Am I asking for Too Much?!?

United States
March 5, 2007 12:07pm CST
My 7 year-old daughter drives me crazy!!! When she comes in the house, she throws her clothes on the floor, and keeps going. Whenever she looks for something, anything in her path is destroyed! Her room is a disaster area, no exaggeration. I ask her over and over to pick up after herself, and it never gets done. I try to give her chores,so that she will learn some responsibility. Her chores consist of, cleaning her room, clearing the table after meals, and picking up when she messes up. Is this too much for her? I don't think so. The only thing she does without a hassle is taking out the trash(which is not even her chore), and checking the mail. And everytime she is asked to do something, she has to go to the bathroom, or her stomach hurts. She is such a drama queen. I have 5 children total, she is the oldest. My other children are 3,2,and 9 months. Due to the high demands of the children, and house, I can't do it all! So I ask, am I expectng too much from her? Any suggestions on how to gain control of this situation. My house is falling apart, and I feel like I am fighting a losing battle with my daughter.
9 people like this
44 responses
@Tanya8 (1734)
• Canada
5 Mar 07
This sounds like a common phenomenon; I've had similar troubles with my almost 8 year old. I made a lot of charts about 2 months ago, and it seems to have helped somewhat. I didn't offer a reward, I just told the kids (the other one was almost 5), that they could check off a box, every time they completed one of the items on it (e.g. coat and shoes away, spilled toothpaste cleaned up etc.). 2 weeks later they were in the habit of hanging up their coats, helping put their dishes away at dinner, and cleaning up behind themselves in the bathroom. I still have lots to work on, but I was thinking of getting each person in the family their own box or basket, so that, rather than me having to nag at them about all the clothes, crafts and toys they distribute all over the house, I could just tell them to fill the basket and take everthing up to their room at the end of the day. They'd then have to put everything in it's correct spot, and start out with an empty basket each day. It could be a lot of work, but then they might be more thoughtful about what they take out, and perhaps put things back as they go. One other technique I wrote down a long time ago, but haven't yet used is the idea of using a symbol to remind people, if there's something that needs to be done (so you don't have to nag). The family in the example I read, would put a blanket over the TV, but I'm not sure if I want to go the route of turning TV into a reward. I'm trying to think of something else to use, like a chair tipped over. It just has to be noticeable. Another idea I keep forgetting to use, is to write funny notes from inanimate objects (for example, you might write, "Dear kids, I feel so sticky with all these toothpaste splattered on me. Please help! Sincerely, the mirror". I've done this before, and the kids seem way more eager to help when they're laughing.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 07
I really dont think that you are asking too much of her. I mean the chores you give her are no major deal for a child her age to do. I think she is just basically being stubborn. The suggestion I have for you is that she not be allowed to do any of the things she likes to do until her chores are complete. No matter what it is. She should come home do whatever homework she has and complete her chores. You will have to be consistent in having her to do them. You are the parent and you are showing her how to mature into a person that is not a slob. Again, I don't think you are asking too much, but any pleasure she is having even watching TV, before she completes her chores - and does a good job with them - should be removed from her schedule until what you want is done. Best of luck...
