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At what age do you think its reasonable to teach a child to use a kettle?

(81 Posts)
GrimmaTheNome Mon 22-Dec-08 21:57:32

Simple enough question... DH and I seem to have significantly different opinions.

DD is nearly 10, and, having seen younger friends making tea, asked if she could. It seemed reasonable enough to me so I was supervising when DH came in and had a fit. He's just brought it up again - made me swear she won't be doing it again. There's no point arguing when he goes off in HSE mode. But at some point DD will have to master this simple skill.

Obviously it depends on both the size of the child and the kettle, but what would you say are (a) the youngest you'd contemplate your child making tea, and (b) the upper age by which they definitely ought to be able to do this.

JosephofNazareth Mon 22-Dec-08 22:00:39

Apparently I was making my parents coffee in bed at age 5. That makes me very nervous though!

Oh and obviously we only had wood fires so particulary dangerous for any small people. (Even if their parentage isn't in any dount <sob>)

seeker Mon 22-Dec-08 22:02:44

My dd could make a cup of tea at 8. By 10 shoe could cook a simple meal and now at 13 she can cook most things with very little help. I would definitely say 10 is fine. What age does your dp say?

yogabird Mon 22-Dec-08 22:03:57

my dd who is just 7 has had a go, closely supervised. It's too heavy for her really but she will be doing it as soon as she is stronger. Kids are capable and will become more so the more they are allowed to do. Dd's aged 4 & 7 made mince pies themselves this afternoon. They often get their own breakfast and are, i believe, growing up to be independent and capable girls. Of course there are risks but well managed these are fine and i would expect that by 10 years old a child should be able to. Hope this helps

cheekysealion Mon 22-Dec-08 22:04:02

10 here

santasinmywaistband Mon 22-Dec-08 22:04:17

Well I was at 7 as I did my brownie badge in tea and cakes about then and had ben making tea at home for a bit before that.

DD helps me now at 4. but only with close supervision.

I think unsupervised a switched on 6 year old would be fine and all NT children should be able to by 10

NotanOtter Mon 22-Dec-08 22:04:54


muggglewump Mon 22-Dec-08 22:08:43

I've recently taught DD to use the kettle, she's 7.4. I'd say by 10 they should be able to.

PlonkerTeatowelOnTheirHeads Mon 22-Dec-08 22:09:46

I won't let my 8, nearly 9 year old use the kettle. I'm not sure when i'll let her tbh.

Possibly around 11 and certainly before high school ...

beanieb Mon 22-Dec-08 22:10:30

I learned at 6/7 and on a gas ring.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Mon 22-Dec-08 22:11:44

I can't trust DS to pour a glass of milk or make squash yet. He's 7 and a bit clumsy. Will be a long time before he uses the kettle. I'd be worried if he can't brew up by the time he's 10 though. Whether he drinks coffee or not!

KatyMac Mon 22-Dec-08 22:12:04

DD is 11 (end of Nov) she has been making tea since she was tall enough to reach the kettle easily since about 8 or so

She is making our lunch on Christmas Eve - quiche.......if she can get the pastry right

Children need to understand about risk & danger - it is important that they learn to weigh up situations and decide what action to take

NotanOtter Mon 22-Dec-08 22:12:18

dp says he does not think we do till 10-11

beanieb Mon 22-Dec-08 22:14:41

my parents started paying me 10p to make tea from around the age of 9

fluffles Mon 22-Dec-08 22:16:17

I learned to make tea at brownies age about 7 or 8 (brownies go from 7 to 10). I reckon the girl guide association have probably done the right kind of risk assessments so i'd use that as a guide (no pun intended) smile

FrannyandZooey Mon 22-Dec-08 22:17:36

don't know
ds is 5 - not yet
would have thought 10 would be fine unless child was partic clumsy or scatty

santasinmywaistband Mon 22-Dec-08 22:18:16

Reading the replies, I think I must be very allowing with my DD. She gets all her own drinks, water,squash, milk.
Helps me peel and chop the veggies, makes her own breakfast. OK I am always supervising and in the room, but I agree with Yogabird they will bcome more copetent as they are allowed to do stuff.

At guide camp when I was 10 we were lighting our own fires and cooking meals for ourselves, how are your children going to cope with things like that if they have never even made a cup of tea at home?

tibni Mon 22-Dec-08 22:18:30

dd was 9 when she she started using the kettle without close supervision. She also is learning to cook. These are important life skills and she enjoys the sense of responsibility.

bellaBuonNatalevita Mon 22-Dec-08 22:19:18

DS1 (11.6) and DS2 (9) both use the kettle.

As long as it is not filled up too much so it is heavy to lift then I think it is ok and of course they know they have to be very careful.

ChirpyGrinch Mon 22-Dec-08 22:22:40

God, by 10 I was making full meals unsupervised. and we had an aga so boiling a kettle involved leaning over permanently hot plate with very heavy steel kettle.
I would have thought children should be oven/kitchen savvy by 7/8 at the latest )obviously dependant on child, my brother is 23 and still can't be trusted with a boiling pan of water....)

piscesmoon Mon 22-Dec-08 22:28:34

I would have thought they could have cooked a meal by 11yrs. It is a good job there are things like the Scouts where they are allowed to get on with things.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 22-Dec-08 23:21:25

Thanks... I thought I was nearer the mark than DH, and you've confirmed that. He's overprotective, and having worked on chemical plants takes safety somewhat to excess.

DD does do cookery club at school, thank goodness, away from his eyes! And she does help with chopping and baking with me and uses the microwave.

skrimbo Mon 22-Dec-08 23:37:31

DD just turned 9 has mastered making tea recently and made me a lovely one today and a hot chocolate for herself totaly unsupervised. She does find the kettle heavy so I make sure she doesn't over fill it and uses her step to bring her up to a better height for pouring. DS was about the same.

DD also made a toastie today, but she wanted me to get it of the griddle for her. DD has also made pancakes (drop scones) with me, I left her to get on with it while I made soup. DS just turned 12 likes making super noodles and experimantal pizza creations with toast under the grill and has made things as adventurous as steak pie with a bit of help.

DD chops veggies with supervision.

Tortington Mon 22-Dec-08 23:39:01

my kids had been brewing for a good two years by 10. they were also idoning their school uniforms. and v. capable of tidying almost anywhere - they could also use the washing machine.

hatwoman Mon 22-Dec-08 23:41:21

oh gawd another thing to feel guilty about...I'm failing to teach my child to make tea. (not meant to be sarcy...I sort of mean it...I'm always getting everything wrong]

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