Chores = Life Skills!

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Chores = Life Skills!

Unread post by kellybell »

Help with household duties
Guest wrote:I also have 4 and 2 at my side. KellyBell, Can you tell me how you get your older ones to help you with the household duties? I love the idea, and try to enforce it, but... I feel like I am always nagging or yelling or threatening or who knows what...

This is our first year hs, so we have been working a lot of the gliches out!
It IS hard to get the older kids to pitch in as they should. We've used a few different ways to get them to do their work. Let's see. We've got a peg board with disks. As the kids finish each school subject, they pull off a disk. It's a lot like the Hazells describe in their TMs but we already had this in place and it works. Each kid gets a disk that says "chores" and then I have a clip on the board that has the name of the chore that they are to do. We've got wacky names like "Powder Room Perfector" for the kid who cleans the main level bath. There is the "Towel Trooper" for the one that rounds up all the towels and throws them in the laundry. When the kids do their chores, they hand me the card which means I can check their work.

One thing I read in a book somewhere is to pay other kids to do a lazy kid's chore. Let's say that Sally didn't pick up her room on time. Then, I'll pay Suzy a quarter to pick up Sally's room. The quarter comes from Sally's bank.

Also, my oldest has the nasty habit of leaving pajamas and yesterday's clothes on the floor. If I see them there, I grab them and sell them back to her (or donate what she doesn't want back) for a buck an item.

Another trick is that we roll the die in the AM when we start school. The "kid of the day" rolls the die once. Based on what number comes up, I spot check the kids for a certain thing (like having a clean school desk, a made bed, their towels hanging straight). Oh, the number six on the die is "God loves you" so if you roll that you always pass because God loves us all. Any kid who passes rolls the die a second time and can earn things like a piece of candy, have mom play a board game with you, have mom read a picture book to you, 10 minutes extra computer game time, skip your chore today, or skip a school subject today. This helps them keep up with the everyday stuff.

My kids like computer games. They don't get their computer game until they've done school and done chores. Then they get 15 minutes. Work before play. Although some days we are too busy to play computer games, a kid who has everything done can ask for a computer game and that's when I check to see what's done.

Sometimes we watch a video as a family at night or on the weekends. Before we turn on the TV, everyone must pitch in to clean up dinner and the family room. That motivates them. If they are too pokey in cleaning, then it's bedtime before we get a chance to turn on the video.

Oh, and there's always the rule that anything left out is ... MINE. That means I can throw it away, hide it away, sell it back to the kids, give it to another kid. It sounds mean, but I warn the kids before I take action. I'll say, "If the Hot Wheels don't get put up in their box before bedtime, they are mine." That usually works wonders.

I don't like that I must motivate them SO much, but they ARE still young and I guess we've got to externally motivate them before they will be internally motivated to work and keep neat and be helpful.

I also like the Hazells' comment that food is a great motivator. You know, "you can eat lunch as soon as you finish ..." We've done that too. I often use this for the simple stuff. Today, the girls had a band practice at 12:10 and everyone has to ride in the car to get there. All the kids had to have shoes and socks on as well as instruments and music in the car and jackets poised to go... But, you can also say, "you can come to dinner when school is done."

I'd love to hear others' ideas.

Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Chores = Life Skills!

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

RachelT wrote:I am wondering what great ideas some of you have about how to teach "life skills", i.e. chores and self-responsibility.

I know that this is an area where some of us may differ greatly in our approaches so I'd like to hear ideas. I want to help my children learn to help around the house without complaining and they are still young, so motivation is definitely a factor! But, I want to balance the rewards with doing the work. Does that make sense?

The 2 things that have been essential for me are:
- giving them until a certain time to finish & anything left must be done during free time, and
- to check their chores each day (I'm not very good at that part).

I also LOVE FlyLady for me, and we started using Managers Of Their Chores a few months ago. That is working well for us. When you buy the book & register it with them, you can go to their website & print off cards that have pictures for pre-readers. I have also tried Choreganizers, but that didn't work for us. Those cards were all over the place. For me, MOTC is much easier to implement.

