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amother




OP
 

Post Sat, Jun 25 2022, 11:48 pm
I'm going to come straight out and admit I'm not smart at this parenting thing. I think I'm a good parent because I take care of the kids and give them lots of love and all that, but when it comes to "what do I do in this situation" I'm not the one with the good ideas. So here's something that I bet is pretty standard and I just don't know how to solve it.

Here's the scenario:
DH has a thing with having the table set when he comes home from shul on Shabbos. I know it's a nice thing and even an expectation, but for some reason it's more than that to him, if it's not done he goes crazy. It's the younger kids' job to set the table (ages 8-10) - the older kids have chores related to shopping, cooking, sometimes childcare, and the younger kids are supposed to set the table. If DH comes home and it's not done, he throws a fit about how he/we work hard preparing Shabbos and all we ask of them is the table set and it's just a real trigger.

The kids are basically willing to do their job and set the table, but they need someone to be on top of them telling them to do it. DH's perspective is that it's their job every single week and they've seen how upset he is when it isn't done so they should know by now to do it without being told each time. I agree in theory but yet week after week they just don't learn.

So anyway what usually happens is that I go instruct them to do it before DH gets home every week. They always need to be instructed. I'm also annoyed when I come get them and it could be after 11:00 and they're just playing and haven't done their one job yet. Usually still in pajamas, too. They know perfectly well how to tell time, they just don't think to do it.

A couple of weeks ago I wasn't feeling well so I slept in on Shabbos morning - two weeks in a row. Sure enough, the table wasn't set, DH came home close to noon to several kids just starting to decide to get dressed, and he threw a fit. I was upset because I felt like I was being punished along with the older kids because our atmosphere is being spoiled by all the yelling in middle of Shabbos when we weren't the ones who slacked off. So this week I went back to telling the kids to do it (even after two weeks in a row of being yelled at for not doing it, they still didn't do it until I came and told them!) but I felt more resentful than ever. I felt like I was put into this position where I need to nag them otherwise I'm going to be subjected to a crabby DH and an unpleasant Shabbos.

DH's only strategy is yelling and obviously that isn't working at all. I'm stumped because if someone were yelling at me like that I think it would make me remember to shape up next time. Is it not realistic to expect kids to get up, get dressed, and do something functional before playing and hanging out?

BTW same thing happens Friday night, it's just a little less often forgotten because they're already up and ready for shabbos, unlike the morning when they hang out and play or read in their bedrooms instead of getting up.

There are other things also that I feel like I tell them a zillion times and even sometimes get really upset about and they still never ever remember it on their own. One kid has started a habit of leaving clothes on the floor. I don't know how she even started this habit! How many times am I going to yell at her to pick up her clothes before she figures it out?

It can't just be my kids but I don't know how to get them to do their things without making everyone miserable.
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SG18




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Jun 25 2022, 11:54 pm
I would stop the yelling immediately. Ignore it when it doesn't happen- don't say anything. Instead, praise them over the top when it does happen. Yelling fosters negative associations with the table (or any other chore), while praise makes it something they want to do.
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BrisketBoss




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Jun 25 2022, 11:59 pm
Ok so I think this is what you're not seeing:

The jobs that you think are their jobs, are actually your jobs. They should be their jobs. But you are taking the responsibility upon yourself. You always remind them in the end. Therefore, they don't need to remember. As far as they can tell, they don't need to take any action until the yelling starts.

So you need to make these things your kids' responsibility for real. Sometimes natural or logical consequences are applicable, like in the classic example of giving your kid an alarm clock and if he doesn't get up then he won't get breakfast and won't get to school on time.

But another idea is to call a family meeting and present this problem, then invite the kids to think of solutions. You can eventually offer your own solution if no one has a good one. Everyone has to agree, them and you and your husband. The kids are more likely to do jobs if they had a hand in making the decision of who gets what job and the various circumstances of these jobs. You can also ask them "What should happen if you don't do it?" and see what they say. Kids have a lot to offer when consulted.

