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#1 Feb 04 2014 at 3:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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My older daughter is five, and just yesterday, she silently got the broom out of the pantry and swept the kitchen floor. Then she asked me to retrieve the dustpan for her since it was out of her reach. I sighed loudly. "I'll just do it," I said as I swept up the pile of dried peas and other assorted remnants from dinners past.


Disclaimer: I do not have children so everything below is based on opinion alone

If your child spontaneously does a chore without being asked but needs assistance in completing said chore, would your response be to "sigh loudly" and do it for them just because they aren't doing it right? I think the little girl deserves a reward and the mother needs an attitude check. When I was little, my parents helped/supervised us doing chores so as to ensure they were done the right way. If we did them wrong, we did said thing until it was completed to satisfaction. Children are impressionable and easily molded, I still do some things the way my father taught me to do them. All they need is time and guidance, not impatience because they are doing something "wrong".

And is it just me or is the image of the "Age appropriate chores for children" not age appropriate? On ages 4-5, one of the chores is using a handheld vacuum. The vacuum is going to be bigger than the child at this point! How is that "age appropriate"? Ages 8-9, change light bulbs and walk dogs? Depending how big of a dog you have, this might be a very bad idea. I'm 29yrs old, and I still don't change the light bulbs in my house just because my SO can do it easier, seeing how he doesn't have to get out a step ladder to reach the fixtures like I do.
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#2 Feb 04 2014 at 4:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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For things like that there's usually some kind of positive response. More like: "Oh wow, good job. Thank you very much, that was a nice thing for you to do for Daddy," with me finishing up the job. If I have to do some part of it they can't I'll usually say something like "Let Daddy know next time, and I'll help you."

As for chores, we don't have a lot that's mandated for them. They're encouraged to watch and try and help where they think they can. They'll ask "can I do this?" and it'll be a yes or a no or a "okay, but let me help you." Trying to encourage them to make some assessments on their own.

If I'm cleaning I'll give them each a dust cloth (assuming they aren't asking for one already) and say something like "why don't you dust off your play kitchen" or the like. Matching socks is a fun game too. Cleaning up toys and books is always encouraged, but not demanded.

I dunno, I'd never admonish a kid for trying to help, unless they were putting themselves in danger, and even then it wouldn't be for their effort, but more warning them of why it might not be safe to try and lift that heavy thing.

Each kid is unique though. I have a hard time harshly judging other parents based on what they tell or don't tell their kid. Or what chores they think they can or can not, or should or should not do. For the most part at least. You never know the whole story.

Edited, Feb 4th 2014 2:47pm by someproteinguy
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#3 Feb 04 2014 at 4:59 PM Rating: Good
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I think "hand held vacuum" is a dust buster. Not an actual, you know, full size vacuum. Hence the differential.

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#4 Feb 04 2014 at 5:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
Each kid is unique though. I have a hard time harshly judging other parents based on what they tell or don't tell their kid. Or what chores they think they can or can not, or should or should not do. For the most part at least. You never know the whole story.

Edited, Feb 4th 2014 2:47pm by someproteinguy


I try not to judge at all, seeing how I don't have children of my own and have no idea the trials and tribulations it takes every day in raising kids, but there are some things I see or hear that just seem wrong to me. Reacting negatively to a child for trying to help out around the house is one of those things.

Catwho wrote:
I think "hand held vacuum" is a dust buster. Not an actual, you know, full size vacuum. Hence the differential.



Ah, that makes much more sense. I hear vacuum and I automatically thought the uprights used to do floors.
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#5 Feb 04 2014 at 6:38 PM Rating: Excellent
Thing I never got was how all my friends would get an allowance from doing chores. When asked how much I would get, I always told them none.
This was oddly brought up one day my 8th/9th grade year in class. The teacher really thought I was lieing (what is the correct spelling of this word?) when I told them none and how I was envious of everyone because they got $20 or so dollars a week for doing "chores."

