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Old 07-17-2013, 03:30 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by mamacatnv View Post
When they ask to stay home alone, I would remind them why you don't. Also, IMO by giving the youngest an audience in which to tattle on the oldest, you are perpetuating the tattling problems. I'd put my hand up with a firm, "I don't want to hear it, sort yourselves out" type of response. My brother and I are 8.5 months apart, I am very familiar with sibling issues

Also at 12 & 13 there is no way they should be disturbing your nap to tattle on each other unless the house is on fire or someone needs a trip to the ER.
OP, I have to agree with this. It sort of sounds like you are inadvertently encouraging the younger one to be a tattle tale, which encourages all kinds of discord between the two.

Did you see the other thread on here where the grandmother asked how to handle tattling? Someone said they define tattling as telling to get someone INTO trouble as opposed to telling about something to keep someone OUT of trouble ( ie: telling if something dangerous is going on). That is a goo, simple definition that kids the ages yours are could understand. If yours are really prone to tattling one poster took it a step further and told her kids that if they tattle (not tell to keep someone out of trouble, but tattle) the tattler will have the same consequence as the person they are telling on.

Also--my kids are 2 years apart. They do bicker at times. Both tell me that they don;t really do that when DH and I are not home DD16 has flat out said that there is no fun in bickering if it isn't driving us crazy
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:20 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by wvjules View Post
DD is 18 and she can do everything but load the dishwasher or do dishes, apparently.
Apparently, I can't load the dishwasher either. Every time I do, my DH takes the dishes out and rearranges them.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:51 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
I am curious how old are your kids and what all you have them/let them do for themselves.

My 2 youngest are 12 and 13 and I have them make themselves easy food items like microwave stuff or grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, easy stuff, cereal, ramen noodles, etc. But I do not have them actually COOK food for themselves. At what age should I have them actually cook stuff? I have let DS assist me in cooking but I was right there supervising what he did. I let him actually do all the work but I was right there. I am more concerned about them either making a big mess or burning themselves.

Mine are 13 and 16.
My oldest does any and all cooking. She looks up recipes, has me buy the ingredients, and takes off. She's been doing that for several years, at least since 12 or 13.
My youngest isn't as interested, but he can cook in a pinch. He prefers to use the stove top or the toaster oven to make convenience foods.


I do not make my kids do any laundry but I do realize they need to know how to do laundry as they get older. Do you make your kids do their own laundry? If so at what age did you start making them do it? I make my kids put away all the clean stuff and come get all the stuff from the laundry room and hang it up, but that's it.

My kids also do laundry. I just found six smallish laundry hampers, labeled them Whites, Darks, Brights, Towels, Jeans, and Work Clothes, then added the directions for the washer and the dryer according to the clothing type. If they want their clothes clean, they have to be in those hampers (I do not gather them from the bathrooms or bedrooms) and whoever (mom, dad, daughter son) has the time does a load or two.

My oldest can iron, but I primarily do that. I don't let my youngest touch the iron. I'm afraid he'd ruin something or leave the iron on. He's a little absent-minded.


I make them keep their rooms clean and keep the front bathroom clean but other than that I do not make them clean the house. I do that myself.

My kids clean any room in the house from bedrooms to kitchen to bathrooms, but I typically have to tell them to do it. The oldest does keep her room clean by choice (she's picky about her own space and it's rare that it gets messy).

I'm wanting to know HOW YOU DO IT with your kids compared to how I do it with my kids. Just curious if I am waiting too long to make them start taking more responsibility.

I just have always had the notion that moms cook, clean and do laundry until you get out on your own then you do it for yourself. That's how my mom did it with us and we all grew up knowing how to take care of ourselves once the time came.

I was raised by a mother who believed "many hands make light work" and I've basically raised my kids the same. We are all busy so it only seems fair that we all take part in the day to day tasks around the house. Between work and school, there is no way I could keep up with it on my own.

I also never leave them home alone. Do you?
I left mine home alone around 10 and 8, give or take. Prior to that, I wouldn't have trusted them to get along and cooperate. I would have left my oldest home alone at a younger age than 10 if she was alone because she didn't "get into thing" or forget things.

