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How to get DS1 to take a little bit of responsibility for himself

12 replies

Puffinlover · 01/11/2013 19:18

DS1 is almost 10. I'm getting increasingly annoyed that he is not able to organise himself or remember anything for himself. He is academically bright and has no special needs. I know he's only young but I feel he should be able to help a bit now. This maybe my fault for doing to much for him! For example, earlier this year we introduced pocket money in return for jobs. We gave him responsibility for one job with a view to introducing more once this was established. His job was to check when recycling box was full and empty stuff into recycling sack. That was it. He never once did this without prompting and after a few frustrating months we abandoned the idea as more trouble than it's worth. He literally can't/won't do even the simplest task without nagging, detailed instructions etc. Are we asking too much? Is he just being a 10 year old boy?? Please any tips how to improve things? I hate to be on his case all the time but its making me and DH really cross.

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TeenAndTween · 01/11/2013 20:10

I think it takes some children time to grow into tasks.

My 14yr DD has the job of putting away laundry since aged 11.
It probably took her 2 years to learn to do it properly, consistently.
We have had

  • stuff going to the wrong person
  • being put in the wrong drawer
  • being left on a bed instead of going away
  • beng left on the stairs instead of being taken to airing cupboard
  • shoved in drawer so folded items become scrunched
  • shoved in drawer but not so you can close drawer

But she can now do it, and it saves me a job.

DD2 (age 9) does the bins on a Sunday night. We remind her, she moans but then does it. She goes and collects all bins from around the house to kitchen for DH to empty, then takes them back. She has also been doing this for 3 years. She has learned how to be efficient, eg tip half full bins into each other. DH reminds her if not all the bins come down.

I would re-institute the task but make it at a fixed time each week eg Sat am before he gets his pocket money. Initially with you reminding him to do it, then saying 'oh I can't give you your money yet can I?'.

(Or it is a trick. Do a job badly and you won't be asked to do it again. Has your DS read Horrid Henry?)
Puffinlover · 01/11/2013 22:39

Some good tips. Thank you. We have decided to make jobs equal iPod touch time. Maybe this will be greater motivation than pocket money! And stop doing so much for him to give him the chance to plan a bit himself.

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sadsometimes · 01/11/2013 22:40

Mine do/did bugger all at 10

Its fine to do nothing he's still a child

pepperrabbit · 01/11/2013 22:46

Ha ha - do we share a DS1? Sounds exactly like my 9yr old.
He too doesn't really seem motivated by pocket money, screen time would be his driver.
However so much of my energy is taken up convincing him that he has to do homework that aside from the odd "pair up the socks" task and expecting him to put his own washing away, he doesn't have set jobs - so he gets neither screen time nor cash!

BackforGood · 02/11/2013 00:15

I think it's going to be harder for him to remember a job like that, that doesn't need to be done every day, as it doesn't become a habit or routine. Blimey - I still have to remind dh that Monday night is bins night, and he's a fair bit older than 9!

Puffinlover · 02/11/2013 21:37

Well he did the recycling unprompted today and has 5 mins written in his iPod book!

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Nataleejah · 04/11/2013 10:09

Academically bright does not equal mature and children hardly ever care about housework until they move out on their own.
Imho, complex reward systems don't work in the long run.
In our home, we jus have a rule that work comes before fun. You have to do your task before you go play -- simple as that.

TinyDynamite · 04/11/2013 10:27

We've created a daily task list for DS1 (almost 10) - we did it together, so we were all were agreed on what was expected/what could be reasonably achieved. Then I typed it up and stuck it on his bedroom wall. Now all DP or I have to do is ask if he's done his list and he can get on with it. (It's all simple stuff really - bed made, books and toys put away after use, clothes put away or in the laundry bin, his dishes to the counter after every meal, personal items cleaned off the kitchen table, etc.) He definitely needs the visual reminder of what's expected or he just forgets. It's so much easier for us now and we don't feel like we're constantly nagging him!

Sometimes he'll even say 'Better go check my list." Shock

survivingthechildren · 06/11/2013 06:45

I know what you mean. I think TeenandTween is correct, in that sometimes it just takes a while for some of them to get the hang of it. Persistence is the key!

Earlier this year we had a massive overhaul of our household running, as I realised I was slaving away for my 5 bone idle very capable children. That and I finally blew my stack at the ingratitude.

Each of mine (16, 14, 11, 7, 5) have jobs that are their own, and then we have a rotating chore board, so they have a couple of different ones each week. It's been difficult to motivate them, and more often then not I feel like it's more effort for me to nag them, but gradually they have been getting better. Especially amongst the older ones.

So stick it out! Sounds like ipod time could be a much better motivator!

overmydeadbody · 06/11/2013 06:54

stick it out, you need to remind him daily probably, or else build it into a routine with a visual reminder.

i dispair at my 10 year old, who literally wouldn't get dressed or brush his teeth without us reminding him. It's like each morning he wakes up and all memory of what he was asked to do as part of normal routine gets wiped from his brain and we're starting from the bottom again.

He will pull himself together when he has to though, and some things he just seems to be able to do without any reminding.

i had to ask DS to do his tasks and chores every day. It is worth it in that then I don't have to do it, but he would never remember without me asking him.

pumpkinsweetie · 06/11/2013 06:56

I have a 10yo dd, and i expect very little from her as she is still a child. But she does have little jobs, such as taking her sisters drink upstairs, throwing a bit of rubbish in the bin or doing a bit of tidying of the front room (toys/pens) but i do expect her to do her bit for her £5 a week.

Maybe your ds would be happy with a different chore, emptying bins or recycling is a bug bare for me as an adult, maybe he hates that particular chore.

Puffinlover · 13/11/2013 20:59

We're a couple of weeks in and the iPod time reward is really working. He's been doing lots of jobs and enjoying seeing the time mount up in his note book. So much more motivating than the pocket money! He was even disappointed one day when recycling box didn't need to be emptied Shock

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