not fostering independence and self worth-- is it part of US culture? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 57 Old 03-14-2012, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304450004577277482565674646.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

I thought this was an interesting artlcle that exactly describes the debate between dh and I. Our kids are 11 and 8 and perfectly capable of contributing more to household duties and things they need in their own lives. My 11 year old can cook simple meals and enjoys experimenting with ingredients. I also ask her to do her own laundry. I ask both of them to make their own lunches for school with guidelines for including certain food groups. Lots of other examples.

My dh thinks I'm being hard on them to expect them to do more. He also finds it tedious to supervise them and would rather just do it himself because it's easier and faster and he has to clean up more mess or ask them to. Most evenings he literally spends a half an hour cleaning up the dinner mess and dishes while they are lounging around or fighting over whose turn it is to use the computer. For him doing it for them equal love. It is part of his culture where he grew up. For me, teaching them life skills and confidenence equals love. I compare them to kids in other countries or even kids in the US whose parents own a farm or business, and how the kids help out a lot more at earlier ages. Im not talking child labor, just contributing.

I work nights and sleep during the day if it's a work night. The kids actually enjoy when I sleep and they have to do things on their own including completing a chore list and making lunch for themselves. They usually make sure the house is really nice and clean when I wake up and are proud to show me. (the flip side is if they don't at least do minimal chores they lose computer)

What are your thoughts and how do you strike a balance in your house? Especially, how did you transition from APing a baby/toddler and then stepping back so your child can learn life skills and the pride of doing it themselves?


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#2 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 07:43 AM
 
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I can say as a child who wasn't made to do those things it didn't do me any favors irked.gif. Though my dh was brought up differently and has always pushed for our children to do more for themselves.

 

A friend's therapist told her that her children treat her like a maid because she acts like one and as a result the children don't see themselves as contributors to family life/household; and she's overwhelmed by the shear number of tasks she needs to accomplish. I have the same problem and have started including my children (5.5 and 8) in chores beyond picking up their rooms, taking out the trash, and feeding the dog. I'm finding that the more they participate the less they complain about having to do so in the first placeshrug.gif.

 

 


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#3 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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I have a 20+ DD who went to college with basically the first batch of these children that were not made to do much of anything and she saw the fast difference and the disasters if can cause- suddenly four years latter her childhood made sense (she was MADE to do things- and CAN!) - most college freshmen don't take kindly to "babysitting" their house mate 

 

I can't stand to see parents that act like maids and wives that bit*h about DH's that can't even pick up after themselves - it's all in how they are parented-IMO

 

we seem (US) to be striving to make more and more of these adults, the same one that complain about their DH's in turn cater to their children mostly out of "it's just easier if I DO it" mentality 

 

there also seems to be - IMO a lack of comprehension that a child CAN actually learn "academic" and STILL know how to run a home at the same time- so many push education and yet their brainy 20 year olds can't crack and egg or do their own laundry- but many seem to feel their children will be so educated and will have such high paying jobs hiring help to do the "little stuff" will not be an issue

 

we believe strongly in child labor and use it in our home! as soon as they can help ... they do and we don't pay them for the privilege of helping to run the home

from a year in a half old they can help with laundry and emptying the trash cans---and most think it's great FUN!


 

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#4 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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I share your philosophy but your husband's actions. I'm lazy, actually. I don't equate doing these things for DD with love; I just feel too tired to supervise. I've been lectured here that it would be smooth sailing if I had only started teaching DD to clean the toilet at 6 months or whatever (ok, fine, I admit the hyperbole) but it still I can't wrap my head around having my 6 year old do the dishes (she can't reach the sink and it would take a frickin year for her to climb UP on the stool to get a dish, step DOWN to put it in the dishwasher, and so on), or having her sweep (holy dust bunnies batman), or vacuuming (she can't come close to lifting it so I'd have to get it all set up anyway, so what's the point?), and so on.

 

I also don't recall doing these things at age 6 myself, so I guess that's part of not being able to get my head around it. The things I did around age 8 included brushing my mom's oriental rug (brushing, not vacuuming), windexing the front of the fridge, and cleaning the bathtub once in a blue moon. So I got DD to take on the chore of sweeping the stairs, but that is a HUGE task for her. We have painted wood stairs with little rugs on each step. To do a proper job, you have to take off each rug, ideally vacuum it (or at least give it a good shake and a stiff sweeping), and of course the sweeping the stairs part which is ok. It will take her an hour to deal with the little rugs and she's understandably exhausted at the end, and the rugs aren't nearly as clean as I would like them. (The stairs themselves are fine).

