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to give DS chores?

(17 Posts)
Littlebyerockerboo Tue 16-Jun-20 13:16:33

My DS is 6, and lives in a co-parent family situation, one week with me, one week with his father.

Today ive implemented some chores when DS is with me, and i shall reward him with some 'pocket money' to spend as he likes at the end of the week - I was thinking things like: hoovering, emptying or loading dishwasher, polishing or dusting a small area of the house- a job or two a day, nothing too taxing -

Today I tried it out with a bag of dry washing for DS to put away - hang clothes, put items in sock draw etc.

Lots of moaning - boring, can't do it etc, and eventually I found him sat in his wardrobe crying, he has a child size wardrobe, child size hangers, everything accessible - i told him he was being daft and to get it done- which he did.

However i do question myself though, at his dads he has siblings and I think he has an all around better time - i don't want to push my son away by 'making him do chores' or feel like mummy's house is no fun' In the same breathe, I want to bring up a son who is capable of running a household & doesn't expect to be waited on.

I also would have probably started this younger if I'm honest, if I didnt have this awful 50/50 situation.

I was brought up not expected to lift a finger and when I went on my own I found it hard to adjust and learn.

AIBU to expect my 6 year old to help around the house?
Do your DCs help you?
If you have older DCs who helped from young, has it made them better growing adults?

I'm finding trying to find a balance between two different households so difficult, and guilt inducing!

OP’s posts: |
randomchap Tue 16-Jun-20 13:22:15

Our DC started chores at 4. Just ensuring all toys cleared away before bed, moving on to table setting/clearing, sorting own laundry as they've grown.

Is your relationship with DS's father good enough that you can discuss this and come up with a plan together? It'd be better if DS was treated similarly at each home, at 4 he might get confused as to why mum does this but dad does that.

Notajogger Tue 16-Jun-20 13:25:14

I would suggest as pp - can you speak to the father so he does the same in each house?

NuffSaidSam Tue 16-Jun-20 13:28:51

YANBU to give him chores.

I think your expectations of the type (putting clothes on hangers/hoovering etc) and the number (couple each day) are unrealistic.

He should clear up after himself and help out round the house (within reason) without being paid, that's just part of family life.

I would then offer him the chance to earn pocket money with additional chores, but I wouldn't force him at age 6.

With laundry I would say socks/pants in drawers ok for him to do by himself. Then maybe help with the hangers, but I wouldn't give a 6 year old a load of clothes and expect them to put them all away by themselves. I would at least be in the room chatting/encouraging them at first.

I would give him one chore that's his job to do each day rather than different things each day, so maybe he empties the dishwasher each morning.

I think you're absolutely right about teaching them to look after themselves, but you'll make more progress by doing that gently, showing him, doing it with him, encouraging him, making it fun than you will by forcing him to and him ending up crying in a cupboard!

Littlebyerockerboo Tue 16-Jun-20 13:28:53

@randomchap my relationship with his father isn't a bad one, when it is just the two of us, unfortunately DS fathers partner is very controlling and the father does not concern himself with the day to day running of the house, the partner is very much in charge and very much "I do everything around here, you should appreciate me etc etc" sort - my sons father would never suggest how to parent his son to work alongside me, due to the fall out it would cause with his partner.
Hence why I hate the 50/50 situation DS is in
(Due to me giving my partner what I saw as his fair rights as a father, not thinking of the bigger picture when he might get involved with someone seriously) But thats a whole new story!

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Tue 16-Jun-20 13:35:49

In your situation I would keep chores simple and make a game out it to ease him in, and do them with him so you get to spend time together. You can’t expect a 6 yo to go from 0-60 straight away when it comes to chores.

You also need to tread really carefully with your ex. While it is possible your son may prefer it over there, it’s also possible that if his partner finds out your son is expected to do chores she may single him out over the other siblings.

Newuser82 Tue 16-Jun-20 13:39:05

My 7 year old cleans the windows throughout the house for his pocket money. He also tidies up after himself (not of his own accord 😂, but will do when asked). He does sometimes clear up his brothers toys too for me if he is feeling generous.

Bluebelltulip Tue 16-Jun-20 13:39:06

I don't think your are being unreasonable to get him to do things but I'm not as sure on being rewarded for jobs. I get my DD to help me with things but don't make it into a big job, so when I'm putting clothes a way I ask her to do hers bit by bit (here are your socks, put them away, here are your dresses put them away etc). When I'm dusting she gets a duster too. I'm aiming for these things just being part of life and what needs to be done as opposed to be seen as chores as such.

