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#61 of 76 Old 05-29-2005, 09:59 PM
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In our home we are expected to clean up our own messes and put our own stuff away. I had to have it this after ds was born because the girls were constantly leaving their choking hazard items within arms reach. The girls are alos expected to help with certain chores. I honestly don't have the time or energy to it all for them.

They complain and sometimes it would turn into a power struggle, so this is what we did. We made up a chore chart. Each day they have the same list of 10 chores. The chores are making their beds, cleaning up their room, putting their laundry in the hamper, setting the table, clearing the table, putting backpacks and coats away after school and a few more I can't remember right now. Basically their chores are all the fundamental things we would like them to do everyday. Each chore is worth $0.10, so each day they have the potential to earn $1 for allowance. If they don't want to do a chore, then they don't have to. If one dd does not want to clear the dinner dishes, then the second dd has the option of doing it herself and earning the extra $0.10. So, they could earn more than the other by doing extra chores. They also get extra credit for extra things they do on their own. It eliminates the power struggle. I don't care if they don't do it, but they won't earn their full allowance. They have been earning anywhere from $3/week to $5/week, and that's fine with me. This is the money they use to buy whatever they want when we are out. I don't buy anything for them. It has worked very well.

I won't pick up after anyone in my family. I expect everyone to chip in and help out. The girls have always been very independent and I have encouraged it. I only step in when they are really struggling.

We have come to learn that the youngest dd has some frustration issues. She has a tough time switching tasks and gets very frustrated in the process and has a melt down. We are learning to lessen the situations that frustrate her. We are learning to pick our battles and we are trying to be more understanding and not so rigid. Compromises. If they don't want to do a specific chore, that's ok because chances are they will double up on another.
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#62 of 76 Old 05-29-2005, 10:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I guess that's where we have a fundamental difference of opinion. I think that families should have a family agenda, not each member having their own agenda.
Funny thing is, as you probably have noticed, often things aren't how we think they should be. They're as they are. One of those things is that little kids do have their own agendas. I appreciate that you want to teach your kids that your family works like a team to achieve common goals, but as I'm sure you're aware, they aren't born understanding that -- they do need to be taught it. I think we all agree on that. The disagreement I see is on *how* it's best done.

I'm confused as to how, for instance, the arrangement I described -- chid cooperating voluntarily in a handful of useful tasks throughout each day -- is any less modeling a "family agenda" than a more regimented chore arrangement would be?


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Why must it be that I demand nothing of my kids and respect them or have certain chores for them and not respect them?
This is a false dichotomy and I haven't seen it presented here by anyone but you. Obviously all of the posters in this thread expect their children to contribute in some way, big or small.

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Why must it be that the kids help out only when and how they like and we are a family that works together or I tell my kids to do certain things and suddenly we are no longer modeling cooperation?
Another false dichotomy. What some of us have expressed is that we feel, in the long run, letting our children determine when and how to help out is more encouraging of "contributing because it feels right", not "contributing because I have to", and that in our experience it doesn't lessen the amount of age-appropriate contribution from our kids in the short run.

Respectfully, it sounds like you're feeling really defensive here and I don't see what you seem to be seeing on this thread. I've seen a very thoughtful discussion without the negativity you describe.
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#63 of 76 Old 05-29-2005, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, I don't feel defensive, I feel frustrated. I feel frustrated because I feel like I read a lot of posts in this forum where the underlying assumption is that if it's not done a certain way (which is generally espoused by some of the more prolific and hip posters), it's wrong and damaging to children. I feel frustrated because I feel like many members here get accused of being disrespectful of their children just because they aren't comfortable with a more freewheeling approach to parenting. I feel like the implication has been that if I require that my children do chores, I am somehow less respectful of them than the enlightened parents who don't require that of their kids. I feel like those parents who don't espouse this hip, freewheeling style of parenting are viewed as unenlightened fuddy-duddies who need only to be convinced of the right way, even when these parents feel that their parenting style is successful. I feel like people who post more conservative, for lack of a better word, ideas are frowned upon. I don't think that I set up false dichotomies, I feel that I pointed out that the implications that have been made are not accurate.