 

So, I admit it, I'm lazy. I feel like with all the stuff I have to do, the last thing I need is another job: helping my DD do something. It takes more energy than just doing it myself.

 

I am a crazy person who a few years ago wanted to sell everything and buy 30 acres of land and a yurt. We actually put the house on the market. One of the things I wanted was things for DD to be able to do. She could sweep a yurt. I know this because I've seen her do it. Sweeping a yurt is far simpler than the stair mess I described. She could gather eggs. Ditto that I've seen her do it. She does already consider gathering kindling her job, and she will start doing it again when the spring melts. The simpler we live, the more she could do.

 

My mom did teach me several things and I have used that knowledge. You could say that it's not rocket science to figure out, and it's certainly possible to do so, but it really helps to have this stuff taught. I do plan to teach DD but I guess it's not going to happen at 6.


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#5 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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OK, having read the article... My husband is like that, actually. DD will tell her dad to do this or that and he obliges until she pushes it too far.

 

I don't know if I am too obliging myself, but I am less so than my husband. I get cranky about it, actually.

 

My husband was always like this. His mother is pretty demanding by personality, and he is the youngest of two. His older sister is also the demanding type. He is laid back and was generally ok with fetching his sister a soda or whatever she would tell him to do. So when he hears it from DD it's just the status quo for him, he just doesn't mind unless she cops an attitude.

 

I've discussed this with him and he agrees in principle that he's doing too much but it's just a habit I guess.


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#6 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 08:36 AM
 
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I found the comment about American kids focussing more on shapes and color than faces.  Interesting.  I'm curious how many kids in other countries get smacked when they don't oblige.  Just speculation.  I am sure that children can be taught to be that way without it.

 

My grandmother was a busybody.   My mother rebelled and made us kids figure things out on our own.  Being latchkey kids, we really were completely on our own.  I'm sure there is a middle ground somewhere, but we didn't get it and I am resentful of what I felt was abandonment.  My parents motivated me to do chores by berating me.  Great.

 

So, with my kids I swing hard in the other direction, I will admit.  And yes, I do see this behavior in my kids like the article mentioned.  

 

laohaire, thanks for the laugh.  ("holy dust bunnies batman!")


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#7 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 08:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

I also don't recall doing these things at age 6 myself, so I guess that's part of not being able to get my head around it. The things I did around age 8 included brushing my mom's oriental rug (brushing, not vacuuming), windexing the front of the fridge, and cleaning the bathtub once in a blue moon. So I got DD to take on the chore of sweeping the stairs, but that is a HUGE task for her. We have painted wood stairs with little rugs on each step. To do a proper job, you have to take off each rug, ideally vacuum it (or at least give it a good shake and a stiff sweeping), and of course the sweeping the stairs part which is ok. It will take her an hour to deal with the little rugs and she's understandably exhausted at the end, and the rugs aren't nearly as clean as I would like them. (The stairs themselves are fine).

 

So you do the stairs together; your dd could collect the rugs and sweep the stairs while you vacuum the rugs. I just started my 8yo on loading/unloading the dishwasher; he can't safely (for the dishes) put the dishes in the cabinet but he can take them out of the dishwasher and stack them on the counter for me. I know my children won't be doing things as well as I would do them, but the trim is still cleaner than if I didn't have time to do it at all wink1.gif.

 

I have a childhood friend whose family pretty much had all the children (grandma had 6 children and most of them had 2 or more children) capable of cleaning a house, cooking a meal, doing their own laundry, and caring for a younger sibling/cousin by the time they were twelve-- so I always knew it was possible shy.gif. Actually, I knew at least two families like that.


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#8 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 09:46 AM
 
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I found the comment about American kids focussing more on shapes and color than faces.  Interesting.  I'm curious how many kids in other countries get smacked when they don't oblige.  Just speculation.  I am sure that children can be taught to be that way without it.

 

 

 I don't know but I tend to think this has more to do with toys marketed to US vs say Europe - we tend to have "shape / color" toys and for some reason most mainstream parents tend to think this knowledge is important vs the people I know from EU that don't get why children have these toys

 

 

 

 

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 I'm curious how many kids in other countries get smacked when they don't oblige.  