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Unread post by mrs_mike98 »

I'm a big fan of chores! lol! What I've done to help my DC is to make them "routine" - making sure that the chores are done at a set time (after breakfast, mid-afternoon, and after dinner), and each one has their own unchanging chore assignments - that way they get proficient at their chores, and also know what's expected of them and when, which helps eliminate bad attitudes. Bad attitudes get "rewarded" with more chores, or an extension of the chore that's being complained about (ie. grumbling about sweeping under the table = you get to sweep the entire kitchen!)

I just looked around, talked with DH about what each age of child can handle, and then taught them how to do them! Its really a blessing to have children with helpful, serving attitudes, and a regular chore routine helps bring that about! :-)
Erin, blessed mama to 5 boys :-)
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Unread post by CharleneHoell »

I think consistency is the key to chores, as above, having set chores for each child and doing them at the same time or the same day.

I had to laugh at the topic of this thread, bc just this morning I overheard my two ds discussing that it was laundry day and how they were going to sort the laundry. My oldest ds then came to get me (very proud of himself :) ) that he had made his bed, got dressed, and sorted the laundry all by himself.

It takes time and LOTS of modeling, but chores can be accomplished without the complaining and done for His glory!

Unread post by cbollin »

My family did well with some secular resources for teaching cleaning skills step by step. Every family is different, but in my house cleaning and chores just go quicker when everyone works together in the same zone.
* Zone Cleaning for Kids and
* Bedroom Cleaning for Kids.
I found these products on a website called They fit my brain. Everyone is different and God provides all things.

Also from that menus2moms dot com site, I get an email reminder and then the kids and I quickly do the task together. It’s fun for us. It is 15 minute jobs. I do the big declutter task in the target zone and the kids do the little daily task such as clean the legs of the kitchen table or wash the windows in the living room. It is working for us these days.

Food Time!
Menu planning and meal making --- I don’t like the selection on menus4moms but you might. I prefer the menus in Saving Dinner. It is nice because the kids can help a lot too. I wished I were organized enough these days to plan my own menus. But -- hey, I can't plan and organize a unit study either. Again, God provides along the way.

just some stuff that works around here. We're all different.


Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:34 am
Post subject: character training

I found it helpful to write my own very simple step by step instructions so that my kids could know how to do the chore.

I spent time doing it with them in order to teach them what was expected. There's a saying out there --- our kids do what we inspect, not what we expect.

I also found that I needed for my kid with ADHD to teach her about how much time the chore should be taking.

If you're not at a point to spend more right now, look for free print lists and work from those as you make it work for your family. When I put kids chore charts in the search engine I found many places.

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Unread post by mamaofredheads »

I do FlyLady now & that works for me. Managers Of Their Chores is working for us, as well.

I LOVE Saving Dinner. She is affiliated with FlyLady. The meals are delicious & I feel like I'm really a good cook when I use them. LOL So much better than my usual fixing the same basic things all the time. I have also used her holiday planner system for the last 3 years & it has been awesome.

Thanks to everyone for sharing! It's fun to learn what works for others & try out new things!

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Unread post by Mom2MnS »

Hi Rachel - good thread :)

Here we do first fives after breakfast: potty, wash hands & face, brush hair and teeth, make bed, dress down to your feet

When dd finishes these, she comes to ask if there is anything else she can help with for morning work. Usu this includes helping me with dishes or some baking - or she gets a little play time before school.

At mealtimes, dd sets the table and helps bake. Then she helps clear the table after meals and sweeps the floor.

In the evenings she and dh work in the garden.

At bedtime we do last fives: straighten room, potty, wash hands and face, brush teeth and hair, read Bible and pray

She is also responsible for helping fold clothes, dusting her room, and keeping her desk neat.


All during the day we try to do these rules - and this is very effective at our house :)

#1 "Next Time Rule" always put things back in their places - so you can find them next time and so things stay neat

#2 "One Up One Down" always clean up after you finish playing with a certain set of toys before you begin playing or doing something else

#3 "Room Rule" straighten your room before leaving it to do another activity

#4 "Look Back Rule" as you leave a room look around - have you left anything?

