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

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Is 7 years old to young?

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Replies (31-40):
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 4:23 PM
For me: I don't make them do without me, but I always try to teach them to be as self-sufficient as they can be. This is different for each person as each person has their own strength to draw on.
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by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 5:48 PM
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 Many of the posts here were on target. Self-sufficiency is NOT something that's taught at a particular age.

You were teaching your child self-sufficiency not long after you brought her/him home, and it continued with each passing month and year. It may have started with having them hold their own bottle, then they learned how to sit up and as they got older they learned how to wipe properly-alone, then turn on the shower, make their own beds, put on socks and shoes the age of 7, the self-sufficiency is still not complete and it probably will not be until after college.

Self-sufficiency is taught as an ongoing thing from birth until the time your child leaves the house. He can do many things now, but he is not ready to be self-sufficient at 7. He can make his own bed, clean and vacuum his room, take trash out, sort clothes and put them in the wash, learn to fold, dust the wood, sweep, clean the table, toilet,tub, and mirrors, get dressed completely and pick out his own clothes , comb and brush hair etc....but all while being reminded!!....or posting a chart as reminders for everything! Because PLAY still comes first for this little guy/girl!

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Not at all. My kiddos have been showering, and blow drying their own hair since they were 4. They are now 7 and 8 and they clean their own rooms, do dishes, dust, bathe the dogs, and put away laundry. The only thing I really help them with is school work and teaching them new things.

by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

At 7 my daughter started showering herself regularly. I still cooked for her, did her laundry, made her lunches for school, reminded her to pack this or that and asked her if she had her homework,  and waited with her at the bus stop. At 7 she was playing in the yard by herself but not allowed to ride her bike out of my sight, not allowed to walk alone. She would help me walk the dogs, I would give her the mini poodle. I still made her bed but had her help me now and then, and I still vacuumed her room. She was allowed to go alone next door to play but she only had less than a 50 ft walk and I watched her come and go.

At 12 now, she does most of these things on her own, and if I do any of it for her, she still knows how to if I ask her to or don't have time to do it for her. She jogs the block by herself but must bring a cel phone, its a closed neighborhood - I still don't let her go on the busy main road. She walks both dogs by herself and to the bus stop which is further, but there are a lot of other kids there.

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Depends on in what capacity you're talking about and how mature the child is, I think. My 3 year old can get up go potty, brush her teeth (not that great), get dressed and get her own snacks out of the pantry. IDK if that's normal for her age or not but she's always been a "do it myself" kind of kid. 

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Quoting doulala:

Quoting lucsch:

Nip this in the bud! Do you want him running your life?

You give him a look and tell him to do it himself or (fill in the consequence) will happen.

Always remember who is in charge. It is either you or him! I'd hope that you want the answer to be you.

Oh, but pick your battles carefully. You have to give your son some freedom of choice, so pick only the important things.

Quoting doulala:

   Well obviously I disagree with you.

That isn't the approach I took when raising my kids and I won't do that with the others I work with either.

I was actually talking to bmcandmmh, not really countering your other post. Sorry for that. I am no dictatorial parent, but I do think you have to be a parent and not best friend of your child. If you don't develop this in the younger years, you will have major issues when they are teens. I see this with a friend of mine. She gets no respect at all from her teenagers. If a child is refusing to do anything you tell them to do--my goodness, bathing themselves?--you do indeed need to nip it in the bud. My kids are 24, 19, 17 and 9. I have not had any serious issues with them. In fact, they are great students and very responsible people. They come to me, and not their dad, when they need help or something, so you can see they respect me and obviously aren't afraid of me, either. There is a way of being in charge while demonstrating love. Believe me, your kids will thank you when they are adults. Both my 24yo and my 19yo, both now living outside the home and supporting themselves, have independently thanked me for that.

by Silver Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I agree that it's a gradual thing. My 5 month old of course is no where near self sufficiancy, but she get a ton of tummy time to play with toys, I don't always get the toys that are out of her reach or always get her pacifier either. She pulls herself, turns and rolls to get what she needs, and even can put her pacifier in her mouth most of the time, but she also gets held and loved on a lot and if anything is too far I help her out (of course, she's a baby...) However my 4 year old have been doing things herself for quite awhile, going potty by herself (even wiping and washing hands), many times dressing herself, even getting a glass of juice by herself if she already has a cup and the pitcher of juice doesn't have too much in it. She'll get snacks for herself after she asks me, feed the cat, give her baby sister her paci if I'm not able to at the moment and she's crying. For the most part she picks out her own clothes, bathes herself, though I wash her hair, and even helps me out by getting things for me like diapers and wipes for her sis or something from the fridge. She can be pretty independent sometimes, though other times likes help. So it really does make a difference what you mean by self-sufficiancy.

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM
I agree.

Quoting BrennaLyons:

Self-sufficiency is an ongoing thing. You start with little things like putting their dishes in the sink or their dirty clothes in the hamper. You can start that at 1.5 or 2. As the child gets older, you add on more things they do for themselves. So no...7 isn't too young to have responsibilities.

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by Silver Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Oh also wanted to mention she's been picking up her things since about a year and a half, she cleans her room by herself and cleans the living room when she make a mess. She also has been cleaning up spills she makes for quite awhile.

by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Never too young to start.

My son is in college and he is shocked at how many kids don't now how to do their laundry, including girls. He has been doing his since he was 10 yrs old, he came home one day and asked me to show him how to work the washer. He has 3 room mates and he said he is the cleanest one there! He said it drives him crazy that his roomies do not place their dishes in the dishwasher, it's funny to listen to him. My daughter is 16 yrs old and same as her brother, and she offers to cook dinner at least 3 times a week.

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