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To ask what your expectations are of your 11 year olds? (housework related)

(25 Posts)
BlueBlueElectricBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 10:46:20

Because I suspect my DD (just 11) is getting off lightly!

Well, actually I'm more worried I'm doing her a disservice by mollycoddling her. There are reasons, we've had a tough few years and she's lost a lot of opportunity just to be carefree and focused on being a kid.

However, she needs to grow up into a functioning adult.

So, she has to:

1. Pick up after herself and not leave her stuff lying around downstairs (she does have a storage unit of her own downstairs to keep things in, it's not that I've banished all her stuff). This diktat is poorly adhered to, so random leftover breakfast stuff, hairbrushes, PJs, discarded clothes and general detritus can be found scattered throughout the house on most days.

2. Tidy her bedroom and her 'hangout room'. Nominally a weekly activity, but often only needs doing every other week as she doesn't spend much time in her bedroom.

3. Put her clothes away after they've been washed.

4. Occasionally she's asked to take out the plates after dinner.

She grudgingly does number 2, and seems to accept that it is her responsibility.

Numbers 1,3 and 4 she reacts to as if they are infringements of her human rights. Particularly 4 as it involves clearing away DP's and my stuff too.

I also asked her to change the sheet on her bed yesterday, which resulted in a minor meltdown and an attempted excuse of not understanding how to do it (it's a fitted sheet and she is an exceptionally bright child).

I think she has a pretty cushy time of it, and actually, she could/should be doing more to contribute to the running of our shared living space.

For context, as adults, DP and I split the chores. He does all day to day cleaning and tidying and washing (works less hours than me and mostly from home) and I cook dinner (he washes/tidies up). 'Spring' type deep cleaning is split between us both. Household projects are split between us - DP does most of the decorating/housey stuff, I do the muddy outdoors stuff.

My exH (DD's dad) did pretty much nothing (except drink) and I think that wasn't a brilliant example for a young impressionable child.

So, am I in danger of raising an entitled adult who expects the magic elves to keep houses relatively clean and tidy? What should I reasonably be asking her to do?

Bumpsadaisie Mon 03-Apr-17 11:05:49

Hm I think she may be getting off a little lightly.

Mine is 7 and that is about what I expect of her, plus she sorts the washing into whites/sports/coloureds/darks at the weekend. Plus she has to do her music practice.

I expect my 5 year old to clear his plates and to tidy up toys at the end of the day and to put away his washing aka stuff it in the drawer but hey ho.

He also "helps" Daddy with his DIY about the house aka plays with drill but is with Daddy and off my back for a while!

We have just bought a very light cordless Dyson hoover and the kids are now going to have a job of hoovering their rooms. Mainly as youngest thinks it is a rocket launcher and fun ...

purpleprincess24 Mon 03-Apr-17 11:16:40

I agree she's getting of lightly.

She should be contributing more and not just her own bits. At that age I'd be expecting her to load the dishwasher and take the bins out, as a absolute minimum, on top of what you're currently asking her to do.

FloatyCat Mon 03-Apr-17 11:21:51

DS 11 would do all of that except put clothes away he would crease them up I also ask him to hoover downstairs and sometimes dust, but he will get some cash for that.
I have to say he is willing to do stuff if asksed but doesn't do it proactively. Dd on the other hand is a different kettle of fish.

JacquesHammer Mon 03-Apr-17 11:25:55

My DD is 10.

She puts away her plate after dinner, she tidies her toys and she puts her laundry in the basket.

To be honest I don't want her to do anymore than that. Plenty of time as she gets older, she's a child and I want her to have fun when she's not at school grin

Jennsdiaries Mon 03-Apr-17 11:31:45

My girl jennj is about 6 and she does 6 minuts a week. My boy julez is only 2 so we didnt get him started yet.

BlueBlueElectricBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 11:31:57

Jacques - that was sort of my theory. But DD reacts SO poorly to being asked to do anything to help out, that I'm worried I'm creating a monster.