Extra blessing: I have taught her to keep a watch for what mommy and daddy are doing. She can choose to bless us anytime we are working on something by asking if we would like her help. She loves to do this!

One more: We are teaching her to share blessings by doing a chore for someone without being asked. For instance, some days I make her bed to bless her. She really enjoys looking for ways to give surprise blessings.

God has been so faithful to answer my prayers about what to do during our days and how to teach my dc to love and care for our home.
WLiC, Quinne

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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:31 am

Well, in my 4.5 years of homeschooling, I've had 3 days of unscheduled cleaning breaks. My kids think it's hilarious to see that mom has sort of flipped her wig. Plus they like the change of pace. When I declare a cleaning day, we put on fun music and I set them to work on things they don't usually do (and even cleaning is fun if it is a novelty, such as using the Magic Eraser on all the tables or testing all the markers, tossing the dead ones).

The first time, they all got out of bed and had breakfast and we did Bible. Then it was time for our other school work and I simply said, "Okay, we're cleaning the schoolroom today." It was totally unplanned; I just looked at the room and ... declared that it was a cleaning day.

The kids eyes were all very big as we first dumped all the bookcase stuff and then the desk stuff (kept in file boxes) and then the markers and crayons. We turned on fun music, straighted up, dusted, cleaned, vacuumed, and restocked the room, filling a trash bag and a charity-giveaway bag too. It was well worth the effort. The next day, it was business as usual.

I've done that three times and, from the looks of that room, it's very likely to happen again soon!

We've also had a few days here and then that we've dropped our normal work and worked on (or learned about) other subjects. Currently, we are getting ready for Science Olympiad regionals in two weeks and that's consuming a lot of our time!
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:10 am

One of my kids' favorite things to do to "spice things up" is a "Bowl Choosing Day." It usually is a cleaning day, but I have also used this for school. I print the chores or school subjects with a few "fun" topics (15 jumping jacks, pick another card, play a game 20 minutes...) on paper; fold them; and put them in a hat or bowl. We each get a turn choosing.

We tend to get so much done this way! I actually love doing this too. We have a concrete pile of "done" and I naturally struggle with keeping a consistent schedule.

Prayers in refocusing and refueling!

cook without supervision?

Unread post by cbollin »

TriciaMR wrote:My oldest is only 7.5 and I'm not comfortable having her cook without supervision,
Because I'm only 4'8" tall :) I let my youngest stand in a chair and even on the counter (gasp!) to reach things. I clean the counter afterward, don't worry. She has to learn by watching and then doing (this is my autistic kid). So, just wanting to give you permission to be creative and think outside of the box a bit.

I certainly have to supervise her at the stove top. But this morning she decided she wanted to have mac and cheese for breakfast. It's always scary for me to have her at the stove (because of her special needs labels), but it is the only time we can teach her all of that safety stuff and life skills. She's learned to get the pots and pans. She knows that she has to roll up the sleeves of her shirt, get the colander, and wait for mommy to do some things.

She wants to bang the lid of the pot against the pot to just hear the sound. So, we keep a chopstick and a toy metal cymbal in the kitchen to meet that need so that she will leave the lid alone when it is on the stove.

She wants to fill up the pot with water, but is not strong enough to carry a pot of water from the sink to the stove. So, instead, she fills the tea kettle and carries it to the stove, climbs on the chair and pours that in. Very creative and smart kid in spite of all of her life difficulties with autism. And praise God, she is cautious at the right times around the heat source.

We don't let her cook unsupervised of course, but it is truly amazing what young kids can learn about cooking when they are side by side with mom and dad on that.

I've had times where all 3 girls want to help stir --- we have to share the spoon for that. 1 2 3, My turn please. 1 2 3 your turn.

My husband had taught all of the kids how to flip pancakes and how to crack eggs in the bowl. We let them pour their own drinks from a young age and just clean up the spills. Serve them water and it's not a big deal. They fill up a quart size measuring cup with water and pour some water into their cups. They can carry silverware to the table. We put plastic plates under the sink so they can set the table themselves. That means that we don't always eat on the fancy grown up plates, but who cares?? There are lots of little ways that even preschoolers and young elementary children can help with lunch even if they can't do all of the cooking by themselves just yet. It's team work.