Many people here have ideas I learn a lot from. I just don't feel comfortable with or agree with the idea that there is a certain way to parent or parenting philosophy that is better than all others. I'm frustrated because I feel like I am too conservative (in respect to my parenting) for Mothering and too liberal for most other boards, so I don't know where to go to discuss discipline issues.

This thread has probably outlasted its usefulness!

Namaste!
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#64 of 76 Old 05-29-2005, 11:34 PM
 
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Well, I want to say that I like this thread, that I'm glad you started it, dharmamama, and that I thought the discussion was going along very well. Apparently you are feeling defensive and I'm sorry if I contributed to that. It wasn't my intention to claim that anybody who "requires" that their children do chores is somehow damaging them. Good grief, you seem pretty darn GD to me - I would think what we are discussing here are some of the nuances of GD, not something fundamental like spanking versus age-appropriate correction, kwim? At least, that is what I was getting out of this discussion.

Anyways, I feel like a big source of misunderstanding in this thread revolves around ages. I wouldn't want to be in a family where everybody lives by their own agenda. But I also feel like a 3 year old is really only capable of following their own agenda, and only just at that age where they realize that other family members have them (for example, I would like to just take a break some days and be by myself in another room, but I can't expect my 3 year old to understand that and cooperate upon demand), or that there is an agenda for the family as a unit, though my DH and I try to model that each day, and I think that is how she is learning about that. But she's not at the age where I feel she can or even SHOULD be "doing chores".

As for older children, well I do think they can help out a bit. And as we've all said, few don't help out at all....so what is the point of disagreement? It seems to me, that the point is whether or not you allow your children to pick and choose the tasks they are expected to do, with the goal of contributing to family harmony, or whether you expect them to do a list that you choose for them. I think there are subtle differences in this approach that may or may not have a noticeable effect depending on the context of other family dynmics. But really, I think what it boils down to is a difference in outlook, philosophy. I don't think anybody here is ruining their kids over it.

I do have to say that I bristle at the idea of essentially "paying" my kids to do their chores. My first thought is "I don't get paid!", my second is "what is their motivation?". Are they doing these things to help out, or to get money? Again, these aren't differences that are going to ruin anybody's children, but they speak to the heart of one's parenting philosophies I think. And isn't that what we are discussing here?

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#65 of 76 Old 05-29-2005, 11:46 PM
 
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I just went back and re-read your OP, dharmamama, and I think it got a little off course, perhaps. I've been known to do that myself.

So, you asked why we picked up after our kids? My first response is: because she's not even 3 yet and I don't expect her to be able to handle such responsibilties on her own.

Then you asked if we didn't think that picking up after them all the time was sending the message that they don't have to do it. Well, so far IME it isn't like that. I'm not picking up after her "all the time". In fact, I'd say that maybe only 1 or 2 out of 10 times I ask her, I end up doing it alone. Most of the time she happily helps me, and once or twice she even does it all on her own. If I ended up having to do it all the time as she gets older, then yes I would consider that a problem.

You also asked if we didn't think that simply stating "I'm not happy about that" was a sort of guilt-tripping, and just a more sublte way of manipulating them into doing their chores. I think I explained this in my first post in this thread: it's not said in a punitive way, I say it rather nicely. I try to label her feelings and mine (if mine aren't too intense for her to handle right now, that is) and I don't think it's a guilt trip to just say "i don't like doing this all on my own".

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#66 of 76 Old 05-30-2005, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Piglet. But like I said, I don't feel defensive. It's not that I've come here looking for validation and then felt attacked when not everyone agrees with me. I've just felt frustrated at what feels like a very narrow interpretation of good parenting. I think sometimes people jump on the subtle differences you mentioned and blow them out of proportion.

I guess there are just very, very different perceptions of kids' capabilities, as well. I routinely take "Momma time" during which my kids are responsible for entertaining themselves while I vegetate or take a bath or whatever. I have done it since my daughter was 24 months. She is now 39 months old, and my son is 27 months old. They have no problem with handling "Momma time." (It's brief, 10-20 minutes.)
I'm sure not every kid could accomodate that. Mine can.