 

 

curious? what countries are you referring to here? I know many people from Latin American as well as EU and some from Africa and most comment on how the US parents seem to do lots of hitting (smacking) vs how they grew up (with the exception of those I know who attended public school in England and that was done by house-parents as well as teachers)


 

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#9 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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My daughter is almost 20.  She has two friends who have never written a check, can't even begin to guess how much money is in their bank account, and don't know the word "overdraft".  

 

My daughter can do all of that.  It's great!

 

However, she can NOT finish cleaning her room.  SHe doesn't hang her clean clothes up, she does NOTHING at all useful around the house.    I hope and pray she never gets pregnant, because she would lose her child in her filthy room.  She can't cook or clean.  

 

She can do her own laundry, but she does that wrong.  It drives me insane....But, I'm not an idiot.. I did this to her by doing everything FOR her.  I wanted it to be easy on me, and I didn't want to have her do it first, then have to fix it, or keep teaching it to her.  I didn't want the whining and crying and arguing.  So, I just did it for her.

 

I really, really, really regret it now.  I can't even begin to say how much I wish I had a do-over.  

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#10 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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I grew up with chores, responsibility for my own money, and babysitting duty and it really didn't make me a magically responsible person immediately after moving out.  I spent a few years living in a home that was a disaster and a bouncing from job to job before having my dd and settling down again.  I had practiced balancing a checkbook with my mom and as part of my home ec class in college but I still overdrafted my account regularly and I don't keep careful track even now, I make sure I have enough in the account and I check out my balance online often so I don't need to.  I do think knowing how to clean your home is important but a lot of it was stuff I had to learn the importance of by crashing and burning on my own so I don't think it is the be all and end all. 

 

I don't think that there is anything wrong with being child-centered.  My child is very important to me and I love spending time just with her.  I plan a lot of my life around her because I care about her, just as some people plan their lives around their spouses because they care about them.  I don't think there is anything wrong with making children feel important and worth while.  I don't agree with the idealized vision of other countries parenting techniques.  I had a friend from Samoa and the discipline practices she grew up with were shocking, they would be considered abuse in the U.S.  I also am not interested in raising my dd to be a child laborer so having her learn shapes and how to read definitely would be more of a priority to me than teaching her to scale a tree to harvest food.  I don't think that means that I will be raising a child who can't be successful as an adult or one who has no sense of self worth.  If hard labor and having to put your children to work in the fields really did build a sense of self worth in people it would surely have been discovered by psychologists by now. 

 

Having said that, I do foster a lot of independence in my dd.  She has chores, has been responsible for dressing herself from preschool on, and she is now learning how to care for another living creature.  She walks herself to a few different after school places as well as to school in the first place and she can cook some simple dishes independently.  As she ages I will continue to expect her to do more. 

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#11 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 01:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post
curious? what countries are you referring to here? I know many people from Latin American as well as EU and some from Africa and most comment on how the US parents seem to do lots of hitting (smacking) vs how they grew up (with the exception of those I know who attended public school in England and that was done by house-parents as well as teachers)


No particular idea, that's why I am curious.   Yes, I do know how prevalent that behavior is in this country.  I was just mulling over whether these studies took into account *how* the children (from anywhere) were taught to comply (or, in the case of the American example, to not).  There was the mention of the shapes vs. faces, but no more detail, just observations.  So, no preconceived ideas, I just wanted more information about the methods used to teach children what behavior was to be expected, the family (e. g. extended, nuclear), etc.

 


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#12 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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My daughter is almost 20.  She has two friends who have never written a check, can't even begin to guess how much money is in their bank account, and don't know the word "overdraft".  

 

My daughter can do all of that.  It's great!

 

However, she can NOT finish cleaning her room.  SHe doesn't hang her clean clothes up, she does NOTHING at all useful around the house.    I hope and pray she never gets pregnant, because she would lose her child in her filthy room.  She can't cook or clean.  

 

She can do her own laundry, but she does that wrong.  It drives me insane....But, I'm not an idiot.. I did this to her by doing everything FOR her.  I wanted it to be easy on me, and I didn't want to have her do it first, then have to fix it, or keep teaching it to her.  I didn't want the whining and crying and arguing.  So, I just did it for her.

 

I really, really, really regret it now.  I can't even begin to say how much I wish I had a do-over.  greensad.gif SORRY!

