14 Year Old Boys Are Capable of Doing Their Own Laundry!

My family of six produces lots and lots of laundry. Between me and my amazing housekeeper of 11 years Gloria we manage to get it done each week. As my kids keep growing so does the volume of our laundry. Recently it began to seem like we were always on the verge of not getting it all done when it occurred to me that my 14 year old son is totally capable of doing his own laundry. I am a big believer in kids being involved in keeping the house clean. I have been blessed to be able to stay home with my children and have cleaning help but this does not mean that my kids never lift a finger. They are expected to help clean the dishes, set the table, take out the garbage and make their beds (among other things). Having them help with the laundry was something that I just hadn't thought about until recently.

Z had from time to time done a load himself and he had also occasionally ironed his shirts if they were too wrinkled to wear. I knew he was capable of getting the task done although I do admit that there was a little resistance at first. No one want to be told that they have to do more chores.

It's been about a month since he started doing his own laundry and though I sometimes having to remind him to get it done he's been doing great. He really take pride in how he looks and he has been making sure that his clothes look good. With the exception of him setting up the ironing board in front of the refrigerator so no one can get into it every now an then, the ironing has also been going well. I can't begin to tell you how good it feels to watch your 14 year old take care of himself and I know that it also makes Z feel good about himself.


Orthonomics said…
That is really fantastic. I started doing my own laundry in middle school because PE uniforms had to come back clean as part of your grade.

I'm really impressed that your son irons too. I guess we just look a bit sloppy here. Maybe someday my son will take to ironing.
Othonomics-The funny thing about Z is that he was not neat as a little kid. He always looked dishevelled (kippah half on half off, shirt always untucked and a dirty face) and his room was always a mess!
i think it's great to realize how very much kids can do for themselves and to give them the chance (and you the relief!) to be independent and resourceful. it's almost a disservice to *not* teach them how to fend for themselves, right? good for you (and your son!)!
Anonymous said…
Hello UWSM-It is great to hear that your son does his laundry.
Growing up in India,most of my friend's parents did all the chores,as they didnt want
their kids to lose focus from their studies and playtime.However,I was blessed to have parents
who insisted that we pitched in- I remember getting up at 5am to fill drinking water,helping
with cooking and then having to go to church!.
At that time I hated it,but when I came to the US for my masters,I felt
I was better equipped than my indian peers to fend for myself.
Your kids will surely thank you for all the life lessons you are teaching them.
Best wishes
Shira said…
I just discovered your blog. It looks like interesting reading!

This post interested me, as someone who also does loads and loads of laundry. I would love it if my teenage boys took over their own laundry duties! But how does it work on a practical level? Do they sort the whites and darks, etc? Do they wait till they have a full load, or do they run the machine whenever they please?

Anyway, you've given me some food for thought....
Hi Shira,

Laundry get done during the day around here so my son does his in the evening, once or twice a week. He sorts into colors and whites and washes everything on cold. We happen to have a not very big European washing machine that came with our apartment so it doesn't take much clothing to get a full load.

By the way you also have a very interesting blog!
Anonymous said…
As soon as my children were capable of holding a plate or glass without dropping it - they bussed their own table - taking their service to the sink.

Then I taught them both (girl and boy) to cook and to iron and to clean and/or straighten up after themselves. They were taught that this was because they were members of my household and we all did chores, whether in or out of the house.

Also, that my job as a parent was to teach them to be independent - and when they had their own homes they would need to be versed in how to care for themselves. Or they would have to get high-paying jobs in order to pay other people to do everything!!

Well, at least I succeeded in some things; otherwise, to this day they both resent me for charging them room and board when they got jobs.

Their loss.

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