Edited to add....I always cooked as a kid but my mom was/is very OCD and she never allowed me to do laundry, vacuuming, etc because she was afraid we wouldnit do it right, would break the appliances, etc. Learning to clean as an adult has been a challenge.
46-year-old single (divorced), self-employed working, home schooling, mommy to:
12 y-o (private school)
5 y-o (home schooled)
And as for this post...
Uuuuuuhhhh.... there's nothing strange about teens (or even preteens) being able to make themselves meals. Or being able to prep or cook meals for their families.
What IS kind of strange is the expectation that they do so all the time. IMO. As adults ..... do YOU make every blessed meal for yourself? Or do you occasionally "cheat"? Let the spouse make something? Call in for pizza now and again? Go out?
Seriously. Most teens actually can make something for themselves. It really isn't that special. It honestly isn't that special that you can place a meal on the table either. Most folks can. Get over it already.
Poor dh, his family has more $$ and his dad never taught him to do anything like change an air filter on his car, flip a breaker etc. It was always assumed he would just hire someone to do it :
My dad is poor and a contractor so he is astounded that dh cant change the swamp cooler or fix minor electrical.
Dh has learned a ton since being with me now. I am currently pg with big time food aversion. For the last 2 weeks he has cooked EVERY meal eaten in this house. He has done ALL the dishes and kitchen clean up. His parents are like "wha? he can cook salmon? and artichokes?"
My little sister is 13 and got the rachel ray kids cookbook and loves to try new things from that.
When I was a nanny i was astounded that the woman i nannied for had never cooked a real meal. Even the frozen stuff was hard for her. She was amazed that i could go into her kitchen and make something up with whatever i found.
DD (3) already knows to go to the fridge for a snack of yogurt or cheese, she can wash fruit if she needs to also.
Laundry though was a chore we fought for since it meant 3-4 hours in the air conditioned (or really warm depending on season) laundromat in town. And for most of that time you just had to sit and read a book. Talk about easy!
When I got to college I was one of the few people in my dorm who could do laudry or cook a meal (or, seemingly, clean up after themselves)...I sort of taught everyone on my floor what to do.
My oldest dd is only 2.5yo but she helps sort the laundry by color and by person and helps in the kitchen. I certainly expect her to be doing laundry and preparing her own meals at least some of the time by the high school years!
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mama to (4/05), (6/07vbac), (8/09vbac), and (9/11vbac)
When my brother and I were around 8 or 9 my mom moved from having us "help" prepare dinner to expecting the two of us to "do" one dinner a week all on our own. She'd help us look through cookbooks, prepare a shopping list, and go with us to the store...but it was up to us to plan the meal, prepare it, serve it, and clean the kitchen afterwards. We loved it since we could make whatever we wanted and my parents enjoyed the break in routine.
Is that sooooo wrong?
I have had many looks when I've said that I WILL NOT make my TEENAGER lunchs for school and occassionally and I mean occassionally expect him to fend for himself for supper.
If you make an exception to the rule now and then, I agree with you.
Kids do need to practice life skills and should incrementally take on some responsibilities around the home, but I like to do little things for my kids once in a while even if they can do them of themselves. And I hope that they, in turn will make nice gestures to people they care about as well.
And as for this post...
I'm a single mom so I DO make every blessed meal for myself and "cheating" is REALLY limited due to ummm being a single mom on a single income. So if my son can find it in him to make his friggin lunch it is much appreciated by me!
My XH never did his own laundry. Seriously, he was taking his laundry over to his mom's house until we got married (he was 28). Ostensibly, it was bcs he had a coin-op laundry room in his bldg, and could do it at his parents' for free, but come on! It was a 35 minute drive, and she always just took it and did it for him while he sat and watched sports with his dad, anyway.
Welcome to baby Fiona with a giant omphalocele, 6/17/10!
I guess I'm a really bad mom for my 4 yr old making his own sandwich... but he wants to! It's nice though, if I'm busy he'll just go help himself.
That said, he can rebuild an engine with his eyes closed, and I've never, ever had to call a repairman! I just wish he had had a more balanced education about how to care for himself. We expect girls and boys to be able to cook, clean, shop for themselves, and fix their own cars
One of Maria's teen daughters was also in the audience, and Oprah said to her, "I hear that you have to do your own laundry and clean your own room". This in a circle where housekeepers etc do all the work. She said, "Yeah, our Dad makes us. We all have to clean our own rooms and do our own laundry, even our little brother". Maria goes on to say the Ahnold is very insistent and strict about all that. He wanted his kids to knowing how to take care of themselves, no matter. But then she laughs and basically says "The kids had to teach *me* to do laundry and work the machines-- I never did my own laundry growing up". So then Eunice laughs and says something along the lines of "I couldn't teach her, I never did my own laundry, either".
So, thanks to a *republican* Ahnold's 4 kids have broken the generational cycle of housekeeper dependancy.
My mother made me do MOST of the housework. I don't think that's right either. My kids need to keep their stuff picked up like I do too, and help with the household chores because they are part of the household.
The sentiment expressed here of "Well I watched my two younger siblings by myself when I was 9, and was cooking 4 course meals for the whole family every night", I don't think is healthy either.
And guess what? I figured out how to do all of these things. My brother does them in his house too, so it wasn't just a "girls should do these things."
I do them for my kids and will as long as they live in my house. I simply like doing these thing for them. They know that one day they will do them for themselves and their kids.
Lunches are done the night before to keep things easier in the morning.
OK so maybe I exaggerated with the “NEVER” word (I should’ve remembered the good old saying “never say never…”) because I occasionally do make his lunch and yes I have even splurged and given him some money to buy something from the cafeteria on occasion (very rare for this though) but honestly I really do expect him to make his own lunches for school.
Mtiger~ I’m already disappointed with myself for the way I responded to your original comment so now by you calling me “darlin” the way you did that definitely ended any chance of reasonable dialogue between us in this thread.
I in no way think it's wrong to expect a teen (or even younger) to prepare a meal for themselves. But I also don't think it's particularly special.
We started him on cooking meals once a week about a year and a half ago, but we stopped it when he started high school, and never quite got back on track. I intend to get him back to it, so he'll have some solid experience in the kitchen when he moves out. He's also responsible for bathroom cleaning, living room pick-up and vacuuming and washing his and his sibling's bedding during summer vacation (extra chores for an allowance bonus). He does all his own personal laundry (although I'll move it to the dryer if he's out and I need to do laundry).
I have him do things, partly to help out, but mostly so he won't be as helpless as a lot of people I meet when he moves out. I hate seeing someone in their 20s who only knows how to cook using a microwave...
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
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