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AIBU to think some parents have low expectations of their DC?

(120 Posts)
Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 15:59:55

18 year olds who shouldn't go abroad. 11 year olds who shouldn't cook. 16 year olds who shouldn't take a train on their own...

I was cooking my own dinner, shopping, going to the launderette, getting the bus to school etc etc from age 8. I didn't kill myself or burn anything down. This was 70s South London with a very disinterested single parent so independence was necessary. I moved out at 16 - made some youthful mistakes but dealt with the consequence myself.

Has something changed in the world? If so - what and why?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 09-Jan-15 16:02:37

What about the 8,9,10yos who were allowed to do all and sundry and arent here to talk about it?

Just because you made it out unscathed doesnt mean everyone did/would/should.

It's like saying "I smoked 40 a day from 15 to 85, never did me a pick of harm" yep....but what about others?

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 09-Jan-15 16:02:53

I agree Prole I think children and young people are incredibly pampered these days.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Fri 09-Jan-15 16:04:00

And also, you had a disinterested parent. You had to do it.

Maybe most posters on here are interested parents who want their kids to live a childhood free from laundrette trips or having to worry about what dinner to put on.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 09-Jan-15 16:04:28

although doing all that from the age of 8 was not ideal was it?

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:05:42

The launderette run was very common for children back then - sometimes only kids would be in there! Ok we have more washing machines at home now and most of launderettes shut. But things do seem very different. Can 10 year olds go shopping with a list?

WD41 Fri 09-Jan-15 16:06:24

No way will my DD be making her own dinner or getting buses alone at age 8. Not because I have low expectations of her, but because she's a child. 8 yos shouldn't be doing those things.

I'm sorry you had a disinterested parent and I'm glad you came to no harm. But really, your childhood was not the norm.

Altinkum Fri 09-Jan-15 16:07:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:07:47

OK how about 16 year olds taking a train ALL BY THEMSELVES! Very near the point of having to be a functioning adult aren't they? Much as they might want to remain infantilised, they need a kick in that direction?

JassyRadlett Fri 09-Jan-15 16:11:04

Ach, nonsense. OP, YANBU, you had to do it which wasn't an ideal situation but that doesn't mean the experience if doing it wasn't beneficial for you.

We were brought up by capable, supportive parents to be capable, independent individuals. That meant age-appropriate cooking (by 11 each of my siblings and I could cook quite a few meals competently), shopping, taking public transport, learning to do household jobs including basic DIY, etc.

I think parents can act out of the best motives but then do their kids a massive disservice, and then rhosr kids struggle more when they go out on their own.

JassyRadlett Fri 09-Jan-15 16:12:59

**those. Rhosr is not a word.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 09-Jan-15 16:13:58

I do wonder about some children esp the ones who are aimed at uni - not I did not mean aiming - from what I read here they seem incredibly cushioned from the real world.
I have even seen some in the launderette here when my machine broke down, I had to stifle my giggles at their confused little faces as they surveyed the machines, the pound slots etc

HedgehogsDontBite Fri 09-Jan-15 16:15:14

I was a bit like you as a child and I hated it. I remember the disappointment I felt every day when I realised my mum wasn't in the playground and I'd have to walk home alone. I felt so unloved. I don't have low expectations of my children, I just want them to have a better life than I did.

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:15:16

Not getting the 'it wasn't ideal' point. Very few live their ideal life but make it as good as they can. It didn't bother me as it got things done and made the transition to adult life much easier.

I'll throw in one massive social change - mobile phones. If my bus broke down as a kid, I couldn't phone my mum to tell her. Kids do now. Why? It's not an impossable situation. Another bus will come. Are kids more tightly tethered to their parents through modern comms?

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:22:47

I'll throw in another shift... I sometimes have to train young people in my job. Some (but thankfully not all) see independence as a mugs' game. Why go out to work, support themselves when mum and dad will feed them, give them money etc.

