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I'm the disrespectful one??? - Page 3

post #41 of 58
Well.... I think about short term and long term goals, I guess. In the short term, I'd like the task to be done, as smoothly and easily as possible. Since it's always been far easier to go with Rain than against her (especially when she was younger, when she was definitely, um, *spirited*), sometimes that meant doing it myself.... and other times it meant leaving it undone... and sometimes it meant another solution.

In the long term, though, it was important for my to model kindness and helping someone out, and I saw doing things like feeding the pets or folding her laundry as doing that. Today she probably does almost as much around the house as I do, and she wouldn't hesitate to take down and fold my laundry if I forgot or was having a hard week. I am happy with the way things have worked out, but when she was 5 I was going on faith...

And Rain does want me to be happy, and she has since she was pretty little. Maybe not every moment of every day, but in general it is a concern for her, just as her happiness is a concern for me. I think that's really been the key for us... especially once she got old enough to see things from another perspective more easily. It's normal for 5 year olds to be more self-centered, but it passes, usually...

Dar
post #42 of 58
Yeah, I don't mean to give the impression that I lord over my kids all the time, forcing them to do all sorts of unpleasant tasks. For the most part, my kids help out without complaint. Sometimes they complain. Some of those times they are just being lazy and the task needs to be done and I can't get it done. Then I "make" my kids do it. Sometimes the reason the kids don't want to do it is something we can work out to everyone's agreement (I do it, or a sibling does it, or we make some other arrangement, or we just don't do it). Desta chronically grumbles about her chores, but she generally does them without being reminded. The little kids generally do their chores just fine. The vast majority of the time things are hunky dory.

I, too, look at short- and long-term goals. My short-term goals are to get the job done, to not have to carry an inordinate load myself, and to help my kids learn to take their responsibilities seriously (in no particular order). My long-term goals are to teach my kids the basic skills of life and to help them develop a sense of responsibility. Where I may differ from others at MDC is that I don't think that requiring chores crushes that sense of responsibility or inhibits it from developing.

dm
post #43 of 58
My first thought on this is that it was not something the boy needed done. It was something mom needed done. So, it's mom's problem and ds doing it would be a favor to mom and not required. I like the idea of asking ds if he could come up with a plan for getting the dishes washed before I had to start dinner. I also like the idea of showing a 13yo how to do her own laundry. My ds learned to do his own laundry at about that age and now does not want me to do it for him. I practically beg him to let me wash his clothes. LOL As an adult and a parent I am obligated to provide for my children. My children, however, are not obligated to do anything for me.
post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
\
I, too, look at short- and long-term goals. My short-term goals are to get the job done, to not have to carry an inordinate load myself, and to help my kids learn to take their responsibilities seriously (in no particular order). My long-term goals are to teach my kids the basic skills of life and to help them develop a sense of responsibility. Where I may differ from others at MDC is that I don't think that requiring chores crushes that sense of responsibility or inhibits it from developing.

dm
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post #45 of 58
I think as parents we sometimes forget to treat our children with a sense of respect. Talk to them as we might like to be talked to. Explain why you need the dishes done. If he still refuses, ask how he would like the situation resolved. Allow him to be a part of the planning process. Dinner can not be made unless the kitchen is cleaned. How do you purpose we do that? I tell my kids when they pull the tired nonsense on me, I'm tired too. I got up this morning, before you, worked later than you went to school, and now I am home trying to do things so we can all have an evening together. I need help, I cannot do it all by myself. I find explaining to them my position, and why I need help, works too. Of course I have power struggles. We all do at one time or another. You have to do your share, you just do. It's not fair for you to dump your share on me or your sibling. You wouldn't like it if we did it to you. And ultimately, sometimes we just are tired. Would you like help? We all just need a little help doing a chore sometimes. Sometimes they ask for it, sometimes they don't. I am quick to remind them, that when they asked for help I was there. Now I am asking for help. I don't ask them to do anything I wouldn't do. And I treat them as I expect to be treated. Things get done around here, sometimes easily, sometimes not. But they get done. I am usually just too tired to do everyones stuff.

I have an 11yo boy, and a 13yo girl. They both, clean their rooms once a week, cook dinner, load/unload the dishwasher, clean bathroom, sweep, mop dust. Lately, it has been too hard on all of us and we have had someone come to clean. I refuse to allow this person to clean their rooms. They have a obligation to keep their own space presentable. I do not ever touch their rooms, that is their space. While they clean their rooms, I am in my room doing the exact same thing. I think that is why I don't get alot of flack.

