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People with a 5-6 year old, what do you expect from them?

(41 Posts)
puddle Fri 24-Jun-05 12:04:28

I've just been reading the great posts on the thread about a 10 year old's behaviour. There's some really interesting stuff on there about how you encourage independence, taking responsibility for their actions, being a kind and considerate member of the family, looking after their things.

It's made me think about the kind of things I expect from my 5 year old son and what I can do to encourage some of the above. Obviously he's a lot younger than the children discussed in the thread I was reading but I think it's never too early to start instilling good habits, yes?

Here are the kind of things we do or don't do at the moment.

We have a set of five or so 'house rules' which we have agreed together including things like
'we are kind to other people'
'we speak in a normal voice when we want to be listened to'(had a phase of shouting!)
'We look after our things'(ie don't deliberately trash toys when we are cross, try not to leave things where they will get lost/ broken).
We do pasta jar for good behaviour and he gets money for the number of pieces he has in there, every Sat.

I don't particularly encourage ds to do anything around the house although he sometimes offers and I try and make it fun when he helps. Should I be giving him little jobs to do?

I tidy his room up although he helps me sometimes. I don't particularly get cross when it's a mess. Should I?

I sort out all his stuff for school (he's just finishing Reception) and even carry his bags there for him.

What do you expect from your 5-6 year old?

binkie Fri 24-Jun-05 12:17:59

Flush toilet after using.
Wash hands after toilet, without being reminded.
Brush own teeth (sometimes help with putting toothpaste on brush, but only because toothpaste is too tempting to mess about with).
Hang up coat, put shoes in cupboard when come home (no-shoes house).
Get dressed by self, in less than an hour - at weekends, choose own clothes.
Tuck in own shirt (strangely a tricky one).
Change loo rolls when run out.
ALWAYS help if toys are being tidied up.

Am thinking of starting "make own bed". Did it (and his sister's) off his own bat at the weekend - got huge praise for that.

Also thinking of clearing own plate etc. after meals.

Ds was 6 in April. He is not a notably advanced child.

eemie Fri 24-Jun-05 12:26:43

My daughter is six. I expect her:-

1) To help me to look for her things for school or going out;
2) to hang up clothes or put them in the wash;
3) to help put toys away;
4) to put her shoes in a safe place (not middle of doorway).

Sometimes I ask a favour just for me, e.g. fetch my glasses or a book. If she asks nicely I fetch things for her too.

I expect to have to remind her about these things all the time and I don't get cross about mess. I do most of the tidying after her. Sometimes I put my foot down and say nothing can happen until we've spent 5 minutes tidying the playroom or her bedroom, and then dh and I do it with her.

I expect her to brush her own teeth but still supervise. I often have to remind her to flush/wash hands after the loo.

When friends are round she has to give them first choice of what to watch/play with/dress up in.

If I have too much to carry I ask her to take something light. For some reason she finds this particularly hard and has cried over it in the past, but not now. Don't know what that was about.

I'll be interested to compare notes

puddle Fri 24-Jun-05 12:31:49

I've thought of some more things
He sets the breakfast table, sometimes on his own (if we are slow to get downstairs)

He does get dressed himself and often chooses his clothes. Does his teeth (I check)

He sometimes helps his sister (2) get dressed.He often helps her find things she has lost!

binkie Fri 24-Jun-05 12:32:20

Oh yes, agree completely about special treatment of visitors when hosting playdates.

Also, but this is just emerging, if having dispute with younger sister, to try to think about solutions instead of just coming and whining.

binkie Fri 24-Jun-05 12:36:26

Setting breakfast table is great. Dd (4 and a half) does it very well. Ds manages as far as a couple of placemats and a fork.

Things on my summer list are: tying a tie; and the dreaded shoelaces. Remedial table-setting is probably in order too.

I think ones with little siblings that they can "help" are lucky - getting very good experience that way.

