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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter is 5 yrs old and we've been trying to give her a little bit more responsibility as a family member...all age appropriate type stuff (helping with laundry (ie matching socks and easy folding items, putting some dishes away from the dishwasher, carrying things in from the car). I was so proud of her yesterday. We had done groceries. DH was out of town and I asked her to help carry bags and she did beautifully and then helped her sister (2yrs) take her shoes off inside.<br><br>
So fast forward to today. We went to the garden center as it is a holiday weekend here and she has been wanting to plant flowers. So I took her so she could help pick out some flowers...so again I am coming home with two kids and a car full of stuff and no DH to help. So I asked her again to carry my bag (diaper bag, light, not very full, same exact bag she carried yesterday). Well, today she did not feel like being helpful, so instead of carry my bag, which is less than 1mo old that DH bought for my birthday (which is a big deal for me, because DH jumped through hoops to get this bag for me, tried to keep it a suprise, etc...which is so atypical of him...so it is special), she decided to drag it up the asphalt driveway. This resulted in a hole in the bottom of the bag!<br><br>
Okay, so I am upset. I am upset because there is a hole in my brand new bag that is special to me...but that is not what upsets me really at all, because I know DH would get me a new one if I asked...what really upsets me is the total lack of respect DD showed in dragging the bag up the asphalt in the first place. Right now, I am feeling punitive...and I KNOW she did not mean to put a hole in the bag, but the hole is there, and it was caused by her disrespectful behaviour. A punishment doesn't make sense since she didn't damage anything intentionally. We're really having a hard time getting through to her on the issue of respect. Respecting other people, respecting peoples' belongings, respecting her own belongings (she will just step on her toys that she's left on the floor...they other day DH asked her something about her shirt or pants or something and her response was, "oh, mommy can wash it".<br><br>
I really see this as a teaching oppurtunity, but I'm not sure how to approach it. She already KNOWS it's not okay to drag things up the driveway, but she "forgets" and does it anyway (this bag is not the first thing that has gotten dragged. I'm not even sure I know what the logical consequence for this is other than she doesn't get trusted to help with that sort of thing anymore, but with #3 on the way, I was sort of hoping that she might be able to help a little bit.<br><br>
She is very mature for her age...are we expecting too much?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MuhajibahMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">She is very mature for her age...are we expecting too much?</div>
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yes. I am a tough mama, but this behavior just doesn't seem that bad to me.<br><br>
She's five. She going to drag stuff.
 

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Do not have a "hard-set" advice on what to do - my own DD is approaching 5 as well - and this is totally her!<br><br>
One day she will go out of her way to help and the next she would completely "not feel like it".<br><br>
So far I talk, talk and talk some more even if I know that she knows.<br><br>
May be she is testing in a way - how much help does mommy really need? Does it have to be done every day? Too bad I don't remember how I used to think when I was 5 :LOL (well, I kinda do, but YKWIM)<br><br>
So far helping out (cleaning, etc.,) been a hardest to "get" her to do consistantly. But on other occasions talking stuff over I think puts her on the same wavelength. Never right away though.<br><br>
So in your situation I would... talk. Conveying how it made me feel. Conveying how it was important to me. Then if it happens again I would do the same. Then before asking her to help I would remind her of our conversation - "would you be carefull this time?" I would usually get a "yes". If I get a "no", I would do what has to be done myself even if at a later time. She would see that I am not "forcing" her and in a minute or two offer her help (usually).<br><br>
I know I am not much help, just relating to your situation <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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maybe you shouldn't have given a cherished item to a 5 year old. i'd be blaming myself about this right now, not my kid (and i've BTDT, lol).<br><br>
while i do ask my dd to help out, i don't expect it right now. if she says no, then its no. mind you she's not quite 3. but i can't see myself getting punitive over helpfulness. doesn't make much sense to me.<br><br>
sorry, very fussy baby in lap...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Piglet68,<br><br>
Um...I said I was feeling punitive AND that I saw this as a teaching moment and not something warranted punishment. I can't help my initial knee-jerk feeling, but it's not something I act on. I did say that punishment didn't make much sense. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
Irinam,<br>
Thanks for you input. We did talk about it and she knows how upset and disappointed I am about it...but she really doesn't seem to get it. She is really in this phase where she thinks the world revolves around her and if it's not about her then it doesn't matter. Her response to me telling her that I was disappointed and upset (using I statements, no blaming) was that I had hurt her feelings. No, I'm sorry, mommy...nothing...<br><br>
She is definitely in testing mode and I do believe that is what this was and that is why I feel that it is a teaching moment. She did not say no, she agreed to take the bag and then proceeded to drap it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> I should have reminded her to be careful with it though (like I did when I asked her yesterday).<br><br>
I think that I've decided that she won't be able to carry any of the plants for in the beds tomorrow (she is really looking forward to planting flowers) and the reason I will give her is that when she demonstrates that she can be more careful with things then she will be able to do more. We believe that a family is about working as a team...and sometimes we have to do participate when we don't really want to. She can't only participate on her own terms, so if she still wants to help tomorrow it will be with the smaller more menial tasks and not necessarily the ones she is most interested in. It's a stretch for a logical consequence, but it's the best I can come up with for now.<br><br>
maya44, I didn't say her behaviour was bad. If it had been intentional I might have classified it as such, but I KNOW that it wasn't. I just said that she was showing a lack of respect.<br><br><br>
Thanks ladies.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MuhajibahMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Piglet68,<br>
maya44, I didn't say her behaviour was bad. If it had been intentional I might have classified it as such, but I KNOW that it wasn't. I just said that she was showing a lack of respect.<br><br><br>
Thanks ladies.</div>
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Well to me, a lack of respect IS bad. But whatever you call it, I just don't think that you can expect a five y.o. to even think about the effect of dragging something (which is the only way it can constitute a lack of respect since if you did not think anything bad would happen, its not disprespectful)<br><br>
In other words, I don't think there was any real need to teach anything here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
and I guess this is where we would differ, since it is the "intent" that makes the difference between whether or not behaviour is bad. It was disrespectful regardless of her intent and that is where it becomes a learning moment, no? How else is she to learn that it is disrespectful to treat people and property in a certain way unless she is taught. That is why I was trying to focus on the teaching aspect as her carelessness in this and similar situations is getting to be a problem for us (another example would be that her grandparents bought her a new toy, which she broke the same day, and it's didn't phase her she just asked them to bring her a new one, so she is not even respecting her own things).<br><br>
So if there is nothing to teach here, then you are suggesting that it's "okay" for a 5yr old to drag stuff around, (stand on toys, take things from their baby sister, etc) because they don't think about the effect? I guess here again we differ, because I think these are teaching moments and these behaviours do need to be corrected. How else will a child learn to think about the effects of their actions if they are never faced with those effects?
 

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Well, it may be that Maya doesn't mean it's OK for a child to damage other people's things, but that the child is just not developmentally ready for any kind of meaningful "lesson" at this point.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lurk.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lurk">: 'cause this is something I struggle with ...
 

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What I mean is that at five it prob is not going to even occur to a child that dragging = damaged valuable property.<br><br>
I just don't see how its disrespetful if you don't know you will cause damage.<br><br>
A baby who breaks a fragile object place in her hands is not disrespectful, she simply does not have the knowledge that it can break if not handled carefully.<br><br><br>
Of course you can teach that dragging will cause damage. But I know that for my kids at 5, they were used to dragging stuff around with little ill effect and thus unless I had told them not to do this, I just would not consider it disrespectful.
 
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