 

 

knowing and doing are two different things

 

 

 

 not knowing and having to learn later in life (for some) is a challenge if you never had to and it can also be time consuming do simply tasks when you have spend years never perfecting speed- know it sounds crazy to some but if you never learned even simple tasks learning later is a PIA - like having to train a husband, doesn't always work out great


 

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#13 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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I do think the USA (as a generalized whole) has a problem in the childhood independence department. People think babies need to be super-independent, but once they hit age five or so, you're expected to start slamming on the breaks. Don't let your nine-year-old be in a library without you. Don't let your responsible 17-year-old stay home alone for a weekend (if she throws a wild party while you're gone and somebody dies, you'll be held liable!!!) Shave your child's armpits for her because you can't trust her with a razor.  Et cetera.

 

I think that's a separate idea from the chores though. Chores don't have much to do with confidence and only a little to do with life skills. I'm one of those young adults, in that I'm in my twenties and painfully deficient in life skills (and confidence), but I can't imagine how my parents making me do the dishes every other night would have allowed me to avoid this situation. (And even if it did, I'm not sure it would have been worth it! orngtongue.gif)

 

I haven't BTDT from a parent's point of view, but from the kid's point of view... I promise they won't take kindly to you going, "I'm making you [insert chore] because I love you! It's for you're own good!" If you want them to do work because it's not fair to the other family members to have to do it all, that's understandable though.

 

 

 

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She has two friends who have never written a check, can't even begin to guess how much money is in their bank account, and don't know the word "overdraft".  

 

Wait... are those problems? Does the phrase "write a check" sometimes refer to things other than literally writing a check?

 

 

 

Quote:
For instance, one exchange caught on video shows an 8-year-old named Ben sprawled out on a couch near the front door, lifting his white, high-top sneaker to his father, the shoe laced. "Dad, untie my shoe," he pleads. His father says Ben needs to say "please."
 
"Please untie my shoe," says the child in an identical tone as before. After his father hands the shoe back to him, Ben says, "Please put my shoe on and tie it," and his father obliges.
 
Ben's next words: "Please get my coat from the closet." Then his father says that Ben should get it himself.
 
"Isn't that amazing?" says Dr. Ochs. "It's only after he escalates that the dad asks him to do something for himself."

 

 

Quote:
OK, having read the article... My husband is like that, actually. DD will tell her dad to do this or that and he obliges until she pushes it too far.

 

I wonder if cultural changes in the concepts of ethics has something to do with this.... Like once upon a time, people were in a strict hierarchy and actions were considered good or bad based on what your preacher said God said or whatever, whereas nowadays we try to consider all people worthy of respect and we try to choose actions based on being nice to people. But we, as a whole culture, haven't had the new way of doing things long enough to develop a system of social skills for it. Namely, I know a lot of people (including myself) have trouble declining requests. If someone asks you to do something you don't want to do, your options are (a) lie and say you're incapable of doing it (b) berate the person for making the request (c) suck it up and do the request. Most of the time, this isn't too troublesome because people start to figure out that they shouldn't make requests of others too often, but little kids haven't figured out which requests are unreasonable or that they shouldn't make unreasonable requests.

 

I think in the past, Ben's father would have shamed him for asking a favor, but I don't think that's the right way to do it either. So what's the right response? I don't know. Honestly, if my spouse acted the way the kid in the anecdote acted, I would have acted the same as the father. Oblige until it gets annoying. But my spouse is a swell guy and won't take advantage of this, whereas a little kid might not no better.

 

 

 

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#14 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 07:10 PM
 
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I'd like to add this to the conversation: kids in the US are regularly put into daycares and preschools and separated from the running of the house and farm.  Instead of playing alongside mama and papa while they work in the garden, or do the laundry or build a coop, they are given second hand experiences in a setting removed from genuine work of the family and the community.

 

I don't want this to be seen as a judgment necessarily (to be fair, I am a biased, homeschooling mom, so consider the source of the opinion!)  It's just something that I observe that is possibly quite different from other countries and cultures.

 

I also wanted to add against my own observation that I homeschool and my house is still something like what the article described, but, as I said previously, my mother was quite the opposite and I hated it.


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#15 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 07:22 PM
 
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I know plenty of parents who work (and are not home all day to guide the children around kitchens and gardens) and their kids know a lot, age-appropriately of course, about how to run a household. Those parents are at work, their kids are in daycare, and it's not a problem. It's the priorities that define the outcome, not the daycare situation.

