Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Your thoughts, please.

I usually don't discuss things with my blog peeps before discussing them with my family but there's a first time for everything and rebel is my middle name.

Actually, my middle name is my former maiden name which is long, and German, and difficult to pronounce. It also led me to have a very unfortunate nickname in high school but, that's another post for another time.

Perhaps my middle name should have been rabbit trail.

Anyway, here's the deal. As you can probably imagine, we have A LOT of laundry in our house. Emphasis on A LOT which you probably already figured out because of the whole ALL CAPS thing. Anyway, I've found myself spending more and more alone time with my washer and dryer.

I had a feeling our relationship may have crossed over the line when I accidentally opened the lid to the washer during the spin cycle the other day and said, "Oops. Sorry about that." Out loud.

I swear I'm not making that up. I felt like I was interrupting a private moment.

All of this, plus the fact that the two teenage boys living in our house are now driving and holding down jobs, led me to believe it might be time for...wait for it...Dea and Darius to start doing their own laundry. Audible gasp.

Now, I know some of you are smacking your heads in astonishment thinking, "You're still doing their laundry?!? For Pete's sake already!"

But, I really thought, when they moved in, it was an act of service for me to help them in this way. Plus, I was already doing so much, what were a few more things? Well, let me tell you - their few more things make up about half of my laundry. And I'm thinking it's a way they could contribute to the running of the house.

My struggle is, I didn't do my own laundry as a child and neither did Trey. I kind of think it's just part of a momma's job.

On the other hand, a friend told me recently that what you don't learn at home, you pay someone to do later which would explain my need to purchase fried chicken.

Ok. So here's the discussion. Did you do your own laundry as a teenager? Do your teenagers do their laundry now? How's that workin' for ya?

I'd love your thoughts. Especially if you could deliver them without all the berating and comments like, "Aw, c'mon! Grow a pair!"

You rock.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


TN Mimi said...

I didn't make my four children do their laundry & I'm sorry. I waited until it was time to leave for college & then tried to give them a crash course. I believe this is why at least one son did not wash his sheets for a WHOLE SEMESTER. AAAHH!! This is a skill they need to gain independence, learn time management, responsibility, etc. We also would have avoided those tense moments of, "Mom, where is my fav blue shirt? I NEED it!!" I did not work outside the home & felt extremely guilty about asking them to do "my" job, but becoming an adult involves such tasks.

Karin Katherine said...

You typed all that out on your blackberry? I'm so impressed!

I think its good to learn life lessons. I had to do laundry in my house---my own. I pay some one to do it for me now. I can do it, I like not having to do it. Still, its a life skill. I don't think there is anything wrong with preparing a high school student for the "real world". If you can drive, you can learn to wash and fold YOUR OWN laundry. I wouldn't make them do the family laundry. That is Mama's job (or whomever Mama chooses to pay). tee hee

Thomtiger said...

I have 3 daughters, one of which is in college and the middle one is high school. My oldest did not
learn to do laundry until she went off to college.My middle daughter sometimes does her own, but not often. I am a SAHM and laundry is just part of my daily routine, so it doesn't really bother me. I do have a rule that they have to place their dirty stuff in the laundry room and they have to put their own stuff away. Of course, putting away to them means throwing it in a chair pr stacking it on the floor in their room!

Hauswife said...

I'm with ya, girl! Two adults + five kids + 2 dogs = a TON of laundry at our haus, too. I've started them on laundry training, but SHOOT sometimes it's just not worth having a whole load destroyed because my 15-year-old forgot to check her pockets for lipstick... Quandry.

dawn said...

They can handle their laundry. As long as you teach them exactly how you want it done. God save the Queen, er..washer and dryer!

One wrong move and you are headed to Sears to purchase a brand spanking new washer and dryer.

On second thought, let them try it out without instruction first...

Deidra said...

First let me tell you I gasped. But not when you think I did. I gasped when I saw that you sent this post from your Blackberry. That alone negates any need for you to defend your washing and drying of the clothes!

Secondly please let me tell you that your posts always knock my socks off (and then they get separated from each other in the wash, never to be seen together again)!

