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Do you still run your 7-8 year olds DSs life for him?

48 replies

legacy · 03/10/2007 10:03

'Cos I do, but DH thinks I shouldn't.

He's just gone into Year 3 at juniors, and there has been an explosion of new stuff for him to cope with. Even I can't keep on top of it all .

To try to help I've put up a big weekly timetable in the kitchen with what he (& we)needs to remember each day, and what homework needs to be done each night.
But he doesn't remember to look at it unless I remind him, and make him sit down to do homework etc.

DH & I are having massive disagreements about this (we share the after school child care as we both work). DH says it's all DSs responsibility, and he has to remember to pack his bag/ learn his spellings/ practice his guitar etc.

I'm arguing that as parents we have a responsibility to set up and enforce routines that will get DS into good habits, but that at the moment we still have to accept responsibility to ensure stuff happens.

I can't believe this is causing so much stress in our house . This morning DH was shouting at DS as they left the house because he hadn't learnt his tables for a test today, and I was shouting at DH because he didn't prompt DS yesterday to check what he needed to do for homework.

I can't believe DH is being such a prat over this - he just doesn't see that he's undermining DSs confidence and relationship with him?

What's reasonable to expect a 7-8 year old to do? Do yours pack their own school bags, get their own snack, collect reading books froma round the house, practice their X tables and spelling voluntarily ...
No, I thought not...

OP posts:
Enid · 03/10/2007 10:06

I think if he is not coping with it then it is yours, and the schools reponsibility ,to help him.

I told dd1s year 3 teacher that if she wanted stuff done on a certain day to put it in writing.

I think 7 is too young personally, for gods sake what is wrong with us all.

I totally run my dd1's life as she lives in a dream world and would never do anything except draw ponies if I left her alone. Dd2 on the other hand organises the rest of us so go figure.

PandaG · 03/10/2007 10:08

DS does pack his own bag to some extent, but mostly with reminders from me. I make his lunch, and when putting it in his bag I check that the reading book and planner are there.
Having a timetable and reminding him what to do sound like good parenting strategies to me, DS's school planner is such that I initial it every night to say I have read it, and therefore know what homework he is supposed to be doing, and by extension, have checked it is done. I think that at 7 they need reminding, and ensuring they have done it too. Maybe next year a reminder or 2 and then perhaps if they still haven't done the work on their own head be it?

cornsilk · 03/10/2007 10:09

He's still very young. My ds is not able to organise himself and he's 9. His teacher helps him to organise himself and so do we.

PandaG · 03/10/2007 10:11

oh, meant to say, we have both (DS and I) signed a home school contract (all children do) which says that parents agree to encourage and support their children to do homework - at this age that means check what needs to be done and reminding them to do it. OUr school certainly expects some level of parental involvement.

noddyholder · 03/10/2007 10:12

my ds is 13 and i still do a lot of those things.

Enid · 03/10/2007 10:12

yes we have to sign reading books and homework books

themildmanneredaxemurderer · 03/10/2007 10:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

legacy · 03/10/2007 10:16

Yes - we have to sign homework books and worksheets etc.

To be honest, as I re-read this I know that it's a rhetorical question, and of course we're meant to still be doing these things - this is what parenting about.

This is about DH I think - he's clearly uncomfortable with accepting after school responsibilities and is trying to wriggle out of them. I just get so angry when I see him blaming DS for stuff which is really of his (DH's) making

OP posts:
ShrinkingViolet · 03/10/2007 10:17

I have to stay on top of my Year 10 DD to make sure homework etc is done on time, letters given to me and so on. Sh does sort out her own lunch though, but I remind about most things (including getting up in the morning - I don't have the courage to let her be late ). Year 3 is still very young to be responsible for stuff like that imo.

kinki · 03/10/2007 10:18

My ds is the same age. I haven't yet, but am planning on doing a chart like you describe as we are all having trouble remembering what he has to do for each day or what he has to take to school. No way would I leave it to him to sort everything out for school, it just wouldn't get done.

He seems a little overwhelmed with all the new responsibilities of juniors, and if left to himself there is no way he would be organised enough. If anything, he's more unorganised than he was last year in all areas, and I put this down to tiredness, eg, just getting dressed is now an ordeal, but before it wasn't.

Twigaletto · 03/10/2007 10:18

he's 7?

and your DH thinks he should be that responsible?

is he barking mad?

does he remember being a child, I bet he didn't even have homework

your son is a child, a little boy ... some responsibility is fair enough but there is a reason that the law doesn't give children responsibility for their actions until much later, and most religions too IIRC

bozza · 03/10/2007 10:19

I am trying to take a slightly less hands on approach but still doing all the reminders. Mind you, DS is still in Y2 but more homework than last year. So last night we got back from swimming and I said "DS go do your spellings, please", but didn't actually go into the kitchen and find his spellings list or a pencil and stand over him. Then at bedtime I said "DS get you football kit out" and subsequently checked that he had got everything he needed.

