What should an 8 y/o be able to do? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 03-02-2013, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I thought I raised my 8 y/o to be responsible. For the past months though, my MIL lived with us (she went back to her home a week ago) and she babied both kids. Ds can't do anything on his own anymore and it frustrates me to no end.

 

I mean, he should be able to zip his own coat (he's perfectly able to do it at school).

 

So if you have a 7-8-9 y/o:

 

- do they remember to put on their mitts and hat when they go outside or do you remind them?

 

- do you remind them to use the bathroom before they go out? (this is a big one for us)

 

- do they remember to wash their face and hands, brush their teeth when they get up in the morning, or do you have to make sure they do?

 

- do they clean after themselves after they finish playing/eating?

 

- do they make their bed?


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#2 of 17 Old 03-02-2013, 07:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post

I thought I raised my 8 y/o to be responsible. For the past months though, my MIL lived with us (she went back to her home a week ago) and she babied both kids. Ds can't do anything on his own anymore and it frustrates me to no end.

 

I mean, he should be able to zip his own coat (he's perfectly able to do it at school).

 

So if you have a 7-8-9 y/o:

 

- do they remember to put on their mitts and hat when they go outside or do you remind them?

 

- do you remind them to use the bathroom before they go out? (this is a big one for us)

 

- do they remember to wash their face and hands, brush their teeth when they get up in the morning, or do you have to make sure they do?

 

- do they clean after themselves after they finish playing/eating?

 

- do they do their bed?

 

Mine does all of that, but mostly after I remind him (I'd say it's probably 30% self motivated and 70% me reminding).  It's not that he can't, it's that he really doesn't *want* to, and....well, he's 9.  LOL.    We have a checklist of "things to do" that they both like using (kids are 6 and 9), and when they're in a phase of using them things go smoother and they are more self directed...then we get complacent and stop using it and things slip and fade until I feel like all I do is remind them of stuff and so we bring the list out again, and repeat the cycle. 

 

I'm sure your kiddo *can* do that stuff, and some kids probably do all that on their own, but it's also totally normal for a kid that age to not be concerned with any of that and need reminders. 


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#3 of 17 Old 03-02-2013, 07:16 AM
 
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I agree with your thought that he's been babied and has gotten out of the habit. I would try not to get upset as it's understandable that he got out of the habit with your MIL doing everything, but I would work on him getting back into the habit. Yes, kids that age should be able to do those things. It does require getting into a habit, and you'll probably have to remind him for a while to get him back into it. Although I wouldn't remind a kid to put on hat and mittens before he went out. If he gets cold, he'll come back in and put them on. If we're going out together, I might carry them along in case he needed them, but I wouldn't remind over that.

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#4 of 17 Old 03-02-2013, 08:11 AM
 
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Mine doesn't do any of that without reminders, except that she can zip up her coat. Sometimes asks me to do it, and I don't know what her reasons are for wanting me to do something for her that she can already do (wanting closeness? wanting to feel babied again? missing being little?) but I am totally fine with giving that sort of thing to her.

 

Sounds like he had a wonderful time with his grandma and got to feel little again and cared for again. Sort of a vacation from all the responsibilities of being 8. I wish I could take a vacation from the responsiblities of being 40. But I'm sure he'll get back on track in no time at all, since you won't respond like grandma did. There really isn't any need for blame or worry at all in this. It will be fine.

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#5 of 17 Old 03-02-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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My almost 7 year old gets ready to go in the yard without prompting, he puts on coat,snowboots, and gloves just fine unless it's on the verge of warm enough then might throw on a sweatshirt when I want him still wearing a coat. When we have to go somewhere at a certain time I have to keep after him to get ready though. Heck even I need a reminder to use the bathroom before we go out, most of the time I do one announcement for everyone including me. He'll wash up without prompting if he's really messy and notices it, so will the 3 yo.

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#6 of 17 Old 03-03-2013, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

Mine doesn't do any of that without reminders, except that she can zip up her coat. Sometimes asks me to do it, and I don't know what her reasons are for wanting me to do something for her that she can already do (wanting closeness? wanting to feel babied again? missing being little?) but I am totally fine with giving that sort of thing to her.

