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AIBU to stop doing things for my 4yo?

(72 Posts)
FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Tue 21-Jul-09 09:47:06

Very capable 4yo refuses to help with housework because she says it's too much for her. It's not, because she does it if it's something novel. I don't have a problem with her not contributing except that I (and the others) are then contributing more than our fair share as I see it.

So AIBU to stop doing her laundry until she does her bit by putting her clean clothes away (just so she understands how much work I actually do, you undestand) like her 6yo and 2yo sisters do? AIBU to stop making her drinks and getting her cereal until she helps with clearing the table? AIBU to put her toys 'away' in a big bin sack in the loft whenever I have to tidy them away without her help?

If IABU and someone can give me good reason, and/or another option, then I would be very grateful. But at the moment I am feeling very put upon and very much like a slave to DD2 when DD1 and DD3 both do lots to help willingly (DD4 is 10m so I'll let her off wink).

bigchris Tue 21-Jul-09 09:49:31

i think yabu a bit

yes to getting her to put her clothes away but try a sticker chart or pocket money incentive rather than stopping doing her laundry

i think it would be very mean to stop getting her drinks tbh

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Tue 21-Jul-09 09:51:28

Why mean to stop getting her drinks? She's perfectly capable of getting her own drinks - why should I do it?

She is so stubborn - she's just decided not to help at all so doesn't.

Reward based things only work for five minutes. Showing her how much work I do surely is more real for her?

JustcallmeDog Tue 21-Jul-09 09:52:01

Message withdrawn

bigchris Tue 21-Jul-09 09:53:05

oh right, well if she can get them herself i think thats ok

but at four i dont expect children to be doing much round the house, different strokes for different folks and all that

ninah Tue 21-Jul-09 09:53:27

Surely she's old enough to be out cleaning chimneys or picking potatoes by now, I think you are spoiling her

bigchris Tue 21-Jul-09 09:54:07

lol ninah

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 21-Jul-09 09:54:46

I think what you are asking is totally reasonable. Little chores like that are fine for that age group. If you were asking her to sort the clothes into piles and put it in the washing machine, turn it on etc I would be amazed at how well trained you have her and woudl think it was a bit unreasonable!

But my DD (just age 5) is quite similar. Any request to help tidy toys is 'aw, I'm too tired to do that'. And I have tried to do games but she sees right through it. So I just now say 'Please do it' and keep repeating it pleasantly. After a bit, she will do it.

Part of me also thinks that expecting kids to do little chores is no bad thing and that not everything should get a reward if it is an everyday thing.

hercules1 Tue 21-Jul-09 09:56:28

I think yabu. At 4 I dont think they should be having so many chores to do. That's the parents job.

hercules1 Tue 21-Jul-09 09:57:07

Tidying up after themselves is fine but laundry etc, no.

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Tue 21-Jul-09 09:57:45

grin Ninah

I don't expect her to do cleaning or anything, just to contribute a bit to help with the extra work her presence makes!

We all tidy up together in the evenings and make a game of it. It takes all of one minute to put away her clothes each morning (DH sorts them before he goes to work) - not exactly a hardship!

I don't see why it's too much to ask a 4yo to bring her plate and cup to the kitchen after eating.

We all live in this family, and surely it's only fair that those who are capable should contribute to the family life, within the limits of their age etc.

VinegarTits Tue 21-Jul-09 09:59:10

Well having 4 dc to look after i can see why this is annoying you, especially if her sisters are doing there bit.

Give the other dd's rewards when they help with chores, she will soon realise she is missing out by not chipping in

LovelyRitaMeterMaid Tue 21-Jul-09 09:59:57

In this house if I got the 34 year old to do the things your 4 year old is being expected to do I would feel I had succeeded. But that might say more about my household than yours grin.

hercules1 Tue 21-Jul-09 10:00:07

I misread your op and thought she was doing her laundry! CLearing her own plate etc is fine.

I take back my "yabu".