Hatzlacha!
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 12:35 am
SG18 wrote:
I would stop the yelling immediately. Ignore it when it doesn't happen- don't say anything. Instead, praise them over the top when it does happen. Yelling fosters negative associations with the table (or any other chore), while praise makes it something they want to do.

I am not the one doing the yelling and like I said this is a trigger for DH so I don't think it can be reasoned out of. He's not a big yeller except under severe stress so this just some weird irrational thing that he isn't getting talked out of. That's why I feel cornered into doing the reminding even though I resent it and don't like it but otherwise MY Shabbos is unpleasant.
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BrisketBoss




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 12:38 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I am not the one doing the yelling and like I said this is a trigger for DH so I don't think it can be reasoned out of. He's not a big yeller except under severe stress so this just some weird irrational thing that he isn't getting talked out of. That's why I feel cornered into doing the reminding even though I resent it and don't like it but otherwise MY Shabbos is unpleasant.


Yeah, that sucks honestly. It's so unfair to everyone.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 12:38 am
BrisketBoss wrote:
Ok so I think this is what you're not seeing:

The jobs that you think are their jobs, are actually your jobs. They should be their jobs. But you are taking the responsibility upon yourself. You always remind them in the end. Therefore, they don't need to remember. As far as they can tell, they don't need to take any action until the yelling starts.

So you need to make these things your kids' responsibility for real. Sometimes natural or logical consequences are applicable, like in the classic example of giving your kid an alarm clock and if he doesn't get up then he won't get breakfast and won't get to school on time.

But another idea is to call a family meeting and present this problem, then invite the kids to think of solutions. You can eventually offer your own solution if no one has a good one. Everyone has to agree, them and you and your husband. The kids are more likely to do jobs if they had a hand in making the decision of who gets what job and the various circumstances of these jobs. You can also ask them "What should happen if you don't do it?" and see what they say. Kids have a lot to offer when consulted.

Hatzlacha!

I don't always remind them. But after enough times of them not doing it and not getting the message from being yelled at (by the way it started as just a stern talking to. It's the frustration of still not listening that made it worse) I gave up because I don't have a better idea than just being on top of it myself. Which is why I'm coming here for better ideas because I dont' think I should have to be on top of it every time.

What's the natural consequence? If they don't set the table, either they get nagged/yelled at to do it or on rare occasion someone else does it because the family and guests need to eat off something.

They haven't come up with a solution other than "ok we'll do it, just stop talking about it, this is annoying, we'll do it" but then they don't.
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amother




Kiwi
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 12:42 am
Can you all set the table after the Friday night meal?
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 12:49 am
amother [ Kiwi ] wrote:
Can you all set the table after the Friday night meal?

Definitely not in the summer when it's midnight and we're all collapsing of exhaustion. And they'd still probably need to be reminded every. single. annoying. time. But even in general, no it's not a good idea because there's only one table, they have breakfast there too (and then go back to bed to read or sleep or play, it's not like they didn't get up yet so didn't set the table!) and we have a family member who would unknowingly mess it up. Not likely in the small amount of time between brunch and men coming home, but likely if it's left overnight and all morning.
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imaima




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 12:50 am
You need to find a natural consequence and not yelling. Yelling will make them hate shabbes.
Also I think it is a misunderstanding. They get jobs to prepare for shabbes but they are still learning. They need reminders, ideally BEFORE it’s time to eat. Before leaving for shul remind about the table.
And in the end, if the table wasn’t set, it is parents job to set it because it’s your house and your shabbes.

My philosophy is, the kids PRACTICE doing shabbes while they are growing up but it is still my own RESPONSIBILITY. I didn’t birth myself slaves to prepare all shabbes for me.
So I don’t get frustrated about them not doing something I asked them to do.

