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I need an honest opinion am I babying my 6 year old?

(41 Posts)
Piratejones Sun 20-Jul-14 20:07:46

He has “additional needs” so it’s getting hard to know where the line between independence and safety should be. The first things to get out of the way are that he has a dummy, and since he broke his foot back in February buggy use has slowly increased (not all the time, maybe once or twice a month in places I know he has meltdowns, he cried his eyes out when I mentioned getting rid of it).

He can change his own incontinence pads, but at times when he regresses with pooing he is still changed by an adult.

He is allowed out the front to play with other kids, it’s one quiet road and a big grassy area.

At home I try to keep him down stairs, he is allowed up stairs and in his room but I do try and keep him in the living room and kitchen, mostly so my 13 year old has some place to herself (he’s not overly good with understanding privacy).


Setting the table
Feeding the pets
Tiding up his own toys
polishing stuff
Washing up a few things
makes cereal (messy, but we are getting there!)

Does this sound fair to people or do you think i should be trying to teach more skills to help him?

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 20-Jul-14 20:14:34

You don't mention his personal abilities apart from the pad changing?

Does he lace his shoes, choose his own clothes and dress himself, shower and wash himself etc. Does he have a watch to get used to looking at the time? There are some good apps around like Timeninja.

Does he do any after school clubs?

The house things sound brilliant. But I would be tempted to work on the understanding of privacy so he could play upstairs too.

Whereisegg Sun 20-Jul-14 20:17:10

Those things all sound fine to me, especially helping him after a poo mishap.

The jobs especially sound age appropriate.

Could your dd have a lock on her door? Those ones you can open from outside with a coin would also allow her to lock it when she left the room too.
I doubt my 7yo would figure one of those out unless he saw someone else doing it.

Your ds could have a little more independence upstairs then if you feel he is able.

Piratejones Sun 20-Jul-14 20:19:40

Does he lace his shoes

No, but he's always trying, and he's been shown a lot he just forgets by the morning.

choose his own clothes and dress himself

He dresses himself, but isn't very good with his socks or buttons.

shower and wash himself etc.

not really. I've tried hair washign but he just hasn't "got it".

Does he have a watch to get used to looking at the time?

No, but he can do o'clock and half past.

Thumbwitch Sun 20-Jul-14 20:24:35

I may of course baby my own 6yo, but what you've said sounds fine.

Does he brush his own teeth? I've let DS1 do this but when I checked them after a few days, they weren't very clean so I took over again (I was going to wait until he was 7 as per the advice from his dentist but he was so keen!)

DS1 can't tie laces yet but I've never taught him - he doesn't wear laced shoes so it's not an issue yet. Keep meaning to get around to it!

He also has to empty the lower shelf of the dishwasher as one of his chores; only the lower because he can't reach the mug/glass cupboards..

He can't wash his own hair yet either.

Re. the buttons and socks thing, has your DS got a level of dyspraxia in amongst his additional needs?

The only thing I think that you could really address is, as a PP said, working on his boundaries for the sake of your 13yo.

Whereisegg Sun 20-Jul-14 20:26:39

My 7yo has just mastered laces a week ago and can still be a bit iffy with telling time.

His socks are often on upside down the first time and he is totally lazy about buttons.

ElizabethMedora Sun 20-Jul-14 20:27:13

I might baby my 6 yo but that sounds fine me to, tbh.

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jul-14 20:29:08

All of those things and the extra explanations sound fine. He'll get there smile

BellaVita Sun 20-Jul-14 20:31:22

It is a long time ago since mine were 6, but it sounds fine to me.

Piratejones Sun 20-Jul-14 20:31:38

Okay, thanks for the advice everyone, it's very helpful. It seems the only real thing i need to work on is the privacy boundries.

Does he brush his own teeth?

Nope, He gets to do it with water on the toothbrush first, but i clean them for him.

has your DS got a level of dyspraxia in amongst his additional needs?

It's not been diagnosed.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 20-Jul-14 20:31:41

He's well on the way then. wine

I think the temptation as I remember, is that it's easier to put the socks on, and then the shoes because you'd like to actually try and get out of the door on time some mornings. grin

I just tried to make life easier for both of us - threw away socks that were on the small side, or not stretchy enough, so that DS didn't struggle for ages, stuck to Velcro shoes for school and sports times. Do laces at the weekend.

I made all his clothes easy to reach and sorted them into tees, longsleeve etc and put nice "best" things up away in the wardrobe. It made it easier to say, can you get yourself a tee shirt and jogging pants if they were easy to find.

And I just bit my tongue at the mismatched colors that came down. I was just proud that he was having a go.

Just keep at it....

Saying that DS is now 9, has spent 90 minutes in the bath, got out and forgot to bloody wash. hmm

Piratejones Sun 20-Jul-14 20:35:18

Could your dd have a lock on her door? Those ones you can open from outside with a coin would also allow her to lock it when she left the room too.

We put a hook and eye lock on ther door, Which lasted up until he had a tantrum and ripped it off.
And we have a RED and GREEN system. Green on doors it's okay to open, red for doors he is supposed to knock on before entering, but he forgets.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 20-Jul-14 20:35:20

Disclosing tablets worked very well for DS, and if you can, an electric toothbrush with a 2 min timer. He enjoyed "Zombie mouth" on a Sunday morning. I didn't enjoy cleaning the sink much afterwards

Thumbwitch Mon 21-Jul-14 00:07:16

I was asking about the dyspraxia because one of DS's friends (whose mum is also my friend) has dyspraxia and he finds, in his case, that the twiddly things are the hardest to do, so socks, buttons etc. (and he can't tie laces at all)

Also, I suppose he's not colourblind, is he? Maybe go for a big black NO! instead of red colour? that might help him remember...