If she was more inclined to help when asked, then I don't think I'd be so bothered.

BlueBlueElectricBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 11:33:41

Purple - I think she might spontaneously combust if I asked her to anything so demanding as put the bin out.

We don't have a dishwasher, but I have been contemplating making her wash up or dry and put away dishes a few times a week.

misscph1973 Mon 03-Apr-17 11:36:24

I think all children are different. OP, your DD must have recently started secondary school? Or perhaps she is about to take her SATS? My DD is 12, and year 6 and Year 7 has been straining for her, so I let her off a bit with her chores during term time. She only has to look after her rabbits and chickens, ie clean their hutches/coops out (shared with her DB).

But in the school holidays she is asked to do more. Her and her DB have just finished weeding the front garden, and later they will be hoovering the living room and dining room. I give them extra pocket money for the one-off jobs like weeding, but the hoovering they are just expected to do.

Perhaps you could insists that she does not get access to her phone/tablet/whatever she has before the chores are done? It's all about motivation.

JacquesHammer Mon 03-Apr-17 11:39:04

Jacques - that was sort of my theory. But DD reacts SO poorly to being asked to do anything to help out, that I'm worried I'm creating a monster

I don't know - as similar age kids we were expected to do barely anything. As we got bigger we got given more chores and it was never an issue.

However the chores she does (and will do in the future) are separate from pocket money here - she does them as she's part of the family and that's what we do.

itsmine Mon 03-Apr-17 11:40:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wigglesrock Mon 03-Apr-17 11:42:43

My soon to be 12 year old keeps her own room tidy, dusts, puts clothes away, vacuums, puts her washing in the basket, changes her bed. She does the dishes if asked, brings the bins in. TBH she just generally mucks in and she does volunteer to do stuff, she'll run to the shop to get milk, bread. She does bits and pieces with her youngest sister.

Notso Mon 03-Apr-17 11:43:43

I think working on that attitude is the more important then what she is actually doing. Mine don't have many regular chores but if I need help or ask them to do a job I expect it done without a fuss.

My 12 year old and 5 year old are great at this, 17 year old and 6 year old not so much although 17 year old is vastly improved.
If I get a strop from DD about making a cup of tea for me maybe she will have to make her own dinner, if my 6 year old won't bring his school uniform down to be washed maybe I won't get the box of toys down he wants to play with. We can do things my way or their way it's up to them.

BackforGood Mon 03-Apr-17 11:44:01

At 11 mine were supposed to do did all that you said, plus in turn, each cook one of the meals each week. Whoever wasn't on cooking, was expected to load / unload the dishwasher.

coffeetasteslikeshit Mon 03-Apr-17 11:44:41

My Ds's are 12 and 10 and they have to empty the dishwasher everyday, walk the dogs before school, sometimes walk the dogs after school, put their clean clothes away, put their dirty clothes in the basket and clear their own plates. I have started to get them to change their own beds recently too. Oh, and Ds2 feeds the small furries every morning too.
If they complain, which is rarely as it is an established plan now, they get the 'we work best as a team' lecture.
Ds1 has recently started to bring us a cup of tea in bed in the mornings too. Not every morning, but occasionally. I'm dead chuffed!

JsOtherHalf Mon 03-Apr-17 11:45:06

DS is 10.
Generally
-he strips and makes his own bed
- hangs up the clothes that can be worn again
-puts his plates and cutlery in the dishwasher every time he uses them
- puts all his washing in the laundry basket
- hangs up his freshing washed pants and socks on an airer to dry
- puts away his ironed clothes
- empties the dishwasher and puts away all the crockery/ cutlery. He can't reach the cupboard where the cups are kept, so he puts these things on the kitchen counter below it.

He does not do all of these things with good grace; sometimes there are rows. He still has to do them.

