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What should children of nearly 9 be doing for themselves?(47 Posts)
DD is 9 on Wed & I am concerned that she isn’t doing enough for herself or round the house to help. She’s very challenging at times & I probably do too much for her just because it’s easier & to avoid yet another battle. I wondered how much your kids of that age do? For example, I still get her uniform ready for school .
My son is nearly 9 so will watch this with interest. I still get his uniform ready too. He can shower and wash his hair independently. He is practising cutting his nails too. He brushes his teeth although i do it occasionally. Going to start working on changing beds. He puts his dirty clothes in the laundry basket. He can tidy a toy away and helps unload the dishwasher. Makes himself a very occasional basic sandwich.
My son is 8 and gets himself ready in the mornings independently (gets uniform sorted etc, makes breakfast, rinses brown and spoon afterwards and places in dishwasher). I make his sandwich but he gets snacks and fruit and packs it all in his bag. His chores include putting clean laundry away, sorting recycling and tidying his room. He also sweeps the path in warmer months.
He's pretty easy osey though. He also helps tidy up the living room once his younger brother is in bed as it means we get more time to play.
Ds1 9.11 can sort his own uniform or clothes for the day, strip and half remake his bed. Have a bath inc hair wash alone. Make toast and sandwiches, get cereal sorts own packed lunch out. Tidy and hoover his room. Wash pots. Make a cold drink. Clear up after a meal.
Ds2 8.7 is a different creature. He can do most of what ds1 can do but only with close supervision and prompts. Left to own devices he would sit about half dressed all day. Last night he wore his pjs inside out.
I have a recently turned 9 year old.
I get her uniform ready but she takes care of dressing, hair brushing and tying up, teeth brushing.
I make up her packed lunch but she is responsible for packing it in her bag and checking she has what she needs for the day.
She empties the dishwasher and tidies her room.
She can make toast and heat a cup of milk in the microwave for hot chocolate.
She can take a shower but i help her with hair washing as she has very long, curly hair.
She feeds her pet kitten and washes her bowl etc but I do the litter box for her.
She is a helpful child and never any trouble at home or in school.
I have a 7,11 and 14 year old. They all get their own uniform/clothes out and on in the morning.
7 year old doesn’t get his own breakfast yet because he’s a shorty and not worktop height comfortable yet but with a step can make a basic sandwich.
By 9 they have all got their own breakfast, helped tidy up living room and wash/dry dishes although not every day. Put own laundry away 7 year old is currently better at that than the other two and bring own dirty washing down from their basket. There are probably a few other wee chores they did by then but can’t really remember.
Definitely all got their own school bags ready actually including snack and filling water bottle.
In fact dd could make a cup of tea or coffee by 9 she was tall enough to safely reach the kettle without a step though.
I know it seems a bit smug possibly but I run a Cub pack and I am astonished weekly at how much direction the 9 and 10 years olds need to get stuff done and how many reminders they need to get their own stuff together. So many of them have complained that they don’t have to clean up/do it for themselves at home.
Dd was probably the same to an extent being the oldest but actually it was her going to Brownies that spurred me on more to get her to do things for herself because she was doing things there that I had probably done for her because it was easier or I thought she was too young.
Forgot mine can make a cuppa & is just starting to express an interest in cooking a whole meal herself. She has done bits & pieces like peeling spuds etc but not always with a huge amount of enthusiasm!
DS1 is 9 on Sunday (waving to fellow December birthdayer!).
He gets himself dressed for school including finding clothes if they are drying etc. Brushes teeth & loads up his own & brothers' brushes with toothpaste. Needs me to time toothbrushing or will rush it.
Showers & washes hair on own, needs an adult to turn on/off as he can't reach.
Tidies own room, after a fashion, mostly with
nagging encouragement - will put clothes in correct places but screws up rather than folds. Ditto toys.
Makes cup of tea & toast. Can cook a few basic meals, with supervision (scrambled egg, pasta & tomato sauce etc).
I make his sandwiches for packed lunch, he fetches & packs other items, including water bottle.