I know my just turned 6 y.o is a little unique, but we started early with her. I can't let her do it unsupervised, but she can do a lot.

so.... have fun and be creative and even if you have to let them stand on something that you otherwise wouldn't let them do, that's ok. Just clean it up afterwards.


Teaching Life Skills

Unread post by cbollin »

doubleportion wrote:Okay, Crystal mentioned on another thread about teaching life skills. I would love to be teaching more life skills to my 7 1/2 year old (will be 8 in sept.) but I have no idea where to begin our what to do. Sooooo, what have you done and how to teach life skills? Plus I have a 2 1/2 yr old soon to be 3 in August. And not to forget about the sonn to be 6 month old- he's working on sitting up and rolling over, so I think he's covered :) What would you expect to be working on teaching these two ages. She can fold laundry, put clothes from the washer into the dryer, seperate clothes for washing, sweep floors, scrub dishes and put them into the dishwasher. What else should she be able to do without much supervision? Ideas? Summer is coming and I'm looking for things to work on in between ADV and ECC. other than getting tan at the beach ;)

Baby is calling. Better run.
Probably the easier thing that I have done is just to try to have my kids with me when I'm doing my chores and letting them help
cooking and making menus
getting out the door
grocery store
packing for vacations
helping with speech and occupational therapy
taking them on service projects
right now just balancing the checkbook in front of them.

I've also purchased books such as Christine Field's Life Skills for Kids
and a series of books called Home Economics for Homeschoolers, by Pearables. (the version I have is very "girlie". I don't know if they have a boy version for cooking, cleaning, hospitality.)
and some books geared specifically for getting goals with special needs kids, but those probably don't really apply much. But it breaks it into steps for learning all kinds of daily life.

and we also use:
Zone Cleaning for Kids booklets

at least a start to the conversation.......
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Re: Teaching Life Skills

Unread post by niki »

My kids each rotate being "dinner helper"

They obviously help prepare, set table, serve, pray for the meal and get lot's of praise for the wonderful food. I've never seen my kids take such pride and care in something. This is a serious task...if we don't have a family dinner or order pizza or something, they are very disappointed!

Soon, they may be doing it on their own (but I haven't been able to let go yet)!! :)

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Re: Teaching Life Skills

Unread post by dhudson »

Mine get to pick a meal and plan it, prepare and cook it. We started with the Williams and Sonoma cookbook because it shows the kids how to cook . I even learned tons. We also add skills in cleaning and maintaining a home and organizing. This summer we are adding in some first aid and safety training (I'm first aid trained and their Grandpa is an EMT).
God Bless,
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Re: Teaching Life Skills

Unread post by TriciaMR »

My 9 yo dd helps me in the bathroom - she does the sink and mirrors. She helps set the table. She could prepare breakfast, but my boys get a bit fussy if anyone but momma fixes it. Our microwave is over-the-range, so it is too high for her to use. I want to teach her to use our vacuum (it's a big upright, and she hasn't been big enough to use it up until now). I got those Swiffer dusters, she loves using those. Sweeping or using some kind of handi-vac or Swiffer on the kitchen floor. She's been washing dishes since she was 7.5, on occasion. She would much rather play with the boys, though. I need to teach her to cook. She wants to learn to sew (by hand!).

My boys, well (they'll be 5) - having them get dressed themselves in the morning (though they really like snuggling with momma as she helps them), perhaps sweeping under the table after a meal (they are messy!), dusting, wiping off door knobs and light-switch plates are some of my ideas for them this summer. Perhaps even helping in taking out the trash.

Kym Wright has some ideas on chore training, and breaking them down into smaller steps. Titus2 has Managers of their Chores, which again helps with ideas and how to break them down into smaller chunks.

Another big one I plan on working with my kids this summer (and even myself) is putting things back where they belong when you are done with it, so you can find it next time, instead of just dropping it on the floor, or setting it on the table.

