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Am I treating my son like a slave?

(155 Posts)
ViolentDelights Sun 02-Apr-17 20:06:39

Because he seems to think so. hmm He's 6 and a half.

Today I have asked him to do the following; - tidy the toys away in the playroom before getting arts and crafts stuff out,
- clear the table after each meal (just taking plates into the kitchen - I do the washing up myself),
- quick hoover of the playroom and living room (they're inter-connected and not that big, and I don't expect him to do under furniture - just what's visible).
- put his own pile of clean, folded washing away,
- do a final quick tidy of the playroom before bed.

As a result I have been subjected to a screaming tantrum everytime I've asked him to do something. He has had plenty of play time and active outdoor time inbetween each chore but because his 2 year old sister doesn't have to put her own clothes away (yet) I'm apparently akin to a slave driver. Aibu?

JohnLapsleyParlabane Sun 02-Apr-17 20:08:40

It sounds like a reasonable amount of chores to me. Does he see the 2 year old doing any chores? Do you do chores with/around him whilst he's doing them?

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Apr-17 20:10:32

He is no more your slave than you are his. Of course he should clean up after himself. Why should you cook for him, clean for him, shop for him, if chores are 'slavery'? Don't even entertain it!

user1471545174 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:13:24

I think hoovering is a bit much at 6. The other chores sound OK.

Remind him he had no chores at 2.

ViolentDelights Sun 02-Apr-17 20:13:28

Yes if I ask him to do something then I'm usually also cleaning and tidying or cooking. I'm in no way a cleaning enthusiast myself but these are all just basic everyday things.

The 2 year old is encouraged to help tidy up her toys and books, put dirty clothes in the laundry bin and rubbish in the rubbish bin. She "helps" with dusting and window cleaning too.

user1471545174 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:15:06

Cross-post - amazed the 2 year old can do chores! You'll be herding cats next smile

HemanOrSheRa Sun 02-Apr-17 20:16:51

Yes. You are a hideous beast of a mother. Shame on you wink.

chastenedButStillSmiling Sun 02-Apr-17 20:17:52

I think hoovering a communal area is quite a big ask for a 6 yr old.
(this is based on a referral form I sometimes fill out to see if children are young carers, and one of the questions is "clean up areas other than your bedroom/playroom")

Everything else I'd say is fine, but I'd have had to help my DD do the rest when she was 6. (Mind you, she's a total slob now she's 15, so maybe you're right and I was wrong!)

AndKnowItsSeven Sun 02-Apr-17 20:18:09

It's a lot for a six year old, tidying up the playroom before crafts is fine. Taking his own plates to the kitchen fine. Helping you tidy the playroom at bedtime is fine but not on his own.
Putting away laundry and hooveringbis unreasonable at six.

MrsKoala Sun 02-Apr-17 20:20:18

I can't imagine asking my almost 5yo to hoover or put clothes away in 18 months time. He'd have to mature a lot in that time, which I doubt.

NapQueen Sun 02-Apr-17 20:23:06

I most certainly expect my 5yo to tidy up after themselves (clothes in the laundry, clear own plate away, tidy own toys etc) however I dont ask anything more from them in terms of the wider household.

Vacuuming is a bit much imo for a 6yo. Clearing everyones plates is also too much for a 6yo. At that age it should be consequential stuff - they tipped the lego out to play so they put it away. They wore the clothes so they must put them in the basket.

OreoDream Sun 02-Apr-17 20:23:20

I think it's a little much at 6 tbh. But my DC will probably be doing that amount age 11. My DC have very long days at school though, so I wouldn't expect much housework to be done, just a token amount.

Trifleorbust Sun 02-Apr-17 20:23:35


Is a 6 year old incapable of folding a pile of clothes in a drawer or running a hoover head round (provided he or she can lift it easily)?

wildpoppiesanddaisies Sun 02-Apr-17 20:24:14

Honestly, it reads like a lot to me, sorry.

DonaldStott Sun 02-Apr-17 20:24:51

Yes. Agree with pp's. Tidying up after himself, toys, bedroom, plate etc all fine.

Hoovering and putting laundry away - a bit much.

ViolentDelights Sun 02-Apr-17 20:26:31

Well you see chastened this is why I am asking, I was a young carer as a child so I got used to having to do everything or it wouldn't get done but I do wonder if it has warped my perception. From his carry on I found myself questioning if I had got it wrong.

He has the opportunity to do extra chores for extra pocket money, which he likes to do - things like collecting the rubbish from my car or picking up the grass cuttings after it has been mowed. But these are just extras and he doesn't have to do them.

ApplePaltrow21 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:26:45

Honestly it seems a bit much. The hoovering and laundry is just over the top.

I genuinely don't know why you need to "involve" him in every chore that you do. He's part of a family, not your servant. You want him to do chores? Give him his chores and let him take some responsibility for them. Put it on a chore chart. Stickers and stuff. Let him feel some sense of completion over the task. Everyone feels like they've done their bit.

Whereas it seems like you just enlist him as a helper all day long, constantly interrupting him to give him bits of what you are doing. It's one thing if he wants to help, it's another if he's playing or doing something else and you continually interrupt him to make him do one little thing or another little task.

(My mum was like this and it was really irritating. She was one of those women who'd constantly get you to run and get this, run and get that. But every five minutes! She'd shout you downstairs to get her a glass of water ffs. Anyway, as soon as he gets older, he'll live in his room and you'll struggle to get him out. He'll likely rebel by doing as little housework as possible.)

LucyLocketLostIt Sun 02-Apr-17 20:27:18

Agree that hoovering and putting laundry away a bit much.

Lemonnaise Sun 02-Apr-17 20:27:25

I think hoovering may be a bit much for a 6 year old(mine anyway). I agree with everything else.

wildpoppiesanddaisies Sun 02-Apr-17 20:29:00

That was how it read to me too apple

Dementedswan Sun 02-Apr-17 20:29:37

Hmm at 2 my dc thought it was fun to push the hoover around not so much now. My 6 and 5 year old like to help clean windows. I encourage them to put dirty clothes in laundry and help them tidy up their toys. They will set table and bring plates into kitchen to be washed.

I don't expect much from them just to help me tidy up after themselves. General household chores I do and sometimes they join in if it looks fun in their eyes.

fuzzywuzzy Sun 02-Apr-17 20:29:48

Mine were doing that sort of thing around that age I think it's fine.

If the hoover is a herby style floor one not a heavy upright one I think it's fine.

I got mine to start doing clearing up after themselves from early on. They were really little when they learned to put away toys when finishing playing.

They're good at tidying after themselves now their much older and don't expect me to be serving them hand and foot. They started cooking proper meals at eleven.

I think being able to take care of your living environment and clearing up after yourself are essential life skills.

ViolentDelights Sun 02-Apr-17 20:29:53

The hoovering is something he liked to do as a toddler so I used to let him play at hoovering after I'd finished. As he's gotten older there's just been a little bit less play involved, but I'm listening and I won't ask again until he's older.

icelollycraving Sun 02-Apr-17 20:30:01

Ds is 6 in a couple of months. I get him to tidy his toys away and that takes constant nagging. It does sound quite a lot but only the hoovering seems too much. Everyone's home is different.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 02-Apr-17 20:30:03

Sounds like loads. My 5yo does tidying and that's it. The hoovering is ott! Tidying needs to be done often, hoovering much less.

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