Goes to corner shop for a specific item, with cash. Shop is 2 mins walk away, over 1 small road, we can see him most of the way there from our house.
Kind of walks self to school - we walk up to corner together, then he goes down to crossing patrol & crosses road there & goes into school, while I cross over further up with DS2 & 3. I watch him the whole way & don't take DS2 in until I have seen DS1 go in safely. He was desperate to walk to school on his own & this is a good compromise, quite a few others with DC in Infants & Juniors do it.
Is also very handy at fetching things for me & other DC!
Ds1 has just turned 10 and can bathe and wash his hair by himself. He cuts his own nails. He can cook simple meals and helps me with more complicated ones. He hoovers and mops. He puts his laundry away. Feeds the cat. Sometimes helps with packed lunches. He can make a cup of tea.
Dd is almost 8 and she mops, puts laundry away, folds laundry. Still needs help rinsing her hair after washing. She can help make some meals.
We also have a 3 year old and he likes to help but can't do a lot by himself yet.
My son is nearly 6. He gets his uniform on in the morning (I sometimes leave it out for him, but only if I'm feeling too lazy to fold it and put it away ). He brushes his teeth (with reminding!). He makes his own breakfast/lunch/snack - cereal/homemade muesli/porridge/sandwich/wrap with topping/yoghurt with fruit etc. He gets his own drinks - water, fruit juice, cold or microwaved milk. He tidies his bedroom (with a lot of prompting sometimes!). He puts his dirty clothes in the laundry bag and can do a load of washing (he does his football clothes on a Saturday, but I do the rest during the week when he's at school). He helps with some of the drying up and putting away.
Watching with interest.
8yr DS makes own breakfast at weekends. I must extend his repertoire. Sets table for dinner, clears table after dinner. Puts toys away at bed time.
Showers and soaps on own. Attempts to cut nails.
Own clothes in to laundry. Clean clothes sorted with me, but puts his own pile away. Can strip beds, makes disastrous attempts to remake.
Gets dressed. I tend to sort the pe kits (need to go into school 3 days a week).
Can go to shop on own.
Gets bus to/ from school on own (as does his 6 yr old brother), which is expected here, but dedicated bus from school to our village.
Can't remember to bring cap and water bottle back from school a couple of times a week.
Frequently puts on teeshirts inside out or back to front.
My dd (9) showers, washes her hair and brushes her teeth properly ( as I wold do) she does her own hair and makes her bed.
She tidies her room and vacuuming.
She stacks the dishwasher after making her own breakfast and can make basic meals. She can make more complex dinners with supervision.
She loads her own uniform into washing machine and can do the laundry. Although I always check in case something white is mixed in.
She can make hot chocolate ( I watch as she pours but don't need to now)
Both dd feed and care for all pets ( 8 of them) and in the evenings they clean and help tidy me away after dinner.
I am raising children that are capable, strong and nurtured. If they are particularly tired or unwell I take all jobs away, but the basic expectation is that we are a team and they are part of it.
My view is that if I pamper and indulge dc too much then they will grow into lazy, entitled teens and useless adults. Most children are very very capable, much more that we give them credit for.
DS is 7. He can dress himself, vacuum, make scrambled eggs, hang out washing. I actually do a lot for him as he is in shared custody, so I like mothering him. Last year I saw a neighbour's 8 year old cutting the grass using the ride on lawn mower.
* is responsible for his clothing. I take dirty clothes out of his washing basket and put clean, folded clothes on his chair. I will help him search for things he "can't find anywhere" but anything that must be clean by a particular day must find its own way downstairs and preferably right by the washing machine. TBH most of this also applies to the 6yo. I only lay out clothes for the 4yo and I don't expect to be doing so this time next year. 9yo and 6yo pack their own bags (a little prompting can be required).
* is responsible for his own breakfast and snacks. Capable with a microwave and a toaster. Prefers me to do it
like his father. Can use the mixer (electric beaters), weigh ingredients, etc. We don't do packed lunches.
* did a cooking afterschool club and is keen on BIG KNIVES. Very useful when potatoes need peeling and chopping (though very slow).
