Problem: My son is the single father of my 6 year old granddaughter and because I have been recently widowed, I am living with them and have become a 'co-parent'. Times have changed...I have not cared for a six year old for 32 years. I need to know what can be expected at this age...manners, responsibilities, respect, chores. Just general advice, my granddaughter is extremely bright and 'pushes the envelope' at every opportunity. Both my son and I are new at this and want to raise a good child, can anyone help?
Solution submitted by AJ from San Diego, CA: At six, my two oldest were expected to: get up for school without constant nagging, get dressed, brush teeth, and remember to get their backpack for school. When they return home, they hang up the backpack, do homework, then play. They ask to be excused from the dinner table, and pick up their room before bedtime. Each year we add something...now they have to greet us when they get up, and make their beds. When they get home, they bring in their clean clothes and put them away. They do homework before play or activities, and read every day. They clear and set the table. As I said, I add stuff at the start of the new school year. With my kids, we sat down and they made the schedule (it gives them a feeling of being part of the solution). I just told them what they are to do. You should see the schedule they made for who gets to ride in the front seat of the car on which days...it is so confusing it makes my head spin, but they came up with it and respect, as well as remember, it. As a result, I never get arguments. Let her help decide when she should do the duties, but you decide what the duties are. As for respect, we demand it for all adults ESPECIALLY for TEACHERS. Any back talk or whining results in a time out. And we speak to them the way we expect them to speak to us. Just keep in mind that six is a good time to start showing them how to organize their time. My four year old puts her clothes away, sets the table twice a week, and picks up her room before bed. She still needs help with the tooth brushing thing! Have fun! Your granddaughter will love feeing like she can help with decision making.