I didn't do my own laundry until I was in college, which is why I started my kids early. They were doing their own by the time they finished elementary school. Here's the drawback: Whenever I fold anyone's clothes, I pray for that person. Having my kids do their own means one less reminder to me to lift them up. I still do it - pray for them, that is. But now that they're doing their own, I'm just praying over my husband's mismatched socks.


Casey (@ Ever-Changing Life) said...

Just think how happy you will make their future wives if they already know how to do laundry! And they will need to know how for college too!

My mom put a little cheat sheet for water temps above the washer to help me. I'm glad I learned. Now if only my husband had...

Sarah. said...

I did laundry as a teenager. I disliked it, but when "the right outfit" wasn't clean (and it never was!) it was my own fault, not mom's. When my kids where younger, I had them start helping with laundry so as to avoid being buried alive in smelly socks. As a bonus, they learned to sort colors and they helped move it from washer to dryer (frontloaders help with that one). Now they do their own laundry for the most part. I will help get it clean for them, but they're going to put it away so they know where everything is. I don't want to hear "but where's my favorite outfit?!" ...hmmm...I understand why mom made me do my own laundry ;)

Sarah. said...

haha I like Dawn's theory!

Traci said...

I buy fried chicken too! And yeast rolls. You're right- I never learned to do it at home and who really needs to when Publix and Sister Schubert do such a fabulous job.

Anyway- I did not do my own laundry, but when we were teenagers we were taught how and we helped do ALL the laundry. Mondays and Wednesdays were laundry days- it was really more like mom saying- "go put in a load of lights and fold the socks in the dryer" kind of thing. It was a communal effort and worked well- it's also a great way to get the younger ones involved- my youngest does a lot of folding, and she finds a sick joy in the whole laundry process, but you know, whatever works.

Maybe you can get them all involved- take a load off, or out, or whatever.

Audrey said...

I am 24, and a newlywed and totally overwhelmed by just the laundry TWO of us generate! I didn't do my laundry until college and wish I had. My best friend had to do most of her own laundry and got paid to iron her dad's shirts. I WISH I had to learn how to iron. I'm clueless now - didn't even own an iron in college :( I fully support D & D having to do their own laundry with a little help once in a while... or you could incorporate laundry into everyone's chore list - younger kids could put theirs away/fold maybe? Good luck!

Holli said...

I did not do my own laundry when I lived at home. First load was in college - at 18. if I would have gone to an in State school I would have brought it home like my older sibs did. Come to think of it I would still be doing that if I lived closed to my mom!
Why my mom can be thankful I live in another Country!:)

My husband has 7 sibs and had to do his own laundry from a very young age. But all the years of doing it some how he has forgotten. I say make the boys do it when they are young but the poor girls will be doing it the rest of their lives!!:)

I think I have to many control issues - I will always do it. I can imagine my sons leaving wet close in over night, messing up my laundry room even more then it already is and so on....

I guess should have just my own blog post instead of leaving a comment! Sorry so long!

Tell your washer hi from us all!;)

Joy said...

As a teen, I did my own laundry plus the family laundry. Your sons are old enough and big enough to do their own. It's time they started. :-)

My fourteen year old daughter, who joined our family in January, has just started helping with the wash. She came from an institutional setting and did not know how to do laundry. She is thrilled to help out.

My two littles are happy to help also. I just don't make them yet. They are six and four.

All three fold and put away their own clothes. I put the basket in the middle of their room and they go to town.

Rachel said...

My mom worked quite a bit growing up and she taught us early on how to do laundry. We didn't HAVE to do our own but we would often do it in order to have the right things clean when we wanted them clean. I don't remember feeling like it was a big deal and it think it's an important life skill.

HP society mom said...