* is responsible for stripping his bed when asked. I do the duvet cover because I know that's a pain for that age group (I'd expect a 10-11yo to be able to do a duvet cover with help but to struggle alone) but he does the bottom sheet and pillowcase. This is not unrelated to having a cabin bed!
* can use a needle and thread, though can't thread them. Can't mend, but can craft IYSWIM.
* can earn extra pocket money by emptying the dishwasher. Struggles to put complicated things away but can certainly manage plates, cups, cutlery, etc.
* mows the lawn. Again, for pocket money. We have a VERY safe mower - if we still had our old one he certainly wouldn't be allowed.
* sorts the recycling for bin day (joint with 6yo, 4yo "helping").
* quite likes hoovering and can use different attachments for the "edges".
* is perfectly capable in the bathroom but needs prompting to shower and wash hair. One of his Christmas presents is a toiletry set in a coveted brand so I'm hoping that will help. TBH at this age I think an official timetable is useful - eg shower Monday and Wednesday evenings after football, Friday morning shower, hair wash on Sunday night before a week of school, etc.
* was given quite a lot of freedom in the summer when he had just turned 9 and we were camping. A big gang of children all hung around together in the evenings, playing hide-and-seek and so on, and he was allowed to join in so long as he observed a strict curfew and didn't leave the site. TBH that wasn't a massive deal really because of the nature of the site, but it felt like a big deal for him, as one of the younger children in the gang.
We haven't yet explored the kettle and the oven but he's probably sensible enough.
Going out on his own is a sticking point. We live in a cul-de-sac not far off a major trunk road. Even going to the corner shop or the park involves negotiating a five-exit crossroads with massive HGVs and tractors. There's a point slightly beyond that where he's allowed to then go off on his own (though he's still within sight). He doesn't have any particular friends within easy walking distance as we are rural, so doesn't have opportunities to just go knocking for people. His football training used to be within easy walking distance so we'd sometimes let him walk home alone, but it's moved to the all-weather pitch for the winter which is 8 miles away...
It's a bit tricky letting him go to school on his own because I am going anyway with the other two. We're looking at opportunities for him to come out of school on his own and meet us at the park, for example, and he will play Pokemon Go round the network of culs-de-sac nearest us. When he hits his tenth birthday we'll probably get him a cheap PAYG mobile which will give us all more confidence for that kind of thing.
Should add that my perspective is informed by having worked in a boarding prep school (8-13). The children there wouldn't have had any opportunity to do much in the kitchen except during organised activities, but were certainly responsible for all their possessions and getting laundry to the basket on time, etc. Perfectly capable of making sensible food choices when presented with options (eg knowing that a dinner plate needs protein, carbohydrates and vegetables on it; not choosing an allergen; not overfacing themselves).
Honestly, probably more than they are doing now. My DS is 7yo and helps out (other people think) too much. He will help with basic cleaning and tidying, cleans up his own mess and helps with his toddler brother. Some family friends (and even strangers) get a little shocked and tut at me like I'm using him as a slave but I did not have kids to pander to their every needs and exhaust myself constantly. He makes me a cuppa nearly every day (usually because he wants something but it's still nice) and is just genuinely helpful but I have lead him that way since he was young (e.g helping load the washing machine, putting toys away himself ect ect and now he really likes to be helpful to others). His teachers love him as you can imagine I think people are obsessed with the 'let kids be kids' mantra and of course they need to play out and do silly things but they should also be helping parents around the house or you'll end up with a teenager who respects absolutely nothing and expects parents to do everything
DD (9 in 2 wks) brushes teeth, can wash her own hair but I check it's rinsed properly, She brushes her hair but I do any plaits and tie it up for her. She can make her own breakfast, and will tidy away putting bowls/plates in the dishwasher or on the kitchen side if it's not been unloaded of the clean stuff yet. She tidies her room and helps tidy the playroom she shares with DS (6). She gets dressed independently including getting uniform/clothes out of cupboard/drawers. She doesn't do any cleaning or laundry beyond putting dirty clothes in the laundry bin and putting away clean clothes that have been put in her room. Hangs her towel up after bathing. Can feed the cats but is not allowed to do litter tray (not that she wants to). Doesn't cook but can make sandwiches or cereal.