Piratejones Mon 21-Jul-14 07:54:12

Also, I suppose he's not colourblind, is he? Maybe go for a big black NO! instead of red colour? that might help him remember...

You know what, that has never crossed my mine at all, and i don't think he has been tested.

Disclosing tablets worked very well for DS, and if you can, an electric toothbrush with a 2 min timer. He enjoyed "Zombie mouth" on a Sunday morning.

I've never even heard of these, they look brilliant. I'm guessing the idea is to give him something to "see" that can be cleaned away.

Piratejones Mon 21-Jul-14 08:56:03

Does he do any after school clubs?

Sorry, i didn't see this, We are trying to get him a tester session at beavers, but there is a waiting list.
His issues make things like this hard.

Meglet Mon 21-Jul-14 09:05:22

That all sounds fine. Especially being able to play out.

I still brush my dc's (7 & 5) teeth most of the time, teeth are expensive if they go manky. At weekends they have floss, disclosing tablets and can do their own teeth.

WallyBantersJunkBox Mon 21-Jul-14 09:29:56

I mentioned after school clubs because an old friend of my DS had learning difficulties and as mentioned dyspraxia. He went to some clubs such as music (playing drums) and horse riding, then martial arts.

The idea being to help him improve his dexterity, coordination and balance.

It also might give your DD a bit of quiet time in the house.

Yes the disclosing tablets show plaque stains which you brush until clear. I suggested electric as you can get brushes that flash with a light if you clean too hard. If he finds flossing a problem then a waterpik is an alternative.

DeWee Mon 21-Jul-14 09:41:22

I think he sounds fine.
Ds has just turned 7yo, is emotionally immature, but otherwise ordinary.

I brush his teeth, and I would choose to do that, as he would just dash through it.
I help with washing hair.
He can dress himself-and will do most of the time now. However even a couple of months ago he would only dress himself with a huge bribe such as "if you're dressed we can go XXX". He would happily go out in his pj to save the hassle of dressing. Choosing his own clothes would almost always be the first thing that comes to hand, he really isn't bothered as long as it's comfortable.

He does play out with friends, but it's only round the corner, he takes my old mobile so I can contact him. He's loud enough I can generally hear him grin

The only thing you mention which does sound young is the dummy (but if it's night only, I have known 6yos that have them for that) and the buggy.
I wonder whether, as he got upset over the buggy, whether just not taking it every time and gradually reducing would be better. Talking about getting rid of it may upset him because it's so final.
It can also be the "it's mine". When I was pg with ds (dc3) dd2, who hated the buggy, never went in the buggy without a major strop etc. suddenly turned round and said "that baby is not going in my buggy".
Completely threw me, out of the blue it was-but when it came to it she made no fuss, but just showing how she viewed it as "hers".

Ds used to like being carried. He's got glue ear, and he liked to be up near my mouth so he could hear. I carried him when he wanted until about a year ago. About a year ago, I started saying he was a bit heavy, and not carrying him quite as far. And from that I gradually cut back on carrying him, not picking him up straight away, sometimes saying I couldn't because I was carrying other things. He now doesn't ask at all, although on the odd occasion I do pick him up, he still likes it. I wonder if a similar approach to the buggy would work with your ds. Mayeb the buggy might need mending for a week?

DeWee Mon 21-Jul-14 09:47:01

Oh, and the privacy. I also have a 13yo dd. Ds has no concept of not bursting in on her (or anyone else), because it doesn't bother him.
He burst in on her dressing the other day, and when she objected said "well, I'm wearing nothing" <waggled bottom to demonstrate>.
Which luckily made her laugh, but she's not always that tolerant.

We have spoken to him about it, but it hasn't sunk in because he just thinks "I want to tell her" so goes to tell her. Hence a grumpy teen after being woken at 6:30 to tell her it rained last night. grin

Thumbwitch Mon 21-Jul-14 13:47:12

Ah yes, I sort of missed the bit about the buggy because of the association with the broken foot.

My friend's Ds with dyspraxia was using the pushchair regularly to get home from school last year; he turned 6 in Feb this year so a year ahead of your DS though. He still gets tired walking home from school (his mum doesn't drive so they rarely have a choice) but can make it without the pushchair now (but then he didn't break his foot, which would have put your DS back, and may have affected his confidence in his walking).

I'm not trying to diagnose your DS with dyspraxia, by the way! Just offering it up as a possible additional reason/thing to look at.

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 21-Jul-14 13:53:11

Likewise my totally unabashed 16y DD. It would never cross her mind to knock on a door.

She also can't read an analogue clock reliably. (She's dyslexic). Digital clocks and complex train time tables are fine, but remembering that pesty to/from business not a hope.

Piratejones Mon 21-Jul-14 17:12:18

Just to clarify don't use the buggy all the time, it’s most now only for crowded places which might overwhelm him.

Thumbwitch Mon 21-Jul-14 17:19:28

So it's a bit like a security blanket for him then, a safe haven?

Piratejones Mon 21-Jul-14 17:23:28

Yeah he's using it as a safe place.
The thing is I know he can do without it, he did for almost a year, but he broke his foot in February and I used it for Alton Towers, and only Alton Towers, but due in part to my own laziness it increased to other places.

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