 

I think a lot of people, from all kinds of countries and all walks of life, work outside of the home. And their kids are not clueless.

 

Both my parents worked, while my dh's mom was a SAHM, and I still had to explain the finer points of laundry science to him (why that new shirt bled color all over the other nice shirts, or why putting bleach on a shirt's collar and throwing it to wash with color clothes is a bad idea, etc.) He's good with basics, and he's more organized than me - sadly, I'm the messier one by nature - but he lacks the in-depth knowledge. How to clean correctly, etc. Same for cooking - he's learning fancy dishes now and he's great at it, but the theoretical base was lacking.

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#16 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 07:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

I'd like to add this to the conversation: kids in the US are regularly put into daycares and preschools and separated from the running of the house and farm.  Instead of playing alongside mama and papa while they work in the garden, or do the laundry or build a coop, they are given second hand experiences in a setting removed from genuine work of the family and the community.

 

I don't want this to be seen as a judgment necessarily (to be fair, I am a biased, homeschooling mom, so consider the source of the opinion!)  It's just something that I observe that is possibly quite different from other countries and cultures.

 

I also wanted to add against my own observation that I homeschool and my house is still something like what the article described, but, as I said previously, my mother was quite the opposite and I hated it.


I guess it really depends.  My brother and SIL homeschool and live in the country but their kids can't do jack.  My brother was raised by a very traditional 50s-type mother who thought that she had to wait on everyone hand and foot because that was her "job."  My brother married a woman just like his mother.  I on the other hand was forced to fend for myself because (1) I was a girl and was expected to know these things in order to get a good husband; and (2) I was the oldest and was not coddled and was expected to help out with the rest of the children and household duties.  Plus, I saw my mother acting like a servant and I vowed not to be treated like one nor to pass such attitude along.

 

My child was in daycare and then preschool and she was taught in those situations to clean up after herself and respect others because that was/is expected in group situations.  The same with school now. I would say that her outside influences are stricter than the influences at home.  DD is super neat and there is a place for everything and that is in large part to her early childhood experiences (particularly Montessori). We do expect her to hold up her bargain at home, though.  She's a chid but she's not royalty.  

 

I think it all comes down to parental attitude.  Ultimately it is what children learn at home that has the long term effect, IMO, whether they are in school, daycare or other educational setting for part of their day.   

 


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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

I'd like to add this to the conversation: kids in the US are regularly put into daycares and preschools and separated from the running of the house and farm.  Instead of playing alongside mama and papa while they work in the garden, or do the laundry or build a coop, they are given second hand experiences in a setting removed from genuine work of the family and the community.

 

I don't want this to be seen as a judgment necessarily (to be fair, I am a biased, homeschooling mom, so consider the source of the opinion!)  It's just something that I observe that is possibly quite different from other countries and cultures.

 

I also wanted to add against my own observation that I homeschool and my house is still something like what the article described, but, as I said previously, my mother was quite the opposite and I hated it.


I have to wonder if this would be true if they had compared middle class families in the U.S. to middle class families in other countries.  The reference to child labor made me think of a family that couldn't afford to support itself without the children working, like many of the migrant workers who harvest food in the U.S.) not of a family that was in the middle class in their home country.

 

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#18 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

 

I think in the past, Ben's father would have shamed him for asking a favor, but I don't think that's the right way to do it either. So what's the right response? I don't know. Honestly, if my spouse acted the way the kid in the anecdote acted, I would have acted the same as the father. Oblige until it gets annoying. But my spouse is a swell guy and won't take advantage of this, whereas a little kid might not no better.

 

I haven't BTDT from the parent's point of view either. I think, though, I would say something like "You're old enough to tie your own shoes" and maybe just help with the knot if it were a particularly bad one. I wouldn't tie my husband's shoes either unless there were a good reason (I ask him to tie mine sometimes when I'm wearing the baby). That doesn't seem like shaming to me, just stating an expectation--at your age, you are expected to do X and Y by yourself.

 

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#19 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 10:21 PM
 
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Wait... are those problems? Does the phrase "write a check" sometimes refer to things other than literally writing a check?

 

 


It is.  They are in college, they rent an apartment, they have bills to pay, there are three girls living in one apartment, and the two girls have the third girl (Or my daughter) write out the checks, because each month they "forget" how.   One of the girls has her dad come over and write out all her checks, then he puts stamps on them, and she mails them before they are due.  

