Is it wrong to tell my son,who is 8, that more is expected out of him since he is oldest?

Laundry Sorter

mysticfairy74 asks:

I have 2 kids….a daughter, who will be 7 on the 14th of this month, & an 8 yr old son……My son does dishes, helps take out the trash & helps me with laundry…..My Daughter helps with laundry..she is the sorter….picks up toys, clothes, & papers….picks up her won room…..My son told me it is unfair that she doesnt have to do dishes…I told him, he is older, so sometimes, more is expected of him. My daughter can’t really reach the sink…even when standing on a stool…& I dont trust the standing in a chair…so she doesnt have dish duty yet…After, I said this to him….I felt kind of bad about it….I remembered how it would make me feel when Mom would say it to me, when I was a kid……Was I wrong in telling him this?….Should I apologize?…..They each have their own sets of chores to do to get their allowances…..
I do the dishes also…..He has weekend & now breakfast dish duty….I do the lunch & dinner dishes…
I just wanted to add the size thing…I am 5’3″….My son comes to my chin… daughter is barely past my waist….she is VERY small for her age….My son is taking after his Father’s side of the Family….LOL…his Daddy is 6’5 1/2″…..My daughter is taking after my side….the tallest in my Family is 5’11″…& that was my Grandpa…..that is one of the reasons she doesnt do the dishes….she can’t see over the counters….where as he can…I was doing dishes at his age too….nothing wrong in that…he doesnt wash knives nor does he do the pots & pans…I do those..but the other things he does….their chores are equal…they both do other things together…clean their rooms….laundry….pick thngs up around the house….they both have their feather dusters & we all do the dusting….then we take turns vacuuming rooms….it is just easier on us this way & I work 2 full time jobs…so I cant do all alone….it helps us all….

Best answer:

Answer by soleil_fairy
Why don’t you do the dishes?

16 thoughts on “Is it wrong to tell my son,who is 8, that more is expected out of him since he is oldest?

  1. If he is going to receive more responsibilities, he should also gain more benefits with his age. This could come in several forms. He could get to stay up a 1/2 hour later on school days, & an hour later on weekends. He could get a larger allowance. Use your imagination. Otherwise, you can balance the workload by giving your daughter other chores which your son won’t have to do. Don’t allow her to use her size as a cop-out, whatever you do. I work with women in my field who attempt to do this to this day, because they were coddled at home, & now they are expected to do the same job as larger coworkers due to the fact they have the same training, education, & job description. Perhaps your daughter should take over the trash duties, or at least a share of them. Also, if she can’t reach the sink & you fear for her safety, her brother can easily hand her the rinsed dishes to dry, right? Get creative, & keep things balanced.

  2. This sounds reasonable to me. It’s not like he is doing all the jobs and her nothing. Tell him life is unfair and he is learning it sooner rather than later. Don’t feel guilt you sound like you have given them both the right jobs for good reason. And think about it, he’s an 8 year old, if it wasn’t this that he thinks is unfair it would be something else. Try compromise. Is your daughter tall enough to reach the dishes once they are dry? Maybe she can put away.

  3. Hi
    You answered my question about spouses staying true. Thank you, you may wish to know that I went through what you are now. If you want to talk, write my e-mail address down.
    Since I know the situation, you should know that your son may have too much put on him. You are the parent and not him. A parent in your situation needs to take control and find ways to raise your children and not them raising them.
    You may have to give up most of your possessions if not all. You may have to lower your standards to taking instead of giving. You must give up the luxuries for yourself.
    I could probably write a book on this subject. There are too many problems that you are facing and will face, for me to begin to give you help with your situation. Just remember who the adult is and that your child is not the adult. Let the children be children.
    If you even need to talk to somebody who has been where you are and has lost as you have lost, write me at my address. You are not alone. God be with you and your children always.
    mother and grannywinkie

  4. I don’t think you’re wrong. Apparently, you have very well-behaved children that acutally help out. Good job Mom!! But, just remember that more responsibility reaps more priviledges. Because he does the dishes, then he should be able to do things that you’re daughter is not “old enough” to do: later bed-times, more money in his allowance, other things that “older” kids do.

    I do realise that they are only a year apart, and the main reasoning for your daughter not to do the dishes is her height, but if you’re going to separate them into levels for chores, then you’d have to do it for rewards too. Another take on this may be to give her another chore, equal to the dishes, if you want to keep them on the same level.