It all about respect. You can't get respect if you don't give it. How would you talk to an adult you needed to do these things?
post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
My first thought on this is that it was not something the boy needed done. It was something mom needed done. So, it's mom's problem
Really? Mom is the only one who benefits from having dinner cooked? IMO, if the boy wants to eat the dinner mom cooked, then it's his problem, too, that the kitchen is not in a state in which dinner can be prepared.

dm
post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmcarons View Post
While they clean their rooms, I am in my room doing the exact same thing. I think that is why I don't get alot of flack.
I see your point. But I do all the house cleaning and cooking in front of my children allll the time and they still get upset when asked to do something like clean their room or another area of the house. So that's definitely not going to work for the majority if us moms.

I think not wanting to tidy up and keep things clean is just part of being this age. I don't think that means they have a problem or can "never" learn to clean up after themselves. Plus a lot of it starts when they are very little. If you don't train them from a very young age then it's a lot tougher to start when they are preteens and especially teens.

I have a hard time believing ANY child in this age range is perfect and does housework every day without complaining atleast a little bit. If you're children are, then kudos to you!
post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
Really? Mom is the only one who benefits from having dinner cooked? IMO, if the boy wants to eat the dinner mom cooked, then it's his problem, too, that the kitchen is not in a state in which dinner can be prepared.

dm
Read some books on the subject of who owns a problem or a situation. It's not about who benefits. It's about who has the problem or need or is agitated or upset. If you have a problem with something, that's your problem, not anyone else's. It's not someone else's responsibility (especially a child's) to take care of an adult's needs. I am not saying that people shouldn't help each other. I am saying that I don't think it's right to expect our children to do things for us.

If my house is dirty and I'm worried about the baby picking something up off the floor or would be embarassed if someone stopped by, that's my issue. I can ask my child if he'll help me clean up but he's not required. I can't expect him to be as concerned or bothered as me about the state of the house because those things just aren't his focus. On the flip side, if my ds leaves his room such a mess that he can't find his fave video game, which eventually gets broken because it was underneath a pile of something that got stepped on, it's not my problem or my responsibility or obligation to buy him a new game.

There are always options to dinner when there isn't anything clean to cook in or eat with. How often do adults decide they are too tired to cook or clean so they heat up frozen dinners or go out to eat or have something delivered? Is it not acceptable for kids to feel the same way? The difference is that the kids don't have the power and control over the money and the transportation and everything else that goes into making that happen.

I have one child who I raised thinking that he had to contribute to the household and had to do chores and chip in and "do his part" and now I have a child who rarely does anything for anyone. I have another child who I have not place any requirements or expectations on but rather try to model behavior for and he is almost always helpful, even without being asked. It could be a personality difference or it could be a difference in how they were/are treated or a combo of both.
post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
There are always options to dinner when there isn't anything clean to cook in or eat with. How often do adults decide they are too tired to cook or clean so they heat up frozen dinners or go out to eat or have something delivered? Is it not acceptable for kids to feel the same way? The difference is that the kids don't have the power and control over the money and the transportation and everything else that goes into making that happen.
Yeah... we have mastered the art of making a quick meal with one square foot of counter space and two sinks full of dishes (and our kitchen is only 15 square feet anyway - literally). That's kind of what the kitchen looks like now, as a matter of fact, but I did get coffee made... and last night I made beans and cheese tostadas.

I'm not saying that anyone else has to live that way - I'm comfortable with the kitchen being a wreck for a couple of days, but no one else has to be, and eventually one of us cleans it - but MarineWife is right to point out that the idea that a messy kitchen means one can't prepare a meal is not true for everyone...

Dar
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
that the idea that a messy kitchen means one can't prepare a meal is not true for everyone...

Dar
And the option for the one who can't stand the messy kitchen (in this case mom) is for that person to clean it. I'm one who cannot cook if the kitchen is messy even if I have plenty of clean pots and pans and dishes. If I want dinner done now and the kitchen is a mess so that I can't cook, I have to own that problem and do something about it. If I would like someone else to help me clean the kitchen before I cook, I need to find a time when everyone is agreeable to that.
post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
Read some books on the subject of who owns a problem or a situation. It's not about who benefits. It's about who has the problem or need or is agitated or upset. If you have a problem with something, that's your problem, not anyone else's.
I guess I just see it completely differently. To me, what you said feels like you're saying that people in a family have no responsibility for the other family members' wellbeing and happiness, and I simply don't see it that way. I am happy to cook for my family as long as they understand that I can't do it all by myself all the time. Just like I help my kids look for something when it has gotten buried under mess, I expect that my kids help me excavate the kitchen when they want dinner. To me, that give-and-take is what living in a family is all about, not everyone chasing their own bliss and disowning responsibility for others.

