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Question
Posted by: Adega | 2012/08/13

Irresposible children

At what age do you to start teaching your children responsibilities? At what age to you start engaging them in house chores.My boys are seven and thirteen. Their mother still feeds the 7year old. They do nothing at home. All they do is play games and eat.I have been talking to their mother about this but she seems to think that I am too hard on the kids. Is it right for them to play PS3 games with an age restriction of 16?They have a small dog which myself of the mother have to feed because they simply do not care. Please help. I have tried talking to their mother to no avail.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

One starts as soon as possible, rather than waiting to a special age - and VERY long before 7, let alone 13. This is for many good reasons. It is neglect, almost abuse, to leave children with no proper system of discipline, no responsibilities, ano rules and no consequences for breaking them.
Maybe because you've neglected doing this for so long, you need to work out a code of conduct, between father and mother ( you must both be consistent in how you apply these ) and then have a family meeting with the children and explain that unfortunately, you have failed to make clear the necessary rules for the house before now, but from now on, these are the rules, these are the consequences for breaking them, and these are the nicer results of keeping them.
Make clear their share of household chores ( such as helping with meals, washing up, cleaning in the house ( especially starting with their own rooms ). WHen they fail to meet their responsibilities, they should lose a privilege they like ( such as playing those gaimes ) for a day or 2 for minor infringements, or a week if they do something really bad. They should feed and clean up after theirdog, and they don't get their own meals until they have fed the dog.
The mother sounds naive and irresponsible, and neglectful.
It is also highly irresponsible to allow kids of 7 and 13 to play games with an age restriction of 16 - that's lousy parenting.
Maybe as the mother seems foolishly indulgent, you should see a child psychologist together to discuss these daft ideas of hers in detail, and work together on setting reasonable rules.
Her way, the kids will grow into lazy and irresponsible adults ( and incapable of looking after themselves ) and will be appalled to discover that the rest of the world is not prepared to spoil them the way their mother and father did.
Seriosuly, for the mother to be still feeding a child of 7 ( they should feed themselves as soon as they are physically capable of doing so ) sugests a really awful mother who wants her children to remain infantile and needy for as long as possible. This is NOT wholesome.
If friends, of yours or his, came to dinner - would she still feed him in front of them ? If not, would he even know hiow to feed himself ?
Does she blow his nose for him, or wipe his bottom, too ?
And sensible rules are not negotiable or subjects for debate.

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7
Our users say:
Posted by: desperado | 2012/08/16

the problem is here that your wife left it for so long that especially the 13 year will almost 99% rebel and get worse. I suggest you involve a child therapist or someone your wife can go to so that a third party can explain this to her (not you) and also give her tips and advice.

My kids are 3 and 5. it''s rule that every night at 5pm they must clean the house, pick up all their toys and tidy their rooms before supper is served. The 5 year old get chores like put away cutlery and help with the food (whatever easy there is for her to do)

In the beginning they don''t always give their full effort but now it became like nice family time, chatting and helping each other to get everything done. And the reward is that they have my full attention after that to play and share, read a book whatever they want.

Very very important to be responsible as soon as they can run around the house.

Reply to desperado
Posted by: EB | 2012/08/16

As soon as they start to walk and talk, they just love the idea standing on a chair, helping with dishes, etc as long as you do chores with them at first. They love the attention and bonding.

Reply to EB
Posted by: Adega | 2012/08/14

Thanks to all and sundry for your responses, particularly the Cybershrink. You have all confirmed what I have been preaching to my wife for some time now. Thank you once again!!!

Reply to Adega
Posted by: Purple | 2012/08/14

Parenting is teaching our children how to become functioning adults.

It does not seem like your wife is managing to do this.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Maria | 2012/08/13

Also, our daughter benefits from being a member of our family in many different ways so it''s only fair that she pulls her weight when it comes to chores. Children must learn to be grateful for what they have and that their parents are not their slaves.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2012/08/13

Your wife is raising boys who will be selfish and useless when they reach adulthood. She disempowers them by doing everything for them. Feeding a 7 year old is ridiculous, does she bath and dress him too? Ask her to imagine your 13 year old going away to university in 5 short years'' time and sharing a flat with a friend. Will he be able to do laundry, shop for groceries and cook, clean his flat? When is he going to learn how to do those things? What happens to your 7 year old if a friend comes and sleeps over, think how humiliating it would be if his mom feeds him. What happens when they go to camp and have no idea how to keep a place tidy and look after their belongings?

My daughter started doing chores when she was 3. Now at 10 she packs away dry dishes and cutlery, hangs and folds laundry and tidies up. She must put out her school clothes every night, ready for the next morning. In the mornings she must get herself up and ready for school, including making her own breakfast. Of course it doesn''t always happen that way but that is what we aim for and often achieve. If she had been busy with something and made a mess we expect her to clean up after herself.

Age restrictions are non-negotiable in our house. We have on one occasion allowed our daughter to watch an older movie, after we watched it and decided she could handle it.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/08/13

One starts as soon as possible, rather than waiting to a special age - and VERY long before 7, let alone 13. This is for many good reasons. It is neglect, almost abuse, to leave children with no proper system of discipline, no responsibilities, ano rules and no consequences for breaking them.
Maybe because you've neglected doing this for so long, you need to work out a code of conduct, between father and mother ( you must both be consistent in how you apply these ) and then have a family meeting with the children and explain that unfortunately, you have failed to make clear the necessary rules for the house before now, but from now on, these are the rules, these are the consequences for breaking them, and these are the nicer results of keeping them.
Make clear their share of household chores ( such as helping with meals, washing up, cleaning in the house ( especially starting with their own rooms ). WHen they fail to meet their responsibilities, they should lose a privilege they like ( such as playing those gaimes ) for a day or 2 for minor infringements, or a week if they do something really bad. They should feed and clean up after theirdog, and they don't get their own meals until they have fed the dog.
The mother sounds naive and irresponsible, and neglectful.
It is also highly irresponsible to allow kids of 7 and 13 to play games with an age restriction of 16 - that's lousy parenting.
Maybe as the mother seems foolishly indulgent, you should see a child psychologist together to discuss these daft ideas of hers in detail, and work together on setting reasonable rules.
Her way, the kids will grow into lazy and irresponsible adults ( and incapable of looking after themselves ) and will be appalled to discover that the rest of the world is not prepared to spoil them the way their mother and father did.
Seriosuly, for the mother to be still feeding a child of 7 ( they should feed themselves as soon as they are physically capable of doing so ) sugests a really awful mother who wants her children to remain infantile and needy for as long as possible. This is NOT wholesome.
If friends, of yours or his, came to dinner - would she still feed him in front of them ? If not, would he even know hiow to feed himself ?
Does she blow his nose for him, or wipe his bottom, too ?
And sensible rules are not negotiable or subjects for debate.

Reply to cybershrink

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