  5. dont apologize, but also dont tell him hes the oldest so he must take more responsability i am the oldest of 3 and hated it when i did all the cleaning and my siblings did nothing but there rooms, and now i hate cleaning. good luck

  6. I am the oldest of three and I used to HATE when my mom would tell me that more was expected of me. I also hated when she used to say that I needed to set a good example for my brothers because they were looking up to me.

  7. I did the same thing to my son who was then 6 about the dog poopies. I understand how you could feel bad. I did too.

    I apologized to him and went on to explain that it wasn’t really more that I expected of him- just that I expected different things from him and his sister because they were two different people with different talents. I showered him with compliments about how good he was at picking up dog poop, cleaning off the table, etc. and that if he ever wanted to make extra money, I could give him something special for him to tackle. He was really receptive to it and to this day (almost 8 now) he’s still asking me if he can earn extra money by helping me out with something.

    I hope this helps.

  8. i would appolgize at least about (sort of) losing your temper. i would go back and explain how your girl can not reach the sink and since he is a big boy thats why he does the dishes. tell him your scared to put her standing on a chair and really explain it to him. i know when my parents use to do that it made me feel maybe not special but more needed like part of a team. and it made it easier to accept why i had the “assigned tasks” that i did. i am now getting to the point where i have to explain things to my son and it is hard sometimes but when i get mad i give my self a time out and then calm down and talk to him. i have found the responces are a lot better. grandma always said you catch more flys with hunny. 🙂 have you tried giving him like a dollar more because he does the dishes???

  9. I have a 6 yr. old and a 7 yr. old, who will be 8 next month and sometimes I find myself about to say that too. But I always catch myself. There is not that big of an age difference there. So it really isn’t fair to expect more out of the oldest. I have caught myself babying my youngest more sometimes, and have noticed it really hurts my older child. So now if I baby one I baby the other one too. If you think back, your oldest was still a baby when you had your second child. Which I’m sure took away alot of the attention he should have still been getting. Which wasn’t fair either, but that’s what happens with a new baby. I think my oldest sometimes feels like my youngest gets special treatment and it causes her to sometimes act out. Maybe you should apologize and start having your youngest help you when your washing the dishes. Or just having her stand in a chair beside you while you wash them, let her rinse. That would be more fair.

  10. your children are pretty close in age.i think they should be doing the same chores on differant days.just remember don’t feel bad for giving your child responsibility.

  11. God it has been so long ago since my kids was that daughter was the oldest she was alot of help to me, It made her feel good when I ask her to help me it made her feel al grown up..But sometimes when her sister and brother with to friends house my daughter and I would go out and do grown up things tothger like shopping

  12. As your kids are fairly close in age (if not in size!) then i would say that i don’t think it fair to labour the point of him being the older one.

    I think you are doing well in encouraging the kids to take their share of chores – it will stand them in good stead when they are older as well as them learning how to work together as part of the family to get the house in order.

    What i would do is to point out the obvious of her not being able to reach to do the dishes but then get them to focus on things like the time taken being equal and the quality of the jobs ‘finished’ being about the same too.

    I was getting my son to help out with chores almost as soon as he could walk and he is 7 now and appreciates being able to do things around the house. At the age of 5 he was able to get himself his own breakfast cereal which was a real boon in helping get ready on a school morning.

    At school he has recently been awarded for being the best boy of the school for good behaviour and being a role model – so giving kids a few chores is a good thing IMO.

  13. you can give him more resposiblity but it’s not about age it’s about readiness…he may not be ready and if you push he may never be ready…I see what you are trying to do and that is great but like you said remember when you were a kid…what did you like to do and what did you not like…instead of just giving him things to do ask him what he wants to do..he is communicating with you and you want him to continue doing that…so just tell him you are sorry for not realising how he felt and let him kno you value his opinion..then ask him what he likes to do i’m sure there are alot of other things he can do….don’t think you are not a good mom because the fact that you asked this question shows that you are try to be the best…stay positive

  14. Yes. Because parents keep expecting more out of the older children for life. They can’t get out of this habit even after both the kids become adults. Sometimes they ruin the older/younger kid’s life by forcing this “compete with your sibiling to be better” behavior.
    It often turns out that the older one has to give up everything (toys and other things) just because he’s taught to keep the younger one’s needs first. And parents (I know from example) even leave more inheritance for the younger kids. They assume that the older kid never needs any help or support (financial or emotional).

    I think you already know that I am the older one. 🙂

  15. Maybe not wrong, but if you remember the burden of it as a child, then don’t place that burden on your son. Talk openly with your son, I have always found that to be the best route with kids, then together you can turn it into something positive-“there I go again, trying to make you into a young man…” help him see that you are doing your best.

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