We have had to work really hard to teach my oldest, who joined us from an orphanage at age 11, that loving relationships are reciprocal and that being part of a family means that we all take responsibility for the family and the home. I understand that this is a different situation than a child who was raised from birth in his or her family, but I think it is interesting that my little kids, who have been raised with the expectation that they help out, and who do so the vast majority of the time without a fuss, seem to take in in stride that that's how a family runs whereas my oldest, who was raised by people (staff members) who did everything for her, has really, really struggled with the idea that family members take care of one another.

dm
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
To me, what you said feels like you're saying that people in a family have no responsibility for the other family members' wellbeing and happiness

dm
I have come to realize and accept that I have absolutely no control over anyone else's emotions. I cannot make someone happy. I can try to do things for them that they will appreciate or make their lives easier or better but I don't expect or require reciprocation. I do things for people because I want to not because I expect something in return, especially my children. As an adult and a parent it is my obligation and responsibility to provide for the wellbeing of my children. I chose to have children and take on all the responsibility that goes with that. My children did not choose to be born. Nor did they choose to have siblings. It is not their obligation or responsibility to care for me or their siblings. That does not mean that I don't do everything I can to show my children that caring for others is important. I have discovered that if I care for them without any strings attached they will care for others. If I try to force them to be a part of or be responsible or care or feel sorry, I get the opposite result.
post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post
I can try to do things for them that they will appreciate or make their lives easier or better but I don't expect or require reciprocation.
I "hear" people here at MDC say things like that a lot ... basically that if you have no expectations of other people, you won't be disappointed. I think that's a very clinical view that's not really in line with human nature. I think that loving relationships are based on reciprocity. I guess it's just a fundamental difference in beliefs.

dm
post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
I "hear" people here at MDC say things like that a lot ... basically that if you have no expectations of other people, you won't be disappointed. I think that's a very clinical view that's not really in line with human nature. I think that loving relationships are based on reciprocity. I guess it's just a fundamental difference in beliefs.

dm
I think you might be misunderstanding the idea of not having expectations that set one up for disappointment. In this context, avoiding having expectations about another person that may set you up for disappointment is not the same as avoiding doing something yourself because it may not turn out the way you want. I do things with the understanding that I don't really have any control over the ultimate outcome.

Equal, loving relationships do usually involve reciprocity of some sort, even if it's just an exchange of love. I would be very unhappy in a relationship with someone who didn't help me around the house, so I married someone who does housework rather than marrying someone who doesn't and then expecting him to change. That way I have not set myself up for disappointment by expecting more from my partner than he can give. I'm not one who naturally and easily does things for others (maybe because I was not cared for that way as a child) but being with someone who gives to me unconditionally has made me want to do more for him and for everyone else. It still amazes me that he doesn't expect me to do things for him. He doesn't get upset if the house is a mess or he has to do some laundry. If my dh tried to punish me because I didn't have dinner ready when he wanted it because I was tired from doing a bunch of nothing at home with the kids while he was out working hard and making money (being faciscious..sp), we'd have some serious issues. As our relationship is, the give and take ebbs and flows between us. Sometimes I give more and sometimes he does. It's rarely, if ever, a 50/50 situation but things even out in the long run.

However, a parent/child relationship is not equal no matter how much we may try to make it so, if for no other reason than because our society does not allow children to be equal. Children only have as much power over their external situation as adults give them. I think that requiring my children to give back to me is an abuse of the power I have over them.

For example, yesterday my 16yo ds wanted me to drive him to a friend's house. I needed the cover put back on our Jeep because it had been blown off and it was going to rain. I have a hard time putting it on myself because I'm very short and I have two little kids I have to take care of. I could've demanded that my ds do that for me before I'd give him a ride, which would've set up a power struggle. Instead, I asked him if he would do it for me before we left but I didn't make it a requirement of me driving him somewhere. He didn't mind at all.