BlueJava Tue 16-Jun-20 13:41:58

Why not do things with him until he gets used to it? He might find it a bit daunting to do a task on his own as he's only 6, but then if you help him and he does it over time he can do more on his own.

Di11y Tue 16-Jun-20 13:45:31

I think doing chores together the first couple of times is reasonable.

namesnames Tue 16-Jun-20 13:52:19

I would keep chores simple and not reward, just make them part of your day.

Reward and praise him for other things he does on his own.

There are always going to be differences between households, it's your job to make sure this doesn't become a competition. He should know that it's ok to like aspects of both homes.

If there is something he likes to do in particular, baking, board games, whatever, do those when you can.

sirfredfredgeorge Tue 16-Jun-20 13:53:22

AIBU to expect my 6 year old to help around the house?

Yes, but that isn't chores... This is I think the distinction, for me, families are about all helping to get the things that need doing done. For some people that means a "boss" giving out orders to everyone to do particular things - and the particular things are their chores and only their responsibility. Giving your kid specific chores that are theirs is this structure.

The other way of looking at it, is just that there's an expectation on everyone to do stuff when it needs doing, and noticing that it needs doing. That's taught to kids by modelling, reminding, asking for help in the moment etc. But it's not specific chores that are theirs and theirs alone, and it's not tied to pocket money, it's simply something that needs to be done.

There's nothing wrong with either approach, and I'm sure the different families could have different approaches, but as with your worry, I personally think the chores only in one has a bigger risk of seeming negative.

Nsky Tue 16-Jun-20 14:01:44

Light chores yes, tell him you want him to do it with you, even if dad says no

Graphista Tue 16-Jun-20 14:06:04

I think you're being overly ambitious with regard to which chores for a 6 year old.

I am very much an advocate of children doing their bit from a young age and increasing what they do as they age as anyone familiar with my posts on the subject will know and I hate the idea of them doing nothing until they're adults!

But at 6 you need to start small and build.

I would suggest:

Tidies own room daily
Makes own bed (with quilts it's not difficult)
Puts own laundry in hamper
Puts own dirty dishes in dishwasher or by sink to be washed.
If he gets something out to use - eg pens, sellotape, book - he puts it away when he's done
Helping put groceries away (let him do the stuff that goes in low cupboards/drawers while you do the rest)
Puts SMALL amount of clean clothes away - not a weeks worth, a few items at a time every couple days, also he's a bit young for managing things into hangers, stick to drawer items for now, you can be in the room chatting away with him putting his hung items away while he puts the drawer ones away so you're working together

Possible larger chores:

Dusting (little hands can be very good at this and they can also more easily reach skirting boards etc) occasionally

Cleaning inside of own bedroom windows - this is a job that has clear, instant results which can be very satisfying for little ones with short attention spans - once a month is plenty

Mopping kitchen/bathroom/solid floors - mops are lighter and easier to handle than hoovers and again the results are quick and easy to see allowing him to go "Wow! Look what a good job I did mum"

This young don't tend to do a very good job of hoovering anyway I've found, they're more able to do this when older.

StarScream22 Tue 16-Jun-20 14:14:23

My 6 year old has chores:

Tidies her own bedroom
Will tidy living room while I tidy kitchen
She loves to hoover
Does washing up (her own insistence)!
Wipe surfaces in living room with hot cloth and spray.
Help put shopping away
Fold washing from the dryer
Chop vegetables while prepare other food.

She enjoys doing these things, and I treat her once a month as she does do a lot to help since I became a widow. Her 3 year old brother will “help” so I imagine he’s not far off being able to muck in too. The baby is no help at all. Will sit and pull the folded washing out of the basket grin

JustC Tue 16-Jun-20 14:23:44

Yanbu to give him little chores, but the stuff you mentioned is a bit much. Tidying up, clearing his plate, some dusting, lighter syuff. My kid is 7 and wouldn't be able to drag to hoover behind him, but he was insistent. So we got him one of those handheld ones, for like crumbs or the car. He does uncarpeted surfaces with that, or crumbs atound his seat after eating smth crumbly.

tealandteal Tue 16-Jun-20 14:24:43

My DS is 2 and he has some 'chores' eg if he feeds the dogs (under supervision) he can earn a sticker for his reward chart, or for tidying his toys,putting the cutlery on the table. Once he gets to a certain number of stickers he can choose something.

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