 

Sounds like he had a wonderful time with his grandma and got to feel little again and cared for again. Sort of a vacation from all the responsibilities of being 8. I wish I could take a vacation from the responsiblities of being 40. But I'm sure he'll get back on track in no time at all, since you won't respond like grandma did. There really isn't any need for blame or worry at all in this. It will be fine.


I know you're right. But I can't help feeling frustrated sometimes.


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#7 of 17 Old 03-03-2013, 08:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post


I know you're right. But I can't help feeling frustrated sometimes.

 

I know what you mean. Yesterday DD yelled from her room "I need a glass of water, Mama!" and I was halfway to the kitchen before I came to my senses. Sometimes it isn't always about them wanting a brief excursion into being younger and carefree for a while... sometimes they just don't want to do it.

 

I don't think your expectations are too high, but I think they are a bit higher than average. Nothing wrong with being above average, though :)

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#8 of 17 Old 03-03-2013, 05:38 PM
 
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I disagree.  I don't think those expectations are high at all.  I think the only one my just-turned 8 year old doesn't do is make her bed.  But then again, we are a messy bed family.  I dont' even make my own bed but once a week when I change my sheets or when company is coming.  lol.  And even then maybe not.  I have a clean home but unmade beds.  It's just not a priority.  So that wouldn't occur to her.  But our routines like potty before leaving the house, brushing hair and teeth before leaving, zipping jacket and making sure she's got a hat on are all ingrained.  She brings her plate and cup to the kitchen after eating and most times helps clear the table without being asked(though not always).  Actually sometimes she reminds her little sister about things like leaving the house with a hat on.  So I don't think those expectations are high at all.  I think they are right on target.  A reminder every now and then is acceptable I think, as we all forget things from time to time. But I would NEVER expect my 8 year old to consistently ask for help zipping a jacket or EXPECT me to do it.  I would offer if she struggled but even my 5 year old attempts to zip her own jacket first before asking or waiting for help.  Once in a while wanting mom to zip your jacket at 8years old is fine but consistently wanting mom to do it for you isn't acceptable in my mind.


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#9 of 17 Old 03-03-2013, 08:05 PM
 
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One of my kids has some special needs, so here is how it would have been out my house:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwish View Post

 

I mean, he should be able to zip his own coat (he's perfectly able to do it at school).

 

If she wanted me to do something that I KNEW she could do, I would gentle tell her to do it. It isn't helpful for our kids for us to do things for them that they can do for themselves. If I wasn't 100% sure if she could do it, I'd tell her to try while I watched and then I would do it if she couldn't.

 

So if you have a 7-8-9 y/o:

 

- do they remember to put on their mitts and hat when they go outside or do you remind them?

 

 

- do you remind them to use the bathroom before they go out? (this is a big one for us)

 

We have visually check list for things, so I would have made a little chart with the things to do and referred to the chart until she was able to go through the list herself. Funnily enough, I think this really helped my typically developing child as while. 

 

- do they remember to wash their face and hands, brush their teeth when they get up in the morning, or do you have to make sure they do?

 

We had a "before bed" chart and a "get ready for day" chart. The "get ready for day" chart hung on the mirror in the bathroom. 

 

- do they clean after themselves after they finish playing/eating?

 

they needed a routine -- after eating, taking their plate to the kitchen. Before bed, picking up for 10 minutes.

 

- do they make their bed?

 

We aren't a bed making family, but if we were, I would have added it to the "get ready for day" chart.

 

Good luck getting your kiddo back to normal!


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#10 of 17 Old 03-04-2013, 02:57 AM
 
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I have a younger one too, so still lots of reminders here, but DD (8) still seems to need them.

 

We're recently put a checklist up for each day of the things they need to get ready for school as thier homework needs handing in on different days, DD has guitar lessons one day, football club another and so on. Now I try to just ask them to check the list for the day, so far it's working out OK. They get stuff ready, just we need to remember to check it's all made it's way into the car!

