My daughter is 6 years old. There are times when she seems more like a teenager, blaring her music so her dad and I have to go tell her to turn it down. There are times when she seems much younger, looking at me with big eyes and asking for cuddle time. We have decided that even though she isn't a teenager by any stretch, she isn't a baby anymore either and so we need to come up with some reasonable expectations for her.
The problem comes in when we can't agree on what reasonable expectations are. My dh wants to expect her to keep her room clean with no help and no reminders, pick her dishes up, not leave food or cups out, and play quietly when he wants some quiet time.
I want to expect her to clean her room when she's told (which I think should be every night before bed), pick up her dishes, and wipe down the table after supper.
My biggest disagreements are 1) She needs gentle reminders "Alexis it's almost bedtime, pick up your room", "Did you put your dishes in the sink" while she is getting into the habit, plus she can't tell time well yet so she needs reminders of when it's getting close to bedtime. 2) We can't expect her to do things consistently if we aren't doing them consistently (putting OUR dishes in the sink when we're done eating, picking up our dirty clothes, etc)
He believes in the Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do philosophy where I lean more towards Monkey-see-monkey-do.
So how can we find a healthy compromise. Here is what I am going to propose tomorrow, before our date night, when Alexis is at her aunt's house:
1. Get an alarm clock for in her room that has a digital display. Then write down times and things we expect to be done. Ex. 8:00 Pick up toys (with pictures to help her read)
2. Remind her at least 15 minutes before bedtime (which for the rest of this month will be 8:30 and then in August will go back to 8 which is when her bedtime is for school)
3. Daily chores: -Pick up bedroom -Wipe off table after meals -Wipe out bathtub (not clean it just run the wash cloth over it)
4. If daily chores are completed every day of the week, gets $.75
The biggest thing here is when I'm working at night he will have to remember to have her clean her room. I'm helping by giving her a way to know it's time to clean but he will still have to make sure that she does it and remind her if needed.
This is a great practice for him too. This year she will start having homework. If I am at home I will make her do it as soon as she gets home, when it is still fresh in her mind. But if I am at work then he has to remember to have her do it.
What do you think reasonable expectations are for a 6 year old, or what did you do when your child was this age? Are you a monkey see money do believer or a do as I say not as I do believer?