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

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#1 of 51 Old 07-27-2007, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#2 of 51 Old 07-27-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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Oh yea. I get that a LOT. I guess making your teen do their own t hings is terrible parenting skills. Not keeping in mind that by 11 I was cooking every supper meal, taking care of my sister and brother who were younger than me, and doing full cleanups(the whole house and laundry). Yea, better make sure they turn out lazy as h#ck and do everything for them.:

I dont. I make my teen make his own lunch every day. And breakfast. I only do supper for him and he doesnt cook, but he sure needs to start doing it.

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#3 of 51 Old 07-27-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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How are people going to be able to fend for themselves when they are out in the world if they get no practice doing it while they are under their parent's roof? Ignore the looks, you're doing the right thing. I think some parents (moms, mostly) get all their self-concept from keeping their kids helpless and dependent. It's bad for the kids;it makes them feel like their parents think them incompetent.
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#4 of 51 Old 07-27-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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That's why there are so many college-aged kids who are freaking clueless....can't cook, can't budget money, can't do their own laundry without ruining it. They've never had any practice.

My friend's kids take a class in high school called "life skills." If there was more to their lives besides classwork, homework, and sports, then maybe they wouldn't have to learn life skills in a classroom.

My 11yo makes dinner sometimes. He loves to cook, so that helps. Most days, the only meal that's cooked for them is dinner. About 1/3 of the time, someone cooks breakfast. The rest of the time, it's soup and sandwiches, leftovers, etc. If a teenager isn't capable of making a sandwich and packing lunch for themselves, I think that's terrible.
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#5 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 03:24 AM
 
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My 14yo can cook He loves it, actually. He is responsible for his own lunch and snacks. He does his own laundry, too. He gets an allowance for doing chores and has to buy his "extras" using that. I'm a mean mommy!

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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#6 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 03:57 AM
 
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Um, my 8 year old cooks dinner and packs her lunch sometimes. She does laundry sometimes too.
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#7 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 10:26 AM
 
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My son is fully capable of making his own meals if necessary. He can do his own laundry, clean the bathroom, care for the lawn, feed the dog, blah, blah, blah.

It was a real help that he could do all of that on his own 2 years ago when I was restricted to bedrest while pg with dd. He actually made me dinner many nights and helped around the house in tons of ways. If I didn't have his help at that time, dd would not have survived

He does seem to feel that since he can do the daily tasks of living that he is now old enough to move out and live on his own Such a typical teen to think that His tune changes pretty quickly when he realizes that he'd have to be responsible for actually paying for all of his food, clothes, rent, utilities, ect and not just the chore of preparing and caring for those things after they are purchased!
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#8 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 12:56 PM
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My daughter has done all of her old laundry since she was 11 or so (washes, hangs to dry, folds). She makes her own lunches sometimes, and breakfasts, and dinners... and sometimes she makes meals for me... and sometimes I make meals for her. For us, it's never been an issue of my refusing to to it, and "making" her to it... it's just been a maturational thing. She started making simple meals for herself when she was tiny - 3, maybe? - because she wanted to do things herself.... and it just kept on from there.

We've always been pretty much child-led... I nursed her until she was done, slept with her until she was done, carried her until she was done. I wouldn't have felt right about "making" her do these things for herself before she was ready, but by supporting her in her efforts to do them for herself, she did eventually choose this. For us, things like cooking, laundry, cleaning, banking, using public transportation, etc. all happened in this way.

I wouldn't be comfortable being adversarial and "making" my daughter do these things, but I'm happy that she's so competent... but I do think that respecting a child's developmental timetable isn't something that necessarily ends once the child is a teen...

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#9 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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Hum - my six year old packed his lunch for kindy almost everyday last year - and he makes his lunch at home on the days we're home, unless I'm making something special. He can't use the stove alone, but he's free to use themicrowave or eat a cold lunch.
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#10 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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All mine learn basic kitchen skills by the time they are tall enough to reach over the stove and can fix themselves some eggs and pancakes or some pasta. Not only do I expect them to cook for themselves, but I expect them to be able to cook for the family at some point. Boys and girls, they all take turns. I also expect them to clean the kitchen, take out the trash, do their own laundry, keep their rooms clean, budget their own money, etc,. How can teaching them necessary life skills be bad parenting? Part of my job as a parent is to teach them how to be able to take care of themselves and their own families.