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Tue 21-Jul-09 10:00:17

Seriously? Putting away her own clothes is too much to ask of a 4yo?

Ok, 4 DCs, all wanting me to play with them, do activities with them, take them am I meant to do that if I'm meant to do every single chore that needs doing without help?

I just see red when she says 'no, I think tidying's boring', as if I think it's a bundle of laughs and can't think of anything better to do with my time. It's her toys that get messed up and un-playable with - why shouldn't she help to tidy them up?

VinegarTits Tue 21-Jul-09 10:01:56

fwiw i think dc these days get away with far too much regards chores and have become very lazy because of it, i think its good that your children have little chores to do, it will make them independant and more appreciative of the hard work you do

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Tue 21-Jul-09 10:02:01

Hercules - I wish! Just imagine if I could get them doing all the chores - hoovering, cleaning the bathroom, washing the car grin

I could sit on the sofa all day mumsnetting!

Lovely - My DH does loads around the house smile He doesn't do it very well, but he does it grin

BettyTurnip Tue 21-Jul-09 10:02:15

I am just shock and envy that you've managed to train your 2 year old to put away their clothes. My middle dd is nearly 3 and if I got her to do that we would end up with crumpled clothes rammed into awkward spots, more interesting clothes pulled out for examination, clothes left in a pile in the bath or some random get the picture.

I don't think YAB too U, it's just wearying when even day to day thing sturn into a long drawn out battle.

bigchris Tue 21-Jul-09 10:02:23

oh yes VT has the best advice, she wont be pleased if the others are getting rewards and she's not
you could do a chart with a column for all of them and so many ticks = a comic on saturday?

ninah Tue 21-Jul-09 10:03:52

I must admit to having resorted to the black sack trick, as my ds's idea of tidying is to sweep everything under his bed.
Dunno what the answer is. Neither of my dc are particularly willing, is always a battle.

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Tue 21-Jul-09 10:04:26

Thank you VT. And good idea re. rewarding the helpful ones.

Acutally I do think it's an age thing - my 6yo understands the point of helping ie. she gets more time with me and the house runs more smoothly and I'm less stressed. DD3 is only 2 so just does it because everyone else is and it's 'fun' hmm. DD2 is 4 and helping no longer has the novelty factor but can't quite get her head around why it benefits her to help me out. I just don't know how to get her to learn that until she's old enough to get it naturally. And how to not make my 6yo feel that life is incredibly unfair when she helps so much.

FlamingoOfTheShineyCult Tue 21-Jul-09 10:06:22

Betty - they do end up all shoved in in a crumple, but I don't care - it gets done!

6yo's clothes she likes to sort out and put away properly. Not sure why she bothers because when she chooses her clothes the next day, she jumbles them all up anyway grin

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 21-Jul-09 10:08:24

Problem is, my DCs seem to get so many inadvertant 'treats' from GPs, childminders and DH that a reward system doesn't seem to have any effect.
If she doesn't get the sticker, she is reallly not that fussed! Don't know if you have the same Flamingo.
So found the 'broken record' repetition helped. 'please clear your plate, please clear your plate etc' (repeat until task is done then lots of praise!)
It has really started to work.

VinegarTits Tue 21-Jul-09 10:08:59

My ds2 has been picking up and putting his own clothes in the laundry since he was 2, and it doesnt matter if the clothes end up crumpled, as long as they are helping out and understand that 'mum' shouldnt have to do everything for them

My Dniece(6) takes her dirty clothes off and leaves them in the middle of the floor, never clears her toys, drops sweet wrappers on the floor instead of putting them in the bin and it makes me angry but its sil's fault for never making her do these things for herself

notsoteenagemum Tue 21-Jul-09 10:09:10

I'm all for children helping around the house but I think YABU to punish her by not doing her washing if she cannot do it herself, surely that is like not cooking her anymore meals because she wouldn't clear the table.
Chores and punishments should be age appropriate.

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