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At what age should a child learn to do laundry?

I didn't realize that a lot of adults never learned how to do laundry as a teen/pre-teen until a few of my friends started sharing funny laundry stories about their now adult children. I personally started doing laundry at 11 and when my sons were young enough to ask to help (5-6) I started showing them how much soap to use, where to put it, etc. and by 8-9 they were allowed to help out and do laundry (at their request, not as a chore). They are now 19, 20, 23 and 24 and they all have known for years how to do laundry and often help their peers figure things out. At what age did you start showing your child how to do laundry or at what age do you plan to start?

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Asked by tracylynnr31767 at 2:03 PM on Apr. 26, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 8 (230 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I plan to start when they are 10 or 11. My 8 year old helps me by giving me his clothes and putting it away when they are done washing.

    Answer by booger14 at 2:05 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • My daughter is eight and can do her own laundry. I started after I found one to many articles of clean clothes thrown back in the dirty clothes to be washed. I wanted her to see how much work goes into it. I even made her spend some of her allowance to buy laundry soap. (Only once) Now she does her own laundry sometimes. But not always. And she is much better about putting clothes away the correct way.

    Answer by Shaken1976 at 2:07 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • Work in progress with my toddler. He seems to be interested in learning. Might as well teach him to do the laundry to satisfy his curiosity.

    Answer by MMXI at 2:09 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I think that on some level they should learn right away starting when they are old enough to place dirty clothes in the bin to be cleaned. My kids always helped me on some level...even if it was gathering things to be cleaned or making sure the clothes were turned the right way to be laundered. Later I made a game of sorting whites from colors. My mother never allowed me to touch her washing machine, she was deathly afraid I was going to break it and didn't feel like teaching me. I learned on my own, but's kind of a no brainer.

    Answer by CallMeAngie at 2:10 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • gosh too bad you didn't raise my DH!! I think about 12 they should be able to wash their own clothes,, I am sure not going to let my son out of the house until he can do it,, LOL!!!

    Answer by kimigogo at 2:13 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • As soon as they can reach the controls with a stool. I taught my older 3 kids when they were 9, 7 1/2 and 6 1/2. They needed a stool to reach in the washer and set the controls on the dryer (it was elevated in case of flooding) but they had no problem understanding how to work the machines and load them. Well, the 6yo at the time couldn't figure out the machines so she just loaded/unloaded. She's 8 now and wouldn't have a problem.
    They did their own laundry for a year. I learned at around 8 but didn't start doing my own laundry until I was 14 (I think). I've gone back to doing all the laundry since we moved but I think by 12 it will be their responsibility (with 5 kids it gets crazy trying to coordinate use of 1 washer/dryer). I met too many kids in college that had no clue how to use a washer and dryer. It was sad.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 2:28 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • My kids are 10 and 12 and have been doing it for acouple of years. They do the laundry, fold it, take the pile to the person it belings to and then that person takes care of their own clothes.

    Answer by shannon979 at 2:57 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • My oldest is 12, I am teaching him how to sort and about temps. He is going to start doing his own when he turns 13 in Oct.

    Answer by arenad at 3:05 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • i let my 4 yr old help...and my 14month old likes to throw the clothes in the washer.....My 11yr SD has been doing her own laundry for about 3 yrs now (about 8 1/2) only cause i used to do it for her when we only had her everyother weekend but then we got full custody and weekly it was like i was doing 5loads just her stuff and she was not wiping after going to the bathroom finally i gave up and told her she had to do it herself. (i do watch her put the soap in and make sure the clothes arnt al balled up and doesnt over load the machine but i wont touch her clothes now)

    Answer by tomsjennabean at 3:09 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

  • I will teach mine at 12-13

    Answer by JoLee12345 at 3:17 PM on Apr. 26, 2011

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