But many other people‘s philosophy is that the kids OWE them chores . So they full-blown expect things to happen perfectly and on-time and then they get frustrated since they put the entire responsibility for the set shabbes table on 8-10 year olds.
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amother




Maple
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 1:07 am
Ideally DH would be willing to reevaluate the issue and decide that he wants the table set 20 minutes AFTER he gets home, which would give plenty of time for it to be done peacefully and happily.

But we can only change ourselves. So...

Not all 8-10 year olds have a concept of time. Especially on a day with no routine. It may not be an age-appropriate expectation. So here are a few ways you can approach it:

1) Make a Shabbos Morning Chart and hang it on the wall. Something like
Get up. Good Shabbos!
Wash Negel Vasser
Get dressed
Say morning Brachos
Eat breakfast (Shabbos cereal or chocolate syrup, your choice!)
Clear away breakfast
Play ONE board game
Set table
Shabbos morning treat - choose one nosh from the box in the cabinet!
Free play!

2) You be the morning coach. At 9:30, wake up the snoozers and remind them to get dressed. At 10:30, make a group davening. At 11:30, everyone (you included) gets to set the table. Make sure everyone's job is clearly defined, and ideally not dependent on each other. (If you need a fresh tablecloth, that should be YOUR job so that the cup kid and the plate kid can start right away.)

3) Offer an incentive. If the table is set by 11:30, the kids are allowed to eat/read/go/play something attractive.
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camp123




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 1:12 am
Just set the table for them or with them before your DH comes home.

Seperately, to get your kids to listen and help more.
Praise them when they help /listen
Don't make helping into a battleground, it will backfire.
Talk to them and tell them stories about people who do chesed for one another.
When you do chesed yourself, like if you cook for someone or have guest, tell your kids it's a chesed, explain why you are doing it. Tell them they also should do chesed and help people. Explain to them that mothers and fathers do a lot and sometimes it's nice if kids help out. It their chesed to their parents.
Change your objective from how can I get my table laid to the long term goal of how can I bring up nice kids who want to help because it's the right thing to do not because they are forced.
Talk to them about middos development and hakaras hatov and what they can do to show they have these middos.
Be patient, teach them and talk to them about these ideas, but don't force it. Wait for it to come by itself.
It's also important to let them know what you do for them and expect them to say thankyou.
Play games with them and build your relationship so they can hear your messages.
When you have done all this don't start ordering them around.

When you think they are ready
Just say things like, could someone help me put these forks on the table. Praise them when they do.
Another week, you might say would anyone like to do a real chesed and help me out by laying the table.
If no one does, say you know this week I did xyz for you and I would really appreciate it if you would do something for me to show me how you appreciate it.

Most of all it's your house, your responsibility, yes get your kids to help bc they need to learn but it's for them not you.
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imaima




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 1:31 am
amother [ Maple ] wrote:
Ideally DH would be willing to reevaluate the issue and decide that he wants the table set 20 minutes AFTER he gets home, which would give plenty of time for it to be done peacefully and happily.

But we can only change ourselves. So...

Not all 8-10 year olds have a concept of time. Especially on a day with no routine. It may not be an age-appropriate expectation. So here are a few ways you can approach it:

1) Make a Shabbos Morning Chart and hang it on the wall. Something like
Get up. Good Shabbos!
Wash Negel Vasser
Get dressed
Say morning Brachos
Eat breakfast (Shabbos cereal or chocolate syrup, your choice!)
Clear away breakfast
Play ONE board game
Set table
Shabbos morning treat - choose one nosh from the box in the cabinet!
Free play!

2) You be the morning coach. At 9:30, wake up the snoozers and remind them to get dressed. At 10:30, make a group davening. At 11:30, everyone (you included) gets to set the table. Make sure everyone's job is clearly defined, and ideally not dependent on each other. (If you need a fresh tablecloth, that should be YOUR job so that the cup kid and the plate kid can start right away.)

3) Offer an incentive. If the table is set by 11:30, the kids are allowed to eat/read/go/play something attractive.


Yes.
The uncomfortable truth is that what many parents want is to roll out of bed at 11 and all is ready. They call it „shabbes jobs“.