Nice, apparently i should never allow my children to see this blog. where's the parental control for that? My Highland Park living, country club swimming, private school attending, cotillion dancing and exotic vacation traveling children ALL do their own laundry. And have for years. It's the only way to live in a big family. The younger ones did not have to do it as little guys and they quickly adapted to a "cleaning the room just means throw everything in the laundry hamper" attitude. Seriously. everything. Silk ties and navy blazers for example. So...I am sure that I pay for twice as many bottles of detergent because they overload on it, forget to put in fabric softeners and have their share of crayons in water...but that's all pretty par for the course around here. And I felt embarrassed for the HP kid who could drive herself but still didn't know how to do laundry that went to camp with my child this summer. Now please don't post any more surveys about doing dishes, having to pick up towels off bathroom floors, making beds or anything else 'cause I'll start to feel too guilty...

Jen said...

Growing up the oldest of seven children my parents for sure made us do our laundry as soon as we were old enough. So teenage time is a great time.

Plus you can be there to guide them the first few times and once they move out or go to college they will be pros at it.

I would suggest throwing in your own laundry once they have loaded their own in the washer (while they are not looking of course). You can use your acting skills and be so confused on how your laundry got in theirs. But then say, well as long as it is in there, you might as well finish it. :)

Candis said...

One of the responsibilities that went with the privilege of driving was to start doing my own laundry. But then, I had been doing my own ironing for quite a few years previously. I got my own fold-up ironing board and iron as an unrequested Christmas present when I was in middle school. I still have that same ironing board today (17 years later) and am very sentimental about it!

Bill said...

Bunty weighed in on the interval training, so I think I'll add my two cents today. We've had the discussion already, so you know that I think YES they are old enough, smart enough and well able to do their own laundry. It will cut down on some video game time, but, Hey!, we could also institute manditory reading time as well.

Oops! This is posting as "Bill".

Abby said...

My mama did it all for us too. The only drawback was when I was married I can remember calling her and she had to come over and explain it all to me. To this day I can't tell you how much I HATE doing laundry. Hate it. If someone spills something on their clothes, I've just accepted the fact that it will always be there.
All that to say, I'll still probably do my children's. I'll probably just at least try and teach them how the heck the thing works so they're not calling me to come "help" with their laundry after they're home from their honeymoon!

ashley smith said...

My mom always did my laundry unless I needed something quicker. I am an only child though so 1 persons laundry wasn't a big deal. My kiddos are too young to do their own laundry (8&5) but we are adding a 3rd soon from Rwanda...we are currently working on learning to vacuum and put away toys!

LoLa said...

I started doing my laundry around the time I was 14. My brother started about the time he was 15. The amount of clothes I threw in the laundry basket was drastically reduced when I began to do my own laundry. I remember that my mother helped me do it in the beginning, then paid attention for a little while then it was fully my responsibility and if I didn't have clean clothes it was my own fault.

In retrospect, I think that experience was important because it made me more concious of the work load my mother had been shouldering and I learned just another way to be independent.

Also, I remember that when I'd come home from college and my mother did a load of clothes for me, it felt like a gift.

My brother took longer to catch on because he didn't always care if his clothes were clean.

DCC said...

No need to grow a pair.

Just wash them.

Mama's job.

Natalie said...

I started doing my own laundry when I was in high school and I think my husband started to do most of his in high school. The main reason he started doing his was because he had two brothers and his clothes started to disappear. Haha.

Tanisha said...

I have 8 children from 6 months to 18 yrs and if my 3 older kids (12, 16 and 18)didn't help with the laundry I'm sure I would have fallen apart a long time ago. I don't divide the laundry up by people, we just all pitch in and wash, dry and put away the laundry- our own and others. I approach every chore in our house this way including the cooking.

By the way, my 16 and 18 year olds are boys and I'm pretty sure that my future daughters-in-law are going to love me. :-)

hannahgarippa said...

As I told you last night...if my 8 year old niece can do her laundry, so can your 16 and 18 year old boys.

Heather said...

I never did laundry, and my roommate in college taught me how. Now I have seven kids and the oldest five do at least one load of laundry each day (ages 7, 10, 11, 13 and 15).

So I think I only had to do laundry for about nine years between leaving home and having a child old enough to do laundry - not bad! Okay, I didn't really make a seven year old do all the laundry by herself.