Marina Fri 24-Jun-05 12:54:16

"coming and whining" boy does that sound familiar.
We do pretty much the same as others here, puddle (ds also struggles with tucking in his shirt, bizarre isn't it binkie).
We have house rules and a pasta jar to reinforce good behaviour/unsolicited kindnesses and helpful deeds. I was a bit nonplussed to be asked by ds when I staggered out of the shower the other day, "oh do let me comb your hair for you mummy"
We expect ds to put clothes away/in washbox, not booby-trap house with shoes, Bionicles or megazords, tidy away his BOOKS, clear his plate, help set the table and hold open doors/gates for the pushchair.
Out and about we expect him to not trip passersby up with aimless wandering across the pavement and to pay particular attention to anyone older, walking with a stick, or with smaller children/pushchair/wheelchair/mobility scooter. He will hop on my lap immediately if the bus fills up without complaining.
At the moment he is very willing to help dd but quite likely to get decked/bitten as he will put his face right in hers and talk to her LOUDLY and s-l-o-w-l-y.
To be honest our biggest issue is unnecessary honesty about standard of gifts/food served up and LOUDNESS of voice.
Otherwise at six ds does very well and we make sure he knows we appreciate his efforts.
His room is a TIP though and I am experimenting with leaving him to moulder in it. For now.

EnidFlyingHighOnPainkillers Fri 24-Jun-05 12:59:06

I do everything for dd1 I think she is spoilt

she keeps her room tidy (or does normally, she is sharing with dd2 atm)
I expect her to get dressed herself and she likes to pick out her own clothes and I let her.
She is very polite and I expect her to say please and thank you and ask if she can be excused. She sets the table, puts clothes in the laundry and helps me fold things and put away. But she likes doing all these things, I dont ask her to do anything she doesnt like really

I'll have to think of something. Like eemies dd, she doesn tlike to be asked to carry things so maybe I'll concentrate on that

puddle Fri 24-Jun-05 13:01:56

Interesting all these smart little boys with tucked in shirts! Ds never has anything tucked in...

foxinsocks Fri 24-Jun-05 13:10:42

I expect dd to
-get herself dressed (sometimes with my help picking something suitable for the weather!)
-set the table (not every meal but big family meals)
- know not to leave the table till everyone is finished without asking
-not to demand pudding until everyone has finished
-remember her manners (as much as poss!)
-tidy up her room

I try to get dd to
-help her brother (without it resorting to world war 3)
-help with small cooking tasks (like spreading butter on toast when we have a fry up)
-understand that bursting into tears isn't going to mean I change my mind
-understand that her peers don't always mean what they say
-think about other people's feelings

She's about to finish reception too and I've told her that from next school year she can have a little money in a jar each week to save or spend (I mean pennies rather than pounds!) and she's really excited about that. I also sort out her school bags and carry them to school.

trefusis Fri 24-Jun-05 13:12:21

Message withdrawn

youngmama Fri 24-Jun-05 13:14:32

My ds is 5 and a half.
I think this is a great age to start encouraging real independence.
Ds has to make his bed every morning-I check it. And tidy his room before bathtime each night-he is actually pretty good at it and does it fairly neatly,but I always g round picking up any extra bits when he is in school.
He helps me lay table for each meal and has to bring back his dirty cups,dishes and put them in the sink after he has eaten.
He has to flush toilet,wash hands etc.
I have written a list of things he needs to put in his bag each night/week for school,and we go over the list together as he checks everything is there.
He has a sticker chart,and he gains stickers for good deeds and one sticker for each day he has done his chores well without moaning.At the end of the week if he has a certain amount of stickers he then gets to have his fav magazine.

MamaMaiasaura Fri 24-Jun-05 13:18:37

Ds is 5 and is able to do:

1. Get himself dressed for school and get his school bag and lunch box by frnt door ready to go

2. I brush his teeth for him and will do till he is 7. I do let him have a go, but I do a quick one too.

3. I still wash him at bath-time although make sure he does his own bits

4. Please and Thank you and letting guests go first

5. Learning to control stroppy moments (he has little strops which were getting to be bigger strops but nipped in bud)

6. Must help me tidy his bedroom once a week. When strops I list the rooms I have to tidy by myself and ask if wants to swap.

