Kate - posted on 06/30/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )
My husband and I hold our 6.5-year-old son responsible for many things (his own library card, cleaning his room, making his bed, clearing his dishes, etc.), and we also give him the independence to do things on his own without being babied (brushing his teeth, washing himself in the bath/shower, wiping himself after going #2, sleeping in his own bed, doing his nose spray - supervised, of course). The problem is that his BM doesn't do any of these things... She still brushes his teeth for him, still bathes him, even wipes him after he goes #2, and still lets him sleep in her bed (he slept in her bed until he got his own room when he was 5 years old).
She's yelled at us for "forcing him" to wash himself in the shower or brush his teeth by himself, or allowing him to do his nose spray on his own (even though we watch him do it - I know 5 year old kids that can use an inhaler on their own!), and says there's NOTHING wrong with her washing his body or letting him sleep in her bed with her.
His teacher says that while he's very smart and sociable, he struggles with taking responsibility for his wrong-doings and not taking things seriously (acting immature for his age) when it's time to learn.
Do we expect him to do too much on his own, or what is your advice for helping a 6-yr-old boy learn independence and self-reliance?! What's a "good" age to expect these types of behaviors from a child? When I was a nanny, the kiddos would do all of these things on their own by the time they were 4 or 5!