Tiggles Mon 03-Apr-17 11:47:53

Mine used to have 'permanent' jobs so they got into the habit of actually doing them. But more recently I have just changed to 'please do what you are asked when you are asked, whatever that job may be'. But they (aged 8,10,14) are all happy to cook a meal, take plates out, pick up post, scrape plates into outside bins, sort recycling, lay table, bring down their washing (14 year old does his own).
Not so good at the room tidying - not that they don't do it, just they aren't very good at it.
It's the attitude they have to doing the jobs that I find important. If they are willing to do it, is much more important as to how much they do on a regular basis.

Sewingbeatshousework Mon 03-Apr-17 11:51:38

My DS has just turned 10 and pretty much is expected to do the same as your DD, same with DD (8). Alough he can have a moan he'll generally do it when asked without issue, DD however will act like you've asked her to gut the entire house when you tell her to tidy her room/pick her clothes up 🤔

We've started getting DS to fetch the bins in after they've been emptied etc. I myself was never expected to do much around the house and when I moved out age 18 was pretty lazy & clueless TBH. Although DH has been doing his own washing/ironing etc since 11 (1 of 4 to a single parent) and I don't think he's more of an adjusted person for it.

Daringdaschund Mon 03-Apr-17 11:53:11

I hear you op. Mine always complains and causes an awful fuss and I twigged after reading that much recommended teen behaviour book "Get out of my life but first drive me and Alex in to town" that they would rather argue for England than actually do the chore. So now I try and ignore all the protestations and quietly re-state my expectations until they are done (draining and yes you could have probably done it yourself 3 times over in the time it takes to argue but worth it in the long run)

Mine is older but when she was 11 yrs she had to:

-empty dishwasher twice a week
-distribute loo rolls around the house
-empty wastepaper baskets around the house on rubbish nights
-bring down dirty laundry in her laundry hamper once a week
-keep dog's water bowl clean and full of fresh water
-help set table once to three times a week
-helps clear the table

and collectively - when we clean on Sat mornings - we make beds together and hoover and dust and tidy together and she sometimes cleans the sinks int he bathroom and downstairs loo.

Daringdaschund Mon 03-Apr-17 11:55:00

Her room is a pit btw but as long as she is bringing down any stray mugs, glasses or small plates, and she puts away clean washing, and the bedding is changed once a week; I leave it to her and she does have purges every once in a while.

BlueBlueElectricBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 11:56:58

OP, your DD must have recently started secondary school? Or perhaps she is about to take her SATS?

The latter. I'm not planning any changes until that's all safely out of the way. That would be a touch mean.

I think working on that attitude is the more important then what she is actually doing. Mine don't have many regular chores but if I need help or ask them to do a job I expect it done without a fuss.

Me too, but I don't really know how to tackle the attitude other than to give her some chores that are hers and punish (technology removal) if they aren't done. I do want to pitch the amount of chores appropriately though.

Daringdaschund Mon 03-Apr-17 11:57:39

Now she is older she also cooks once a week during the holidays, makes her own breakfasts, empties dw and brushes the dog (not without a load of eye-rolling and scowling when she starts though - once she gets going she actually does it quite well believe it or not).

NorksAkimbo72 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:02:39

I have 9&10 year old dcs. They are expected to:
*put dirty clothes in washing basket/clean clothes in drawers/wardrobes;
*unload dishwasher
*clear their own dinner plates, place in dishwasher;
*keep common areas picked up;
*tidy bedrooms and Hoover as needed.
If there are extra jobs to be done, they can earn a bit more pocket money. They've had jobs since they were quite small, I've just gradually increased responsibility as they've gotten older. DC1 loves to do extra stuff...he helped his dad cut the lawn yesterday, and can't wait to do it again! DC2 is a bit of a madam who thinks we're all here to do her bidding...hmm

NorksAkimbo72 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:03:52

Oh, they both make their own breakfasts, as well! They used to do their sandwiches (with supervision) for school before we started them on school dinners.

BlueBlueElectricBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 13:38:50

Thanks Norks. That seems a sensible sort of level.

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