-Apr-13 12:34:52

Bedtime in this house feels a chore. I have gave up reading stories ect when both my little darlings are jumping about.

WorraLiberty Sun 07-Apr-13 12:36:56

DS loves doing it

2yr old is happy

You're happy

Your DH is happy

How can you be unreasonable? confused

NickNacks Sun 07-Apr-13 12:37:45

Thank you for all the responses.

I had a chat with DS last night (as I was seeing him to bed!) about his thoughts on the situation. Did he mind and was he happy doing it etc. he said he loves doing it, it makes him happy that she likes him taking her to bed and best of all, he likes reading the books in her room as otherwise he wouldn't get a chance to. I reiterated to him (as I do almost every night!) that if every he didn't want to he only had to say and dad or I would do it, no problem.

I won't be paying him. We don't pay our children to do any chores, they get treats and spending money where necessary but it isn't directly linked to chores. I believe helping out with chores such as laying table, emptying dishwasher, tidying up should be done by everyone age appropriately, not because they get paid.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 12:40:21

what a lovely son you have nicknacks his sister is lucky to have him smile

LittleEdie Sun 07-Apr-13 12:41:18

Aaah, that's nice smile.

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 07-Apr-13 12:42:19

Fully agree with those who have said that as long it is perceived by him as a pleasure rather than an obligation it is a win-win situation. As a mum to teens and a toddler, I do think that such things can easily turn sour, sadly, but unless and until it does go for it! I find my teens are rather fair weather friends to their much littler sister- they find her adorable and hilarious some of the time but run a mile when toddler bossiness and tantrums appear. I think that's as it should be really.

ChristmasJubilee Sun 07-Apr-13 12:59:18

My ds2 (15) sometimes (about once a week) puts his little brother (6) to bed. He does his shower, pyjamas, teeth and story. He has been doing it for about 3 years. He also, occasionally, picks him up from after school club, takes him to the park or watches him whilst I pop out. He has babysat but was paid for that.

Ds2 gets £10 a week as opposed to ds1's £5 as ds1 (mild s/n's) does not help around the house. He also adds little extras to my shopping list which the others don't. Given the choice ds2 would choose to spend all his time on his computer not to do it but would prefer to look after his brother to doing house work or walking the dog.

I don't think it is unreasonably to expect children, if able, to help around the house.

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