Independence vs. Constant reminders -- what's your kiddo like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-16-2010, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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DS is 7 and I've become more and more frustrated lately with how much he needs to be reminded in the course of everyday routines. In spite of having checklists and solid routines for the morning, he often needs reminding at every step of the process (brush your teeth now; get on your shoes; put your lunch in your bag; etc). Same thing in the evening. Often same thing whenever we're leaving the house or some other multi-step process.

I'm wondering whether I'm expecting too much from him, whether I need to support him more, whether there might be other issues (attentional?) going on here, etc. I guess it'd be nice to hear what other folks' kiddos do independently vs. needing support.....and I know that some kiddos are just great at whipping through routines for whatever reason and that mine isn't, but I'm thinking beyond that.


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#2 of 10 Old 10-16-2010, 09:35 PM
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Well, my 7yr old DD leaves in "Distraction-ville" where every attraction, including books, socks, lint in the air, distracts her from her said task. I think it is completely normal and by the time she is 25 I won't have to remind her to put her sneakers on before we leave the house.
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#3 of 10 Old 10-17-2010, 02:19 AM
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My DD is only almost 5, but what helps us is to ask her if she has finished everything - like if she uses the bathroom and wanders out, we ask "are you all done with everything you do in the bathroom?" That way we only ask one question and she ends up going through it in her head more, and we don't have to list off -hand wash, toilet flush, light off, clothes to laundry, etc...

I am space-y like that too, and I know that lists help me, so making a list and putting it up wherever your son does routines might help too.

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#4 of 10 Old 10-17-2010, 04:37 AM
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Our ds is 9. He still needs to be reminded a lot. Dd is 6 and needs to be reminded constantly.

Today, we went out for ice cream. One the way to get ice cream I said "after we get our ice cream, we need to go to the grocery store (across the parking lot) and get dish soap." After we'd eaten our ice cream and were on the way out the door, I said "Ok, now we're going to get dish soap." We'd walked 10 steps and ds said "mom, the car is over there!" Somehow, in those 10 steps, he'd forgotten!

For my kids, it's not so much that they can't remember, it's that they're used to us doing all the monitoring. We need to find a way to cut back on that, I realize. As long as we're doing the monitoring, they can check out.

It's sort of like driving somewhere new with someone else. If they're driving and you're a passenger, do you really pay attention to the route if they know where they're going? Probably not. Only when you have to drive to you pay attention. And it doesn't take too many times getting lost for you to get it. I'm not sure what it's going to take to shift the kids over to monitoring for themselves.

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#5 of 10 Old 10-17-2010, 11:11 AM
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Of the 4 kids in my household, the only one that doesn't need CONSTANT reminders is the 15 year old. She still needs them occasionally, but the 13, 7 and 4 year old ALL need constant reminders for just about everything. Kids are easily distracted and are more worried about the things they want to do then the things WE want them to do... so yeah, it's completely normal.

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#6 of 10 Old 10-17-2010, 01:33 PM
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i've stopped. i hate being a nag.

so i've sat with dd and had a serious talk. if you dont brush your teeth i dont care. it isnt affecting me. however do you want to have rotten teeth when you are a grown up? its your choice. i am not going to nag you about eating. YOU are the one going to be hungry. not me.

my dd however is a dreamer. and slow in teh morning. so having plenty of time helps. and all i do is give her reminders of the time.

however in lynn's example i dont expect my dd to remember to buy dish soap at the grocery store. she'd remember if i told her i'd get her a toy. so i think its the source of interest that's missing. however if i told her hey remind me to get dish soap then boy oh boy does she remember.

esp. for the morning however i do a lot for dd. i make her lunch and i put her clothes out the night before. because of her personality its too much to ask her to do all those on her own. however we are up early enough then she makes both our lunches. i do all that because she is NOT a morning person.

my biggest victory has been homework. since first grade when i washed my hands off of it. it has worked VERY well for us and hw is no longer a problem in our house.

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#7 of 10 Old 10-17-2010, 01:53 PM
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Constant reminders here. 7 year old ds is easily distracted. Although, lately, I too have become tired of being a nag. Some things I'm working on letting go. I will say he has gotten better over the years. He now gets up and gets dressed/eats breakfast without reminders on school days.
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#8 of 10 Old 10-17-2010, 05:41 PM
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DSD is 7. In the mornings before school, her alarm clock will go off, and she will dress herself, brush her hair and teeth, and come wake me up. She does ask me usually to pick out three outfits for her for the next day... she gets overwhelmed when she has the choice of her whole closet. So I'll give her the choices, she will decide, and we'll set it on her chair for her. She buys lunch at school, so we don't have lunches to make. She does ask me every day to put a snack in her backpack, and will remember when it is library day, and she needs her books, or gym days, when she needs to wear sneakers. She also remembers usually to ask for her asthma meds she takes nightly if we've forgotten to give them to her. After school, she'll start her homework without being asked, if she has any. She can generally manage it without any help.

On weekends, we do pretty much the same routine, although she usually lets us sleep in. We clean on weekends, so if she wakes up before her alarm, she'll clean her room. When the alarm goes off, she gets dressed, and will put a movie in for herself, or read for a while before coming to get us up. She will bring any dishes out of her room on Saturdays so they can be washed, and will remind me to wash her "going back to mom's house" outfit that she came to us in on Wednesdays.

So she's a really independant kid. The most 'reminding' I generally do is to remind her to put her kitchen stool back, when she's left it around the kitchen getting dishes out or whatever. We always joke that if we weren't around, she'd do a perfectly acceptable job of getting herself raised.

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#9 of 10 Old 10-17-2010, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Barefoot Farmer View Post
Well, my 7yr old DD leaves in "Distraction-ville" where every attraction, including books, socks, lint in the air, distracts her from her said task. I think it is completely normal and by the time she is 25 I won't have to remind her to put her sneakers on before we leave the house.
My 9-year-old son lives there, too.

He has to be reminded to get his backpack on the way out the door, even though he literally has to STEP OVER IT to leave the house. If I didn't remind him, he would step right over it & leave it there.
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#10 of 10 Old 10-18-2010, 11:46 PM
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Hummm, trying to figure out how I do it Well, from the beginning what I said goes. Not in the mean way. My kids know that when I say to do something, you do it now. Yes.... there are times when they lag a few mins. For example, when we are at the park. When I say it is time to go, not delay, they jump to get to the car. At home this year it because clear that if I wanted they to complete their chores, media would be not permitted until all three were done with their chores. This has worked fabulous!!! I come down in the morning to chores done They are free to do their stuff and chores are done (for them). No arguing, pushing, bickering to get their stuff done.

What does your child really desire? Link getting that desire with completing the daily routine that you instill. That is the theory I use. Things always change around our house, so this may not work for long. We are ALWAYS adapting

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