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Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Teaching Life Skills

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

I just reserved the book Crystal mentioned at my library. Sounds awesome.

I'm kind of a control freak on top of being a neat freak, so I have my own challenges with sharing house-keeping chores. Hopefully that book will give me a few ideas. It works best for us to have a chart to know what's expected of my dd. And my dh loves a list -- he begs for a "honey-do list" especially since he's only in-town half the time. He appreciates having a list ready for him when he gets home so we don't waste time. My dd feeds off of that and wants her own list.

Oh my goodness! I just glanced down at a post-it note that I used to make a note while chatting on the phone. My dd corrected my grammer! Seriously. This is the price I pay for being a perfectionist! Think it's time to lighten up and let her do more things on her own? Yikes.
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Re: Teaching Life Skills

Unread post by doubleportion »

Thanks for all the good input. I couldn't find Christine Field's book at my library but I hope to order it soon.

Now if only I can hold off from digging into ECC! :~ I brought it home from convention yesterday. :-) Can we wait to start until July? It looks so awesome! I so enjoyed hearing David speak. Lots of great info and ideas. We will doing things a bit differently when we start again thanks to those workshops. I hope to get the recordings of them soon.

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Re: Teaching Life Skills

Unread post by momtogc »

Hope I am not too late to chime in but my dd does these routinely. She is 7.75 yo.

Makes her bed daily, takes out her bathroom trash and schoolroom trash 2x per week (day before trash pick-up), cleans up after a meal including loading the dishwasher (at least 1x per week after breakfast and 1x per week after a dinner meal), sets the table, dusts her bedroom furniture and helps clean counters and mirrors on housecleaning day, folds kitchen towels weekly, sorts big pile of socks weekly, takes cans to the recyle bins in the garage as needed, picks up own toys, learning to cook - can cook breakfast on her own, simple things like toast but is also getting great at making pancakes with supervision in using the griddle and she can make her own sandwich, loves to help cut raw veggies or other meal prep work.

Some other life skills might be learning to count/save money, sew, yard work. I'm sure there are many other things, too, plus the great ideas already shared by others.
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"I'm sooo tired!"/ Whining

Unread post by cbollin »

kaiakai wrote:I'm having a hard time discerning something my 4 1/2 year old daughter says, and I am wondering how to decipher and address it.

Sometimes she will be playing, running around, etc. (obviously full of energy), but when I ask her for help with chores or cleaning up or something, she suddenly becomes "SOooooooo tired" like she can barely move. Obviously there is a little manipulation going on here. The same things happens occasionally when we're reading together and I ask her to read a couple words (which she can do). Since she is only 4 1/2, I know that she won't be able to handle a lot at once as far as school goes, and I don't want to push her too much, or accidentally make it so that learning is not fun for her. At the same time, she is so bright, and I don't her to get into a habit of being lazy or quitting when something is just a tiny bit hard.

Any suggestions?

Regarding chores, I have tried a couple of different things. I have used a stern approach, and I have also just played along with her (i.e "Oh, you're soooo tired you can't move? Well, straight to bed with you, then!", then putting her into bed and tucking her in... and since she never stays there for long, when she gets up I ask how her rest was and then we get to cleaning)
you'll get a wide variety of answers in homeschooling on this...remember when you ask strangers for opinions, you'll get strange opinions. Here's mine.

This solution seems to work for you.
If she's really tired, she's getting a few minutes to be rested.
if she's faking it, she's paying the punishment.
then, she still has to do the cleaning with you.

Some people will have certain times of days that cleaning and chores are to be done and make a clock schedule to point to..... much like if it were any other activity. At 6 pm we welcome daddy home and have supper. From 10-11 am, we work on our zone cleaning for the day.

if you are asking her to abruptly end her play time before her brain has clicked to end play time, that might be part of the factor. So, lots of times it can be helpful to have clues that it's time to move to the next activity, which is cleaning up....

