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Life skills / responsibilities for Dcs by what age?

(6 Posts)
sleepyhead Wed 26-Mar-14 14:06:17

This is sort of inspired by another threat (without being a TAAT hopefully..)

It's occurred to me that dh & I are meandering along without any sort of plan re: teaching ds1 (7) any particular skills to prepare him for independence.

I think we do need to sit down soon and discuss things like walking to school on his own (2 very busy roads to cross, no lollypop person but pedestrian crossings for both), going to the shop for something on his own (3 min walk, no roads to cross), playing out on his own with friends (park 2 mins away, one quiet road to cross), and what ages we'd be happy to consider these things - I'm thinking 9 for all of them.

But also I was thinking about stuff like 999 (he knows this, but I actually don't think he's ever made a phonecall in his life). There's probably a list of things that I should make sure he knows how to do, and there are probably things he should be doing routinely that I haven't thought about.

Any ideas? I think I'm going to get him more involved in housework for a start, although even getting him to pick up his clothes is a battle hmm.

lola88 Wed 26-Mar-14 15:48:51

I think the younger the better for housework and personal hygiene and I would say at 7 he should be able to go to the shops and play in the park if they are so close you would be able to shout him if you needed to if it's only 2 mins away. Maybe you could have him call his grandparents or something to get used to the phone?

My opinion is start giving them independence young and these responsibilities will be a way of life, my partners brother didn't know how to take a train until he was 14!! I was shocked DN is 7 and could do it on her own not that she has but she knows how to buy a ticket and check the train times and to keep an eye out for the stop.

I like to prepare them I worry what would happen if we got separated somewhere busy or something happened to me in the house I want them to have the confidence in themselves to do the right things and not get overwhelmed.

wigglesrock Wed 26-Mar-14 20:01:49

Budgeting - does he get pocket money? Can he save up for things?

Use a mobile phone/ phone to ring 999, a parent who was at work, grandparents etc in an emergency.

Do they know your home phone no/ mobile number off my heart incase of emergency

Do they know what to do at night if there's a fire in the home?

I have an 8 & 6 year old & they can do the above. They also play outside, the older one can go to the shop herself (no roads to cross), most importantly she can make a cup of tea smile

MrsShrek3 Thu 27-Mar-14 00:11:05

ours have done generally this:
own room tidying (varying degrees) - from when they were capable of making mess in it grin
pour juice drinks, make sandwich, lay table, use phone, write basic shopping list 4-5
make a brew - 6 (household of tea addicts. had to do it to teach them safely otherwise they'd have done it anyway, dangerously)
baking - as soon as they could reach, standing on the stool!
hot meals - food prep 7, learn slicing and dicing, pans on cooker with me at 8 (ds2, 10yrs, can cook a decent family meal, curry, stew, sunday dinner etc, having planned it and made shopping list of ingredients)
pocket money 6-7, save it up if you want something not covered by normal expenses or presents (know all coins etc)
help with food shop, add up cost of a few items ,work out change - 6-7
call at nearby friends houses, move between our garden and theirs -9 (with communal battered payg phone in pocket, come home at agreed time)
own current account and necessity to budget -11
mobile phone - 11
go to park with friend, 5 min away, 1 busy road -11 (13 for ds1, mainstream but sn)
walk to village or grandparents house, 1 busy road with good crossings, with sib or friend - 9 1/2

sorry. that's a bit of an epic shock grin

sleepyhead Thu 27-Mar-14 10:06:43

Thanks all - these are good lists.

The park is too far away to shout (we're in the middle of a city, flats rather than houses) so I think it's out for now. Plus it also depends on his friend's parents - I wouldn't be happy about him being there on his own, but in a small group it wouldn't be a big deal in a year or so.

We tend to go to a much bigger park on the way home from school and lots of his friends are there. As a group we've become happy for the children to roam out of sight while the adults chat over the last couple of years so they get some independence that way I guess.

I talked to ds1 last night about growing up and needing to know how to do things for himself and he's very up for doing more things around the house - especially learning how to use the washing machine hmm. Novelty value I suspect.... wink

Re: financial stuff. We started pocket money on his birthday this year and I think it's really helped make him think about the value of things. He managed to save up for a £15 Lego set, which, at £1 pocket money a week plus a few pounds occasionally from his grandparents, showed some decent delayed gratification skills I think.

Nocomet Thu 27-Mar-14 10:26:29

Most DCs seem to get the freedoms you list summer term Y5-Y6, (9-11). Many schools here are iffy about letting DCs below Y6 walk home alone.

My two are 13&16 and quite happy to wander round the nearest small city on their own (they can budget if they choose to).

DD1 is quite happy with trains and I'm going to get DD2 to plan our Easter outing.

Neither has a clue about buses as we don't have any within 3 miles.

(DD2 intends to learn about them as she has friends who do live near bus stops).

Being girls, they have been pretty good at showering every couple of days, wearing deodorant, brushing hair and sorting out clean clothes for years.

DD1 is a good cook, DD2 is learning.

House work? What's house work? I get passably tidy bedrooms and washing chucked in a heap, sometimes, but that's it.

However, since I hate house work and mostly tidy and clean only for visitors, they aren't set a very good example.

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