Another example with my 3yo: He wanted to play a game in the house that involved a lot of running and jumping around. There were other toys all over the floor so I told him it would need to be cleaned up before he could play the other game so that he'd be safe. From experience I have learned that if I tell him he has to clean this up before he can do that, he will fuss about it and complain and refuse. I am expecting him to understand what I want and do it because it's reasonable to me. Then I could get angry and annoyed and upset that he won't do it and we could get into an argument or power struggle. But if I tell him I'm going to clean it up and ask if he'd like to help, he will usually help and be very happy about it, singing the clean up song as he's doing it. Sometimes he doesn't want to help and I don't get angry or upset about that. I just clean it up myself. I've noticed that a lot of times when he sees me cleaning up without any anger after he's said he doesn't want to help he will decide to help.
post #55 of 58
I guess in practice our lives don't look much different. I would have said, "We need to get the cover on the Jeep, and after that I'll run you over to your friend's." Or, "Oh, gosh, you might jump on one of your toys and break it ... or break yourself! Let's clean them up!"

However, if it were going to rain and my kid decided not to help me with the Jeep cover, I would say, "I don't want to ride around getting rained on, so if you don't want to help with the cover, you'll need to find another way to get to your friend's." And, "I really don't want you to get hurt, so if you don't want to help clean up the toys, you'll have to wait until later to jump around."

In neither case would I just do it all myself, which is something I frequently see advocated here, and the idea I get when someone says that they don't expect their kids to do anything for them.

I guess that I either see our lives as pretty much the same even if we express our ideas differently, or I just simply fail to understand how we are different.

dm
post #56 of 58
We are probably a lot alike and just have different ways of expressing ourselves. The difference I see is that I would clean up the room all by myself so that my child could play the other game. However, he would have to wait until I'm ready to do the cleaning rather than being able to play the other game right away if he were to clean up. With the example of the broken game, I would point out that the game might get broken if left on the floor but I would not insist that anyone clean it up. If I'm really that concerned about it and my ds doesn't want to pick it up, I'll pick it up. If I'm not concerned about it, then it's up to my ds to take care of it if he chooses. On the Jeep, the cover wasn't needed so I could drive it. It's undriveable (is that a word?). It's a protective cover because it's basically in storage in our driveway. So, that's not something that had to be done in order for me to take ds anywhere. If it had been, then I would've told him I needed his help putting the cover on it before we could go anywhere. If he refused, then he might not get a ride depending on when I could get around to putting it on myself. However, I would not punish him for not helping me put the cover on when I asked.

That's not the same as me always doing everything for my child even when they are able to do it themselves. I believe that children want to do things for themselves. They want to grow and learn and become independent. It's my job to take care of them until they can do things themselves and then allow them to do those things as they are ready (not when I expect them to be ready). If I allow my children to just be who they are, they will take on more and more responsibility for themselves and for others as they are ready.

What if each different approach resulted in the opposite result than you anticipate? What if doing things for your child without any strings attached resulted in the child learning that giving is good in and of itself? The child sees that you are tired and hungry and want to make dinner but the kitchen is a mess so the child cleans the kitchen just to help you out and not because the child feels obligated. What if using carrots and sticks (rewards and punishments) when a child behaves the way you do or do not want him to resulted in the child learning to be self-centered? If I do this, I will get that. If I don't do that or I do this, I will be punished.

A good book that I recommend if you are interested to learn more about this is Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. I think Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) talks about who owns a problem. I can't remember exactly because it's been a long time since I took the workshop.
post #57 of 58
Thanks. I have read Unconditional Parenting. I remember thinking that it didn't sound all that different from how I do things anyway but that I would react differently in some of the examples the author gave. I can't quote specifics, I just remember that was my impression of the book.

And I don't mean to make it sound like everything I do has strings attached. I don't have this mechanical relationship with my kids where everything is tit for tat and I never help them out just because. I do lots and lots of things jouyously for my kids, and it's not that expect repayment or something. I just think that everyone in a family shares the load, regardless of who asked to be brought into existance in that family. I guess I can't help in some way relating it to my oldest child. Desta did not ask to be adopted by us, but the reality is that she is here now, and I can't just do everything for her simply because she didn't ask to be here. But I had my ideas about mutual responsibility in a family before Desta joined us, anyway. I've raised my younger kids like that even before Desta came to us.

dm
post #58 of 58
Ah, ok. So, then you know and have come to your own conclusions about things. I'm sure there were some things in the book that I didn't completely agree with either but I can't remember specifics now. Based on my life experiences most of the book made a lot of sense to me.
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