In preschools (some of them), there is a special bell, and a clean up song (the one from Barney.) and everyone does their share.

on the reading issue: don't ask her to read to you just yet. Keep reading out loud until she is asking for a turn. End the book, and see if she wants a turn to read it or tell the story to you or her stuffed animals. I personally do not think that is a sign of lazy when a 4 year young child doesn't want to read out loud? They just want to hear the fluency of the story with you. It's a big switch in mental gears to go from listening skills to phonics skills at a heart beat's notice for this age. Even with my autistic child, she can read, but we have to take turns on it. She doesn't always want to start first.

but then again.. we all have our opinions. It sounds to me (and I don't know you in real life) from the info you gave, it is more in the normal realm of a 4 y.o having transition between activities issues.

as for the obviously full of energy and then too tired... sounds like me at the end of my exercise class. I have to stay strong and full of energy and pep.. then stop on a dime and drive home? I usually slow down and talk to someone for a moment, get a sip of water and then drive home.

just an opinion from a stranger.

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Re: "I'm sooo tired!"/ Whining

Unread post by kaiakai »

Crystal... thanks!

actually it IS strange opinions that I am fishing for! LOL

I do try to be respectful of transitions (I can see that the way I wrote it it sounded abrupt- I just meant to say that before I ask her to help clean up she is definitely not about to collapse from exhaustion, LOL). Same thing with the reading.
I'm not so concerned about the 'tired' thing in regards to cleaning... but I see how it could become a potential problem with school in the future, and I'm wondering how I can tell if something is really too much for her of if she's just pulling one over me in order to get out of doing something.
I realize she's 4.. I just don't want to be feeding a bad habit for the future.

Oh, and we recently started chore charts (Choreganizer) and I have been slowly trying to get us on more of a schedule.
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Re: "I'm sooo tired!"/ Whining

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Is she doing the chores herself, or with you? I have one child that just feels "overwhelmed" at picking up his Legos, but if you say, "Okay, I'll get one, and you get one." Then, "I'll get three now you get three." And up the ante just a little each time, it gets done quicker. And then at the end, "Was that so hard?" This is the one that "likes to help" but doesn't like to do things on his own. I really have to sit by this one while he does his school work or it will take all day. He'll see a page of math drill (all problems that he knows how to solve), and say, "But Mom, this will take all day." So, I'll sit next to him and take his pencil, and we'll read them out loud and have him give me the answers. Then, about two or three rows later he'll say, "Okay Mom, I can do this myself." And eventually he does a page by himself, I just try to remember not to expect it out of him first thing. We gradually build to that point. And sometimes we regress, and we're back to me writing for him again.

I have chores assigned for my boys, but they like doing them together - which is a good way to have teamwork without it having to be sports. They help each other make their beds and clean the bathrooms. It's pretty sweet, really.

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Re: "I'm sooo tired!"/ Whining

Unread post by cbollin »

kaiakai wrote: I realize she's 4.. I just don't want to be feeding a bad habit for the future.
I agree with your goal. You don't want bad habits. As moms we also do not want to parent or teach from a point of fear (eek! if I dont' now, then... evil bad stuff will happen! they'll run in the street when a car comes, or will never serve God...)
Sometimes we fear too much that childish behavior will determine how they act later on when it might just be a language development. You've asked how to know the difference. Talk about something hard to write about on the internet. Do you have any older friends in your church who are past the parenting stage and relaxed with other people's children? watch them.

Some people will say that anytime they do anything like what you have described it is a sign they are in rebellion and that if you don't get their behavior right now they will never blindly obey God. (sounds far fetched for the majority of cases, but certainly could apply to some children). But basically they are saying do not let it become a habit or it will carry over in all things.

Some people will say "some 4 y.o's just like to talk a bit and if they actually do what you ask, don't worry too much." In other words, some are sure it isn't a life long habit, but a learning phase in their development.

Some will say something in between those extremes.

How to know the difference? When they stop asking politely for an option, or you make more of an issue of "don't whine at me". Parenting is a two way street.
I tend to give instructions in positive forms "Use your polite manner voice, please". instead of "don't whine at me!". Or with my autistic child (and trust me, I'm terrified that anything she learns will be life long habit due to autism wiring of the brain! trust me I live that fear too), I've noticed that she is currently in a language phase of "but I don't want to do....". I just say "ok. I don't want to either. but we are doing it together. Come on." Brings a smile to me because she is clearly saying "I dont want to, but I will do it." I like that. Others out there will say "you're crazy and setting bad habits." whatever. They have their sinners of children, I have mine. and my child obeys my authority.