My parents had "metal" capacity chores that they thought each of us could handle without a lot of fuss. The only issue with this is 2 of us still live at home and the youngest still doesn't think he needs to do certain chores because "I never had to do them before." He is a DB.
My mother has made sure that all 3 of her sons can do everything to survive. I might not know how to change the oil in my car, but I sure can clean a bathroom that it will sparkle.
Learned from my father that if you get a job, you can just pay someone else to change your oil. So yea, I work, and every 3k miles I help another person by giving them my car to change the oil. I get a bill, they make some money. It is a win win.
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#6 Feb 04 2014 at 8:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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You can also get someone to clean your bathroom, and the rest of your house.
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#7 Feb 05 2014 at 3:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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If it were my daughter I'd be pretty suspicious, and wonder what she was trying to butter us up for.
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#8 Feb 05 2014 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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It's hard to understand what the blog author means with a 'sigh'. I'll not judge someone else's parenting.

I can understand the rational behind the idea of the blog. It might not be wise to simply give praise for everything a child does. It shouldn't hurt the child to have some understanding that there are things; tasks, chores, or even fun things, that they're not yet able to do. Of course they also need to learn to do their share of the chores etc etc.

If a kid spontaneously decides to help with housework then maybe they're ready for an actual 'chore'. Something easy but necessary. But then they also have to be made accountable for it. They have to understand that chores aren't just something you do when you feel like it.

In the situation described above, ideally, I'd praise the daughter for wanting to help. Explain to her that the dustpan is up high because sweeping is a job that she's not yet old enough for.

But in the moment when you're trying to put away groceries, the baby is screaming in the other room, the dog is barking and the rice just boiled over, it's not so easy to mull over a thoughtful response to every situation.

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#9 Feb 05 2014 at 7:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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You can also get someone to clean your bathroom, and the rest of your house.
Yeah, OK. Look at Mr. 1% over here. Pffffft. Smiley: rolleyes
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#10 Feb 05 2014 at 8:08 AM Rating: Good
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Accidentally downvoted you Elinda, stupid tiny mobile screen.
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#11 Feb 05 2014 at 8:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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Accidentally downvoted you Elinda, stupid tiny mobile screen.
Why were you trying to report her?
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#12 Feb 05 2014 at 10:46 AM Rating: Good
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I was scrolling down and accidentally hit the red arrow Smiley: glare
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#13 Feb 05 2014 at 12:09 PM Rating: Good
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Accidentally downvoted you Elinda, stupid tiny mobile screen.


It's okay. In solidarity with you I voted Elinda down, too.

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#14 Feb 05 2014 at 3:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:


But in the moment when you're trying to put away groceries, the baby is screaming in the other room, the dog is barking and the rice just boiled over, it's not so easy to mull over a thoughtful response to every situation.



This is why I am trying to reserve judgement. As said before, I have no children of my own and I can't even imagine how hectic life must get sometimes with little ones running around or needing attention plus the everyday necessities of running a household. It just struck me wrong how the daughter was trying to do something nice and got, what was portrayed as, negative reinforcement.


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#15 Feb 05 2014 at 7:44 PM Rating: Good
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That woman is an ass. Hopefully her daughter will have the sense to get herself into therapy early on in her adulthood.

And what is she talking about, Maria Montessori writing things on her Facebook page? Maria Montessori has been dead for decades. I'm sure it's a Facebook page for the Montessori organization, not for Maria Montessori herself.

I also noticed in the comments to the article that someone accused the woman of plagiarizing a prior article, including the title to the article. I would not be surprised if that were true.

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#16 Feb 06 2014 at 8:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Something like this is likely the answer.
#17 Feb 07 2014 at 7:51 AM Rating: Excellent
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Delva wrote:
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I try not to judge at all, seeing how I don't have children of my own and have no idea the trials and tribulations it takes every day in raising kids, but there are some things I see or hear that just seem wrong to me. Reacting negatively to a child for trying to help out around the house is one of those things.


I kind of agree with this. The reaction by the mother makes me feel like she sees her daughter as a burden, even when the child is trying to help her. There's just something about that, that screams 'not ready to be a parent'. It feels like resentment. I mean, what possible reason could she have to 'sigh' and finish the chore herself when just handing over the dustpan probably would have resulted in amusement? It certainly would have made the girl feel like she had done something right, as opposed to 'annoying mommy'.

