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Could your 8yo do this?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I gave my 8yo the job of putting away her laundry a few months ago. This entails hanging up her shirts, sorting and pairing socks, folding pants and shorts, and putting it all away in the right spot. I am not uptight about everything being well folded or anything and she knows where the stuff goes, but I expect her to do it all by herself. On average she needs to do it about once a week.

This chore has been a MAJOR battlefield for us. I am so tired of fighting over it. She doesn't seem to have the same difficulties with her other jobs, such as cleaning up the living room, cleaning her room, or wiping down the counters. She says it is "too hard," but is vague about why.

Is this too tricky a task for a typical 8yo? My instincts say no, but I'm just checking. I'm going to switch out the chore with another, I think.
post #2 of 13

My 5-yo does this so, no, I don't think it's too difficult a task.  But, that said, my almost 8-yo son frequently claims tasks that he doesn't like are "too hard."  Maybe it's that or maybe she really is struggling with some part of it.  Have you watched her do it or maybe sat with her while she does it so you can help?

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
If I help, she sings and dawdles and takes forever to hang up one shirt and I end up doing most of it.

I think maybe she feels overwhelmed by the big messy pile that has to be sorted--that's sort of what she says, but I may have led her to say that, so I don't know. Again, this is the only chore that she says is too hard. ??
post #4 of 13

Hmm, maybe if she's feeling overwhelmed by the giant pile (I know that feeling!!) you could break up the task and have her do half the amount at a time?  Or make it into a game and set a timer to see how quickly she can fold the whole basket and put it away?  Or a folding race where you divide it up evenly and see who can fold their pile the quickest?  It could also just be that she's hoping the dawdling and complaining will get her out of the job. I don't know how your DD is but my DS tends to complain terribly about a new task for a while but then when he figures out I'm not backing down he'll do it with a minimum of complaining.



post #5 of 13

I think some 8yos could, others maybe not.  My 9yo is likely to do most of these, but I don't have her do all of them one after the other as a single chore.  It seems like possibly too many steps in this task to me.  I edit chores depending on age and attention span.  Some jobs with multiple step bog some of us down, and I think it is okay to adjust because of what your dd is saying.  Maybe if you cut out some of the steps in this job and help with some of the steps for now she could gradually work her way toward doing all of it on her own.


Our laundry is mixed and each child gets a turn folding and sorting a load or two as a chore.  Everybody has a basket with their name on it and just puts things away in drawers for themselves.  If the socks make it into the same load together, the person sorting laundry that day match them together.  Usually the person doing laundry that day puts things in closets but we share closets anyway.

post #6 of 13
As a task it doesn't sound too difficult, but I could see it being overwhelming if it's a large pile. Maybe give her half the pile and move up until it feels manageable?
post #7 of 13

I seperate laundry into folding and putting away.  I think my 9yo (who has some learning differences and sequencing issues) would have a hard time sorting, folding and putting away a load of laundry, but she is ok with folding the clothes, or putting away clothes. 

post #8 of 13

I fold clothes as I remove them from the dryer so ds would only have to put the folded clothes in the appropriate drawers (we don't hang any of his clothes). I know he *could* sort, match, and fold but he would find that overwhelming and balk at the task and he is older than your dd. I'm happier giving him a manageable amount and having him feel accomplished with his contribution.

post #9 of 13
I do all folding except towels, and they are expected to put their folded clothes away. Maybe you could find some middle ground?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. It sounds like this probably isn't an extremely high expectation but that it might be reasonable to cut back on it/make it easier in some way. I do want her to contribute more around the house, and am looking for more tasks she can do that are "regular" (she's willing to help with random tasks, but I like her to have assigned jobs that are hers...this one was a flop!)
post #11 of 13

Since you likely don't do all her laundry all at once, it shouldn't be too hard to separate it out for her. Socks/underwear, stuff to hang, stuff to fold/put away. Then you can help her learn to break it up. She takes the stuff in the basket to hang up, and does that. Then in a while she can sort/fold her socks and put them away. Then the shirts/pants/shorts can be folded and stacked in the basket, and put away a bit later.


Though, honestly, stuff that needs to be hung up should just be done when it comes out of the dryer unless someone intends to iron it. So I'd likely hang it, then leave it to her to grab the hangers and put them in her closet.

post #12 of 13


My almost-16 y.o. can't seem to do it eyesroll.gif . She'll do a lot of other chores but for some reason, she can't seem to manage to put away her clean laundry.


She says she likes having it out rather than hidden away in her closet and shelves of her wardrobe. Personally, I think this is ridiculous since it's easier to see what she has if it's neatly on hangers and on shelves. She disagrees. Since it is her room and her clothes, and I, too,  am weary of making an issue about it after many years, we agree to disagree and I leave it to her. I do wonder if there is a visual-spatial element to this but I don't think it's a good excuse. Nevertheless, I've decided this is a battle that I don't need to fight. 


Probably not what you want to hear, and I commend you for persisting when I have given up.


I should add that when she's in a panic because she can't find just the right item for an outfit and she has to leave right away or be late, I do not get in a panic about finding it too.  Natural consequences and all that....





post #13 of 13

Is this a new task for her?  If it is, I would agree to start smaller.  My 5 and 6 year olds both put away their clean and folded laundry, and if something comes "undone," my 6yo can refold it and put it away.  But maybe the multi-step process is just  too much.  I wouldn't give up on the laundry altogether, rather break it down into more manageable steps and don't add on until she is confident.

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