They "switch and start" first thing in the morning (two laundry rooms), fold and put away a load sometime during the day. They "put away" only to the owner's bed, and then the owner is responsible for putting it away. I have my two older boys sharing rooms with younger brothers (so they don't fight over whose mess it is- they are each responsible for the room, including their younger brother's mess), so they do the younger bro's laundry.

Sometimes laundry gets piled up on the bed and not put away, but at least it's in the right room.

When you start this new program, you will have to have some serious consequences for not completing the job or they will wash and not dry and you'll be stuck with it.

Alicia said... 8 year old and 3 year old already help with the laundry....along with plenty of other chores. I believe it is teaching them responsibility and is a way they contribute to the functioning of our household. I grew up with a single mom and we did plenty of contributing and I am glad for it!

Anonymous said...

I love your sweet servants heart! My boys started "helping" with Laundry last year. They are 11, 9 and 7 and amazingily know how to do a load of laundry from start to finish. But the circumstances are a little different I am not at home. I won't lie they are not real consistent in doing it but I have found the that has been a great teaching opportunity. I they seem to wear the clothes they washed with a little more PRIDE LOL! I agree it's a life skill and their future wives will forever LOVE you!!


emily said...

Since I grew up in the same house as your betrothed, you know that I didn't do any laundry.

I'm all for greater kid involvement on all chores- we just have a hard time sticking to our new duties. Will look forward to seeing how this goes. :)

Christy@pipandsqueak said...

My mom started making me do my own laundry at about 14 because I generated a lot of clothes each day - school uniform, athletic clothes, after school clothes, night gown and 2 towels each day. After using it I put it in my laundry pile even if it was not dirty. After having to wash it myself I started using a towel more than once and wearing the same PJ's more than once. Of course I did not like it but now that I am a mom I am glad she made me do it.

Beau Fournet said...

I will expose here how spoiled I was. In high school, my mom woke me up every morning with a warm wash rag and asked me what I wanted her to cook for breakfast. So obviously, I never folded a single piece of clothes. That said, I have no problem with it. I can see my kids doing it once teenagers. We already have them help some with folding clothes.

Carlee said...

I have 2 ideas for you:

1. My 8 and 5 year olds do some of their own laundry (my 3 year old is likely to pour dog shampoo in "just to see what it does," so it will be years before she is allowed to do her's)--as others have said, not because I need them to but so that it's not a big deal later. So, they certainly could do their own! All my kids can sort, "fold," and certainly put away their own, in a way that truly helps.

2. I know a family with 7 kids. Each of the older kids had a laundry day, and the younger kids shared days. If their laundry--there was a max of 2 loads--was in front of the washer, sorted and ready, on their day, it got washed, dried and folded and left for them to put away. If it was not there, they could fight for the washer at 6:00 am Saturday morning to do their own. If they didn't do it then, they had to wait for their day and the max was still in effect. Suddenly they made less laundry and it was sorted, and on time. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

I did my children's laundry far too long and looking back down the long tunnel of time, it was a mistake. Teach them to do it themselves and teach them to cook. They'll thank you and so will their wives. JMHO. Good luck and don't feel guilty!

Tricia said...

The three-year old does all the laundry at our house while I sit snacking on bon-bons.

Oh, I kid. :-)

Seriously, the 10 year old can do hers with a tiny bit of oversight.
While I don't insist on her always doing her own, she can and will when asked.

The others aren't tall enough to hardly see over the top of the washer (note to self to buy us some of those sweet front-loaders if we're ever employed again).

But I do have the 8 and 7 year old in training, ie: they can sort a load of their stuff, and bring it to me to wash, then fold most of it themselves and put it away. Whining included at no extra cost.

Part of my hopes as a mother of mostly boys is that I can equip them to be self-sufficient as adults, ie, NOT one of those guys that goes to college and has not a clue how to wash his own underwear!! It is my dream that someday if they are blessed enough to have wives, that they might even have the resources to be able to be helpful around the house. I consider it an investment in the relationships with my future daughters-in-law!!

Valerie said...

