So you've probably seen a post floating around the past couple of days; 8 Things Kids Need to do by Themselves by Age 13.
This list says that parents need to make sure that kids can wash their own clothes and make their own breakfast and lunch. It also suggests kids learn before the age of 13 to plan ahead (or face the consequences). There are five other things kids should be doing independently (making their breakfast and lunch only counts as one thing even though I count it as two when I do it.).
All 8 things are appropriate suggestions, even if highly ambitious.
This list (which is actually a very good list) puts parents into one of two categories.
- Super Parents- These parents make up approximately 8% of the parenting population (according to my keen sense of guessing). These moms and dads are raising capable children who will become responsible adults. And honestly, they and their children, are to be applauded.
- Fantasizing Parents- Parents who buy cute new laundry baskets with hopes and dreams that it will encourage the kids to want to do their laundry- These parents show their children how to separate and wash laundry one or two times before forgetting about this goal and then going back to doing all the laundry themselves. These moms and dads give their kids multiple reminders to set their own alarm and take care of their business before the last minute. The problem with Fantasizing Parents is that their resolve fizzles before their kid develops these good habits (or else they're so darn busy that they forget to get their kids to do these things). These moms and dads are also rescuers. Fantasizing Parents make up 92% of the parenting population.
If you find yourself in the second category, a parent who dreams that one day your children will efficiently and successfully take care of paperwork and remember all of the school items they need from day to day, without reminding or rescuing, don't fret. I've made this modified starter list. You've got to begin somewhere.
8 7 Things Your Kid Needs to do Before They Turn 18; A Modified List
- Throw away empty toilet paper tubes I don't know what it is about
my kids(Oops.) kids. They seem to have a hard time understanding that when the toilet paper is gone from the roll that you can throw the tube away. Maybe they're planning on repurposing them for some neat craft. Still, before your kid's turn 18, they should be disposing of toilet paper tubes (or else using them to make something... like a soundless windchime for your birthday).
- Tie their shoes They know how to tie them, but keeping them tied tightly requires skill. Noticing when they're hanging loose on the ground requires awareness; one that can and should be taught before they graduate from high school. Make it happen.
- Turn in their homework While it's important that kids do their homework before the last minute and remember to take it with them to school, every kid should do their homework and get it turned in even if it means (occasionally) it's done five minutes before the tardy bell rings at school.
- Close the cabinet door This is a hard one. Oftentimes they have a glass, a towel or some type of object (like their iPhone) in their hand, leaving only one free hand to shut the cabinet door. Though difficult, all children should be able to close the cabinet door independently and without prompting before they turn 18.
- Wash the toothpaste/spit residue out of the sink If your kids are brushing their teeth daily without being asked, give yourself and them a pat on the back. The next step, which requires a lot of reminding and patience is teaching and expecting them to wash their toothpaste spit down the sink after brushing. All kids should be doing this by the age of 18.
- Fold towels (If this is too difficult a task for your teenager, at least teach them to make sure they don't unfold other towels when they get a towel out of the cabinet). They can do this with your help.
- Pick up hangers off of the floor Someday your grown child will develop the skill of washing laundry. Until then, have your licensed teen practice picking up hangers that fall on the floor (or else are placed on the floor when they put their clothes on). This is a skill that takes years to develop, but have your child keep attempting this task.
Stay strong friends.
Are there any you would add?