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To ask what can your 8 year old do?

62 replies

Username172828 · 06/04/2021 13:51

Trying to teach my son to be more independent. He expects everything done for him and now it's time for a change. He makes his bed every morning and will put his clothes in the wash basket. He know how to make himself toast and a drink. He still doesn't know how to tie his shoelaces and will not get himself a snack even though these are easiky accessible. He can dress himself but I still pick out his clothes. Will you tell me about your 8 year old please?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Cocomarine · 06/04/2021 13:55

By 8, mine simply wouldn’t have let me pick her clothes!
So I think getting a snack and choosing own clothes are totally do-able - you just need to start refusing to do that for him.
Shoelaces are trickier - do you actually give him a chance? If so and he struggles, look on YouTube for difference methods. My nephew was 10 before he could - just couldn’t do it, found a new method (sorry I don’t know which!) and mastered it quickly.


isthistoonosy · 06/04/2021 13:59

6 and 7 year olds here. They pick there own clothes, dress,take dirty clothes to the main washing basket daily. Let us know if they are running short of clothes a day or two before they run out. Pack PE kits, homework etc. Help set and clear the table. Get out snacks, cold drinks for us all when asked. Tidy their room, under duress. Grin
7 yr old mostly does his homework independently. He also has a weird thing for keeping the bathroom stocked on loo roll and monitoring food rotation to avoid waste. Not that it was an issue he just likes to have controll.


trevthecat · 06/04/2021 14:01

My 8 yr old DD does her own breakfast most days, makes her bed, picks her own clothes, can shower independently, puts washing away, empties dishwasher. She's quite self sufficient!


GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal · 06/04/2021 14:09

He can do more than my 9 yo. She can get herself a drink, make her bed, take her dirty clothes to the wash basket and plates/cups to the dishwasher, though she needs prompting. She can't get herself any type of food, though I plan to start getting her and her brother to do their own cereal in the morning - she's just so absent minded and clumsy, I worry will end up with milk everywhere.

She chooses her own clothes but can't do her own hair - she can brush it but not tie it back. She needs to be supervised washing it or she'll miss bits (tbf it's very long and thick). She flatly refuses to even learn to tie shoelaces.

I know I need to be encouraging more independence. She's both stubborn and lazy, and I'm impatient and always in a hurry, so end up doing everything for her just to get it done carefully.


GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal · 06/04/2021 14:11

Should add, academically she's incredibly independent and super bright. During lockdown all I had to do was point her at the work and leave her to it - in fact she got quite annoyed at what she clearly saw as my "interfering." Same with homework. But she really struggles to manage anything physical.


GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal · 06/04/2021 14:12

That should be "get it done quickly", not carefully!


Ozgirl75 · 06/04/2021 14:13

I have an 8 yo boy who I’m also encouraging to do more for himself. He can tie shoelaces although he asks me to do them sometimes as he likes them tight. He can get himself a snack and a drink, but no other food I can think of. Can make himself a sandwich (we did this lots in last years lock down as I was so bored of making fucking sandwiches).
He gets himself ready for bed although when I’m around I tend to dry his hair.
Chooses his clothes and gets ready in the morning.
Will put clothes in basket about 50/50. Hangs up his own clothes/stuffs them in the drawer.
Actually he’s pretty good when I write it all down!


Ozgirl75 · 06/04/2021 14:15

Just this year we’ve been focusing more on him doing his homework with little input and when he gets on with it he’s fine and does a good job. If anything he procrastinates and pisses about more when I’m there.


lovablequalities · 06/04/2021 14:21

Make/strip beds
hoover with the cordless
General tidying up
Put away clothes
Separate lights/darks/towels
make scrambled eggs/omelette, toast, cereal, snack etc.
Set the table
Does the dishes reasonably well

None of that stuff is particularly physically difficult. I suppose it comes down to personality/interests/expectations. If you want your kids to do wee jobs then crack on. It doesn't need to be a big "thing" with a list of what they should be doing. Just a general expectation that not everything in the house is mum or dad's responsibility.


Iamuhtredsonofuhtred · 06/04/2021 14:25

Mine will dress herself, tie her shoes, tidy her room, make easy snacks, gets her own breakfast and for her little brothers, and also will tidy and hoover living room. She can shower independently although needs help to brush her hair (it’s very long). She’ll put her laundry in basket without being asked and put shoes/coat away. She’s actually really great. DD1 is 4 years older and never lifts a finger so can’t take too much credit


Mummaofboys93 · 06/04/2021 14:28

My DS is 10 but was doing these things at 8/9...

Makes his bed, tidies, dusts & hoovers room. (It is the only room he has full responsibility of keeping clean as he spends alot of time in there. I will go in there once a month & do a proper deep clean).
Putting his dirty clothes in wash basket & clean washing away (I fold for him though).
Makes himself & DS5 breakfast (cereal, toast, waffles, pancakes - in toaster).
Can make a sandwich & make his own drink.
Can pick his own clothes but I can't bare when he is mismatched so I do pick put what he wears 😬
Runs himself a bath, washes his hair, cleans himself, dries himself & blow dries hair.
Scraps his dinner plate.
Changes cats water & put food down (Not everyday but I will occasionally ask him as the cat is technically his).
Can tie his shoes.

I really want all my children to grow up being as independent as possible as my brother grew up having everything done for him & at 24 has only just learnt how to cook, doesn't know how to use a washing machine & his cleaning is dire. I don't want my boys to be like that 😂


Ijustlikedthename · 06/04/2021 14:30

Makes her bed, makes her own breakfast and often lunch (recent skill that she is enjoying!), ties her own laces (took about 10 mins of YouTube videos when she needed to tie her dress bow for school a few years ago), showers/washes hair, picks her own clothes, puts her clothes in the wash, folds and puts away clothes when asked, tidies room before bed, homework without being asked. Probably more but can't think right now, will do other tasks as and when asked.