ETA, my youngest does most of the mowing (we decided that was only fair since the oldest does a good amount of cooking). But, they both can run the mower.
The youngest also helped us out a LOT this summer when we were re-siding our house. He helped with demo, as well as hanging new siding. Some of the work he loved, some he didn't, but he was a big help to us since we didn't want to spend the entire summer getting the job done! They both helped with landscaping this year also. It was heavy work, but they did a great job.
Both kids babysit and have since they were about 12. They've watched babies to 10yos. When they were first starting I always made sure either dad or I were nearby (around town) and accessible by phone in case they had a situation they didn't feel they could handle, but it was never an issue.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:59 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by NHdisneylover View Post
OP, I have to agree with this. It sort of sounds like you are inadvertently encouraging the younger one to be a tattle tale, which encourages all kinds of discord between the two.

Did you see the other thread on here where the grandmother asked how to handle tattling? Someone said they define tattling as telling to get someone INTO trouble as opposed to telling about something to keep someone OUT of trouble ( ie: telling if something dangerous is going on). That is a goo, simple definition that kids the ages yours are could understand. If yours are really prone to tattling one poster took it a step further and told her kids that if they tattle (not tell to keep someone out of trouble, but tattle) the tattler will have the same consequence as the person they are telling on.

Also--my kids are 2 years apart. They do bicker at times. Both tell me that they don;t really do that when DH and I are not home DD16 has flat out said that there is no fun in bickering if it isn't driving us crazy
I love that. I've always had a hard time breaking that down into such simple terms. Very well put. I'm going to store that one in my brain for future reference.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:08 AM   #35
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My kids start staying home alone from the age of middle school. At that point, unless they're scary sick, they can spend a sick day home by themselves. (My job is 15 minutes away, my husband is 20. And 3 friends on the block are home all day.)

Unless he's home alone, my 15 year old son has full access to the stove and oven. (If he's home sick, he can make eggs or something, but I want a text when the stove is off. Otherwise I normally don't want them used if there's not an adult home.) But if we're home, he'll make himself an onlette without supervision. He mows the lawn (gas mower, not one you ride) and used the weed wacker. He's in charge of cleanng up after the dog. He does a good job of keeping his room clean. He also takes out the garbage.

As of this summer, my 13 year old is in charge of laundry. She also uses the stove and oven without help (same rules if she's home alone.) She's not a real creative cook, but will throw on some pizza bagels or chicken nuggets and fries. She's so-so about cleaning the room she shares with her sister.

My 10 year old is the one I have to get on. She sets and clears the table, and for some bizarre reason loves cleaning the bathrooms. But she is the least neat person in the family; she will take off her jacket and leave it where she drops it if I let her. She can use the toaster or micro without supervision, but not the stove or oven.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:25 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by mamacatnv View Post
When they ask to stay home alone, I would remind them why you don't. Also, IMO by giving the youngest an audience in which to tattle on the oldest, you are perpetuating the tattling problems. I'd put my hand up with a firm, "I don't want to hear it, sort yourselves out" type of response. My brother and I are 8.5 months apart, I am very familiar with sibling issues

Also at 12 & 13 there is no way they should be disturbing your nap to tattle on each other unless the house is on fire or someone needs a trip to the ER.
Exactly, I can't imagine the world of hurt my brothers and I would have been in if we were still bothering our mother at that age. I'd leave them alone with a clear understanding of the consequences if anything went wrong while you were gone.

As for my own dd13, she can do a lot of things but what she chooses to do is a whole other story .

She'll cook simple things like scrambled eggs and microwave stuff. She can do laundry, run the vacuum, dust, clean up her room and bathroom, take care of the dog and guinea pigs. She'll also go up to town and hang out with friends, get pizza etc. With a cell phone I let her go just about anywhere she can get on foot or bike.

She's been staying home alone with greater frequency and length of time since she was 9. It began with me just running to the store with a neighbor knowing she was alone to now my going to work and her being home for the day.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:52 AM   #37
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Exactly, I can't imagine the world of hurt my brothers and I would have been in if we were still bothering our mother at that age. I'd leave them alone with a clear understanding of the consequences if anything went wrong while you were gone.

As for my own dd13, she can do a lot of things but what she chooses to do is a whole other story .

She'll cook simple things like scrambled eggs and microwave stuff. She can do laundry, run the vacuum, dust, clean up her room and bathroom, take care of the dog and guinea pigs. She'll also go up to town and hang out with friends, get pizza etc. With a cell phone I let her go just about anywhere she can get on foot or bike.