Namaste!
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#67 of 76 Old 05-30-2005, 08:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
No, I don't feel defensive, I feel frustrated. I feel frustrated because I feel like I read a lot of posts in this forum where the underlying assumption is that if it's not done a certain way (which is generally espoused by some of the more prolific and hip posters), it's wrong and damaging to children. I feel frustrated because I feel like many members here get accused of being disrespectful of their children just because they aren't comfortable with a more freewheeling approach to parenting. I feel like the implication has been that if I require that my children do chores, I am somehow less respectful of them than the enlightened parents who don't require that of their kids. I feel like those parents who don't espouse this hip, freewheeling style of parenting are viewed as unenlightened fuddy-duddies who need only to be convinced of the right way, even when these parents feel that their parenting style is successful. I feel like people who post more conservative, for lack of a better word, ideas are frowned upon. I don't think that I set up false dichotomies, I feel that I pointed out that the implications that have been made are not accurate.
I hope I didn't contribute to that, dharmamama!

I just want to clarify that I do "require" my son to do chores, and help out -- simply by having the iron expectation that he will, and treating him like I know he's going to do it, so -- most of the time -- he does it. He will tell you flat out "In our house, we have to clean up before we play something new" or "In our house, we don't run inside." It works for my kid; it also works for my big kids (the kids I teach). But I am very, very aware of the fact that I have a VERY easy kid. I am very uncomfortable with the more TCS style parenting (I don't know if that's great terminology, but that's what's coming to me).

I just want you to know that I support your idea that it's possible to be a more "parent in charge" parent and still be completely respectful of your children, and GD.

Carrie
Mama to Nate (11/02) and due 4/12/11
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#68 of 76 Old 05-30-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
I guess that's where we have a fundamental difference of opinion. I think that families should have a family agenda, not each member having their own agenda.
No, actually we don't, in another post a few pages back I wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMB123
I want my kids to help around the house because they feel like they are part of our family team- not because the team leader is going to let them know they are disappointments or make them feel like crap if they don't. It feels good to help out around the house. I like that they are self motivated to do so.
We just have different methods. ( that particular quote was in responce to someone else saying they wanted their kids to feel bad if they didn't do what they were told-not you)

But overall, after just re reading your OP, I guess I just want to say that there is more than black and white when it comes to this. In your OP you make it sound like if you don't expect your toddlers to obey your instructions to clean up the dinner table, and clean up thier own toys etc.. then your kids will never do it. That's similar to the people who say if you nurse your kid to sleep they will never learn to go to sleep on thier own!
I have always expected that as my kids grow they will take on more and more responsibility on thier own. So far that has worked very well. All of my kids do lots around here, often without being asked.
As you said before, different things work for different people. I'm sharing what works for us.
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#69 of 76 Old 05-30-2005, 06:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
No, I don't feel defensive, I feel frustrated. I feel frustrated because I feel like I read a lot of posts in this forum where the underlying assumption is that if it's not done a certain way (which is generally espoused by some of the more prolific and hip posters), it's wrong and damaging to children.
I also hope I am not contributing to this feeling. If so I apologize for that, but not for the views I express. I absolutely do not intend for my posts to sound hostile or what have you. I don't think it's the only way to parent, I think it's the way for ME to parent. (I am not sure who the hip posters are exactly... I kinda think we're all hip :LOL )

Quote:
I feel frustrated because I feel like many members here get accused of being disrespectful of their children just because they aren't comfortable with a more freewheeling approach to parenting. I feel like the implication has been that if I require that my children do chores, I am somehow less respectful of them than the enlightened parents who don't require that of their kids.
If I say that I think something is disrespectful it's because I feel it is. I do not require my children to do chores because it doesn't feel respectful to me. If I post a comment stating that, it's just a statement about what I feel personally...not how I think you must feel about it.

