As soon as you bring a child into this life, your entire life changes in the blink of an eye. Instead of focusing all the attention on yourself, it has now shifted to this tiny little human that relies on you for every single need – from changing their diapers to feeding them.
At some point, your child will need to learn how to do things on their own – and it’s up to you to teach them.
Of course, as a parent, there are certain things you will always want to do for your child – even when they’re grown. But there are certain things, basic life skill, that your child should know how to do by the time they become a teenager. After all – you want them to be a successful adult, right?
Here are 7 things that all kids should know how to do by the time they’re 13-years-old.
They’ll be better people because of it!
1. Doing their laundry
Teaching your child how to do laundry at a young age is a very valuable task. By their teen years – they should be able to wash their own clothes. Start small by teaching your kids how to fold laundry and put clothes away neatly. Then – slowly, build on teaching them how to properly and safely use the machine and dryer.
2. Talking to authority
When your child is having difficulty at school, it’s only natural to want to step in and solve the situation. But it’s important for your child to develop problem-solving skills on their own, along with communication. Unless it’s a bigger problem (possibly some learning or developmental issues), have your child figure out issues, like completing homework on time, on their own. This is a great lesson in ‘consequences’ as well.
3. Waking up in the morning
Does it take you two, three, or maybe four attempts to wake up your pre-teen in the morning? It could be creating bad habits down the road. Instead of relying on their parents to wake them up in the morning, older kids need to know how to do it on their own. After all, they seem to know how to use smartphones just fine…the should know how to use the alarm function!
4. Cooking a simple meal
Of course, you’re not going to stop cooking for your kids once they become a teenager. But, there are likely to be times when they’ll need to cook a meal for themselves if you’re not home. Start by having them prepare breakfast for themselves while you supervise and guide them. Next, teach them a simple dinner they can prepare (like pasta) in case they need to stay home alone.
5. Cleaning the house
Instilling a habit of cleaning up after themselves and doing household chores will raise your child to be a happy, productive, and tidy adult. Your child shouldn’t be cleaning the entire house, of course, but they should be helping out. Teach your child how to dust, vacuum, and do the dishes on a regular basis to show them ways to keep the household functioning and running smoothly.
6. Back off on coming to their rescue
If your kids forget something when they went to school or a friend’s house – if it’s something they can live without, try not rushing to the rescue. They need to learn that people won’t drop everything just to help them fix their mistake. Of course, if it’s something extremely important like an epi-pen or asthma inhaler, by all means, rush. However, if it’s a textbook or a uniform – their mistake will teach them not to forget in the future.
7. Stop micromanaging their tasks
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According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, the author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid For Success, “by the time your kid is in high school, they really ought to be able to do everything related to their own care, if they had to.” This includes making their bed, picking up messes, and taking initiative. Ask yourself “should a 13-year-old know how to do this task?”
Source: Tip Hero