I started both my kids in middle school, and by high school they were responsible for keeping up with their own laundry. That doesn't mean their dad and I don't help them occasionally, but they know that the primary responsibility is theirs. My 22 y.o. son got married 10 days ago, and I'm sure his new bride is thankful that he knows how to do laundry. I understand from his 15 y.o. sister that today while he was here at our house working on cleaning out his room that he brought over dirty clothes from his honeymoon! Ha, ha! Get them started - the sooner the better.

Anonymous said...

In our house, we view household responsibilities as opportunities for our children to learn how to serve one another while building character. Only the Lord knows what is ahead for our little arrows. Our primary job is to nurture them in the Lord so that they will be hungering and thirsting after Him, equipped with the armor of God as they are “shot” out into our depraved world. Secondary to that, we did not want to “handicap” our children for the future. Who is to know whether or not our children will be able to afford for someone else to perform the basic necessities of life for them or not. And even if they are able to afford that, would that be the best use of the Lord’s gifts (in this case--funds) given to them? We pondered this question and felt the Lord directing us in this manner:

1) Learning basic skills are character building (He desires to build our character…)
2) Performing basic skills is an opportunity to serve others (Look at Christ’s life and how and who He served … Christ came to serve, not be served … what better way to develop a servant’s heart in our children at an early age, Proverbs talks about training a child’s heart in the way he should go and later in life, he will not depart from it.) The added bonus is children taught how to care for themselves are not dependent on others for survival later in life, and then they have more choices … choices to use the gifts (funds) God has given for the benefit of others and His ministry as opposed to benefiting themselves. I am not condoning those that make this choice based on actual or perceived need—just sharing what the Lord revealed to us.
3) Develops responsibility and a healthy work ethic at an early age, one that will honor the Lord! Think again of Proverbs and how the Lord used the ant to demonstrate this.
4) They experience the joy that comes in serving, in learning responsibility, in putting into practice what the Lord teaches in Scripture.

Too wordy ... will finish in another post ... Sherry O

Anonymous said...

Finishing my wordy post ...

Yes, this is a time consuming process that requires diligence and consistency, especially as you begin to train your children, whether you have wee ones you are beginning with or older ones you are needing to “re-train”. A key point to mention is begin the process with a gentle and meek, but firm spirit that points them to Scripture and the purpose for why God is calling/directing you to train them in this matter. And yes, even toddlers while they may not fully understand, will learn and grow as you are faithful to share and the Lord speaks to their hearts.

Begin with simple tasks for the younger ones such as learning to clean up after themselves by putting toys away, carrying a dirty piece of clothing to the hamper, brushing their teeth on their own, etc. Always acknowledge sincere, joyful spirits that completely and immediately carry out their task without grumbling or complaining. (In our house, they never wanted to be asked if they were grumbling or complaining like the Israelites. ) Remind them how they have delighted their heavenly Father by their gift of service and how it warms your heart to see them seek to serve the Lord in that manner.

A couple other things to note: our children were always given tasks commensurate to their capabilities—my husband and I always evaluating to make sure that they were challenged to the next level as appropriate. We always completed the task with them until we were satisfied that they understood both our expectations and how to complete the task. Then they were held to the standard to complete the task individually. As younger children matured, older children currently performing that task would also be involved in the training of the younger child now stepping up to perform the next task. The younger children always want to do what the older ones were doing. Our son who is physically handicapped was doing the household laundry by the time he was nine—and quite well I might add and ecstatic that he was a contributing/serving member of our family. We had to be creative in adapting equipment that allowed him to safely transport both dirty and clean laundry to and from. The Lord is always gracious to provide means and creative ways when you seek him out. Parenting – the book of Proverbs is rich in instruction.

Blessings as you seek the Lord’s will in directing the training of those entrusted to your care,
Sherry O

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

1. The fact that you said "grow a pair" made me almost fall off the couch. I love you for that.

2. Make 'em do it. And that's coming from a 24 year old. :)

Zan said...

If you don't teach them who will? It is part of being an adult and it will not kill them.

Grateful for Grace said...