Quote:
I feel like those parents who don't espouse this hip, freewheeling style of parenting are viewed as unenlightened fuddy-duddies who need only to be convinced of the right way, even when these parents feel that their parenting style is successful.
If your parenting works well for you more power to it . I, and I hope others, do not parent in any particular way because it's hip or free-wheeling. I hope we do it however we do it because we feel it's right and good.
Quote:
I feel like people who post more conservative, for lack of a better word, ideas are frowned upon.
I try to seperate people from the issues... a complicated thing to say the least. I am not conservative (probably by any stretch of the imagination...) but other people have the right to be, and I still enjoy talking to them. (Hell I even love some of them IRL ) But for the purposes of conversation on parenting I will probably rarely agree with them, and that's fine too. FWIW, I enjoy reading your posts.


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#70 of 76 Old 05-31-2005, 12:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by maya44
Well not for us in the about 8 years I have been doing this with my three.

And I do tell them that "I don't like it" when they don't sdo something I have told them to do. But NO other consequence.

I don't say those words in some overwhelming, mad or sad voice. It's matter a fact. But I have no problem with them feeling guilty for failing to live up to their responsbilities.
That is what I want. I want them to feel badly if they fail to live up to the things that they owe to others. That is what a conscience is all about.

And as time has moved on, I have fairly little need to say this. I dont' put huge responsibilites on my dd's. But they (for the most part) live up to those responsibilites because I have projected a "this is what I expect of you" attitude.

HeyMaya, sorry i've been away from the computer for awhile. I didn't mean what you were describing- I meant the attitude that something isn't a choice, you'd better do it - or else. I think a lot of the "it's not a choice" leads to power struggles, but I don't see what you have described as being presented as not a choice. They have a choice to do what you ask, and if they don't then they know that you're not happy about it, right?
Sorry for the late, probably off topic at this point, post.
back to read rest of thread.
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#71 of 76 Old 05-31-2005, 04:08 PM
 
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I've been away for a few days and this thread has grown quite a bit! I already posted, but wanted to add a couple of things.

It is pretty much the expectation in our house that when DH or I ask DD to do something ("ask" meaning make a request, not offer a choice), she will do it. However, we don't have too many things that she always has to do "or else," unless you count self-care things such as getting dressed or attending to her personal hygiene. Some nights I ask her to help set or clear the table, some nights I don't. It depends on how much help I really need and what she's involved in at the time. If I'm preparing dinner at a leisurely pace and she's happily drawing a picture, I'll do it myself. Same goes for cleaning up her room before bedtime. It's never too messy anyway, and depending on how much time she has, or how busy I am, sometimes I will help her, sometimes she'll do it alone, and sometimes I'll even say, "Hey, tell you what, I'll clean up all these markers while you go brush your teeth."

It's all about us working together to achieve a common goal, whether it's keeping the house tidy, or getting to school on time, or whatever. I don't feel the need to have a strict list of chores for her in order to foster a sense of responsibility. I think every child is different. If I had a child who was especially resistant to any kind of chores, perhaps I'd have to be more regimented, but she's not like that.

Oh, she also knows that she is allowed to respond with a reason why she would prefer not to do the requested task right away or maybe not at all: "Mommy, I'm in the middle of this book and I really want to finish; do I have to set the table now?" My answer might be one of the following:

"Yes, sweetie, Daddy will be home for dinner any second and I really need your help, so why don't you finish it after dinner,"

"Okay, it can wait a few minutes, go ahead and finish first, but then come right downstairs,"

Or, "Okay, that's fine, I can set it myself."

It's a pretty relaxed system!
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#72 of 76 Old 05-31-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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I admit I did not read the entire thread, but these are my thoughts...

I grew up in a house where my mom did almost all the household "chores" and complained about it. That didn't make them look too appealing. Not that mopping or doing dishes are big thrills, but if you b*tch and moan about doing them, IMHO your kids will see them in a negative light.

I am hoping we won't use the word "chores" in our house. DD helps with lots of things whether we really want her to or not, lol - mopping, sweeping, laundry. We always let her help if she wants to. Likewise if she spills something or makes a mess, we sometimes help her clean it up (and she will often go get a towel and do it herself, without prompting).