 

We do have a fairly set morning routine, and have in the past had it as a visual chart and checklist. Breakfast, hairbrushing, teethbrushing and so on are all par of that. They know if they have a few minutes left when they have done everything then they are able to watch TV.

 

I don't tend to remind about gloves and hats. I wear them much more than my kids who never seem bothered by being cold. I do remind them to go to the loo before we set off in the car though, but then DH and I remind each other too :lol we've often been known to be so focused on getting the kids in the car that we forget.

 

I would like them both (6 & 8) to put thier dirty clothes inthe hamper, but no matter how many reminders I issue we still haven't managed to crack that one. Grrr.
 

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#11 of 17 Old 03-05-2013, 10:28 AM
 
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So if you have a 7-8-9 y/o:

 

- do they remember to put on their mitts and hat when they go outside or do you remind them? I have to remind them most of the time. Occasionally, they go out, realize they're cold and then come back in and put them on.

 

- do you remind them to use the bathroom before they go out? (this is a big one for us) I remind them if we're going out somewhere, but not if they're just going outside to play.

 

- do they remember to wash their face and hands, brush their teeth when they get up in the morning, or do you have to make sure they do? I still have to remind my seven year old to do all of those. My nine year old remembers everything but brushing her hair.

 

- do they clean after themselves after they finish playing/eating? After I tell them to.

 

- do they make their bed? After I tell them to.

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#12 of 17 Old 03-16-2013, 03:02 PM
 
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"I wish I could take a vacation from the responsiblities of being 40. But I'm sure he'll get back on track in no time at all, since you won't respond like grandma did. There really isn't any need for blame or worry at all in this. It will be fine."

 

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especially if he did do it before then it will be fine. Is it possible also that they are feeling a bit of a gap where their grandma used to be? 

 

I think there is always a lot of variation in this age as to what kids are expected to do and so much will be situational. My homeschooled kids help out with relatively more chores, for example, I think. But as long as there is an underlying expectation of everyoone doing their share it will be fine, I am sure. I think your expecations are developmentally appropriate though, yes.


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#13 of 17 Old 03-16-2013, 04:40 PM
 
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So if you have a 7-8-9 y/o:

 

- do they remember to put on their mitts and hat when they go outside or do you remind them? I tell him how cold it is that day, and I tell them my recommendation.  At this point in the winter they remember mittens and hat on their own when they go to school.

 

- do you remind them to use the bathroom before they go out? (this is a big one for us) Yes I remind them - more like telling them to stop what they're playing so they can do it before we leave.

 

- do they remember to wash their face and hands, brush their teeth when they get up in the morning, or do you have to make sure they do? 6yo  washes hands on his own when we get back in the house from somewhere, 8yo often needs the prompting.  We are not in the habit of brushing teeth in the morning- trying to get that one started.

 

- do they clean after themselves after they finish playing/eating? If they're dirty enough to need cleaning, they do it on their own.  8yo needs to have it pointed out that he has food on his face...

 

- do they make their bed? We're not bed-makers generally.

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#14 of 17 Old 03-18-2013, 01:48 PM
 
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My DD turned 7 last September and my DS turned 4 last December.

 

- do they remember to put on their mitts and hat when they go outside or do you remind them?

A:  Its stays pretty warm here in Georgia, so we pretty much never wear mitts and hats but she gets herself ready to go outside and play by herself by getting on her shoes, socks and jacket if needed. She does this 98% of the time and only needs to be reminded once ever great while.

 

 

- do you remind them to use the bathroom before they go out? (this is a big one for us)

A: Yes, yes, yes. DD will hardly EVER pee weather we're leaving the house or not. She simply gets too busy or just doesnt want too. I have to remind her to go before we leave the house and before bed. 

 

- do they remember to wash their face and hands, brush their teeth when they get up in the morning, or do you have to make sure they do?

A:  I have to remind her to wash her hands before eating sometimes and after playing outdoors or something of the nature. But we have a morning routine that she follows everyday before catching the bus for school so she pretty much remembers to brush her teeth and wash her face every morning.

