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Laziness or teaching independence?

My kids are 8 and 6. I let them make their own lunches a lot of the time. My 6 year old can make her own sandwiches, and she gets the soup in the bowl and into the microwave (I get it out), and my son will do his sandwiches, his soup, he makes his own Ramen.
They enjoy doing it, and IMO, it teaches them life skills and independence.
My neighbor says they're too young to learn this stuff and I'm just being lazy. I think she's crazy (she doesn't have kids anyway!) I don't see a problem with it, especially since they enjoy doing it themselves and come away from the table with a sense of accomplishment.
Who else is "lazy" and lets their kids make their own meals like I do?


Asked by debra_benge at 3:35 PM on Oct. 25, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 5 (91 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • "If you want children to keep their feet on the ground put some responsibility on their shoulders."   Abigail Van Buren

    Teaching responsibility is good.  Starting at a young age is even better.   For those who need books to teach this concept

    Here is an article showing chores teach responsibility  (may take a minute to load)


    Answer by momjs at 7:18 PM on Oct. 26, 2009

  • At 8 and 6 this is great way to handle it, especially since you monitor any cooking and as long as they know not to heat stuff without your supervision (but then any child should know this, not just those who are allowed to work in the kitchen.) You are doing a wonderful job in helping your children with this skill and they'll likely want to branch out into other cooking suitable for children. There are several books out with childrens' recipes.

    Answer by Bmat at 3:38 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • I think it is great you are letting them do it. i know that i let my son do things that he is comforable doing and let him have the independence!

    Answer by IMAMOM2-2KIDS at 3:45 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • Your neighbor is a quack. My 4 year old loves making his own food and as long as he isn't going to get in the process I don't see anything wrong with it. If you do everything for them they are going to grow up and depend solely on you. Hell my 4 year old helps me cook dinner most nights and he loves it.

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 3:54 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • Why are you worried about what someone without children is saying? My 3 have made their own lunches (or at least helped make them) since they were little. Kids are better at eating things that they help prepare and they usually love that feeling of helping. Kids actually want independence and you'll have a much easier time if you start them now rather than wait until they're 12 and then try to get them to do stuff. Then they'll be so used to you doing it for them, they won't want to do it. You're doing it right!

    Answer by ceallaigh at 3:59 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • I see nothing wrong with it. I don't let my 6 yr old, b/c he's too stubborn and would spill soup or use half a jar of peanut butter on a sandwich, lol. But clearly your kids can handle it, and they enjoy it. Nothing wrong with letting them do something they enjoy, and that takes a bit of responsibility off of you.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 4:34 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • My kids all get their own breakfast and lunch every day (occasionally they ask for something they can't make themselves so I'll get it for them but they usually do it on their own). They are 9, 8, 7 and 3 (and, yes, the 3yo can make her own sandwiches and only needs help pouring her milk in the morning). The older 3 have been doing this since they were 3, 4 and 5. They are also allowed to use the microwave (the older 2 anyway...since they were each 5) and the toaster (I've even caught the 3yo toasting stuff on the lowest setting...not that she's allowed but she is very independent).
    I also taught the older 3 to do their laundry. Now the 9 and 8 year olds are responsible for their own stuff and help the 7yo (she can't start the machines yet).
    Nothing wrong with teaching kids to take care of themselves. I always thought that was the main goal of raise competent, productive members of society.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 4:48 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • I let my son make his own sandwiches with my supervision. My daughter helps us make pancakes. I serve them dinner usually but lunch is more of a team effort. I wouldn't have them in the kitchen alone at this age- we all eat together (breakfast, lunch, dinner at the table as a family) so, we might as well be fixing food together.

    Answer by TXdanielly at 8:41 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • My daughter enjoys making her own lunch. Now that she is 7 she helps mommy cook. Last year when she was 6 and even 5yrs old. She could make her own sandwiches,etc. Last year she started learning how to use the microwave..

    Answer by kathynej7142007 at 8:59 PM on Oct. 25, 2009

  • if you were still in bed ....I'd say lazy. but since it sounds like you are right there directing them then who cares!

    my kids cook. they make their own lunches (not always the BEST choices in those lunches...but they do) lol . all three of my girls have a night to cook dinner for the family - with my help of course.

    I think you're raising independant children. think of the generations of kids out there that don't know how to even boil water they've been so coddled and spoiled.

    Answer by hypermamaz at 12:40 AM on Oct. 26, 2009