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AIBU in giving my 5.5yr old DD chores.

(42 Posts)
redderthanred Thu 15-Sep-11 10:47:56

You would think so, because of the horror and comments people are making.
Ive not gone round annoucning it to people, but its come up in conversation and several people have said im out of order.

I work and am a lone parent. I dont have oddles of time.
I have got her doing the following: ( and i dont even think its that much)
Putting her pjs under her pillow and her dressing gown on the end of her bed ( dressing gown hook is too high for her to reach). I will have her making her own bed quite shortly.
Keeping her room tidy ( ish)
Putting her shoes away neatly ( not strewn all over the room)
Dirty clothes in the laundry basket, ones that can be worn again to be put on her bean bag.
Clean the dinner table ( taking dirty things to the kitchen)
Feeding the pets ( two of which are hers and were only brought on the understanding that she looks after them)
tidying up her toys when she is done.

So - AIBU and am i a shit mother for not doing all this for her?

StrandedBear Thu 15-Sep-11 10:51:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tigresswoods Thu 15-Sep-11 10:52:15

I think it sounds like sensible stuff. YANBU

aldiwhore Thu 15-Sep-11 10:53:21

YANBU although I do think a 5 year old needs help in remembering to do these things and sometimes help in actually doing them without getting into trouble. If its part and parcel of her routine then I think its a positive thing.

She is only 5 though, so don't get cross if she doesn't do them perfectly well all the time.

Both my kids have 'chores', little things they are expected to do as part of their routine (theyonly have a loose routine) the chores are all tagged to an activity much like yours. When they come home from school they put their shoes in the shoe box and hang up their coats, they get changed and hand me their uniforms (they just cannot get the hang of folding which is fair enough).

When we blitz the house they're expected to 'muck in'.

The tidy bedroom thing is something I think most people find difficult to achieve on a daily basis, so I'd say have a twice a week supervised blitz, rather than expect a tidy room ALL the time, sometimes mess can simply be 'mid-play' I used to create such lonf stories with my toys that clearing them up EVERY time actually ruined MY play.

redderthanred Thu 15-Sep-11 10:53:55

i was told that i am not a 'proper mum' if i make her do it.


i had to do chores, course i hated it. bloody hate doing them now too smile but such is life.

YouHaveNoPowerOverMe Thu 15-Sep-11 10:54:50

Not at all Unreasonable.

My 2 1/2yr old makes his bed, put pj's on pillow, puts dirty washing in his laundry bin, cleans the patio doors (they are his finger prints after all) loads the washing machine, sweeps kitchen floor and all manner of other things.

He enjoys it though so making the most of it! grin

redderthanred Thu 15-Sep-11 10:56:58

she remembers those things unpromted.. so i think its enough. I will add the bed in too at somepoint when i think she can rememeber it too.
I dont critise if she doesnt do it well, and i dont inspect it, i just say ' well done for doing that DD' and leave it at that.

The room tidying is subjective.. we had a brio track round it and all over it for 2 weeks. that is fine. what is not fine is dirty tissues on the bed, or paper shredded all over the floor, or dirty clothes strewn about, or shoes in the middle of the room and books all over the place.

itisnearlysummer Thu 15-Sep-11 10:58:02

That sounds fine to me.

My DD is just 5 (August) and she:

- sets the table for dinner (with her brother - they allocate the various tasks between them)
- makes her bed
- strips her own bed and washes the bed linen (with bits of support where necessary)
- puts her shoes away neatly
- also puts dirty clothes in the laundry basket and 'folds' ones to be worn again and puts them on her chair
- keeps her room tidy (although she is a bit of a neat freak!)
- tidies her toys away
- feeds the hamster, changes his water and puts the clean sawdust/bedding in the cage when I've washed it.

in addition, she does little ad hoc things as they arise.

she doesn't see most of these as chores, she just enjoys doing them as it makes her feel more grown up. Besides, she's definitely a child who likes to be busy and feel useful!

If she's tired or whatever, she gets a bit of help. And somethings, she needs a bit of help to do practically but on the whole she's quite independent.

feetheart Thu 15-Sep-11 10:58:29


Sounds perfectly fine to me and exactly what my two (8 and 5) are expected to do. Teaching them to look after and respect their home as far as I can see. I have photos of 3 yr old DS with leg in cast mopping kitchen floor grin

Re other people - the words 'rod' and 'own back' spring to mind smile

YANBU at all. Her list isnt excessive and it's all stuff she should do for sure. In fact, I dont class things like keeping her room tidy, putting her toys away etc as chores anyway, our kids should do stuff like this out of respect for us!