I didn't do my own laundry and I wish I had.
We had a foster son for six years and he got to do his own laundry when he turned 14. It was great on so many different levels.
If it helps, I'm coming at it from a simliar angle as you. Our foster son was 12 and from a rough situation (duh, he was put into CPS care at age 12... anyway). I wanted to love on him like a mama. I wanted to show him how mamas took care of their kids. But I realized quickly that that meant he needed to be equipped to take care of things himself. He did great. It helped him learn many different things. I'm sure others have mentioned the, so I won't ramble more.

Jennifer said...

I was thinking about this the other day. While my children are still young, I wondered when to make them start doing laundry. I don't remember when my sister and I started doing laundry, but I know by the time we were teenagers we did it not only for ourselves but for the whole family. I don't remember a specific set division of labor but we both helped with all aspects of laundry in our house.

carrielubrady said...

Okay first of all what am I more amazed at? 1. the fact that you have 40 comments or 2. that you typed this whole stinkin' thing out on your crackberry, I mean blackberry. :)

Not that you need comment 41 but just in case there is a tie i will be the tie breaker. I see it that you have two options. 1. Apparently I like numbering things...2. Number 1 was not really an option just an observation. Okay for real now 3. (or maybe 1) You can make them do it all on their own and not worry about it anymore and yes, teach them a life lesson or 4. Have two days a week that you do the laundry and they help, for example. Monday is Whites day and if anyone has any whites they better bring them on down or miss out having their underwear clean and Wed is color day and the same rules apply. Also part of this process would be them folding their own clothes. So if once they are out of the dryer then they end up somewhere where they have to pick them up, fold and put away. That way their is not too much "load" no pun intended on any one person.

My kiddos are not teenagers yet but we are starting this process! So far so good! With my personality being a little on the control side this helps me not worry about stains setting in or my boys wearing pink socks.

Ellen said...

I'm sixteen and my mom does most of our laundry. I throw my dirty clothes in the hamper and then fold them (most of the time) once they're dry. Some of my things I hand wash and then air dry (like sweaters), and I try to make sure my pants don't make it to the dryer, so I'll wash those myself.

Amanda E. from Durham, NC said...

I did not have to do my OWN laundry, but we all did have to help with laundry in general. We had 8 kids in the fam and there were assigned days on our chore lists, which I think is great...I plan to do it with my own kiddos, although I only have an 8 month old right now. I tried to force her to wash nasty bibs, but for some reason, she wasn't having it.

Good luck!

Kaitlin said...

I have done the household laundry in the past. But since I am in nursing school and time is of the essence, that household responsibility has fallen to my little bro. Of course, my momma pitches in anytime we have alot going on with school or need help for any other reason, but as far as I can remember, the laundry has been either my responsibility or Matthew's--once we were tall enough to reach the washer and drier and old enough to know how to use them without destroying the family wardrobe that is... :D lol Unfortunately, I think both Matthew and I have both destroyed a couple of articles of clothing during our reigns over the laundry room.


Legally Fabulous said...

The first time I EVER did laundry was freshman year of college.

I stood in the basement of my dorm in TEARS because I had no idea what I was doing. Lots of stress to add to an already stressful first week of college 1000 miles away from home!

I wish I had been doing laundry way before then... maybe not ALL THE TIME, but at least enough so that I knew how to do it!!!
It would have made that whole experience much less stressful!

Gloria said...

I did my own laundry as a young adult and my kids learned to do theirs. Believe me, a lot of people thought it was inefficient because of their sometimes-necessarily small loads. But to me it was worth it to let them manage their own, even if it cost a bit more in soap and water and wear and tear on the machine.

I especially told them they were on their own when they chose to buy all-cotton items that needed ironing.

We do our children no favors when we don't teach them basic activities connected to everyday maintenance.

There is so much for them to learn, and crash courses are not the optimum way to do it.

Virtual Teacher Collaboration said...

Not an experienced mom here, but I will be fostering a former student soon and will be a single, working "mom". The plan is to have her learn to sort her laundry using labeled hampers in the laundry room. I will wash these lest we have a laundry disaster. However, she will strip and wash, dry and replace her own sheets once a week.

It may crash and burn, but that's the plan!