Some of the wisest parenting I ever had the blessing to observe came from the director of a Christian preschool that focused more on learning through directed play instead of academics. She was the director for decades and it was her gifting from God. She kept a gentle voice at all times. She knew she had the authority and never had to prove it to the children. Her book of choice for the whole school was 123 Magic by Thomas Phelan.

I like that book and it worked great in their school because the children learned to obey the first time. it's not a don't make me count to 3 kind of attitude at all. It was expect the proper behavior on the first time.
it even worked with my severely language delayed child.

I like materials from National Center for Biblical Parenting.... google on Turansky and Miller.

I don't know you in real life. not there to see it.. I'd guess that because you are following through on taking her to her room to rest then do chores, that she will quickly learn that you mean business and might even stop asking to rest. If the rest keeps up, set a timer, sit with her (or her with you) and then when timer goes off, do the work. In my limited opinion, I think that is developing a good habit because she is respecting your instruction to rest, and then work. I'm not really sure I know what the bad habit that you think is developing?
is she mouthy?
If she mouths off at you... ignore it while the timer is going (don't reset the timer), don't reinforce that. Talk about that much later far removed from the incident. Dont' refer to the incident. But give instructions on how to talk respectfully to you. All of us will have different ways those words can be expressed.

Begin to use these remaining preschool years so that certain times of the day are set for "school time" and include clean up as part of it. reading time. as you progress in school time where she has to read for a while, set a timer and limit the out loud reading time. let her know it's her turn for it. For now, give her some "pseudo control" on when she has to read out loud "When it's your turn to read to me, do you want page 2 or page 3?" Now she has something concrete and predictable to get ready for.

oh cool! Trish was typing while I was. I always like her practical tips.

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Re: "I'm sooo tired!"/ Whining

Unread post by Yodergoat »

Having recently had a 4 and 1/2 year old, I can remember mine going through just such a stage. She still does this, occasionally, but it is considerably lessoned and is no longer really an issue. I handled it the same way you have been: "Well, I guess you must need a rest..." She never naps (hasn't since she was less than 2 and even when she was a baby it was seldom), so the idea of laying down during the day or going to bed early is apalling to her. Only on a couple of occasions did I actually have to put her to bed for this much-needed "rest," and to her the very thought of being made to nap was enough to motivate her not to keep trying the "I'm too tired" act. And it was an act... my daughter is almost NEVER actually physically tired even though she runs full steam all day. Did I say she doesn't nap? Ever? :~ Different post there, I guess.

Mentally tired, yes... and I get that. But this I'm-about-to-collapse-from-sheer-exhaustion-as-soon-as-you-ask-me-to-do-something-I-don't-consider-fun routine was all an act, and after consistency with my response of "I guess you need a rest..." and then following up by making sure she does the chore anyway (no matter how much she whined), it eventually went away except for the following scenario:

We go on lots of walks down birding trails, which is usually great fun for her because she runs ahead, finds rocks and weird shaped roots, looks at ants crossing the path, etc. But every now and then she will pull this "sooooo tired" stunt while walking, just because she wants Daddy to carry her. Suddenly the child who was running amok moments before drags down, her arms fall limp at her sides and her head hangs. "Oh, I can't walk any more... I'm sooooo tired. Daddy can you carry me?" But we're there to birdwatch, difficult to do with child in arms, and we don't like being manipulated. Of course there's no way to implement the "need a rest" response in the woods. But we can usually distract her by asking her to be our "scout" ahead or showing her something interesting on the path, and then she forgets her sudden fatigue and starts running ahead again or running circles around us on the path. Tired, my foot!!! I've never met anyone with more energy! Just so you know, if she approaches Daddy sincerely and says, "Daddy, I want to be with you... can you carry me for a while?" without the falsehood of being tired, he will. We also try to remind her to use true words and that saying she is tired when she really isn't is not truthful.

