To ask my 9 and 8 year olds to help out around the house?
Lesserspottedmama · 04/10/2022 16:17
I think I’ve made a mistake in always doing everything for them and how it’s coming as a big shock to them if I ask them to tidy their rooms sometimes, bring their plate into the kitchen when they’ve finished, pick up their toys, put their clothes in their drawers rather than on the floor. I’ve always done it all pretty much (and DH, he does a lot). It’s not that the kids don’t think they should help, I think they do see it’s just they obviously preferred it when I did it all! I work a lot more now so can no longer do it all. I am being patient (sometimes!), consistent (mostly!) and firm (usually!) but all the huffing, delay tactics, protests etc is getting me down a bit. But mostly I’m just wondering, how much should I reasonably be expecting? They go to a lovely gentle Steiner school down the road and they are not overworked at all; they have a lovely life! I feel I have let them down a bit by not encouraging good habits and an ethic of wanting to make a valuable contribute to our home, be helpful and useful and have some personal accountability for their own belongings. I’m wondering what the expectation is for those with children of similar ages?
Am I being unreasonable?AIBU
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InDubiousBattle · 04/10/2022 16:22
Mine are a touch younger at 7&8 and they do things like sorting out their cereal and fruit etc for breakfast, they make their beds, sort out any washing whilst they get changed out of their uniforms, keep their rooms (mostly)tidy, put clean washing away, empty their lunchboxes, help clear the table after tea etc. They moan about it though!
Autumnwinterspringsummer · 04/10/2022 20:59
My older DS is 9 and he does lots of things PP mentioned.
He'll also unload the dishwasher if hes home and I'm working And on Sunday I was sick and he hoovered the kitchen.
He doesn't moan thankfully.
Giantemadoob · 04/10/2022 21:07
I would sit them both down and tell them that we all have to do things that keep a house tidy and clean and then set some tasks for them to do. Some they need to do daily and then they get used to it. For example when they start primary school they collect their tray and at the end of the meal scrape the left overs, empty their water glass and put their cutlery into the right bin. So from the day after you have the talk they are responsible for their plate after dinner plus their breakfast items.
Laundry too, all clothes go into the basket. They make a mess, they tidy it. They only get to do fun stuff once their tasks are done. Set a timer, make it a game, sing songs or put music on to help them stay motivated. To begin with you will need to stand over them whilst they do it but you need to stay strong on it. You cannot just say sod it for one day because that moves the goalposts.
Tv, tech, games, the park, all has to be earned and they quicker they complete these tasks the quicker they can play. And before you ask yes I have children and they are adult or almost adult and do everything without moaning. Ds is in his second year of university, clean, tidy room, cooks from scratch etc. Ds2 is equally as capable and his room is also tidy, none of this teenage bomb site hell.
CatRatSplat · 04/10/2022 21:25
4 and 6 yeah old here. They feed our cats when asked, tidy toys and their rooms, put clothes away they can reach, lay table, clear table, pack their schoo bags, shoes/coats away, change beds and more.
Most of this is with help, it's part of being a family. I explain to them this helps give us parents more time with them to do "fun" things but also to teach them how to do things around the house. They don't do all the above everyday but it's expected of asked.
Heyahun · 04/10/2022 21:29
My 20 month old does more than your kids 🙈🙈 she puts her dirty clothes in the wash basket, takes her bowl to the sink when she’s finished meals, puts the clean laundry from the clothes horse into the basket for me (this isn’t actually super helpful and takes ages but she wants to help!)
She puts all her toys away into the boxes in the evening before we get ready for her bath.
Scotinoz · 04/10/2022 21:30
Mine are 7 and 8, but are quite handy. Sorting washing, putting plates in the dishwasher, emptying the dishwasher, take the rubbish out, lay the table, tidy their room etc.
They do right moan about it, but I think that’s normal.
MolliciousIntent · 04/10/2022 21:30
We operated on the principal that DD should be involved in everything she is capable of. So since she was a very tiny toddler she helped with laundry, tidying, cooking etc and now lots of it she's able to do herself, at 3. Lots of it she still needs help with, but she puts her dirties in the wash and carries her plate to the dishwasher and tidies her toys away before after dinner TV, etc. Obviously she's just a baby still and there's a lot of time for her to become grumpy and noncompliant, but we're hoping that by showing her what she's capable of from the beginning, it will just be second nature.
So no, you're not asking too much.