I dont give DS pocket money as such but if he wants any he has to:-

Mop kitchen floor
clean laminate in lounge and hall

If he does that he gets £1.50! Ok, so he may not do a fantastic job but the point is he knows he wont get pocket money if he doesnt do this. Most of the time he doesnt but when he does it he puts his heart and soul in, lol.

Guaranteed your DD will grow up into a far nicer person than your friends DC's who dont have to life a finger.

feetheart Thu 15-Sep-11 11:00:54

'Not a proper mum' shockshockshockshockshockshock

AMumInScotland Thu 15-Sep-11 11:12:06

YANBU - you are being a proper mum by teaching your child to take some responsibility for the things she does, and by helping her to understand that tidying has to be done. Doing everything for them doesn't make anyone a "proper" mum, it makes you a martyr.

TrillianAstra Thu 15-Sep-11 11:13:05

YANBU at all.

A bit part of parenting is teaching your child how to be a human being.

redskyatnight Thu 15-Sep-11 11:13:42

YANBU. My DD is also 5.5 and I expect her to:

- put coat, shoes and bags away when she comes in
- tidy away toys at end of day/when finished with
- put dirty clothes in laundry basket
- take plate/cup etc into kitchen when finished eating
- help me tidy her room (if she did it herself everything would end up in a pile under the bed).

She also does incidental jobs such as laying the table and brushing the floor.

To me these are all jobs that are basically part of being in a family and helping out. If I did all these things for her how will she learn them herself? There's nothing beyond her ability range and they are hardly time consuming (and in most cases she does them automatically).

TrillianAstra Thu 15-Sep-11 11:13:49


mumwithdice Thu 15-Sep-11 11:16:49

Thank you for posting, OP as I will now be keeping your list for when my DD is 5 (only 9 months now). So no, yanbu.

hellhasnofury Thu 15-Sep-11 11:19:52

Families are about teamwork, that's always been my belief. Nowhere does it state that I'm the only person in our family who should do chores, it's always been an expectation that the children will help out. I found that they enjoyed the responsibilities given to them. I don't think it does children any favours to let them think that mums are there to run around picking up after them.

ArthurMcAffertyhastwocats Thu 15-Sep-11 11:20:06

To me that sounds fine. Like you I am a working lone parent. My dd is 6 and I ask her to:
- make her bed (she's fab at that, really neat and never has to be reminded)
- keep her room tidy
- set and clear the table
- feed the pets
- take out the milk bottles
- help tidy any mess she makes downstairs
- putting her coat and shoes away
I am about to get her started on putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket and putting on washing. She helps out with meal preparation - she used to make breakfast until I got sick of sweeping up cereal.

I never thought it was excessive but reading this makes me wonder. On the other hand her dearest wish in life is to learn to iron so maybe I should encourage her domesticity in the hope she will take over the ironing in a few years!

minimisschief Thu 15-Sep-11 11:22:49

Agree with everything but the clean the dinner table. unless you just mean her things

DawnTiggaWeirdyBeardy Thu 15-Sep-11 11:28:39

YANBU I make The Cub 2.4 tidy his toys and make his bed everyday.


fit2drop Thu 15-Sep-11 11:30:33

Definitely not BU.Children of this age love to think they can do "grown-up" stuff.So asking her to help maintain the tidiness of the home will also emphasise the importance of team work in a family environment.
You are teaching her skills and also teaching her to be independant. As long as its done with positive responses that can only be a good thing.

At least you won't be on here in 10 years time asking AIBU to expect my 15 yr old to wipe its own bum
[tongue in cheek emoticon before the "how dare you " police invade the thread]

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 15-Sep-11 11:31:32

YANBU... Some people seem to have this idiotic idea that if it's not a 'game', it's not a valid activity for a child and that they should be cossetted and protected from anything that might be construed as work (including homework ffs) until they are.... oh I don't know....21?

A bit of tidying and putting PJs under pillows is just creating good habits. You're not exactly sticking her up a chimney with a brush.

golemmings Thu 15-Sep-11 15:03:39

Our 2 year old lays her place at the table, puts her plastic plates etc away in the cupboards when I'm unloading the dishwasher; took the plastic jugs out of the dishwasher the other day and put them away in the correct cupboard (I didn't know she knew where they went!) and does some tidying up at the end of the day. She loves it. It makes her feel involved and I think it teaches her to respect her stuff.

She helped Daddy cook tea on Tuesday, including grinding the spices in the pestle and mortar and podding the broad beans. But AIBU to expect her to be able to be able to cook a full roast dinner by the time she's 3?

woowoo2 Thu 15-Sep-11 15:31:12

DS has been helping me since he was 2.5 and he is now nearly 6.

niceguy2 Thu 15-Sep-11 15:39:01

My 5 year old would tell you that YABU. Well he can as soon as he's finished tidying his room and unloading the dishwasher!

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