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parenting question

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
at what age should kids be able to...


1. dress themselves (without being told every time).
2. bathe/shower themselves.
3. cut their own food (like an enchillada not a steak)
4. wipe themselves after going to the bathroom.
5. do their chores with only occassional reminders.
6. remember what things are called, like peas or a mop.


i am a little frustrated because it seems like i could do these things at my stepkids' ages (8&9) and they can't. am i expecting too much?

thanks for any input!
post #2 of 21
Well.....my son is almost 15 and my daughter is almost 14. My son would laze around in his pj's all day if I didn't say, "Go take a shower." Sometimes he's in there and actually forgets to shampoo his hair.

Honestly, though, I think that by 8 & 9 the items on your list should be a given....especially the one about using the bathroom!
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
i guess i should be a little more clear about the wiping thing. the youngest wipes, but my husband fairly often has to rewipe him because he smells. (that's all i'm going to say. i don't want to gross anyone out any more than i have -- sorry!)
post #4 of 21
Well, a solution would be to have a supply of those flushable wet wipes on hand in the bathroom. I keep a box of the Cottonelle wet wipes on the tank of the toilet.
post #5 of 21
I think that chores are an ongoing battle, myself. What about this "remembering what things are called"?
post #6 of 21
Hahaha... the "remembering what things are called" is funny to me... I constantly use the wrong verb in talking to my son. If I want him to sit down and put his shoes on, I have been known to say "Sit down and EAT!"

My son is 6 next month, and he's got 3 of those down pat and is pretty good on the other four...

Do they have "Dad feels bad about the divorce so he spoils us" syndrome?
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
used to. we're working on that.
post #8 of 21
Well I only still have a yougin she's about to turn 3. But I've been told kids as young as 2 years (well on their way to 3) are able to whipe themselves and do the whole potty thing by themselves.
Though I do know of older kids like 5 years and up who still have "skid marks" on their undies.
As for remembering what things are called, my daughter will remember what anything is called once I tell her what it is.
Chantal can dress herself sometimes, she'll do it without being told, but then again she is a girl and loves her clothes.

Sometimes Chantal will pick up all of her toys of her own accord before going to bed and without being told.

As for bathing by themselves, I think I was about 8 or older until my mom let me bath alone, though I could be totally wrong. I had vivid memories of when I was older then 3 years old and my mum still giving me a bath.
post #9 of 21
Let me preface this by saying, I'm answering these questions based on my training as a daycare provider and as a mother of 2. Every child is different and develops at their own rate. The range of 'normal' is very large.


1. dress themselves (without being told every time).
They should be able to dress themselves by age 3, but probably will still need to be told to, they won't take it upon themselves.

2. bathe/shower themselves. NO child should be left alone in a tub under the age of 5, and most won't wash sufficiently till at least 6 or maybe older.

3. cut their own food (like an enchillada not a steak) I think by age 6, they can master using a butter knife, but not to cut anything difficult.

4. wipe themselves after going to the bathroom. Age 5 is usually the time they get to mastering this, although the wet wipes are a big help on this.


5. do their chores with only occassional reminders. My son is 6, and I still have to remind him daily.

6. remember what things are called, like peas or a mop. This is something that I"m not sure what you mean. My kids remember things names, but are you talking about an occasional memory lapse, or something that occurs often? If its often, check w/ the ped on this one.
post #10 of 21
I could do all of those things, at those ages and so could my sons. The chores thing, though, is forever. Mark and Richard had certain things to do, every day: feed and water the cats, clean litter boxes, take out trash. If I mentioned that these things weren't done, I'd hear, "But you didn't tell me to!"

I, finally, posted a duty roster, on the refrigerator.
post #11 of 21
I have 2 boys. 8 and 4.

Both dress themselves (with my help of course on school days as their sense of style and matching colors has not kicked in yet) On weekends, they chose their clothes and they wear whatever they want! They love that!!!!

Bath and shower. My oldest is just beginning in the shower phase. He's not sure if he likes showers yet... My boys normally bath together and BOTH need to be told to use soap. I am in the midst of teaching them to wash themselves carefully: behind ears, necks, underarms, parts.... etc... I don't do it for them anymore but I do 'supervise'. I allow them to play for a while and then it's serious business. If I did, however, leave it up to them. Soap would never cross their minds.

Cutting food: well.....that's something I have never asked either one to do. Not sure why. Do I think they need to learn? Yeah....eventually. I'm not too concerned about this being something they must do on their own. I always cut their food.

Wipe themselves....yeah, tough one. In this house, baby wipes are a constant. I encourage them to do it themselves but my 4 year old has no interest and still yells "I'm done!" when he's done.... My 8 year old would not be getting away with asking me for help. But he's always been extra careful with wiping. He can spend 10 minutes just making sure he got it all! :LOL:

Do their chores??? Nope! That is a constant battle here. I am always telling them to clean, pick up and put away. They'll do it but never because 'they just feel like it' It's more because that's the only way mom will stay quiet.

Remember what things are called? Well....I don't think that is much of a problem here however, some kids do have difficulty with mixing the words around. Like for example: Spagetti in this house is called Pasgetti as far as my boys are concerned. If they are constantly forgetting what things are called like: peas or mop, ask them why they find it confusing? What is it that makes them forget? If it seems like it is a much more serious problem than a simple 'I'm busy playing and could not care less what a pea is called' then, don't worry but....if it seems like that is the problem for everything, then do as Daniela suggested and have someone see them. Has the school ever mentioned anything? Normally they pick up on things like that real quick and advise you. If they haven't said anything and if their grades reflect normal grades for that age, then don't worry about it.