1 person likes this
@magikrose (5423)
• United States
5 Mar 07
You are not alone. I am in the same boat as you are. My kids are 7,6 and 3 and when my 2 oldest get home there coats are all over the floor and so are there backpacks. The main thind I do demand of them is that they keep there room clean andthay they help clean the livingroom. Well the have no problem cleaning up the living room thy do a great job at that but when it comesto there rom my husband and I eventually have to go in there and do a clean sweep and throw out a few toys of theres.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 07
I remember pulling this card with my parents like "I don't feel good" when I didn't want to do something. It didn't work. My parents told me to do it anyway because they knew I wasn't sick. The jobs you gave her are not a lot at all! She basically has to just clean up after herself, take out the garbage occassionally, and clear the table. She is only 7 so there's still time to work on this issue. You may have to explain to her that besides you, all the other kids are looking up to her since she's the oldest and she needs to set a good example for them so that when they get big enough, they can help out too. My sister who is 20 years old is still kind of a slob and you could track her footsteps easily. She would come into the house with her bags and instrument ect and basically drop it off where she was standing. Sometimes it be the middle of the floor!!! We'd practically go head over heals if we'd trip on it. Every school project she seems to do makes an explosion of a mess that she doesn't always clean up. Maybe it's cause she's the baby in the family and she was use to everyone cleaning up. But she's a very responsible young woman, she just is messy. :P
1 person likes this
@kakuemmom (862)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
No I don't think you are asking to much at nine she should have some responsibilities. and the 3 and 2 year old could be taught to pick up there own toys and put dirty clothes in hampers. I also had a real hard time getting my children to pull there weight but i came up with a solution. Rewards.... this is a great way to get the jobs done you can do it how every you please. from giving money or stickers that add up when they get so many stickers they get a special treat. This could be candy and movie they want to see or maybe computer time or Nintendo or play station if you have any of these. It works now that my older two are teens they get pocket money if they do there chores with out me hassling them to do it they get exactly what they should get. If I need to remind them it needs done more than once then I take money off of them. After a few weeks with only getting a little money they have learned to come home do there chores then move on to the fun stuff lol. It works really it does hope this helps a little.
• Canada
6 Mar 07
sorry reread the post again your daughter is 7 not nine duh i think the 9 in the nine months threw me off lol. still 7 is old enough for chores
@Island_Geko (3760)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
I feel she needs a time out or two....I think she is wanting or lcking attention. I had a brother like that and their was not much my parents could do except implement time out, and no tv or fun time unless he acted properly. I hope she learns soon so it doesn't pass down to the next in line.
• Canada
6 Mar 07
Nanny 911 - Nanny 911 for Kids running wild
if you ever get a chance to watch nanny 911 it may help you get a few pointer.
• United States
5 Mar 07
I read this twice to make sure I could offer good advice. No you are not asking to much. I read a book once called Raising A Responsible Child. Information it offered really taught me a lot. She dose not realize that everyone has to do choirs. Have a plain with another mother Have her go to their house at choir time while the other child is doing choir's This way she learns that everyone is doing choirs. remind her of that next time she is complaining. say don't your friends do choirs. With the cloths. Use the cloths basket if its not in the cloths basket don't wash it. pick the cloths up from the living room toss them in her room. She will soon get tired of not having clean cloths. And complain. Tell her I washed everything in the Basket. were your cloths in the basket? Or,tell her, put them in the basket I'll wash them. She will soon get it. Afew days of dirty cloths want hurt anything Call the school tell them whats your doing If that is an issue.
• United States
5 Mar 07
To save your sanity.
@sunnypub (2130)
• United States
5 Mar 07
HAHAHA I am sorry for laughing but she sounds just like my daughter. It is a battle that is not going to be won onvernight. You have to set rules and include the chores as part of the rules. Make sure she knows that there are consequences when the rules are not followed. You have to be willing to stand behind the rules and dish out the consequences if they are not followed. I never tell my daughter what the consequenses are, she finds out if she does'nt follow the rules. To help, we try to make her chores fun. Sometimes we will have a race, you know to see if she can clean her room faster than I can do the dishes or something like that. Sometimes I just time her to see how fast she can complete her chores. She really likes that one. She is also old enough for you to talk to her and let her know just how much you need her help and how much you would appreciate it. My daughter loves to be a help but she likes to choose what she is helpful with. She even made up her own chore chart. I think it is important to include her in the decision making process. I think the best thing you can do is talk to you, set down rules, enforce the rules, and try to make helping out fun.
@shebee28 (230)
• United States
5 Mar 07
that's funny, my 7 year old does the same thing. Once she walks in te door from school, all hell breaks loose. Mine is a drama queen too. Begs for everything, but won't ever clean her room. I can't do it. It drives me crazy! But at least i'm not the only one going through it.
