I expect my son to cook for himself sometimes & *gasp* make his own lunch!!!!!! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 06:03 PM
 
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It is absolutely crucial for children to learn basic life skills and about nutrition, exercise, etc. Just go read my post in PaP. Nuff said.

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.
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#32 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 06:19 PM
 
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I am determined that my boys learn to care for a home. I will not have my boys thinking that just because they have a penis, that excuses them from housework. And...I would like for any DILs I might have in the future to love me. LOL!
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#33 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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my older kids do a lot of life skills for themselves they are 8 and 10 and always make their own breakfast, and if the little ones (2 and 4) are up early they will make them cereal too, or get them bananas. My older two boys also do their own laundry they have each their own basket and know when it gets full that its time to wash this has solved two problems, me having to do laundry for 7, and we don't have a basket of mismatched socks anymore!
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#34 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 11:06 AM
 
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My son is 12 and has done this for a couple of years for himself. He loves to fix his own lunches and his siblings lunches during the summer months so I don't have to (I WAH) and he likes to help cook and will prepare a few dishes on his own with no help. It doesn't happen daily that's for sure but I know I can count on him to do it. I don't think you are being unreasonable.

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#35 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For the record my oldest is 16 and well if I waited for him to show me signs that he is ready to prepare his lunches himself well lets just say it could very well NEVER happen hahahahaha! My son LOVES to be catered to (who doesn’t to a certain degree) and well lunch is pretty simple and yes there are +++ varieties of foods to choose from. When I need him to “fend for himself” is when I’m working evenings. I don’t do many evening shifts but when I do it would be nice for him to cook for himself and not always depend on me to cook a meal for him before I leave. Honestly I soooo think that at 16 he should be able to do this.

And as for this post...

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Originally Posted by mtiger View 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.
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!
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#36 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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I think this is so important. I was so greatful that my mom taught me how to cook, wash laundry etc when i was young so i didnt flop when i hit the road at 18. I remember pakcing lunches of hummus and pitas and cranberyjuice and being so happy i didnt have to eat a pb&j.

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.
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#37 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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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.

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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#38 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 09:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
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.
I like this idea. I think I'm gonna try this with my son.

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#39 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 10:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StrugglingMomX's2 View Post
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.
Never? You would NEVER make his school lunch? If he was having a really rotten morning and was running very late you wouldn't help him out and pack him a lunch? Or if you were packing up a bag lunch for yourself you wouldn't offer to make his too? Maybe on his birthday?

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.

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#40 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 10:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StrugglingMomX's2 View Post

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!
Guess what, darlin'? So am I. And yeah, we're actually able to find a way to "cheat" once a week or two. But other than that, with two teens and myself in the house, we split the work. There are days I come home from work to find dinner ready to serve. Other days, stuff is prepped. Still other days, I take care of it. All depends what's going on and who has to be where. Being a single Mom isn't an excuse for having kids who are unable or unmotivated to help out with food prep. Sorry.
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#41 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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I know several moms IRL who do absolutely everything for their kids, and they look down on me for not doing the same for DD. Today, for example, I was tired, so she made us lunch by nuking leftovers! And as soon as she's tall enough to reach the bottom of the washer to unload it, she will be doing her own laundry. She has already asked to do it, but I know how she wants to go about it, and I don't want to have to fish her out when she falls in!

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.

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#42 of 51 Old 08-01-2007, 11:38 PM
 
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My boys are capable of doing many things. they do cook, and their own laundry.
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.
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#43 of 51 Old 08-02-2007, 10:17 AM
 
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This is really important! I'm glad most everyone here agrees! When I got married, my DH had never shopped for his own clothes, or done his own laundry. The only thing he knew how to cook was mac and cheese. He had never really done any housework, like cleaning a bathroom, ect. His mom thought that boys didn't need to know that stuff! When her 2 older sons moved out, she still had a dd at home. The boys always did yardwork, but after thier dad died, and the boys were gone, she actually called to see if someone would mow her lawn! : DH told her to have his sister do it-she was 12. MIL says, "I don't think she can" DH started mowing on the riding mower at age 6.

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
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#44 of 51 Old 08-02-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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This may be neither here nor there, but reading this thread reminded me of a time I was watching Oprah and folding my laundry, and Maria Shriver and her mother Eunice were the guests. (I'm sure everyone already knows that Maria's mother is a Kennedy sibling, not sure where in line-up but younger than JFK would be and older than Ted). Anyway, they both grew up wealthy.

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.
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#45 of 51 Old 08-02-2007, 12:54 PM
 
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I have been cooking since I could read, understand units of time and volume, and follow directions. This was not something I was forced to do, I did it because I enjoyed it. I did wish my mom had taught me more about cleaning and doing laundry because when I moved out, I had no idea what to do. I was shocked at how quickly things get dirty. I had no idea. It was actually kind of embarrassing. My mom was one of these people who would rather do things herself because then it gets done the way she wants it done. I struggle with this myself. My 5 year old loves to help with the laundry, and I have to remind myself, that although her "help" might not seem that helpful right now (I have to lift her up so she put the quarters in), it's not about that right now. I think Mom cared about me plenty, but she was stressed and overwhelmed dealing with an alcoholic mentally ill husband. I don't judge her for it at all, but I definitely want to do things differently with mine.
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#46 of 51 Old 08-02-2007, 12:57 PM
 
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I think it's important to teach your kids how to take care of themselve and their families. I agree. My almost 9 yr old makes his lunch -or at least the sandwich part of it- everyday.

HOWEVER!

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.

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#47 of 51 Old 08-02-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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My mother made every meal, made our lunches and did my laundry until i was living on my own after law school.

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.
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#48 of 51 Old 08-03-2007, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.



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.
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#49 of 51 Old 08-03-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StrugglingMomX's2 View Post
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.
And I found it offensive that you assumed that you are the only single parent in the thread with this hard, hard struggle. I'm sorry for offending you. I just don't see it as all that difficult. It makes sense to teach our kids how to take care of themselves - and at the same time, to be productive members of society - be that part of a family or out in the larger world. I neither expect my kids to do everything for themselves, nor do I cater to their every whim. We each contribute what we can at the given time. I did more when they were younger; they pitch in more now that they're not.

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.
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#50 of 51 Old 08-06-2007, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StrugglingMomX's2 View Post
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.
My 9 & 10 yo have made their own lunches for school for the last two years. With the way they have ups and downs in their growth spurts and appetite, I can't imagine doing it any other way. Sometimes my son eats enough for three kids, and sometimes I swear he grows by photosynthesis!
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#51 of 51 Old 08-06-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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DS1 has been packing his own lunch for several years now. I'd do it occasionally, except that he chooses to leave for school very early, and I'm almost always still in bed when he leaves.

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...

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