Ds is very helpful, likes to help washing up, cleaning car. He likes to brush my hair (ouch), like to push hoover around. He happily sets table, and clears his plate.

He reads to me most night from his school book and i read him an extra story - so he gets 2

We have rewards - pokemon waps, pockets money and if he has extra special certificate from school (10 smilies) he get a bionicle or similar.

Actually he is a fantastic son and I am very very proud. Obviously all the above changes according to situation for example if he is very over tired I wouldnt push him to tidy bedroom cos that is just asking for confrontation iykwim

Very interesting reading up on everyone else. Def think i need to look at ds's booby traps around the house!

MamaMaiasaura Fri 24-Jun-05 13:20:06

OH and he flushes loo and always washes hands - he even tells his freidns too and checks they have this is because in my nurse training we have an exam on how we wash our hands and he copied what i learnt. Bless maybe an OCD there in the making

binkie Fri 24-Jun-05 13:22:49

Awen, you're right your ds is rather a star!

puddle Fri 24-Jun-05 13:26:33

We try to encourage ds to let guests go first. But has caused some awkward moments when we're at other people's houses and playmates aren't behaving as he would like 'but Mummy that's wrong isn't it, I should go first, I am The Guest'(said Very Loudly and Emphatically).

MamaMaiasaura Fri 24-Jun-05 13:35:05

i know exactly what you mean puddle - they say it so loud as well dont they! But mummy.. xxxx isnt letting me go first or look mummy xxx isnt holdimng his mummys hand crossing the road.

binkie Fri 24-Jun-05 13:40:41

Another one for the summer will be to keep a logbook, just a sentence or so each day, about what he's been doing - just to keep in practice with writing. He'll be going into year 2, and I think it will help him cope with the bigger demands of that year.

foxinsocks Fri 24-Jun-05 13:42:39

they are funny at this age aren't they. We always get (in very loud telling off voice with pointing fingers as the man walks past) 'That man crossed the road when there was a red man and not a green man.' Or 'Hannah didn't try her vegetables so she won't be getting any ice cream for pudding will she mummy' (cue tears from Hannah). I just sort of grin and bear it!

jjash Fri 24-Jun-05 13:44:16

ok , my ds [just 6] can do and will do all manner of lovely and helpful things BUT is currently going through a permanent sulk.Help me? Its like a teenager trapped in a tiny body .When hes good hes brilliant but at the moment .....i am snarled at and given cheek too and its driving me mad.

puddle Fri 24-Jun-05 13:58:12

Oh Fox, we have that competitive goodness too, directed at DD. It's very wearing.

puddle Fri 24-Jun-05 14:00:43

Anyway this thread is giving me some ideas - like Binkie I'm going to make a mental list for the summer. It's great to hear what others do.

foxinsocks Fri 24-Jun-05 14:03:34

I really like the logbook idea for the summer holidays (especially as we are supposed to be working on her writing).

Puddle - competitive goodness - that's exactly what it is, what a great term!

geekgrrl Fri 24-Jun-05 14:17:15

dd will be six in July. She does (most of the time):

Sort out her own breakfast
dress herself (but I get the clothes, otherwise it's all unseasonal and possibly with fairy wings)
clear her plate when prompted
help with some housework when nagged, i.e. wipe down leather sofas
turn the telly off when asked to do so
look after her younger siblings when I'm busy
practices for her spelling test (though it was all tears and big drama this morning for some reason)

We're working on:
self bottom wiping
hanging up coat (why, why, why is this so hard? She always chucks it on the floor below the coat hooks)
not making a big fuss over everything
not just dropping things whereever she stands
picking up things she drops
not trashing her room every time someone comes over to play
being friendly and polite - she used to be good at this but is becoming increasingly rude.

She wants to do her teeth herself but I insist on doing it for her. She's a bit of a slacker really and I don't think she'd do a good job.

geekgrrl Fri 24-Jun-05 14:19:10

jjash - just saw your post. I've got the same at the moment, it's all gruff demands and sulks here. Caught myself earlier on thinking 'I must remember to do whateveritwas as otherwise dd1 will just shout at me again'.

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