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My 9 year old DD -Helping round the house just makes more work

(17 Posts)
fishandlilacs Tue 16-Aug-16 09:46:07

AIBU in finding it utterly infuriating to ask my DD to do any kind of chore round the house?

Earlier today i asked her to wipe up some spilled water-it wasn't much maybe 1/3 of a standard small drinking glass. Instead of grabbing a floor cloth from under the sink and wiping it up she grabbed 4 clean tea towels and placed them on the floor, then used a SOFA CUSHION to wipe up the bits that had splashed up the walls. So now I have 4 tea towels and a cushion cover that need to go in the laundry.

Shes supposed to help empty the dishwasher but she dumped the entire contents on the cutlery rack in the drawer yesterday and I had to spend a further 10 minutes sorting it out. She puts the plates and bowls in such weird arrangement and they don't then stack properly, I then have to come behind her and sort it out so they stack.

If I fold and sort her laundry and leave it for her to put in her drawers she dumps the entire lot into the bottom of her wardrobe.

I don't think any of those chores are unreasonable for a 9 yr old and it's not as if she hasn't been shown how to do the jobs squillions of times.

I may have lost it a bit with the tea towels and sofa cushion this morning-I ended up raising my voice.

My husband says I'm too hard on her and shes only 9 and cant be expected to do these things properly.

My Mum says i'm far too soft on her and should be making her do these things over and over again until shes does them to a decent standard.

Am i asking too much? Her only set jobs are feeding the cats (which invariably ends up with cat food on the cats or floor) and keeping her own room tidy.

ConfuciousSaysWhat Tue 16-Aug-16 09:59:30

People aren't born with an innate ability to know how to do chores they learn by example. You sound like you bark orders and expect her to know what to do

Teach her

CinderellaFant Tue 16-Aug-16 10:01:10

Agree- you need to teach her. Say 'can you get a floor cloth from under the sink and clean up the water?' Rather than just tell her to clean it and expect her to know how to do it.

harderandharder2breathe Tue 16-Aug-16 10:02:44

Agree, you need to teach her to do these things properly. No point following her around fixing them if you're not explaining to her how to do it properly in the first place

fishandlilacs Tue 16-Aug-16 10:02:53

Did you read the post Confucious? I said in it I have shown her how to do things properly many times.

I don't bark orders-I make a point of speaking respectfully most of the time which is why losing it this morning marks the extent of my frustration.

Fluffsnuts Tue 16-Aug-16 10:03:43

Sounds like she's just being a 9yo. I'd get her to 're-do stuff like the cutlery, sort out the drawer etc, put her clothes away properly. If she knows she'll be asked to redo it she should start doing it properly in the first place.

someonestolemynick Tue 16-Aug-16 10:07:20

I would make it more difficult/ annoying for her to do a bad job than to do the thing properly.
Call her back and let her sort it. Every. Single. Time.

LottieDoubtie Tue 16-Aug-16 10:09:21

Yes I would ask her to redo too. I would try and fail not to 'tell her off' as such, and I would make instructions very clear from the outset but I would have no truck with using a sofa cushion to wipe up a spilled drink.

She would be taking the cover off and putting it in the wash, then once clean and dry putting the cover back on so that she starts to see the consequence.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Tue 16-Aug-16 10:10:44

Agree with someone. She knows you will sort it all for her, so dumping all the cutlery in the drawer takes her 2 seconds. Call her over and show her. If it's not done properly call her back to try again. Be encouraging, even if you know she's doing it to be annoying.

SpaceDinosaur Tue 16-Aug-16 10:15:22


If you're confident that she's capable and just, for lack of a better expression, being an "arse" about it then look at her work and get her to redo the task until it is satisfactory.

Sounds like she's doing things deliberately badly in a bid to try and stop you from asking her in the first place.

Is she in a rush to get off and do something else? Screen time? Friends etc? Remove whatever she wants until her jobs are completed properly.

At 9 years old she should be perfectly able to process that a cloth fixes the spill. Yes a teatowel isn't what you would have used but it's a logical step. The three towels and cushion however? Well, she's just created more work for herself because now she needs to deal with drying/washing the items.

Be strong and consistent and she will soon learn.

But you need to get your DH on side. Teaching your DD skills like this at her current age will massively help her when she's older.

Witchend Tue 16-Aug-16 10:29:04

It does take longer with then helping when they're younger. However they (if you show them) then it becomes helpful when they're older.
My 9yo makes a nice cake which is a result of being "helped" since they were old enough to stand on a chair next to me.
However my 12 year old makes a nice cake and remembers to put the stuff in the dishwasher (usually)
And my 15yo makes a nice cake, and clears totally away afterwards.

It's not that they automatically learn these things. They learn when you say "pop it in the dishwasher" or "wipe the crumbs off the surface".

And yes the "helping" but actually taking longer is frustrating. The doing it but leaving it looking like a bomb hit it, is probably worse. But then you reap the benefits down the line.
Mine will cook dinner too.grin

YelloDraw Tue 16-Aug-16 10:31:02

Get her to re-do things.

And try nad be really really clear about exactly how she should do the chores i.e. get the floor cloth from under the sink.

TBH it sounds like she is doing the chores badly on purpose so you stop asking her.

tinyterrors Tue 16-Aug-16 10:34:11

This reminds me of something my dh said he did when younger to get out of chores. Do it so badly that you don't get asked again, eg Instead of boiling the kettle he'd use hot water from the tap so that the tea was so awful he'd never be asked again.

I don't think you're asking too much. My 8 year old has to do a similar amount of jobs round the house. If she doesn't do something properly I make her redo it, so if she tidies her room by shoving everything under her bed I make her pull it all out and do it again until it's all where it should be.

You dd is either careless and is of the opinion that it doesn't matter how bad a job is done as long as it's done, or she's deliberately doing it wrong (like the cutlery being dumped) so that you get fed up redoing things and stop asking her.

From now on I'd show/tell her explicitly what she needs to do, then if she just dumps the cutlery in the drawer for example make her take it all out and do it again until it's right. She'll complain and whine but ignore it, she'll soon get sick of having to do everything two or three times and start doing it properly the first time.

GoblinLittleOwl Tue 16-Aug-16 11:01:45

You have to work with her and supervise her, particularly cutlery, stacking bowls and putting away laundry; don't do it for her but equally don't let her get away with not doing it properly. And give her regular jobs that are her responsibility, and increase them as she gets older.

HerdsOfWilderbeest Tue 16-Aug-16 11:06:12

Of course she can sort cutlery into the right sections. I'm pretty confident a 4 year old could do that.

Damselindestress Tue 16-Aug-16 11:15:42

I would give clear instructions and ask her to redo if she does it wrong. She might be making mistakes because she rushes to get it done quickly, like dumping the cutlery into the drawer instead of sorting it and if she has to redo it right then she will see that is counterproductive. On the other hand she might have misunderstood so specifying "get a cloth from under the sink and wipe up the water" "sort the cutlery into the spaces in the drawer," while tedious, leaves little room for misunderstanding and eventually she'll get the hang of it herself.

fishandlilacs Tue 16-Aug-16 13:07:39

Thank you all.

I do think it's "willfully" done badly at the moment. Shes all sass and attitude and arguing back at the moment. Its extremely frustrating, none of us are really enjoying this summer as my 4 yr old is really temperamental at the moment and struggling with transitioning between activities-so almost everything we do is preceded by a huge tantrum of some kind. I know this has got on her nerves as much as anyone else in the house, so I think that's where it's coming from.

Roll on September

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