Confession Time: I didn’t do my own laundry until I was in college and even then it was only if I couldn’t get home for over a month. I didn’t even know how to do my laundry, I faked it and hoped for the best. I ruined a lot of clothes that way. I also didn’t get my own oil changed until 23, despite having a car since 16. So needless to say, I was not the model of independence. I relied far too much on my parents, especially my dad.
For all of the above reasons, I have been slowly increasing the amount of independence I give my kids. First came the food independence surrounding meal times then came personal upkeep. I don’t want to call them “chores” because I haven’t really assigned them to my kids and they sure as heck are not getting paid to do them, but I can see how some people might call them “chores”. The kids now unload their dishes from the dishwasher daily which was a painless transition from “Come help Mommy unload the dishwasher” to “Please, put your dishes away.”
Laundry started mildly enough, we practiced loading the washing machine, how to add soap, and which buttons to push. With my now 5 year old daughter I was playing a supporting role until recently, now I just watch so nothing gets too out of control. She also puts the clothes in the dryer and takes them out. We are still working on folding and hanging up her clothes, though she is responsible for putting them away even if I fold them. I am looking into getting this the FlipFold Jr. to help both my kids better fold their clothes neatly. I use the big one for my husband and I’s T-Shirts and I love it!
My son, now 3, also loves to help both me and his big sister. For his laundry he is responsible for putting the clothes in the washer, counting the pumps of detergent, and pushing the buttons I tell him to.
Our next big project is to revamp the kids’ closets to better facilitate putting away their own clothes and getting dressed even more independently. Stay tuned for that!