@aryan77 (72)
• India
6 Mar 07
hi there.. yah u are asking for too much from herside.. she is just not take tension and also dont force her to do so... as soon as she will grow up she will understands her responsibilities.. but it will take sm time
• United States
6 Mar 07
I wonder if the excuses and hassles aren't her way of getting some attention from Mom. Sometimes in large families, the oldest children feel left out or "pushed" aside for the younger ones. Also, maybe a little bit of humor would ease the situation. Maybe you could be the "drama queen" and make a FUNNY production of picking up the mess she leaves or doing the chores you've asked her to do. Sometimes that's all it takes to get through. Blessings to you.
@fatragu (349)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I don't think that it is too much to ask. My oldest is 2 followed by 10months and due on 10/10. The chores you talk about are what my 2yr old does everyday, except for the room. We only clean it 1-2 times a week. We don't have chairs for our kitchen table and she has her Disney Princess Table so she cleans it off and then helps me clean it after she eats. Her other favorite things to do are feed lilly and go with me to get the mail. I have never assigned chores she just kinda does them for me. She also vaccumes too and keeps asking to do the dishes. I always warn people with a dishwasher not to open it when we are around or she will load it for you. The only time that I get to vaccume is if she is gone or asleep other than that she takes it from me and tells me "No Mommy, Sit Mommy" and points to the couch and then vaccumes. We have a rainbow so I am not worried about her gettting hurt.
@greengal (4286)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I understand what you mean, kids at that age can be a little troublesome. She knows she is the eldest and still chooses not to help. The only reason I see is, at this age she is probable learning a lot of new things and she thinks she is free to do what she wants and doesn't want to be constantly nagged about doing this and that. Maybe she sees no good in it for her ie when she helps you. I think you should sit down with her and tell her why you ask for her help. Reward her in small ways to get her motivated. That should help change her attitude. She could also be behaving this way coz she might not be getting the attention and love she deserves. It happens when there are more than 2 children in the house. If I were in your situation I would try to understand why she doesn't want to help, getting angry and ranting will only make her more stubborn and averse.
@Joey322 (272)
• United States
6 Mar 07
wow. your 7 year old has totally turned you into a door mat, mom. i know, it's hard to hear sometimes, but it sounds like the truth. you are not asking her to do too much. in fact those chores are completely reasonable. does she get an allowance for these chores?? if not, then have you thought about setting one up for her? there are loads of great books and allowance ideas, but i like the idea of an allowance based on her age. so, let's say $7/week for her chores. $3 goes into a college fund, $2 goes into savings account and $2 goes to her for immediate spending, if she chooses. pick a certain day for all her chores to be done for the week and that will be payday. so, if she is to clean her room, then she can keep it tidy everyday (easy way) or tornado it and then clean it all up on the day before payday. now, the clearing the table should be done every day without fail unless there is a big homework assignment (rare) or major illness, like vomitting or fever!! the messes she makes also need to be cleaned up as they occur. for everyday she doesn't do a chore, then deduct a certain amt of $ from allowance. starting with the immediate money first, then savings, and then college (however, you may always want to put that in anyway since it's a good idea to help save without a lump sum). now, if money isn't appealing to her, then you just need to take the reigns back in the family! give her that mom look and tell her she needs to shape up! if she says she doesn't want to do something, then tell her "tough! you're going to do what i asked you to do b/c i'm your mother and that's how things work around here." i never expected myself to sound like my parents, but they raised 3 great kids and i think i've learned a few things from them!!! so, bottom line. take the control back and don't let her get away with that junk. she's big enough to do her chores, but not too big for a grounding, time out or even a swat to the bottom! take care.