TheOnceAndFutureQueen · 04/10/2022 21:42
Mine are 7 and 4 and have had some level of jobs to do since they were about 2. Simple things like refilling the loo roll holder, setting the table for dinner and taking their empty plates to the kitchen when they were younger. Now the oldest waters the houseplants, feeds the cats and puts her own washing away.
That's on top of basic things like tidying up their toys, making their beds and keeping their rooms relatively tidy.
Disneydatknee88 · 04/10/2022 21:47
Honestly? It depends on the child. My kids have Saturday jobs. My son has always had chores from age 8/9. Tidy his room. Clean the bathroom. Sweep the stairs and empty the bins. He's now 13 and his Jobs have changed over time. He will do his own washing and ironing now if there are things he specifically wants to wear! And he always keeps him room tidy. I don't even have to ask him anymore. We can bribe him to wash up several times a week too. He has never moaned about doing chores (it's how he earns his pocket money) and just gets on with them. My daughter on the other hand....she is 7 and we have just introduced chores as a means to earn money. We have to moan at her to do them and then re-do them because she does them badly but we still ask her to do them. She sweeps the stairs, tidies her room and wipes down the windowsills. Keep at it. Routine and incentives. Not per job though. Do them all or get nothing. I watched my mum struggle when I was growing up. She never asked us kids to help and my dad never lifted a finger.
Kite22 · 04/10/2022 21:54
I agree with the first 2 paragraphs of @Giantemadoob 's post.
Thing like clearing your place after a meal should just be automatic habit, not really a "job".
Olsi109 · 04/10/2022 21:56
My DD was ironing at 10!
At the same age as your DC's mine would do things like sweep the garden, wash/dry up (remove sharp knives at that age), help prep tea, Hoover, polish, put laundry away, hang washing out. My DD's are now 14 and 11. 11 year old cleans the car, helps mow the lawn, makes the packed lunches, 14 year old does more. They don't do this all the time obv, just a list of what they may get asked to do as they do have homework as secondary.
VeronicaBeccabunga · 04/10/2022 22:02
I think it's absolutely essential that kids learn that a family is a team, a collaboration.
Mine had their own jobs, and tasks we did together, so they learned how to deal with everyday household life.
I used to tell mine that we ran a benevolent socialist dictatorship: from each according to their ability, to each according to their need, with the adults in charge but with us all having a part to play to build a happy life together😁
CongratulationsBeautiful · 04/10/2022 22:09
DD is 9 and she does:
- helping lay and clear the table
- clearing up her plate/glass after dinner and snacks
- helping with loading and unloading dishwasher
- putting her dirty laundry in laundry basket and putting clean laundry away
- tidying her room (not that often, around once a week or so)
- sometimes she does a bit of vacuuming or sweeping up
- she also helps with doing the weeding in the garden but we give her extra pocket money for this
It's not really very much, as I want her to have energy for homework and fun, but I think it's important she knows she has to make a contribution, clean up after herself and help out when asked.
Everylittlethingsgonnabealright · 04/10/2022 22:15
Mine is 9 and helps with jobs like taking the recycling bin out, fetching a load of laundry to put in the machine, tidying his room (to his standards, not mine!), tidying up toys in the lounge before bedtime, folding laundry or putting away his piles that I’ve folded. He’ll sit watching TV while he matches up a pile of clean socks. I sometimes ask him for help unloading the dishwasher. He’s taken an interest in cleaning the shower screen since I got a squeegee! He refuses to be bribed with pocket money.
I feel like I’m too easy on him tbh but I was a bit of a Cinderella/parentified child and I want him to chill out and enjoy his childhood. But I also don’t want him to expect a wife to pick up after him and he can be a little entitled. It’s difficult to get it right. He tidied up more when he was a toddler! 😂
You sound a little too lovely and patient, OP, go with your feelings and be a bit firmer with them!
Lesserspottedmama · 06/10/2022 09:39
Thank you everyone, all really helpful responses and very affirming.
MangshorJhol · 06/10/2022 09:51
10 and 5. 5 year old can tidy his room, put his clothes in the washing machine and helps with recycling on the weekend. Also helps with tidying.
10 year old can do the laundry and load and unload the dishwasher. He can set the table. Also make breakfast for himself and his brother.
Our principle has always been that we are a family and we all chip in. Also before we start the bedtime routine everyone (including DH) chips in to make sure the house is more or less tidy- I do the kitchen, the boys put away toys and make sure their room is clean, DH helps them and puts away any laundry. That way every day before bed the house is relatively tidy. It’s a habit and we just all do it together.
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