Ijustlikedthename · 06/04/2021 14:30

And can tell the time


Charmatt · 06/04/2021 14:31

It's immaterial what other 8 year olds do. What do you want him to be able to do? Set your next goal and tackle it with him - do one at a time. Don't pick his clothes out any more - get him to (1st goal) - you'll be surprised how many you can achieve.

If you are frustrated, don't compare him with other 8 years olds because you will focus on what he can't do rather than what he can do.

My mum always says, 'Comparison is the thief of joy!'


Skyla2005 · 06/04/2021 14:39

If he won't get his own snacks then don't get them for him then and he will ! Make bed bring washing down wash up tidy up make a sandwich or cereal bath and wash own hair ride a bike roller skate


DipSwimSwoosh · 06/04/2021 14:40

My 7 year old doesn't do much as he is the eldest so his siblings get a lot done for them. I hope the little one will be more independent at this age.
He is expected to wash himself in the bath, get himself out and dressed, brush his own teeth. He puts dirty clothes in the wash basket and folds clean clothes.
He gets his own drinks and snacks, and cereal in the morning. He helps put shopping away and occasionally loads or unloads the dishwasher. He can also use the tumble dryer.


Longdistance · 06/04/2021 14:55

My dd9 can make her bed, sort her laundry, wash and dry up, make beans on toast (use toaster for breakfast), makes breakfast for herself, can make her lunch and packed lunch for school, hoovers and sweeps floors when asked and can make me a cup of tea Grin


Jelly0naplate · 06/04/2021 14:58

7.5 year old here (also got a 5 yr old) - will get himself a drink, would love to help himself to snacks but I prefer them to ask for these as they'd be snacking up to meal times and then not eat, can make a sandwich, can make a stir fry (with supervision) can do toast and cereal. Knows how to straighten his bed and is just learning how to strip his bed for washing (just bottom sheet and pillowcase at the moment) has to be asked to do this. Most of the time puts dirty items in washing basket. Helps to put clean clothes away. Just starting to put items in the dishwasher when he's used them but does bring them back to the kitchen at least. Washes himself and cleans his teeth, sometimes asks for help washing his hair. Sets table and helps clear up.


DrinkFeckArseBrick · 06/04/2021 15:00

My 6 year old can do her own laces. We just sat down in lockdown and practiced til we got it, it didnt come naturally. Can get herself toast and a drink. She can do a lot of other things like tidy up and put her clothes in the right pile to be washed etc...but doesnt unless we remind her she would just get undressed and drop everything on the floor in a heap. She will go and choose her own clothes and get dressed herself though. As will her 3 year old sister (back to front and inside out and 3 pairs of pants because she likes pants though!)


Oioioioo · 06/04/2021 15:03

Puts on laundry, folds laundry, puts away own laundry. Clean clothes in drawers and dirty clothes in laundry basket. Chooses own clothes. Makes own breakfast, can make or fetch snacks. Feed and walks dog. Keeps bedroom tidy. Sets and clears table a meal times, loads and unloads dishwasher. Vacuums and clears up spills. Helps wash car. Showers or runs their own baths. makes own packed lunches.


ServeTheServants · 06/04/2021 15:08

7yo DD can make own drink, gets dressed independently (but I pick the clothes as she’s not overly into what she wears), puts clothes in laundry basket (needs occasional reminding), can make own cereal, can do cordless hoovering of own room (rare), helps to chop veggies for dinner. We’re just teaching her how to scrape her own plate and put dishes in dishwasher.

5 year old DS can do all the above, but I wouldn’t expect him to pour his own milk on cereal, but he enjoys doing it if I’m there to supervise.

Neither are particularly proactive, but perfectly capable of most things if asked.


Stompythedinosaur · 06/04/2021 15:09

My 8 and 9yos can tidy their bedroom generally, but need support if it is really messy. They can take sheets off the bed but need help getting them back on. They can hoover, but won't unless I remind them. They can put laundry away, but most of the time I still do it. They put dirty washing in the basket reliably though.

They can make breakfast, a sandwich or a drink. They can feed our pets.They bake with supervision for the bits using the oven. They can use tools like hammers and saws safely and I don't supervised (thanks to learning at forest school).


TimeForTeaAndG · 06/04/2021 15:10

8yo DD has been getting her own breakfast for a couple of years now. Needs help if it's a full carton of milk. Makes a sandwich herself.
Clothes: can split out washing bundles, load the machine and select the programme (with supervision just in case!). Empty tumble dryer and split into bundles then turn out and fold her own stuff. Puts it away.
Can empty dishwasher and sort of load it,knows the programme but sometimes finds the dial a bit stiff.
Sets the table for dinner and clears her plate.
Tidies up her room.
Has been dressing herself for years now, has no interest in what either I or DH thinks of her clothing choice unless we guide for weather appropriateness.

She has always been very independent, once she can do something she wants to always do it herself. To the point I have to remind her that someone offering to help isn't a reflection on her ability but on the timescale to get it done and that it's nice to all pitch in.

I fully expect her to rock up at 16 with a mortgage and a pension plan 😂


2bazookas · 06/04/2021 15:19

My kids knew that they could only have buckle or velcro shoes until they had mastered tying laces. "Only big boys have trainers/shoes with laces". So acquiring that skill was a highly desirable mark of passage in our house. Long before age 8. Oh, the thrill of those first lace-ups.


user64332 · 06/04/2021 16:55

Tie shoe laces? I have to physically put the socks and shoes on my nearly 8 year old like they are a sleeping octopus for all the assistance they give. This post is eye opening.

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