However he is a bit of a head in the clouds type like Enid's DD1, but replace drawing pictures of ponies, with reading Horrid Henry books and football programmes and you get the picture. Part of the problem we have is because of me working 3 days and all the other things we have to fit in, there are limited slots for doing DS's homework so it needs to be worked in where we can.

Enid · 03/10/2007 10:22

I have dropped all after school activities so we can get on top of year 3. Riding and swimming at weekends now. Will start up again next term if we cope OK this term.

HonoriaGlossop · 03/10/2007 10:26

Your DH is being unrealistic and his expectations are not age appropriate. Tell him I said so

You're right though, it's obviously about your DH resenting the extra input he needs to give; anything for an easy life

Anchovy · 03/10/2007 10:27

I don't think it is an all or nothing thing - either one way or another.

I think you are absolutely right about setting up routines to make Ds understand about what needs to be done. Can you then give him one or 2 pieces or responsibility in that that he has to take responsibility for - preferably ones that are not time critical for getting out the door?

My DS is 5 (Year 1) and he has to dress himself, make his bed, fold his pjs and bring his jumper down of a morning for example. So if you made him responsible for just one thing to start with - checking his bag the night before as an invariable part of his routine, for example, you are at least starting him on the road to responsibility.

brimfull · 03/10/2007 10:28

7-8 are still very young,plenty of time still to learn independence gradually.

I do know a mum whose ds has been getting himself up in the morning and out the house whilst she lies in bed...since he was 7-8 ish.
I think it's neglect persoanlly but she's very proud of him for being able to do this

mimsum · 03/10/2007 10:34

if I didn't do all those things for ds2 (7) he'd never go to school, never do any homework and just sit in his room playing lego all day

I still have to organise ds1's life to a great extent and he's 10 and friends with teenagers (boys in particular) say their sons are still an organisational nightmare

PeachyFleshCrawlingWithBugs · 03/10/2007 10:39

Goodness, I know ds1's Sn make it particulalry ahrd to organise himself but tbh I can't imagine ds2 making anything haen in a years time when he's in year 3!

A visual timetable works for all kids, not just ones with ASD- ebay have them ften, otherwise you can make simply with velcro and orinted images (eg breakfast, bag)- if you get him to put it together the night before it should reinforce any patterns in what he needs to do.

DS2 and ds2 both need to be told at least ten times just to eat their brekky, they'd never be out the door if it weren't for me prompting / enablinng / srreeching at them !

bozza · 03/10/2007 10:41

I think you need to go middle ground really. Try and encourage a bit of independence but you still need to be in overall control.

legacy · 03/10/2007 10:43

mimsum - yes - I can imagine DS1 being like that - he's such a dreamer!

That's the thing - I want to try to teach him how to organise himself, but still provide the 'safety net' to stop him falling too far! I definitely don't want to be the sort of mother whois still doing her sons laundry when he's 25 !

I can't believe DH's attitude in all of this though. He's being so aggressive, and stubbonly refusing to see that he plays any role in the disharmony it is causing

OP posts:
Anna8888 · 03/10/2007 12:09

All children are different.

Some little girls are quite able at 7/8 to organise their own homework, bag etc. I was, and I very much anticipate my own daughter (currently 2.11) being able to do so by that age - she's by nature a tidy child who manages to organise her own things within a household that has been structured to enable all the children to be as independent as possible.

But there is absolutely nothing wrong or unusual about a little boy (or little girl, for that matter) of 7/8 not being able to organise his own space, time and belongings. The more you and your DH help him by providing a good supporting structure (and it sounds from your post as if you are doing this) the easier he will find it to establish his own routine and look after his own things.

This is an area where all children have very different natural capabilities and your DH needs to understand this and that your DS is is in no way behind the average for his peer group.

iota · 03/10/2007 12:16

sometimes think I will go completely bonkers from nagging my 2 boys in the morning - they are 8 and 6.

And how often do they come out of school without their sweatshirts or maybe the lunchbox.

oh well only another 12 yrs to go before they leave home

flatmouse · 03/10/2007 12:21

My DS just started Y3. I still need to give him a great deal of support re what to take to/from school - and i get a bit irritated when he forgets (and when i forget). However Y3 seems to be the start of them taking more responsibility for themselves.

As all children learn at different paces, some will lap up this responsibility manage very well, others need more support and encouragement.

As a plus, i forgot to send DS in with recorder/book last Thursday. I apologised to him - he said "It's OK mummy, it's my fault really as it's my responsibility to remember."

Bink · 03/10/2007 12:25

Well - I agree with Anna here.

I have a not-quite-7-yo daughter who organises us all ("Mummy! You are meant to send me in with a comb today - it's school photos! Did you forget?") effortlessly.

And an 8-and-a-half yo boy who remembers nothing (except, not especially strangely of course, to make sure his backpack has a snack in it. Well, it's a start).

barnstaple · 03/10/2007 12:29

My dd just started Y4. I still have to remind her, check her, prompt her, goad her, nag her....
Like Enid's dd, if I left mine alone she'd spend all day drawing ponies (or egyptians!).

Tell your dh if he's unhappy about it, to talk to ds's teacher about it. That'll shut him up.

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