• Nigeria
6 Mar 07
i dont think u dicispline ur 7 year daughter enough.net time she does that tell her to knee down for at list min and if she continue flog her strock of the cane.i think that will bring her sences back
• United States
6 Mar 07
Absolutely you are not asking too much of her. She needs to respect her possessions and your home. Tossing her things on the floor does neither. If her room is really awful, she may be overwhelmed and not know where to begin. I would plan on going in with her and supervising her until it gets to a manageable level. Once her room is clean, I'd move bedtime up by 15 minutes. Room has to be clean before bed or she will get X consequence tomorrow (no TV, no friend over, whatever works for her). Also, anything she has left out will be put into time out for a certain period of time. This has worked wonders for us. No one's room gets too out of control (except for the youngest's), and the kids don't feel overwhelmed. I know it's hard, but when she tries to weasel out of doing something by needing to go to the bathroom or whatever excuse it is at the time, you have to stay on top of her. Let her go, but as soon as she gets out, she has to do her chore. If she doesn't do her chore, give her a logical consequence for it. If she leaves her coat on the floor, she doesn't have it the next day (only if it's cool, not if it's really cold! You'd need a different one in that case.). If she won't set the table, she can go hungry. I know I probably sound harsh, but I think that kids really need to learn responsibility. By giving them logical consequences, they learn what it's like in the real world. We have consequences for not doing things we need to do. It's much better for them to learn these lessons now. They won't miss dinner more than once, either.
@coolcatzz (1587)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
I don't think you are asking too much and I would rectify this situation as soon as possible. The older she gets the harder it will be to fix. I have a 9 year old daughter and she is a wonderful help. She takes out the garbage/recycling. She cleans her room. She'll put in a load of laundry for me. She keeps her toy area clean. She'll dust or swiffer the floor without me even asking. I was out the other day and when I came home she cleaned the whole front hall. She swept and then washed it. She is such a good kid I'm lucky to have her. But I would clamp down on her now or you will never get it done because the older she gets the more defiant she will be.
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
Hello mommy2uwais, I can emphatize with you. My eldest daughter is also 7 and everything that I told her simply fall on deaf ears. Like you, my house is also a disaster. There is nothing wrong with what you're doing. In fact, you're on the right track. Disciplining them early is better than waiting for them forever to learn according to what age they prefer to start. You may like to give her a consequence. One thing I found effective is that I will remove one of her favorite things. I told my daughter that unless she clean whatever mess she did, she can't have her things back.
@anyket (106)
• India
6 Mar 07
i think u shouldd take ur daughter to a psychiatrist first and try a solution with the help of the doc
@tanya6 (333)
6 Mar 07
i think you are being very resonable in asking her to do those small chores all children have to learn at one time or another that things dont just magic themselves back to perfection when they leave the house. as a child i was always very tidy and i now enjoy doing my house work and keeping my house very clean and tidy my son has inherited this and is also very good at picking things up for a 3 year old anyway. but my sister and my older brother are such messy people that my mum ends up in a right old state trying to get them to tidy up they are grown up so i would expect more from them really. all of us were raised within the same house and had the same rules and chores were very well shared between us so i cant see why they can be so messy and not care when i am so tidy and organised. maybe your daughter is just going through a stage in her life and feels she needs to be in control of her own decisions as to house work i would try and help her in her chores to start so as to show her it is a joint effort between the both of you, and maybe ask her if she would like to decorate her bedroom and she can choose the colours this will let her know you do value her as an important part of the household and you value her choices and respect them, this will also give her something to look after and care for, also try and bring in the fact that she is the oldest and why not try giving her chores that involve the younger ones maybe she could help dress them or feed them make her feel important. if all this fails then really i think the only option os to be very heavy handed and tell her anything she fails to pick up will be put out for the trash you dont really have to get rid of the stuff but maybe she will start to worry when she has no clothes left to wear or any toys to amuse herself with. hope this helps and you get somewhere sooner rather than later good luck tanya
• India
6 Mar 07
no, you are not asking for too much. the same here for my 7yr son. sometimes i threaten him with dire consequences like preventing him from watching his fav show on TV or not giving his fav lunch to school. sometimes he just looks at me coolly and says OK, he doesn't need them, at other times he sulks, but generally he listens to what i say. you can try such tactics too!