How old should kids be to help at this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 05-16-2003, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
Uschi's Avatar
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Hi to everyone.

I had a discussion with my son. He´s 12 yo and still a slip of a boy.

Recently I took him home from school and we passed an accident. A large BMW 750 had lost its way and deeply stuck in the road ditch. Other people had already stopped and I wanted to look what was going on, too.

We went to the BMW. Some men and women already pushed at the car to move it backwards up tp the road again. My son wanted to help but standing there, that day even still in his bavarian patent leather shorts, I thought he was still more of a kid but of a young man so I didn´t give him permission.

We watched the crowd and after a while I decided to help pushing and rocking the BMW. All right, tucking up the sleeves, aaaaaand-hopp, aaaaaaaaaaand-hopp! To make it short: We jointly pushed, pulled, rocked, lifted, propped, pryed and levered up that large and heavy BMW750 for around two hours until we managed to get it back on the road again. My son is too angry because I refused him to help. Other kids didn´t help, too, they stood beneath the car and cheered us adults on. The youngest boy helping was around 15 yo.

What do you think as moms: Up to what age would you give permission to your kids to help at this? Have you ever been in such a situation? How did you decide?

Byyyyyyyyyyyye and thanks!


(please excuse my bad english ...)
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#2 of 2 Old 05-16-2003, 09:38 AM
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I have been in such a situation as the kid, and I really wanted to help...I remember the sensation of there being ABSOLUTELY no difference in the pushing with my legs and back helping out, but I still wanted to try my strength and competence, KWIM? When I was a schoolkid, I always thought 12 was the real threshold for being a grownup. I suspect kids today do too.

I think I would have used a judgment about how many people were helping; that is, would there be room for him to grab ahold somewhere and not be in the way? If people would be falling over him and getting aggravated, I'd say no, and point out why.

But probably, if it was ok with the others, I would have let him and would have praised him for wanting to pitch in, and make sure to notice if his efforts DID make a difference. He would have been proud of himself.
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