 

- do they clean after themselves after they finish playing/eating?

A: Yes. Both my 7 year old and my 4 year old DS clean up after themselves after eating and playing. Ive always taught them to put up one toy before taking another out, and that seems to help. DS needs a little prompting sometimes, especially when hes in a bad mood and says cleaning up 'makes his arms hurt' or something like that. They both take their plates and forks/spoons and put them into the sink as well as sitting their cups next to the sink to be washed. The will also wipe up anything they spilled with a paper towel and pick up any mess on the floor.

 

- do they make their bed?

A: Yes. Both of my children make their beds in the mornings. I have been encouraging them to do so since they where very young and even when they 'made' the bed and it ended up more messy then it was to begin with, it was the practice of the routine and doing that task that counted. My 4 year old makes a bed better than DH does most of time now. lol.gif

 

 

 

I try to stick with a routine with everything we do. From bed time, to dinner time and bath time we do have simple 'rules' in place that helps them to remember to help out and take some responsibility. It really seems to help. I also put DD in charge of getting dressed by herself on weekends and getting into her PJs after bathtime without any assistance. I help her in the mornings when getting ready for school so that we can stay on time and not run late. :)


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#15 of 17 Old 03-19-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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Quoting myself to correct something - I didn't read the question right, "do they clean AFTER themselves" - No.  My 8yo generally doesn't.  Sometimes he surprises me, but- I usually have to lead him and cheer him on and nag them, etc.  My 6yo son has more of a sense of tidiness overall.

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Originally Posted by reezley View Post

So if you have a 7-8-9 y/o:

 

 

- do they clean after themselves after they finish playing/eating? If they're dirty enough to need cleaning, they do it on their own.  8yo needs to have it pointed out that he has food on his face...

 

-

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#16 of 17 Old 03-26-2013, 02:39 AM
 
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the one thing that worked in our family regarding picking up dirty laundry was that i bought a hanging hamper in the shape of a fish

a bit like this one

http://guide-produits.infobebes.com/avis-des-parents-testeurs/puericulture/la-toilette-de-bebe/accessoires-de-bain/poisson-sac-a-linge

but it was years ago so it looked different (bigger in fact)

the hanger is in a round form (= the "mouth" of the fish) but the fabric eventually "cracked" after a few years

so i baught another one

(used the first circular hanger & made a bag for clothes pins)

the second one eventually also frayed and cracked

so i replaced the fish by some fabric with hearts on it

..... but the family habit remained ....my 5 years old is reminded to go and put her dirty laundry "in the fish"

which hasn't been a fish anymore for more than a year by now

it was "fun" at first so the habit stick

 

we are not a bed making family either

they do put plates and cutlery in the sink after meal & dress themselves

but my big sore point is definitely picking up toys, putting them away i feel a total failure about this one habit, clearly not yet acquired ....

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#17 of 17 Old 03-27-2013, 04:36 PM
 
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I still remind my 8 year old to do most of those things, mostly because he really doesn't care if his teeth are brushed or his face is clean or his hair is messy etc. He'd happily leave the house unwashed and unbrushed where as I want him to do these things so I remind him.

 

He used to be great about putting his clothes in the laundry but now I find I have to remind him and sometimes I do it for him. Similarly, I had got him used to clearing his plates after eating but that one has fallen by the wayside too! He will make his bed if asked and he puts his clean clothes away but only with several reminders! He will put toys away if I ask, but never spontaneously. he tends to play games that last for days with lots of different things so I'd hate for him to have to clear them away too frequently as it would disrupt the great imaginary world he has created.

 

I probably remind him of more things than I need to, usually if we have to get out on time to catch a bus and it's easier to say 'Shoes! Hat! Gloves!' and hold his coat out than end up shouting if he's dawdling.

 

I'm sure you'll get back into the patterns that are usual for your family before too long. I'm sure the benefit of having a grandparent around must more than outweigh these issues. My son doesn't have any grandparents and I'd love him to have someone who wants to come and spoil him and baby him a bit sometimes.

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