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do you ask them to help out?

2 replies

nightowl · 23/11/2004 05:45

think i must be on a slight guilt trip tonight. im a single parent with ds 7 years and dd 10 months. how many others ask the older child to help out with the baby sometimes and does it make you feel bad? when i was at primary school i had a friend whose mother just kept on having babies, she was the eldest and as we grew up she had to practically bring up her younger brothers and sisters which i thought was terrible. i do ask ds to help me out on occasion. say for cooking the tea for us and baby starts crying, shes hungry. i have a few choices. a. let her cry for so long which upsets ds and frazzles my nerves. b. go to feed her and end up burning our meal, or c. ask ds to feed her for me while im cooking (obviously i prepare her food for him to feed her) problem solved. shes satisfied (and loves the fact her brother is feeding her, i can hear them giggling from the kitchen!) and we can then eat our unburnt meal in peace! i know ideally i should feed her before i start to cook for us but then its not always possible if shes asleep or perhaps ive been shopping and need to put frozen/fridge stuff away when she suddenly wants feeding..well you get the picture. is it awful that i ask ds to help? he doesnt mind but i sometimes think maybe hes going to feel that hes responsible for us somehow.

OP posts:
TurnAgainCat · 23/11/2004 09:23

I only have one child aged 4 but he does lots of jobs around the house (eg sweep under dining table with dustpan and brush; clear the table; load the washing machine; put his clean clothes away inside his cupboard; help me cook by greasing the baking dish or grating up cheese). I also do lots of fun and playful things with him. I really don't know if he would be asked to do these jobs if I had a partner around the house to help me, however, I think that it gives him a lot of self esteem and pleasure to help me out, within his capabilities. I also think that one day he'll be a good cook and run a nice house, and not be one of those men who thinks that domestic work is beneath them. I think it's lovely that your ds is so kind and loving towards his baby sister. I give ds lots of thanks and praise and if he is too tired or really wants to play instead then I don't "make" him do these jobs. Have you told your ds how proud you are and that when he grows up you think he'll be a wonderful daddy?

motherinferior · 23/11/2004 09:39

I'm not a single parent, but I do ask my three year old to give me a hand occasionally. I think it's fine for them to muck in - I do know what you mean about putting too many expectations on them (so many people asked her, when she was a toddler 'do you help mummy with the baby' that I got really cross). But you sound like a lovely family!

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