She's been staying home alone with greater frequency and length of time since she was 9. It began with me just running to the store with a neighbor knowing she was alone to now my going to work and her being home for the day.
I'll bet that is an issue that most of us parents face. My kids CAN do all sorts of things, choosing to do so without prompting is a whole nother thread topic!
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:08 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieLovesMickey12 View Post
I am curious how old are your kids and what all you have them/let them do for themselves.

My 2 youngest are 12 and 13 and I have them make themselves easy food items like microwave stuff or grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, easy stuff, cereal, ramen noodles, etc. But I do not have them actually COOK food for themselves. At what age should I have them actually cook stuff? I have let DS assist me in cooking but I was right there supervising what he did. I let him actually do all the work but I was right there. I am more concerned about them either making a big mess or burning themselves.

I do not make my kids do any laundry but I do realize they need to know how to do laundry as they get older. Do you make your kids do their own laundry? If so at what age did you start making them do it? I make my kids put away all the clean stuff and come get all the stuff from the laundry room and hang it up, but that's it.

I make them keep their rooms clean and keep the front bathroom clean but other than that I do not make them clean the house. I do that myself.

I'm wanting to know HOW YOU DO IT with your kids compared to how I do it with my kids. Just curious if I am waiting too long to make them start taking more responsibility.

I just have always had the notion that moms cook, clean and do laundry until you get out on your own then you do it for yourself. That's how my mom did it with us and we all grew up knowing how to take care of ourselves once the time came.

I also never leave them home alone. Do you?
I do not have my 13 year old do her own laundry- I don't want her running the washer for 3 pairs of pants and 3 shirts-its just easier to do all at one time rather than each person their own!
As far as leaving her home alone she has been babysitting since she was 12 years old so if she can be left alone in someones house until midnight watching their kids then she can stay in her own home alone too.
My daughter cooks eggs, bakes, microwaves but doesn't really cook much other than that- she will cook pasta and rice too.
She keeps her own room clean but other than that from Sept-June her job is school and homework which takes up most of the day and evening up until the time she goes to bed! This summer she has performing arts camp during the day and then the evenings are spent working on her summer homework projects!
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:39 AM   #39
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I began teaching my children how to do things for themselves when they were toddlers....of course what they actually did by themselves was age appropriate. As they got older, I involved them more in the menu planning, shopping, cleaning and they both learned how to do yard work.

Once when they were around the age of the original poster's kids, I was teaching them how to cut up a chicken. They each had one and were following my instructions. A neighbor dropped over and begged us to wait while she ran to the store to get a chicken so she could learn how. I continued the lesson and then had the kids show her how to do it. Sometimes you learn more from teaching someone else. (It didn't hurt that she told them how lucky they were to learn how to cook and care for a home!)

By that age, they were responsible for their own rooms, made sure their bathroom was clean and did their own laundry. They also made breakfast on Saturday every other week and dinner one night the other week.

My son was usually elected Patrol Leader in Boy Scouts because he knew how to plan a menu, shop, and cook.

They are grown and can do anything they want for themselves!
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:58 AM   #40
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DD started doing her own laundry when she was about 11ish. Soon after, she started doing some light cooking like grilled cheese.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:02 AM   #41
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Once when they were around the age of the original poster's kids, I was teaching them how to cut up a chicken. They each had one and were following my instructions. A neighbor dropped over and begged us to wait while she ran to the store to get a chicken so she could learn how. I continued the lesson and then had the kids show her how to do it. Sometimes you learn more from teaching someone else. (It didn't hurt that she told them how lucky they were to learn how to cook and care for a home!)
When I was about 12, I stayed home with my younger brother all summer. My parents signed me up for morning activities through the rec department (tennis lessons, swimming lessons, acting class, etc), and I was free all afternoon to ride my bike to the town pool with my friends. I had to be home later in the afternoon to start dinner.

