to expect this from my almost 9 year old?(70 Posts)
My son is a few days away from turning 9. This is what I expect him to do in a day:
Get out of bed
Get dressed for school
Pull duvet up
Pull up blind
Turn light off
Put any dirty clothes outside his room (ideally next to washing machine but pigs would fly before that happened)
Put bowl in dishwasher
Put shoes/coat on
Get school bag ready with whatever he needs for the day
Be ready to leave at 7.50
Spend 10 minutes practicing his guitar (he gets no other homework)
Put plate in dishwasher after eating.
Stop playing on screen once his 30 mins are up (that is our agreed time limit during the week)
Shower (he doesn't have to do this daily)
Hang up towel after shower
Get into bed when it's time to go to sleep
Tidy up a room if he's made a mess in it
Put any wrappers in the bin
Occasionally feed HIS cat when I am busy
Is this too onerous a list for an 8/9 year old? Because my will to live is being sucked out due to the constant reminding/nagging that it takes. I have explained that if he doesn't do these things, he loses that day's screen time. But it always ends up in an argument. It is doing my head in. So before I go nuclear/send him to boarding school, can you tell me if I am being unreasonable with these things? Is this too much for a boy his age to do? Seriously.
I have just read this thread with interest
I have an almost 8 year old (going on 18). He can/should do everything on this list but rarely does. it causes no end of friction... esp in the morning
I am going to make a visual chart for him so he knows what he has to do .. see if it helps with the meltdowns when he is reminded of stuff he needs to do .. if I laminate it then he can tick it off each day and wipe it clean for the next day ..
great idea thanks people
My DD is exactly the same. It was really getting on my nerves that she was leaving her dirty laundry on the floor instead of putting it in the wash basket and no amount of reminding seemed to help. One day I said "Oh are my eyes deceiving me - I can see a pant mirage on the floor, but they surely can't really be there as you know where they really go!" and she put them away agreeing that I was indeed seeing things
Now all I have to do is glimpse a "pant mirage" and she rushes to sort it out.
Makes the situation much less tense and frustrating - maybe you could make some jokey ways to get him to help out without having to nag?
Had a much better morning this morning. Younger son tried to go downstairs without dressing first, but I pointed out that it was pancake day and if he wanted pancakes for breakfast, he needed to be ready in time. Older son did (almost) everything he was supposed to do (his room was still a tip and blind down but I can forgive those) and we were still waiting for him to get shoes etc on but basically they did everything they had to do and almost on time without me raising my voice once - just doing the reminding of: ok, what's next. DS1 also remembered on his own to get his shin pads ready for a match today (jaw on floor). So lots of praise for that and they've both been rewarded with an extra ten mins of screen time. Today was probably an anomaly brought about by pancakes but I'll take it
It might help defuse conflict between you and your son if your DH communicated directly rather than through you. It's not really fair for your DH to give you a hard time because DS isn't living up to his standards, it puts pressure on your relationship with your DS that doesn't need to be there. Let your DH deal with your DS directly regarding his issues and you might find you have a shorter list of things you need to sort out and a more amenable and less resentful DS.
My two (8 & 6) have a list of things they have to do in the morning. (Get up, get dressed, put pyjamas in washing or fold up, breakfast, teeth, book bags, etc. out). The list is printed out and stuck to their wardrobes. If they do everything on their list, they get 20p. Plus another £1 if their rooms are tidy at the end of the week.
I've had varying success with this. What has made my mornings significantly more peaceful is insisting they get dressed and ready before having breakfast. Then the breakfast acts as an incentive and if they don't get things done, they go to school hungry. Now all they have to do after breakfast is clean their teeth, which still means some nagging, but it's not a patch on what things used to be like.
nokidshere - I was about to ask if I was the only one to insist on school bags being prepped the night before...glad I'm not on my own.
And, just a thought, way too much to do in the mornings!!
My boys have to do their schoolbags/lunchboxes/pe kits when they get in from school.
In the mornings we simply wash, eat and dress. Much calmer!
Too big a list and too much reminding - ignore and drink wine ;)
It all sounds perfectly normal to me!
I don't think it is his age or the fact that he's a boy, it's just the way he is.
My elder DD is pretty good. She might leave a mess, but I just remind her and she clears it with no problem.