If my DH accidentally made a huge mess or left out a bunch of books or something, I'd help him clean it up - I wouldn't "make" him do it himself. I do pick up his dirty socks that can never find the hamper, and he removes all the dirty dishes from my office that for some reason I can't move into the kitchen

So far we have only had issues with DD when we've made it a struggle; that is, we've tried to *force* her to help. Doesn't work and just makes everyone frustrated. I would rather just put away the blocks, or whatever, and not make it seem like a big deal. DD is much more likely to help if I'm low-key about it, because she hasn't internalized the idea that putting away blocks (or whatever) is a "chore" and it's not really fun (because mom complains whenever she has to do it).

Hope some of this made sense. BTW I'm not a neatnik by any stretch of the imagination.


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#73 of 76 Old 05-31-2005, 06:53 PM
 
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Right now my kids are pretty young, so chores haven't become a huge deal yet. I myself would resent it if I *had* to do stuff, basically if J or I feel like we want a cleaner house, it gets cleaned up, or if we're really crazy busy, it's less clean. I'll ask Kea to put stuff away, or to help set the table, and she's usually more than happy to do it. Sometimes she gets really frustrated because she can't find something in her room, and I talk to her about that is why many people like to have neat houses, it makes it much easier to find things and things are less likely to get broken, etc. It also helps that J and I have different tolerances - I can't stand it when the bathroom is gross and stinky so I'm much more likely to scrub that more often - J can't stand clutter and will often come home from work and do a big clean of the living room.

As the kids get older, I imagine we'll imitate what my mom did - there were four of us kids (9-16) in the house, we'd sit down with a chart and all the chores that needed to be done. We could all pick what we wanted, when we wanted to do it, and if there was something that noone wanted to do we were free to brainstorm how it got done - ie scrubbing the bathroom, which we all agreed we could take turns and do once a month, or whatever. We were then free to trade stuff up, and we all agreed that it worked best to have certain things done within a certain time frame (ie dishes washed and put away after dinner, so there were clean dishes in the morning for us all - bathroom scrubbed once a week as it got quite dirty with four of us using it, etc) - there seemed to be very little tension about it, as we were all a part of the discussion and got to pick how we wanted to contribute. And often I'm sure we came up with easy solutions that my mom wouldn't have thought of on her own.

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#74 of 76 Old 06-04-2005, 02:30 AM
 
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: : :

Dang......I needed alot of popcorn to make it through this thread!!!

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#75 of 76 Old 06-04-2005, 09:18 AM
 
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I skimmed the last few pages, and I agree it sounds like one issue at hand is the AGE of the kid. It's a little futile and kind of sets me up for a power struggle when I expect daily chores or clean-up (even of their own messes) from the under 5-6 age. It's a gradual improvement, but for those ages, we just work together, ask for help, wait for the willingness. Some days they want to help a lot, other days not so much.

My older boys now have daily jobs though, relating to their own messes as well as family household stuff - laundry and dishes, etc. They have a say in how they help but not whether. I'd like to say they have a natural desire to pitch in, but they don't. They hate housework like most people do. We try to make it more fun, but some things just have to get done.

mary poppins i'm sadly not.

eta, to be fair, the boys are wild about helping with the baby. A lot of times, they take care of him while I do the housework, and that's fine with me. Pitching in is pitching in.
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#76 of 76 Old 06-04-2005, 10:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mothra
As my 7yo gets older he seems to understand more and more that the quickest way to get something done is to do it yourself. I don't punish him by making him wait, but the reality is that he has to most of the time.
As one of 7, this was my personal experience growing up. Mom was always willing to help but we had to wait til she had time. I turned out great and have a wonderful relationship with Mom (as do my siblings).

We did have weekly chores growing up and the first kid ready to work got to choose which chores to do which was incentive to get cracking! Door-knob duty (cleaning all the door-knobs in the house with windex), sweeping the steps, vacuuming and tidying a particular room, putting away dishes, cleaning mirrors were the types of things on the list. Mom would break it up into major and minor jobs and kids would pick one of each.

If I required my almost 4 ds to do things, it would certainly turn into a power struggle because of his temperament. It might work with an easier going child. We tend to have family clean up time which works well because it's fun to work together.

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