One day my mom asked me to hang around the house because a repairman of some sort was coming over. She also asked me to cut up a chicken. I had no idea what I was doing, and the repairman noticed, so he showed me - nice guy! But holy crap! Times have sure changed and my parents were a lot more trusting than I would ever be allowing a stranger into the house with a 12 year old.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #42
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I taught my 1st to do his own laundry at age 14....he's done it ever since... my kids learned to cook as they were growing up, and by age 6 could heat up stuff boil water,etc easily,plus cook simple stuff/follow recipes- by age 10 or so they were both fully kitchen competent- complete dinners,recipes,etc. my youngest is a real gourmet and creates a lot of original recipes, I can see him doing it for a living when he grows up- They know how to clean (when prodded) like a serious bathroom scrubbing,etc. dishes,garbages, wash the dogs,it's all part of helping out- they started mowing the lawn at around 11 or 12 years old (paid duties lol) Mostly I use their strong selves to haul heavy stuff for me now,since they've outgrown me,size wise....(all those muscles are coming in handy now)
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:18 AM   #43
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We have 7 and 9 year old boys. We started them EARLY on the "life skills" stuff.

My 9 year old has been folding and putting away his laundry since he was about 3. I do it mostly, but he CAN do it and will if I ask him.

Cooking is something they both love to do. My 9 year old started cooking for real around age 4. He can make marinara sauce from scratch (I cut up the onions, though), scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls (the Pillsbury kind), personal pizzas (Boboli), macaroni and cheese, french toast, toast with nutella, cakes and cookies from scratch, etc. Pretty much anything he likes to eat, he can make himself and I let him. No fear of cooking or using the stove is allowed in this house. He has a healthy fear of fire and heat, and he takes the proper precautions. My 7 year old is getting into baking now and can do stuff from boxed mixes.

The 9 year old also takes out the trash (started this at 7y/o), both out of the house and into the bins, and then takes the bins to the curb and back on garbage day.

Both make their beds daily. Showed them how around age 5, and they do it now. I do the tricky stuff like change the sheets.

They are both responsible for cleaning up their room and playroom. Both must bus their own dishes at mealtimes. Oldest helps with unloading the dishwasher at times, although most cabinets are too high for him.

My oldest has loved to vacuum since he was about 5. I let him do it occasionally, and it's a real treat for him.

7 y/o son doles out the vitamins each morning. He loves that job.

I wouldn't leave them home alone probably until they are both middle school aged.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:19 AM   #44
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Apparently, I can't load the dishwasher either. Every time I do, my DH takes the dishes out and rearranges them.
Oh...I have on of those too, a 'redo DH'.... sorry,OT
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:59 AM   #45
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My 7 (almost 8) year old has the most chores. He makes his bed and his little brother's. He keeps his room clean and organized. He feeds and waters the cats and cleans their litter boxes. He brings his laundry to the laundry room and folds and puts away his and his brother's clothes. He sets the table and clears it after meals. He wipes down the table and sweeps the floor. He cleans the bathrooms including the toilets. He picks up sticks and trash in the yard so we can mow. He helps take out the trash each week and helps carry and put away groceries.

We haven't started him on cooking yet but I think it's about time to teach him simple stuff. He can already make cereal or sandwiches but it's time for him to expand.

My 6 year old daughter has similar chores. She has to keep her room clean and make her bed and her sister's. She has to fold and put their clothes away. She holds the dustpan while her brother sweeps and has recently started cleaning the bathroom counters while he does the tub and toilets. She is also in charge of keeping her betta fish alive. Every now and then I have her keep an eye on the babies so I can shower or shave or something. She's really motherly and I trust her with them more than my oldest. She, too, knows how to make sandwiches and cereal.

My three year old daughter is only in charge of herself. Dressing herself (sometimes multiple times a day. She loves to change clothes!) getting herself to the potty on time (she's newly potty trained) and eating all her food. She is required to help clean up the toys and put her dirty clothes in the hamper. She also helps put away the silverware when unloading the dishwasher. She places the napkins when they set the table and likes to "help" me push the vacuum. She's really good at Windexing the screen door glass where she and her baby brother like to put their tiny handprints and she helps dust.

My one year old isn't really old enough to do much but he can help put toys away with direction and he can go where he's asked. For example, we say "Time to eat eat!" and he runs to his booster seat at the table. ("Eat eat was my youngest daughter's term and it stuck so he says it now too.) If we say "time to take a bath." he runs to the tub and tries to climb in. If we say "time to go night night." he runs to the gate at the bottom of our stairs and tries to scale it to go to bed. He really is shaping up to be a very obedient child! Unless we ask him to get dressed. The child hates to wear clothes! Lol!

We don't leave any of them alone yet because around here CPS is pretty strict on that even though there is no law regarding it here. I won't feel comfortable leaving them alone until they are at least 12. I started babysitting my little brother around that age so I think at least leaving the two big ones would be fine.
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