But it only works after years of waking up early with the kids and being on top of their routine and being a role model and guiding them through steps.
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salt




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 1:37 am
I would just do it myself. It takes 3 minutes.
And at best, your kids will see that you're doing it because you know it makes Aba happy, and it makes for a more peaceful shabbos.
Would your DH get angry if he knows you did it?
I know it's not best chinuch, but you know, maybe in the long run it'll work, cos they'll see it's not such a big deal to lay the table, and it makes everyone so much happier.

At about 11, when the kids are playing I would pop into their room and just say "good shabbos kids. Nice to see you're getting along so well. I'm laying the table today because I love you and I want to help you out, and it just makes abba so happy to see everything ready when he comes home. Whoever wants can come and help."


Last edited by salt on Sun, Jun 26 2022, 1:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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imaima




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 1:38 am
salt wrote:
I would just do it myself. It takes 3 minutes.
And at best, your kids will see that you're doing it because you know it makes Aba happy, and it makes for a more peaceful shabbos.
Would your DH get angry if he knows you did it?
I know it's not best chinuch, but you know, maybe in the long run it'll work, cos they'll see it's not such a big deal to lay the table, and it makes everyone so much happier.


Role modeling IS the best chinuch.
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amother




Oleander
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 1:54 am
Buy a treat that your kids will enjoy. Tell them if the table is set by (11:00?) they will get it. You might be surprised how well this can work.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 2:19 am
It is the parent's responsibility to teach the children responsibility.

8-10 year Olds SHOULD have the table set without having a parent take responsibility.

Kids should be told table must be set 15 minutes BEFORE Totty comes home without any reminders from you.

If not, they get no shobbos dessert.

15 minutes BEFORE Totty comes home YOU are responsible to check if chore was done and make them do it ASAP if it was not done but they lost dessert for not doing it ON THEIR OWN.

( IF kids refuse because they lost dessert, you do it but they also lose shobbos party - no yummy nosh that shobbos).
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 2:23 am
salt wrote:
I would just do it myself. It takes 3 minutes.
And at best, your kids will see that you're doing it because you know it makes Aba happy, and it makes for a more peaceful shabbos.
Would your DH get angry if he knows you did it?
I know it's not best chinuch, but you know, maybe in the long run it'll work, cos they'll see it's not such a big deal to lay the table, and it makes everyone so much happier.

At about 11, when the kids are playing I would pop into their room and just say "good shabbos kids. Nice to see you're getting along so well. I'm laying the table today because I love you and I want to help you out, and it just makes abba so happy to see everything ready when he comes home. Whoever wants can come and help."


Doing it yourself rewards kids- teaches kids to shirk responsibility.

As husbands, they will refuse to help their wives knowing they can get away with it.

And that will be YOUR fault for refusing to be mechanech them because it is EASIER for you to avoid that responsibility.
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imaima




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 2:53 am
#BestBubby wrote:
Doing it yourself rewards kids- teaches kids to shirk responsibility.

As husbands, they will refuse to help their wives knowing they can get away with it.

And that will be YOUR fault for refusing to be mechanech them because it is EASIER for you to avoid that responsibility.


You conveniently avoid commenting on the yelling father and then 20 drs later he will be the one to cry that he is estranged „for no reason“.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 3:03 am
imaima wrote:
You conveniently avoid commenting on the yelling father and then 20 drs later he will be the one to cry that he is estranged „for no reason“.


Father yelling at kids for failing to carry out their responsibility, week after week, does NOT justify cutting off a parent.

Thank you for proving that most parental cutting off as unjustified and NOT for severe abuse!

People, when imas claim they cut off for "abuse" this is what they call "justification" for cutting off a parent!
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amother




Oxfordblue
 

Post Sun, Jun 26 2022, 3:08 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I'm going to come straight out and admit I'm not smart at this parenting thing. I think I'm a good parent because I take care of the kids and give them lots of love and all that, but when it comes to "what do I do in this situation" I'm not the one with the good ideas. So here's something that I bet is pretty standard and I just don't know how to solve it.