DS(6) does as little as he can get away with.
I think people are obsessed with the 'let kids be kids' mantra and of course they need to play out and do silly things
Yes, exactly. "Let kids be kids" means "only give them a few age-appropriate chores to do" not "let them laze around while you do absolutely everything"!
Mine are almost 8.
Dd1 gets uniform ready, puts clothes away, tidies up after herself when 'prompted', does her own hair both wash and brush but does struggle to put it up. Does teeth, baths/showers although can be a bit of a soap dodger. She does her breakfast, sometimes other people's. she'll happily do any kind of cold food meals and will do scrambled eggs if me or her dad are downstairs. Packs her own school bag.
Dd2 can do the basic self care above (showering/washing etc) but she is a massive dolly day dream so can't be relied upon. Plus she's a lazy sod so she has to be nagged into tidying and will happily let her sister do their joint chores if not monitored.
However, for context BOTH of my children left the house without a coat yesterday. Because you know, snow is quite warm (me and dh did look at each other and say we should have checked but come on.......)
DD is nearly 9
- She washes her own hair, occasionally brushes it (like mine it's curly and cropped, so sometimes best left)
- She can make toast, porridge under supervision, sorts herself out at breakfast time, but I still do her lunch box.
- She is expected to put dirty washing in the laundry basket and clean washing away after I leave on a pile on her bed
- Until recently we had battles over her rather chaotic bedroom, but in last 6 months she has been keeping the floor clear and putting stuff away more. It's pretty dusty tho, with creations on every surface.
- Along with her older brother she helps lay the table, clear the table and load the dishwasher (often grumbling about this last one)
- Also with her brother she sorts recycling, there is points based reward system for this.
- Every so often we'll have a family tidy up and we expect both DC to help put stuff away. DD often needs nagging for this, she gets 'tired' or distracted. Sometimes music helps.
My sons 9. He puts dishes away, gets himself up and dressed. Puts clothes away, tidies room, has his own bath and does his own teeth.
My eldest two are 9.5, and 8 next week. Both sort their own uniform and clothes out. I wash and iron, they need to put away and get dressed in morning without me reminding, and pack football stuff in bags on their relevant days.
They sort their own showers, hair washing etc
Chore wise they put away laundry, tidy up. Eldest does loading and unloading of dishwasher and helping to take rubbish bags out, but 2nd one not doing all those yet.
My DDs are 8 and a half.
They brush their own teeth to a good standard.
They can bathe or shower, and wash own hair, but do require supervision because they distract each other resulting in bathroom flooding if not. Both are absolutely incompetent at dealing with their own hair, but insist on keeping it long - it's the bane of my existence!
Can tidy and dust own rooms to a lovely standard, but never of their own accord, I have to shout a lot first. Can strip own beds and bring sheets to washing machine; can't re-make beds.
After school they change out of school uniform into "civvies" and hang up any rewearable items (blazer and skirt are usually good for a couple of days), put the dirty laundry into laundry basket without having to be told. Get themselves dressed in the morning.
Feed the cat and let her in/out a million times a day (we don't have a cat flap).
They would probably be capable of a lot more in the kitchen, but are hampered by being small (and weak) for their age and also our kitchen layout is not helpful for tiny people as everything is high up.
Can set the table with cutlery. If I get the cereal boxes and bowls down, they can do their own breakfasts. They can't make hot drinks because they're too short and weak to safely handle a kettle of boiling water.
After meals, they load their own things into the dishwasher - and when it is full, they can switch it on and run it. But they can't help much with unloading because all the dishes are in the high cupboards.
They can make a few basic meals (again as long as I fetch down stuff from the high cupboards and help with heavy things) with supervision, so are able to operate knives, some appliances and the hob: scrambled eggs on toast, tomato/cucumber/salad, couscous-stuffed peppers.
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