Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Very grateful.
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6 year olds can do things like: Take the dog out (now), feed the dog (now), etc, but things that require paying attention for long periods of time and THEN acting are very very difficult for that age (and for a few years to come). I hope I explained that okay. They are so distractible and forgetful, and when something like a computer game gets their attention, its hopeless to expect them to be able to turn their attention away voluntarily before they are ready to stop. Its also probably not realistic for a 6 year old to have the insight to know "if I start playing computer games I will not remember to take care of the dog."
Setting her up like you did, with games and books and things for when the dog wakes seems doable. Its only for 30 minutes and maybe a timer might have helped (maybe not). But the way you set it up, it seems to me many 6 year olds could do what you asked.
Thanks again for all the input!
Riversky- Perhaps you are right, but it's too late for regrets. I felt it was appropriate at the time for DD to get off of the computer and help me clean up the mess and watch the dog outside (to make sure puppy isn't sad being out alone but the yard is fenced in and she does fine). DH was working in his office and DS is just way too young (and somewhat delayed) to help.
It's interesting to me that there are such a wide variety of answers to my query. We are reading Little House on the Prairie right now and DD and I talk a lot about how well behaved those kids are and how much they help around the house. Granted, they were spanked and behaved somewhat out of fear, but they also seemed to WANT to help out and be a part of the whole. We are working toward this and I do give my kids jobs to do as often as possible. Mostly little stuff, but it works for now.
I was raised by a single mother who worked an insane amount of hours and was responsible for a great deal at 6 (like making my own breakfast and lunch and getting myself off to school). It's sometimes difficult for me to judge what exactly I can or should expect from my kids.
If I didn't have MDC to bounce thoughts and ideas back, life would be a lot more difficult for me. I really do appreciate all the various perspectives. It gives me a lot to think about and possibly see where I need to make adjustments.