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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

At what age do you teach your children to be self sufficient?

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is 7 years old too young?

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Replies (201-210):
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM
1 mom liked this

By age 10, I was expected to babysit my 4-year-old sister who had severe asthma (my parents would caution me about not letting her stop breathing while they were gone!) I would come home from school every day and vacuum and dust the entire house. I was responsible for cleaning both bathrooms. My 7 year old sister was responsible for cleaning the entire kitchen, including stove, refrigerator, sweeping, mopping, and dishes. We were also responsible for taking laundry off the line and folding and putting away (for 6 members of the family). I was supposed to have dinner started before my mom got home from work. I would boil tea, peel potatoes, etc. Once she got home, my sister and I helped, then did all the dishes by ourself (by hand). When all the housework was done we were allowed to start on our homework. When I started working at 16, my mom made me pay her $20 a week for gas money to and from my employer (one mile down the road). When I got home from work at 10pm, she would leave laundry on my bed for me to do. If it was "my night" to do dishes, I would have to do those before my homework (even if I got home past 10pm from working). I was also responsible for purchasing all my clothing, shampoo, personal items, etc. I paid my way through college even when my parents could have afforded to help me. My mom borrowed mortgage money twice from me when I was in high school.  I was not offered a dime when I got married and did not ask.

Basically, I never had a childhood. With DS who is 10, he has to make his bed, clean his room, keep his bathroom tidy, feed the dog, and sometimes I give him specific jobs like scrubbing toilet, sink, tub, etc. He must clean his place after every meal and help with anything we ask him to help with (emptying dishwasher, scrubbing floorboards, etc.)  He gets his own snack unless he can't reach something (microwave too high and some of our dishes are up too high). He knows he is expected to get at least a part-time job when he is 16.

So I've seen self-reliance pushed way too far but don't want to raise a kid who thinks everything is done for him, either.

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 9:56 PM
1 mom liked this
The problem I have is my SS is not self sufficient at all...he wouldn't even cut his own French toast with a fork or make his own cereal. He is 12 years old and can't ride a bike! He doesn't do anything because the BM is doing everything!! It's ridiculous.
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 9:56 PM
1 mom liked this

I think 7 is fine. Of course they're not able to do everything on thier own but there is a lot they can do. My daughter does chores, cleans up toys, gets dressed, can make her own peanut butter sandwhich and other snacks etc.

by Gold Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

how can you teach them at a week old?

Quoting mommyof11050307:

Mine was starting at a week old lol. My kids are 5&7 they fix their own breakfast and take showers on their own

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:04 PM
1 mom liked this

 What do you mean by self sufficient? When I think of self sufficient I think fully supporting themselves living on their on with out help, so obviously that isn't going to happen at age 7.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM
1 mom liked this
You start with self soothing and prop feeding... Most won't agree but my girls were able to get cereal and drink by the time they were 18 months... Two of my girls were potty trained at 11 months... all three were making there own breakfast and lunch by the time they were 3.. that was cold food... Hot food like oatmeal, toast, grilled cheese, soups by 4..,

Quoting vinalex0581:

i don't get how you can teach an infant to be self sufficient

Quoting Buggy979:

.. Teaching starts at birth for me...

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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

I started younger... 4 or 5. That's TEACHING them to be self-sufficient. As to when they become self-suffiecient... that depends on the maturity of your child.

by Platinum Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I don't believe so... we are their parents for a reason and that is to teach them... my six year old is very self sufficient and so is my two year old... I teach them age appropriate but they both are actually self sufficient beyond their age... but also it depends on the child and the type of parenting you use...
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by Bronze Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:59 PM
1 mom liked this

All depends on the kid, and what you mean by self sufficient.

If you mean leaving a kid home alone at 7yo, I probably would wait a couple more years.

As for doing things themselves. My 3yo can get himself dressed, do some small house hold chores. My 5yo does the kitty litter, can get her own cereal & drinks. My 13yo is more than capable of making a full meal on her own if she needs to, and can care for the younger ones for a couple hours with no issues.

At 16 I lived on my own, worked 2 jobs, went to school full time, and paid for my own apartment. But, my sister, who is now 20 has just barely started living on her own. And really, isn't on her own, she lives with her boyfriend. She lived with us for a bit too, before moving in with the boyfriend. And, I wouldn't consider her self-sufficient yet. It really all depends on each persons own personality & maturity level at each given stage of their lives.

by Bronze Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:16 PM
1 mom liked this

my 4 yo can rince dishes, change clothes from the washer to the dryer, sweep, and clean her room. we are teaching her how to shower alone. it all depends on the kids and how old you start teaching them at.

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