When a child accomplishes something on their own or learns a new skill, it boosts their self-esteem and prepares them for adulthood. ‘Teaching independence is not something you start when they’re 14,’ Kathy Lynn, a parenting columnist, told Today’s Parent in the US. ‘It starts with having them dress themselves when they’re three, and help pack their bags for a family trip when they’re nine.’
With that in mind, here are 10 things your kids should be doing on their own by the time they’re teenagers:
1. Wash their own laundry
When they’re under the age of 12, give them simpler tasks like gathering dirty clothes, folding clean items, and putting pieces away. Then give them more responsibility when they master with those tasks. By the time they’re 13, they should know how to properly use a laundry machine, says Kathy.
2. Earn and manage money
Teens should value money and know how to manage simple finances. ‘[Your child should] start understanding that when people go above and beyond, they get rewarded for it,’ Danny Kofke, the author of A Bright Financial Future: Teaching Kids About Money Pre-K Through College for Life-Long Success! told Learnvest.com. Your teenager should also be able to fill out a deposit form, and use other basic money-managing tools.
3. Prepare meals
Whether it’s simply putting together their own lunch, preparing a snack or even cooking a simple meal for the family, your teenager should know his or her way around the kitchen. ‘By the time your kid is in high school, they really ought to be able to do everything related to their own care, if they had to,’ Julie Lythcott-Haims, the author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid For Success told Parenting.com. ‘I’m not saying stop making dinner for your kids, but I am saying you ought to have confidence that they could make a breakfast for themselves, that they could make a lunch.’