 

I don't expect them to change a tire....but, I would certainly expect a college student to have at least a rough idea of how much money is in their checking account.

 

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#20 of 57 Old 03-15-2012, 11:58 PM
 
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There's lots of stuff I'd like to have my kids do more for themselves, but really with school taking up so much of their time and life requiring some effort on someone's part to get meals on the table and such, there isn't much time to show them and walk them through it.  It seems like everything's a rush.  I want my kids to have time to play and decompress, but they aren't home until 4.  And hour or 1.5 hrs to decompress and have some self directed time, then dinner, then an hour of homework, bath time & it's snack and bed.  Weekends are mostly taken up by sports, socializing, special trips or events, and doing bigger projects that haven't been done during the week (renovations, shopping etc.).  It seems there is very little time to do the chores already, nvm taking the time to teach and watch ( and re-do) the chores with the kids. 

 

That said, I don't do stuff for them all the time.  I do find time to walk them through cleaning, cooking, money management, and other household stuff.  My 9yo can make breakfast for herself and her sister if they're up early on weekends, and sometimes makes surprise breakfasts for us on weekends too.  They are expected to put away their own clothes, clean up the table before dinner and keep their room clean, altho at 9 and 6 they are a bit too young to do their room without any help.  They sweep, help put away dishes, are very helpful at the grocery store ( I actually miss it when they're not there) and put away groceries.  They also bake with me and garden in the summer. 

 

With us being apart for so much time there isn't a natural learning process tho, it requires me to be more organized than I usually am to get these ideas into their heads.  The grocery store helper part did come naturally, since they started just accompanying me to the store and gradually started to help more and more.  Baking, cooking and gardening was the same way. I could give them a little info, they could try something a little different, they had lots of time to observe.  And of all the things they do, it is things like that that have been most successful.  It wouldn't surprise me if parents in other cultures with less dependent children have a lot more time with their kids, doing things that need doing around the house. 

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#21 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 03:14 AM
 
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I've gotten my kids to do a lot more around the house.  Almost all of it is their stuff that needs attention.  I don't ask them to do things I consider something I should do or DH should do like clean up after ourselves.  It's gotten a lot better.  I didn't do any household chores until I was 12.  I wasn't expected to.  My only job was to clean the bathroom once a week.  That was easy!  So I kind of liked it.  I do think it's important that they do feel confident in what they can do.  One wants really badly to mow the lawn... but yeah she's way to small and nowhere near strong enough to push the mower even self propelled.  DH caters to the girls way more than I do.  He also thinks it's just easier.

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#22 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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My DS is only 13 months old but I've been thinking about this topic quite a bit since reading a post by one of my favorite blogs: http://pudgeandzippy.blogspot.com/2012/02/getting-to-integral.html?m=1. <----sorry I can't make pretty links.
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#23 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post


I have to wonder if this would be true if they had compared middle class families in the U.S. to middle class families in other countries.  The reference to child labor made me think of a family that couldn't afford to support itself without the children working, like many of the migrant workers who harvest food in the U.S.) not of a family that was in the middle class in their home country.

 

I wondered about this, among other things.

 

I had to reread the article to see if I wasn't missing a page.  I appreciated the main point of the article, but it left me wondering who they compared to whom, what other qualities of life, what attitudes described the other countries and cultures that lead to the way kids are there.  Was it because of a more adult-centric community?  The ability of children to access that adult world in a useful way?  Fewer toys?  An emphasis on the group over the individual?  More kids of all ages around the home to set an example for younger siblings?

 

Then again, what about individual differences between households in the US?  And are doing chores and respect for others integral?  Do our different definitions of respect cause some of the differences of behavior we see?

 

I don't expect these questions answered.  The article was just frustrating because it left too much to conjecture.  ("Oooh!  Look how dysfunctional this is!  Look how much *better* kids are somewhere else!")  Ugh. I just don't need that.  Supremely unhelpful.  I need coffee.  I really have to stop hopping on here at breakfast.

 


 

 

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#24 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 08:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illiterati View Post

My DS is only 13 months old but I've been thinking about this topic quite a bit since reading a post by one of my favorite blogs: http://pudgeandzippy.blogspot.com/2012/02/getting-to-integral.html?m=1. <----sorry I can't make pretty links.


I really liked this.  Thanks for sharing it!smile.gif


Mama to DD (06/30/07).
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#25 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 09:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post


I have to wonder if this would be true if they had compared middle class families in the U.S. to middle class families in other countries.  The reference to child labor made me think of a family that couldn't afford to support itself without the children working, like many of the migrant workers who harvest food in the U.S.) not of a family that was in the middle class in their home country.