Sometimes when I'm going about my own chores, I tell her (with great honesty!) that sometimes I don't really want to do something (like wash dishes when I'd rather read), but that it is part of my job to do it so it must be done. That way she sees that trying to avoid work is something we all feel like doing... but it isn't an acceptable choice. I wonder if any of that has worn off on her.

Just wanted to share my experience with a daughter who used to pull this one ALL THE TIME. She's pretty good now about not shirking her duties, but it took a while.
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

Re: "I'm sooo tired!"/ Whining

Unread post by cbollin »

Yodergoat wrote:Just so you know, if she approaches Daddy sincerely and says, "Daddy, I want to be with you... can you carry me for a while?" without the falsehood of being tired, he will. We also try to remind her to use true words and that saying she is tired when she really isn't is not truthful.
yep... I agree wholeheartedly. When we give them the true words to what they want, it goes a long way.

just smiling a bit as there have been times my kids have said "I'm too tired to keep walking" and so I sit down and say "tell me about it! where's the water bottle. Who's going to carry mommy!" and I've found them suddenly rubbing my shoulders.
you see... mommy is only 4 '7" and long ago lost the physical ability to carry a preschooler. 8[] and I'm convinced at that age, they have a quicker physical recovery time from cardio exercise. (I'm a group exercise instructor who sweats hard. )

I know I don't feel like I have anything to help, but I love sharing parenting stories like that.

anyway... thunderstorms over here... I have to let your younger moms talk..
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Re: "I'm sooo tired!"/ Whining

Unread post by Dusenkids »

cbollin wrote:I have to let your younger moms talk..
I look to my mom (and other mom figures about the same age) for advice. With my oldest only being 5, I am far from knowing it all.

Really, I would say that what you have said so far sound good. You have a plan and your following through. It may take a while to "sink in". With my 4y, it's a stage and he will prabably out-grow it soon (I hope). :~

I agree with a lot that has be said.
I try to make sure that my kids know that they are responsible for helping around the house. Trying to teach work ethic, pride in your what you have, and value.
Give plenty of warning. "In 5 mins I need your help to ..."
My 4y needs a timer. "You are going to help me for ...min and then you can go back to playing."
Stay consistant. Don't let them "get away" with being sleepy. If you ask them to help you with something, they need to do so. Your plan looks good. It may take some time for her to know that is the way it is.
Break things up. Right now we are going to pick up just your dirty clothes. I have learned not to say "clean your room" at this age.
Make sure she knows what you expect. My version of clean and my kids version of clean, two very different things. "I want all of the books on the shelf" or "I want all the books standing neatly on the shelf."
Related, how does she know when her job is done?
Is there a job that she likes to do. My son loves to scrub walls so after he picks up.... then I give him a wet rag.
I sometimes bribe with cookies. After this is done, we will bake some pb cookies.
4 is a funny age. My oldest was really good at cleaning something up by himslef. My second (currently 4) plays the same game as yours. I still help him with his chores. Key is help. I do not do his work for him.

So yeah, a lot of what the more experienced, "older moms" have already said. :-)
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern
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Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by jasntas »

alisoncooks wrote:DH and I are at a point where we'd like our girls (3 and 5, but mainly the 5 yr old) to start learning about spending/saving/giving. Currently, they have only received money from relatives on birthdays/holidays.

DH wants to go the chore route, where they get paid to complete assigned tasks.
I'm torn.... I want my girls to earn know that, as a part of our family, they are expected (not paid) to do these tasks.

I see the value in earning the money (I don't think I want to just give an allowance)...but I am struggling to come up with a system/plan that isn't overwhelming or nitpicking the tiny details. I am just desperate to NOT create more UNNECESSARY work for myself.

So, may I ask what you do with your children? Do your children get allowances? How do you organize it all?
ANY info would be appreciated (as you may be able to tell, I'm quite conflicted about all this...)
It's funny, I was the one that felt my kids should earn their allowances and my dh felt they should get it for being a part of the family.

So we went with giving them each an allowance for being part of the family and their chores are also a part of being part of the family.

Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
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