I get that having kids can be stressful, but maybe folks like her should rethink whether they actually want them, when something so innocuous as a child helping with clean up can set her off.
#18 Feb 07 2014 at 8:59 AM Rating: Good
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A bit too late to find that out Smiley: frown
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#19 Feb 07 2014 at 9:26 AM Rating: Good
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Eh, I have a hard time extrapolating one illustrative anecdote into a full survey of her parenting. Sometimes kids are a chore even when they're being good. Helpfully wiping up a glass of spilled juice with an entire roll of now unspooled and sodden paper towels doesn't bring joy. Helping you garden by pulling up everything they assume is a weed isn't really helping. This doesn't mean you yell at them (she didn't) and there's ways to handle it but a momentary sigh about the fact that your labor was just compounded by a "helping" kid isn't the end-all of parenting even if the kid frowns at it. There's no reason to assume she isn't otherwise supportive and loving and God forbid you live your life in terror of your kid ever being disappointed for a few seconds.
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#20 Feb 07 2014 at 10:19 AM Rating: Good
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Joph, you really should read that entire blog entry to get a better overall picture of the general attitude this mother is displaying. It's not just an isolated incident, she says that pretty much her kids just annoy her no matter what they are doing. Nothing is good enough for her. Nothing is up to her standards. There's no other way to interpret her situation other than she just jumped into something she wasn't ready for\didn't want and now she's taking it out on the kids.
#21 Feb 07 2014 at 10:45 AM Rating: Good
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Joph, you really should read that entire blog entry to get a better overall picture of the general attitude this mother is displaying. It's not just an isolated incident, she says that pretty much her kids just annoy her no matter what they are doing.

I did and I didn't get that impression at all. She's talking about one specific sphere -- household chores -- and how the "lesson" of teaching them these chores often results in a dirtier house and ruined towels versus her just doing it herself. She ties that into why it has to be a lesson and learning experience in the first place or something she needs to impose on them (mentions of how it often ends in hurt feelings, arguments, etc) which is compounded by the fact that she'd rather do them herself anyway. She concludes by saying there's a lot of lessons she believes in teaching them such as empathy, sharing, kindness but enforced chore discipline doesn't seem to need to be one of them at this age.

Sure, she opens with a story of her stepping in on a voluntary cleaning act but she says further in that attempting to force chores as a lesson usually ends in headaches all around. And that when her kid perceives something needing to be done she often does it anyway. In fact, I would assume there's lots the kid does "right" that she have a positive opinion about but stories about how she did a swell job putting her toys away only distracts from the point of the article.

Do I get from that that her kids annoy her when they want to show her a drawing? Or want to dance in the living room? Or want to play a game? Or want her to take them to the zoo? Or want to read a book? Or watch a favorite movie? Or talk about how they want to buy a camel? Or want macaroni for dinner six nights in a row? Not really. Like I said, I can't take an anecdote used to illustrate the blog's point ("my kids chores mess up my house and I'd rather do it myself") as an indictment of her as an overall parent.
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#22 Feb 07 2014 at 11:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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I read the whole article, there's no mention of the husband. So obviously he's a deadbeat, or at least frequently conspicuously absent when she needs a break from the little one. He's ruining her life and she's taking it out on the kid.

For shame. Smiley: disappointed

Edited, Feb 7th 2014 9:13am by someproteinguy
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#23 Feb 07 2014 at 11:33 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
I read the whole article, there's no mention of the husband. So obviously he's a deadbeat, or at least frequently conspicuously absent when she needs a break from the little one. He's ruining her life and she's taking it out on the kid.

No, those little buggers are sly. The young girl probably knew exactly what she was doing and just what the outcome would be when she picked up that broom.....
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#24 Feb 07 2014 at 4:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Jophiel wrote:
Or want macaroni for dinner six nights in a row?


There's a problem with that?

As to the blog, I did get a bit of a sense that she's the kind of parent who expects certain aspects of her life to not be impacted (too much) by the children. In this case, a clean and orderly house. Can't know for sure from this one blog whether she's some kind of obsessive compulsive neat freak who's children walk on eggshells all day long out of fear of mussing the carpet, or if (as you say), she was just highlighting this to make a point. Who knows.

The larger point is that the lesson that effort is nice, but outcome is important to does kinda matter and is a valuable one to teach children. Otherwise they might grow up to become Occupy Protestors or something.
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