As you've probably guessed, I'm not a parent but deal with quite a few 18-21 year olds through work. I'm on this site as I find the spread of opinion facinating and sometimes educational.

defineme Fri 09-Jan-15 16:23:17

Perhaps we would should aim for a happy medium? I imagine having one disinterested parent did you a lot of emotional damage.
things have changed since the 70s...we have the worst child pedestrian safety record in Europe and many parents curtail their kids freedom because of fear of traffic.
My 10 year olds do go shopping, but I also show them how to online shop, compare prices etc.
I think confidence is sometimes more important than experience. My best friend and I left home at 18, I had been cooking family meals and cleaning etc from a young age, she wasn't allowed near thekitchen or expected to do chores. Being a bright woman, my friend quickly learned to shop, cook and clean and today she isafar better cook than me. I, on the other hand, think I looked on domestic stuff as a huge drag , hate cooking and was slovenly for years!

Discopanda Fri 09-Jan-15 16:28:36

We were lucky to live right between two supermarkets so I used to pop out for pints of milk, etc and we had to help with chores, it was just what we did! I don't really understand parents that don't encourage kids to do stuff once they're at an appropriate age

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:31:08

My parent didn't do me much good - no. But I sorted that out myself. As for traffic - I grew up with Tufty Tails and the Green Cross Code man. I'm not sure Streatham High Road was any better back then.

I guess my main concern is the sheer resistance to independent adulthood I encounter in probably the majority of my youthful charges. At 16 - if I was pulled up on my youthful daftness, I puffed my chest out and said "I'm 16!" in a probably hilarious-for-the-adults way. I now get too many who say "I'm ONLY 21..."

Norfolkandchance1234 Fri 09-Jan-15 16:32:04

I lived in 70s South east London and don't know a single child age 8 who did any of what you mention apart from making cups of tea.

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:37:30

Good for you, Norfolk. Your point is? I can assure you many other kids shopped, laundered etc. Were you also spared the 'treat' of sticking 10000 green shield stamps in your gran's books with only your own tongue for moisture?

Whereabouts in SE London? I'd guess that the leafier suburbs of Bromley or Croydon was very different from Streatham or Brixton.

elliejjtiny Fri 09-Jan-15 16:39:35

I have an 8 year old and if I started sending him to the laundrette, on the bus to school and cooking his own dinner I'd be reported to social services. I think children of my generation and older definitely had more freedom and more responsibilities but also as a parent if you treat your child in a way that was considered acceptable in the 70's and 80's it would now be considered child abuse.

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:41:21

Defineme - I have no doubt anyone can learn adult lifeskills even relatively late. It's those who really don't want to I can't understand.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 09-Jan-15 16:43:10

omg Green Shield stamps what a blast from the past!!
worlds within worlds really isnt it?

FriedFishAndBread Fri 09-Jan-15 16:44:24

my dds almost 9, for the last year she has popped to the local shop for pints of milk (no roads to cross) can make cups of tea, shove a frozen pizza in the oven, make and bake fairy cakes using the scales and oven and has jobs to do every day.

No way would I let her walk to school yet and let her walk home by herself (if she had an older sibling I would) and when she's in yr 7 and having to catch the bus to school and back I would like to know if she was delayed. I hate her being 5 extra minutes when she's gone to the corner shop all sort of things go through my head and I would say my dds very independent for her age.

I do agree to a point what your saying op I see the secondary school children being took and picked up from school and I can't quite believe it, that would of embarrassed me as a teenager not been normal!

Prole Fri 09-Jan-15 16:47:14

elliejj - I'll take your word for SS involvement but can't see how any of those things are somehow cruel. Cooking was fun - I used to bake bread too though with mixed results... The Launderette was dull but only once a week. Shopping was OK as I'd always get myself a Beano and a bag of Sherbet pips. I also went to the playground, climbed tree on the Common, read my beloved Puffin books and loved finding mad old clothes at jumble sales. I'm not saying my childhood was just one long domestic grind.

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