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Beaten by an Eight Year Old

Updated on March 29, 2013

Mother and Daughter!


The Innocence of Youth

Recently I’ve spotted a few quotes on Facebook that have made me stop and think about parenting, the first:

By the time a woman realises her mother was right she has a daughter who thinks she is wrong

And another that is too long to repeat but basically calls everyone under the age of thirty Generation Y, “Y do I have to tidy my room, Y do I have to get a job, Y should I learn how to spell.”

Alone, these two quotes may not mean anything in particular, apart from the fact that I disagree with both.

I currently have 3 children, of 12, 8 and 2 (next week!) and the eldest two often give me great food for thought. My middle child is so outspoken, honest and forthright that she often gets into trouble. Recently she has been rebelling against changes we’ve made where she should tidy up after herself, clear her plate away and feed the dog and she did show signs of petulance when last night she shouted

“Why Should I?”

Now if I had said this to my parents at her age my ear would have been throbbing in seconds. I’d be grounded and given even more chores. At my daughters age I hoovered, ironed, cooked, cleaned, washed, walked the dog and made sure my parents always had a pot of hot tea. After the fourth trip to the paper shop one day I remember telling my parents they might as well get a slave instead – let’s just say those words never came out of my mouth again.

So although this rebellion seemed forthright and cheeky, inside I was a little proud that she felt able to voice her opinion without being scared to death. Although I did struggle to find an answer.

Then my 12 year old piped up. His speech went something like this.

“Look Poppy, if you don’t learn how to do all of this stuff now how are you ever going to run your own dog’s home and have your own house? People won’t bring dogs to you if you don’t even know how to clean and the dogs won’t last long if you don’t feed them. Mum and Dad are trying to turn you into a person who can look after herself, would you like to be that or would do you want to be someone who begs other people for help all the time?

Besides if you help now, mum won’t have to do it when she finishes work and she’ll have more time to spend with us. If you don’t we’ll never see her, is that what you want? Mum didn’t want to go to work today but she did it for us so we should do something for her!”

I’m not bigging this up this is exactly how it came out of his mouth. Then my daughter replied,

“You don’t have to go to work, you could have eaten chocolate and watched telly all day because you’re an adult. You can do what you want.”

I did have an answer for this, as I explained what happens if a self-employed person watches telly all day and eats chocolate.

I asked who would pay for the home we live in, who would keep up the payments on the car, who would fork out for the Tesco delivery and who would pay the council tax. I listed a long line of bills, some I’ll admit she shouldn’t concern herself with at her age, but I wanted to make a point.

“But other people have food and houses and they don’t work all the time like you!”

Over to you son!

I found a blog where Nicolas D Samspon discusses what happens when parents and children clash.


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    • Martina Mercer profile imageAUTHOR

      Martina Mercer 

      5 years ago from York

      I completely agree, it has been around forever- first time I've encountered it as a mother though. Closely followed by the thinly veiled, "what's in it for me?"

      She feels she should be paid for chores or rewarded so this phase is about trying to make her understand exactly what you said, "everyone chips in".

      I find myself saying phrases such as, "because it's the nice thing to do," or "because when you help it should make you feel happy inside". It's a strange feeling teaching someone how to be good and kind, as I know she is deep inside, but it does feel a bit like moulding them rather than letting their personalities develop. Regardless, I will continue to mould her into a helpful, kind, considerate member of society!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      That "why should I" question has been around forever. And addressing it is how you make inroads with your children. At a very young age, sometimes, the answer might be 'because I asked you to' or 'because it is your part of being a family member." I agree that laying too much on kids at too young of an age is not the best tactic however they need to know that a family works well when everyone works together. The Momma or the Daddy or both are not the maids. Everyone chips in to make the family work like a well oiled machine.

      This comment could go on and on but I kind of think you know what you plan to do already. What worked for me may not be the right answer for your family or your family's dynamic.

      Sending Angels your way :) ps


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