My younger DD, who is 12, is just like your son. It doesn't matter how many times she is told to clean up after herself, it just doesn't happen. Every day we find plates and glasses in the living room, clothes and wet towels on the bathroom floor, and the list goes on.
Nothing on your list is unreasonable but unrealistic for a 9 year old to do without constant prompting ime.
Oh liege that reminds me of the Michael McIntre sketch
My 6yo ds does a lot of that, but not without an enormous amount of prompting. We have a chart (I guess a visual timetable?) with everything he and dd have to do in the morning before school, which I refer to about 100 times every morning, and there is still plenty of dawdling. 10 minutes before we need to leave for school I set a 5 minute timer. Anyone who has done everything on the chart by the time the timer goes off gets a marble in the marble jar, which goes towards screen time at the weekends.
This works pretty well. Without it I am a screaming harridan set on repeat: "Ds, get your shoes on. Get your shoes on ds. Ds, put that football magazine down and get your shoes on! Now! Your shoes! They're there, by your feet! No, look, there, right by your feet! Yes, that's it, great... <5 minutes later as I open door> Ds, have you only got one shoe on? WHY?!!" and so on and so on...
Repetition does work though I think. After months of constant requests (and the occasional "why do I have to do everything in this house?" HA! response), ds actually cleared his own plate into the kitchen yesterday without being asked. I nearly fell off my chair.
I have recently made a morning list for my 2 ds aged 8 and 5,only once all things on list are complete they are allowed to put the tv on until time to leave for school. Only introduced it a few of weeks ago but is working fairly well. They have to
Clear breakfast things away
Get school bags ready
Get shoes and coats and put by front door
Has made mornings less manic, and rather than having to nag about every task I can just say "have you done everything on your list"
Ds2 decided to be extra helpful on Saturday and empty the dishwasher while we were still in bed, only trouble was it had not been on!!
Well I'm still trying to get my ds to put his bowls in the dishwasher, pull up his duvet, pick up his pants, put the top on the toothpaste, go to bed and especially to be ready to leave on time. He's only 18 though - so I try not to nag to much --he's driving his dad mad by using his razor and dd's driving me made by using mine.
2 most overused phrases here are
"You haven't brushed them properly, do them again. NOW."
" get your hands out of your pants please "
My 8 yr old dd does most of it with not much prompting now but every little step was met with resistance, especially taking her own dishes out to the kitchen after eating you would think that I'd asked her to prepare a three course banquet for us all!
She now does it without thinking and her little brother copies her.
Our current battle is asking her to lay the table, again apparently a huge and unfair ask. I don't know why some kids find it so hard to do anything for anyone else but mine is definitely one of those (sigh)
The two most overused phrases in our house:
DS(9) "STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO"
Me: "Well, if you just got on with it, I wouldn't have to keep telling you"
YANBU to expect a 9 year old to do that. YABU to expect hime to do it without nagging.
Right, read the rest of the thread now.
I would have been very annoyed with him saying he would pull the list down. Could you have a list for both kids, so he doesn't feel he's being 'picked on'? And link the list to treats/privileges? He might not like the list but he would probably like losing screen time/fun activities even less.
taffeta - let us drink together then. And I too shall cling onto that notion that challenging children make interesting adults.
He IS my DS, op!
My wise old mum once said "challenging children make interesting adults". I cling onto that
and the wine bottle
Puberty? Nine? No, not usually. First sign is enlarging of testes. No, thought not
bedmonster - I do give them reminders. Exactly as you say: right, after breakfast, it's time for teeth etc. But his response to it all is to either ignore me or argue the point e.g. Why do I have to clean my teeth? They are MY teeth. Or, Why can't you clear our bowls away? Why do we have to do everything?
Trust me - he won't be eating in there again. It's a shame though because it was an occasion where I was trying to be more lenient, not trying to be massively dogmatic, and giving him the benefit of the doubt. But he just proved that he doesn't follow through with what he promises and will then argue till he's blue in the face about how I'm mean and he's right.
Someone up thread (apologies, can't remember who) said that he's getting too much negative attention and I need to break the cycle. Absolutely right. And I really do try to focus on the positives. But when I don't engage in arguments and simply state the issue/problem and move on, he either just ignores what he's supposed to do, or he follows me around saying that I'm mean for ignoring him. Sigh. To be honest he's been like this his entire life. I am just casting around for hormones as a reason at the moment.
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