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Is 11 too young too young to know to do things around the house? My grandson who is a 11 lives with his mum and she does everything for him. I had him for two weeks of the holidays and taught him how to do a few things such as how to use the toaster, make his bed, put his dirty clothes in the wash basket, sort clothes ready for washing, wash up dishes – but now his mum is upset with me. I might add we also took him out to the movies heaps, and don’t mind paying for everything with him. What age is the right age to be shown such tasks? Is it wrong for me to teach him this? I’d love to know what other mums think?

Posted by anon,8/10/13

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  • We started teaching the kids when they were about 4, though of course there’s a lot they couldn’t physically do till later.


  • I started them young doing small tasks and then gradually taught them more and more. I have a 2 year old doing washing, putting dishwasher away, wiping tables, etc (yes we go over and do properly after) up to my 9 year old who vacuums, ha he washing, folds it, cooks, cleans toilets, bathroom, wipes table, mows the lawn etc etc etc

    I have 4 boys and they will not get a housemate mum out of me, I want them to grow up respecting women and not think it’s just a girls job.

    I don’t understand why mums so mad though:(


  • You’ve done him a huge favour and deserve to be thanked not reprimanded. Too many children these days are developing learned helplessness. It’s not healthy for them to have everything done for them.


  • Wow, the tasks you’ve shown him are simple every day tasks that we all need to know. At age 11, he should have already known how to do what you’ve shown him. Sounds like his mum is spoiling him. Any future girlfriends and wife will thank you for teaching him, keep it up


  • I don’t think so. I’m surprised she was upset about this as I imagine it would be a big help for him to do some age appropriate chores. I think it’s good for kids to learn how to be independent and responsibility too.


  • My three year old helps with things like toy pickup, unpegging clothes off inside drying racks, dustpan and brush clean ups, and a bit of fetching and carrying of things like bundles of Caen clothes. My 5 and 8 year olds also empty the dishwasher, make beds, help with simple dinners, wipe down the bathroom… Safety is an issue, but there are lots if things even little kds can do.


  • My 5 year old can pick up after herself, make the bed, empty the dishwasher etc – she actually begs to be allowed to help!


  • Certainly not too early!! I would start including children at around 2 years in these sort of tasks. Cooking, cleaning etc is a big part of life and if left until they are 11 they tend to lack common sense / responsibility – my brother didn’t get shown any of this and he is now 24 and still needs help. My sisters and I were involved from a young age and all great cooks and cleaners. Start as early as possible I say


  • My daughter is 3 and is learning how to do things (age appropriate of course!). I was going to wait until she was about 5, as that’s when I started doing chores, but she is keen to learn everything and wants to help out. I don’t think there is a right or wrong age to start! I know 30yo men who still cannot do anything for themselves because their mothers did everything. I even know one guy whose mother cleans his house once a week still just because he can’t be bothered!! Now that is just wrong!!


  • No! But depends on the chore! Really interesting comments read on this!


  • It’s hard as a mum to let go and not be the one to show their children how to do things or be there for their ‘firsts’ even if it is the first time he uses the toaster. I think the more they can do for themselves the better. Even at my daughter’s daycare they ask her to put things in the bin, help pack up toys and she does (she’s 18mths). I can’t remember what age I was shown certain things but I had to cook dinner for the family from around age 12 (it wasn’t very good but it was done!)


  • I think he needs to be shown or he will struggle if he goes off to uni in 7 or 8 years. My 3 year old news that dirty clothes go in the laundry basket and empty plates go back to kitchen bench, she is too small to reach the sink. The mother needs to teach him life lessons


  • Also; age appropriate chores are good for children. Maybe ask mum why it upset her? Is it about him growing up and becoming more independent? It can be difficult for some people.


  • Children enjoy responsibility; you have taught some good life skills.


  • lol my 2year old helps out and will also put toys away and stuff but he has older sisters who demonstrate this all the time. getting kids to help out eases your stress and workload plus teaches them how to hep take care of themselves which will be good for they leave home.


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