 

I wondered about this, among other things.

 

I had to reread the article to see if I wasn't missing a page.  I appreciated the main point of the article, but it left me wondering who they compared to whom, what other qualities of life, what attitudes described the other countries and cultures that lead to the way kids are there.  Was it because of a more adult-centric community?  The ability of children to access that adult world in a useful way?  Fewer toys?  An emphasis on the group over the individual?  More kids of all ages around the home to set an example for younger siblings?

 

Then again, what about individual differences between households in the US?  And are doing chores and respect for others integral?  Do our different definitions of respect cause some of the differences of behavior we see?

 

 

does it matter? I see this as a classless issue - be it the very upper or the dirt poor - many in all classes (as with the recent thread in parenting on upper-class essential knowledge) - doesn't it mean having the child be able to "function" ie - expected behavior- what ever that definition means in your given class/family?

 

if it "chores" for middle or knowing how to "order wine" in upper?  OR -

 

Quote:
One of the girls has her dad come over and write out all her checks, then he puts stamps on them, and she mails them before they are due.  

 

 

and I certainly see this - 

 

Quote:
 It's the priorities that define the outcome

 

 

Quote:

I haven't BTDT from the parent's point of view either. I think, though, I would say something like "You're old enough to tie your own shoes" and maybe just help with the knot if it were a particularly bad one. I wouldn't tie my husband's shoes either unless there were a good reason (I ask him to tie mine sometimes when I'm wearing the baby). That doesn't seem like shaming to me, just stating an expectation--at your age, you are expected to do X and Y by yourself.

 

my 2 cents


 

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#26 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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I agree the issue spans all classes. The specifics of independence may change between classes (scrubbing floors vs writing checks vs pairing meals with wines, as stereotypical examples), but independence is supposedly the goal for raising children to adults for all classes.


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#27 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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but independence is supposedly the goal for raising children to adults for all classes.

one would think! winky.gif

 

but I see it declining in real life


 

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#28 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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So if independence as a goal has been declining, what has it been replaced by?

 

I'm thinking "happiness" - though an ill-defined and misunderstood version of it.

 

It's worth remembering that independence must be the goal biologically speaking. In our modern times, our focus has largely shifted away from survival issues, as for many of us survival is assumed (even if falsely). With our mechanical, technological and social constructs, we no longer need years of training in skills such as growing, storing and even preparing food, building shelters, using weapons for hunting and defense, etc. Now we basically need to read and follow directions (typical employment skills), plus operate a number of consumer devices (computers, mobile devices, automobiles, microwaves, etc.) which have been specifically engineered to be as easy as possible to use. Even the skills needed to engineer such things have been simplified by things like mass production and markup language.


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#29 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 10:01 AM
 
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Quote:

So if independence as a goal has been declining, what has it been replaced by?

 

I'm thinking "happiness" - though an ill-defined and misunderstood version of it.

 

 

I would say ill-equipped and clueless for starters- many are blissfully happy being clueless and having others take care of them 

 

 

I am think of those over 18 who the parents still are parenting as if they are children (doing most things for them - because the adult child is still not able to act like an independent adult)-IMO


 

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#30 of 57 Old 03-16-2012, 10:05 AM
 
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First, I'm in my 40s, and I was raised by a mom who was in her late 30s when I was born, so as far as generations go, my kids are a couple of generations out of the depression rather than a few, and I think that makes a difference. The further removed you are from people who had to struggle, the less independant you might be. Just a theory.

But my 10-year-old complains about having to do things. She complains that she has to pack her own lunch in the morning. She's 10 years old! Why wouldn't a 10-year-old be able to pack her own lunch? I expect her to make her own breakfast too. She's plenty old enough to do those kinds of things, and she usually makes her little sister's breakfast too. She likes making breakfast but not packing lunch, oddly.

But anyway my point is that you have to fight with them to do this stuff sometimes. "No one else has to pack their own lunch!" I imagine a lot of parents figure they might as well just do it rather than argue about it. I've told her she has to get used to doing stuff so she's capable of taking care of herself when she's older, but she's only 10 and has no real sense of future in that way. But it's my job to make sure she's ready regardless.

By the time I was 12, I had a night each week where it was my turn to make dinner.
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