Tracey said...

I didn't do my own laundry as as kid and I had to get a crash course right before going to college. Thankfully I didn't ruin much when I actually took on the task myself in my dorm laundry room.
My brother, on the other hand, learned right before going to college and up until he just bought his new house with his wife a year ago, took it to a laundry center and paid to have it done.
It may be a guy thing, or it may have been because he didn't do it as a teenager.
I fully intend on teaching my kids (when they are old enough and I can get around the whole "child labor law" deal) to do their own laundry, dust, clean toilets and cook.
I would make them do it....but that's just me! :)

Kim said...

49 comments so far -- guess your readers feel a little passion about the topic of laundry :-)

I enjoy doing laundry, as documented on my blog on numerous occasions.


My kids started doing their own laundry at AGE 8. Yes, you read that right. Age 8.

I had gone back to college and my husband took over cleaning, cooking and homeschooling but I reserved the laundry chore. 1) because I like it and 2) we couldn't afford to buy new wardrobes. But my son, who must have owned half a dozen pair of jeans at least, went through a phase of only wanting to wear his sweat pants. Of which he had 3 pair. I did not have time to do laundry every other day. Impasse. He ASKED if he could wash them.


And then I thought, "Why not? He's a bright kid. He can reach the knobs." So I taught him how to separate colors, when to add bleach to the loads of white, etc. AND HE DID JUST FINE.

And he's been washing his own clothes ever since. Betcha there have been times when he hadn't been so quick to ask :-)

The poor daughter was taught how to do her own laundry when she turned 8 also. She couldn't reach the knobs. No problem! We just pulled a chair over. LOL

Seriously, we under-estimate what our kids are capable of doing far too often.

P.S. My daughter-in-law appreciates her husband's extraordinary washing skilz :-)

Laura Iversen said...

Honey, My seven year old was doing laundry out of my desperation when I had my fifth child (and no, I'm not a slum MOM)... She could read. All the children in my house now when they reach seven and reading are on a laundry rotation. If I think it will be ruined, I take it to the dry cleaners. We've only ruined a handful of things in 7 years. :) It's good for them.

Laura J said...

OK. Hilarious that you got so many responses on this. I think I've commented once on your blog - but I do read it often. I went to HP with your husband, and we have some mutual friends. Anyway, seems like most people who've commented first learned to do laundry when they went to college.

I like the idea of having a laundry day or two a week and getting everyone involved. They learn, but the burden is shared.

liz said...

I do whatever laundry is placed in my laundry room but if my boys collect enough dirty laundry in their rooms that it would take me all day just to do that kid's laundry, then he has to do it. I hate when I think I'm done and someone has stored up three loads in his room. They do know how to do it and I have to say my just finished his freshman year in college son was very good about doing his laundry weekly. He always has been my finicky one.

happygeek said...

Coming late to the party, but still comin':)
In my growing up years laundry was a communal chore, one that we started sharing around ten or so. So was vacuuming, dishes dusting and cleaning the bathrooms. All were rotated on a weekly basis. My 3 and 5 year old now sort the laundry with me.
We operated on the team concept. We are a team working together on this house, so we didn't just do our own laundry, we served each other by doing everyone's. Plus, then we could laugh at the clueless girls in college.

Anonymous said...

I'm a few days behind...been on vacation, but I started doing my laundry around junior high out of self defense or moreover, the defense and protection of my clothes. My grandmother always tried to be "helpful" and do the laundry, but was old school and used bleach on EVERYTHING. My fingers once went right through a favorite shirt and she washed and dried a baby lambswool then fit my barbie. My 13-year-old recently did ALL the laundry just to helpful. Yes, he's seen a doctor and seems fine. He is now doing his laundry, but I never asked him to. Weird.

It will be a great thing for D and D to learn and will be very impressive for their future wives.

Coneymama said...

That last one was not sent Anonymous...I just hit "enter"

Vickie said...

We have four children. They received the opportunity to learn a new skill back when they each entered the 6th grade. That new skill was laundry. It came about in a rather sweet way. I wrote about it here:

I love your blog!