Good Luck!
post #12 of 21
Jan - you've already gotten great answers and great advice.

At the "sound of it," at first, what comes to my mind is potential learning disabilities - but I was trained to work with mentally retarded children, so that is what WOULD come to my mind. I agree with Ghys - the school would have said something. But you can ask - it wouldn't hurt.

Ghys -
Quote:
Both dress themselves (with my help of course on school days as their sense of style and matching colors has not kicked in yet...)


My mom did not do me that favor! I don't know why I remember this, because no other kids made fun of me or anything, but I remember wearing these huge yellow bellbottoms (this was 1972? I was 9) with a purple shirt and a red vest. How could she let me go out like that?
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the advice! i know kids develop differently, but sometimes i worry.

the forgeting what things are called part: the youngest will be eating and won't remember what the name of the food is. at the risk of ex-bashing... their mom seems to never feed them veggies, so they may forget since they only see them on weekends. i don't know. they also have no chores as their mom's so maybe they really don't know what a mop or a broom is called because they never have to use it.

they are regularly seen by counselors at school, but that is due to their environment from divorce and some abuse that occurred at the hand's of their mother's friends. i worry sometimes that all these problems are causing them to be developmentally challenged (how's that for a million dollar word?) when they talk about things it's always "when branden was four and i was five" even though i know for sure it happened at a later age. they were only 6 mos and 18 mos when their mom left their dad, so i know it's not that they are trying to go back to the age when mom and dad were together.

well now you know more than you probably wanted to, but i really appreciate your advice.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by Auburn412
they are regularly seen by counselors at school, but that is due to their environment from divorce and some abuse that occurred at the hand's of their mother's friends. i worry sometimes that all these problems are causing them to be developmentally challenged (how's that for a million dollar word?)
I know what step parenting is like because my sister went through it and it is the most challenging thing in one's life!

If you are concerned about these developments, why doesn't your husband contact some of these school counsellors and find out their take this? It would put your mind at ease and make sure the kids are developing properly. I know if I was in your shoes, I would need a professional outside opinion on this.

Just a thought!

post #15 of 21
That is true. If you have concerns you should talk with your kids teachers or counclers, they often may notice things about the child at school, which you might have similar concerns at home about.
I come from a family with a long line of mental illness's and some of them are hereditary. My daughter is still so young, but I am still always on the look out for inner problems she might be dealing with, be it a learning disability other mental issues.
If this is the case with your child, the earlier you catch it, often the better and easier it can be to help them.
post #16 of 21
well.. dressing: i have a 11 year old and well of course she dresses herself!! and my 8 year dresses herself, i just got to tell her to clean them up off the floor! my 6 year old dresses herself to but i have to tell her the same thing.

showers and baths: my 11 year old takes showers whenever she wants, my 8 year old dosn't really like taking showers but will take baths. my 6 year old dosn't like showers ether she takes baths.

cutting food: my 11 year old cuts her own food, my 8 year old dosn't ussuly cut her own food but butters her toast. my 6 year old just butters toast.

wiping: well my 11 year old of course!!
so does the 8 year old and the 6 year old.

doing chores: well i admit i don't really give them chores to do but i get them to do the dishes
and clean there room sometimes.

saying things: well sometimes my kids get words mixed up but they don't forget what things are!
post #17 of 21
Auburn:

I agree with perhaps pursuing educational evaluation if the teachers are seeing less than adequate progress.

BTW, a learning disability is not a 'mental issue', per se. Most children diagnosed with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. Dyslexia is often talked of, but is really only one type of learning disability. There are quite a few, and all deal with some type of processing deficit, whether it be long or short term memory, visual, or auditory processing. The earlier they are identified, the better.
post #18 of 21
Deb: By mental issues I ment something else, I didn't mean to classify them together. Like with my family we have problems with Bipolar, ADD, Depression, all types of Anxiety, etc etc. I worry about, and look out for my child for symptoms on that, which can also cause behavore which reflects that of a learning disability.
In addition to the learning disabilities themselves.
post #19 of 21
Angel:

I may not know enough about cats to fill a thimble, but learning disabilities I know a ton about. I wasn't meaning to jump on you. It's just that so many parents are already misinformed and think that their kids are retarded or something.
post #20 of 21
Deb: Oh no I didn't think you were, which is why I wanted to clarify myself. I went back and read what I said, and it did seem that I was saying a learning disability was a mental illness. Though that's not what I ment at all, hee hee.

I do not think my child is retarted, and wouldn't be to quick to think that at the first signs of trouble. But I am definetly going to be right here to help her if she does struggle with the for mentioned.
post #21 of 21
At what age should kids be able to...


1. dress themselves (without being told every time).:
2. bathe/shower themselves.
3. cut their own food (like an enchillada not a steak)
4. wipe themselves after going to the bathroom.
5. do their chores with only occassional reminders.
6. remember what things are called, like peas or a mop.



1)I teached them to do this as soon as possible ; I love that happy smile on a kids face , telling ye : "look mommy , I did this all by myself !!!!"[/color]

2)bath : not before they were 6 !! A bath can be quite slippery !! Shower : same age !! The possibility to get shampoo in their eyes , it scared me !!

3)I let them do this rather early . No sharp knives of course !!

4)I learned this from the beginning . Of course , you get some dirty underwear sometimes , but that's how kids learn , hey!!

5)I always gave them chores . Little ones at young age , larger ones when they grew up . It is a good way to teach them some responsibility!!

6)I used the correct words from the beginning . So now green balls , but peas , no chica-train , but just "train" !!

Success !!
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