Here's the scenario:
DH has a thing with having the table set when he comes home from shul on Shabbos. I know it's a nice thing and even an expectation, but for some reason it's more than that to him, if it's not done he goes crazy. It's the younger kids' job to set the table (ages 8-10) - the older kids have chores related to shopping, cooking, sometimes childcare, and the younger kids are supposed to set the table. If DH comes home and it's not done, he throws a fit about how he/we work hard preparing Shabbos and all we ask of them is the table set and it's just a real trigger.

The kids are basically willing to do their job and set the table, but they need someone to be on top of them telling them to do it. DH's perspective is that it's their job every single week and they've seen how upset he is when it isn't done so they should know by now to do it without being told each time. I agree in theory but yet week after week they just don't learn.

So anyway what usually happens is that I go instruct them to do it before DH gets home every week. They always need to be instructed. I'm also annoyed when I come get them and it could be after 11:00 and they're just playing and haven't done their one job yet. Usually still in pajamas, too. They know perfectly well how to tell time, they just don't think to do it.

A couple of weeks ago I wasn't feeling well so I slept in on Shabbos morning - two weeks in a row. Sure enough, the table wasn't set, DH came home close to noon to several kids just starting to decide to get dressed, and he threw a fit. I was upset because I felt like I was being punished along with the older kids because our atmosphere is being spoiled by all the yelling in middle of Shabbos when we weren't the ones who slacked off. So this week I went back to telling the kids to do it (even after two weeks in a row of being yelled at for not doing it, they still didn't do it until I came and told them!) but I felt more resentful than ever. I felt like I was put into this position where I need to nag them otherwise I'm going to be subjected to a crabby DH and an unpleasant Shabbos.

DH's only strategy is yelling and obviously that isn't working at all. I'm stumped because if someone were yelling at me like that I think it would make me remember to shape up next time. Is it not realistic to expect kids to get up, get dressed, and do something functional before playing and hanging out?

BTW same thing happens Friday night, it's just a little less often forgotten because they're already up and ready for shabbos, unlike the morning when they hang out and play or read in their bedrooms instead of getting up.

There are other things also that I feel like I tell them a zillion times and even sometimes get really upset about and they still never ever remember it on their own. One kid has started a habit of leaving clothes on the floor. I don't know how she even started this habit! How many times am I going to yell at her to pick up her clothes before she figures it out?

It can't just be my kids but I don't know how to get them to do their things without making everyone miserable.

My 3 and 7 year olds have been setting the table for over a year now. (We use pretty disposables.)
You need to train them in. The first few weeks you do it with them. Make it fun: sing shabbos songs, turn it into a game. Every shabbos you do less and less, giving them more of the responsibility.

Split up the job: I ask, who will do the plates and cups? Who will put the fancy napkins? Who wants to place the cutlery? If I don't get a volunteer, I do that part.

Add some excitement: My kids love to put the finishing touches on the table with the foods they are excited for. Pickle/olive/baby corn platter. Soda bottles. Dessert tray. These only go on the table after the table is set, it motivates them to get the job done. See if you can change the whole "chore" idea to an exciting activity. My little ones think that putting the becher on the table or making sure the challah knife is there is a big privilege.

Get it done early: let's say everyone is done breakfast by 10:00. Ten is the new time to set the table every week. Even though there is still plenty of time before the meal, you are teaching them to get their chores done before playtime and done earlier than last minute- this is a good lesson for life.
When you assign a specific time for the chore to get done, it adds more of a mental reminder. Or you can work with a more natural order of the way the morning proceeds: wake up, get dressed, breakfast, daven, set table, play until kiddush. But it sounds to me like you allow them to play all morning so that may not be your style. I do more structure and scheduling which by default eliminates a good chunk of discipline issues.

P.S. Ask your husband why he has this big trigger, where did it come from. That might be an insightful conversation, and maybe he'll calm down and realize they're just kids.
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