My 22 y/o ds cooks every night for himself, girlfriend and baby, and cooks good food, too. He started cooking when he was 8 or 9. Even as a young dad, he never had a problem with budgeting his money to pay rent and utilities, buy groceries and plan meals, and stash some savings away. He learned at home. Yes, they can learn on their own when they're out there in the world, but why not give them the skills they need to make that transition easier and less stressful for them (and me)?
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#11 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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to me, teaching life skills (cooking, laundry, budgeting, etc. etc.) is an important part of parenting!!!
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#12 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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i was making my lunch and my brother's lunch for school by the time i was in 7th grade : it was not that big of a deal!
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#13 of 51 Old 07-28-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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I don't personally see a problem with a teenager needing to make their own lunch/dinner. However, I wouldn't make it a set rule, like ask him to do it just on principle. I would make it sometimes, if I could, and ask him/her to the other times.

I, for one, really appreciated my mother making my lunches for me (even in high school), and I have no dependence issues as an adult.

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#14 of 51 Old 07-29-2007, 04:46 PM
 
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My kids are required to basically take care of their own stuff, as well as a portion of the household chores. We're their parents, not their servants, so they can contribute to the running of the household as well as we can.

BTW, my daughter (she'll be 11 in a couple of weeks) just baked me a cake!
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#15 of 51 Old 07-29-2007, 10:12 PM
 
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My 18 yr old made yellow curry thai pineapple stew the other day, and my younger teens can cook well, if not that thoughtfully. My 8 yr old is forever creating new raw salads, of various garden ingredients and herbs.

That said I still often lovingly pack lunches before I've sent my schoolers off to school. We all do what we can here, for the most part.
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#16 of 51 Old 07-29-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aolinsmama View Post
to me, teaching life skills (cooking, laundry, budgeting, etc. etc.) is an important part of parenting!!!
I agree!

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Originally Posted by sevenkids View Post
All mine learn basic kitchen skills by the time they are tall enough to reach over the stove and can fix themselves some eggs and pancakes or some pasta. Not only do I expect them to cook for themselves, but I expect them to be able to cook for the family at some point. Boys and girls, they all take turns. I also expect them to clean the kitchen, take out the trash, do their own laundry, keep their rooms clean, budget their own money, etc,. How can teaching them necessary life skills be bad parenting? Part of my job as a parent is to teach them how to be able to take care of themselves and their own families.
Yep, I agree. When I was growing up we had to help cook meals, help with housework, yardwork, gardening, etc. and we weren't paid to do it, either. We did it because that's part of life.
I am really surprised by the way some parents coddle their children so much they have no clue when it's time to fend for themselves as adults.
I was really worried about my stepson, who is now 10. He didn't know how to make toast, cook eggs, make his own cereal, make his own sandwich, do any laundry, take out trash, put a new bag in, etc. He's never had to until I came along, and you bet he helps with everything when he's at my house.

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#17 of 51 Old 07-29-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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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.
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#18 of 51 Old 07-29-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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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 don't think anyone here expects it all the time. Besides, if we order pizza, doesn't everyone eat the pizza? Duh.
Besides, there's nothing wrong with someone being proud they taught their kids, or stepkids for that matter, basic life skills when other parents don't care enough to do that for them.

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#19 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 12:04 AM
 
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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.

Are you sure it's not that special? I kow far too many young adults, especially in the US, that have no clue about how to cook, how to clean a house, how to sort and wash laundry, how to buy groceries to plan and cook a meal that people actually want to eat. too many adults that depend on fast food, frozen food, take out food, microwave food, and don't know how to steam a vegetable. It is a big deal.

I like to cook, love it, in fact. Most nights I cook. But if I'm at a birth, or at clinic late, I know someone in the house can plan and cook a nutritious and delicious meal, not simply heat up a box of Easy Mac.
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#20 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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O.K, my 14 yr old is completely incapable of packing her own lunch. Seriously.

She can cook what most teens can cook, but she just can't put together a lunch for herself.

I have no idea what she will do when she goes to college. She will probably go off to her first day with a lunchable.
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#21 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 01:58 AM
 
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There are definitely some people who don't learn these things at home, or even when they go away to live on their own. My DH couldn't cook anything when I met him, and he was in his 30s. He couldn't even heat up prepared food or boil an egg. He did know how to make quite a few mixed drinks, though. He had nothing in his fridge but drink fixings and old take-out containers, and he didn't own plates or silverware. He didn't know how to clean anything... his landlady would come in and clean his bathroom sometimes. He didn't even put sheets on his bed!

Well, he knows how to do all those things now
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#22 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 02:31 AM
 
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Good for you.
My 3yo can get his own breakfast (cereal), milk and everything.

Anyway it reminded me of a funny story. When she was 5 or 6 our youngest sister REALLY liked to make the lunches. It made her so happy that we let her do it. The problem? She liked to make lunches the way she thought they taste good. So it was always peanut butter and LOTS and LOTS of jelly. I mean the bread was red ...




and we always bought rye bread.
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#23 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 09:18 AM
 
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My son just turned twelve. I've been feeling like I'm a little late in teaching him, but for the last three months, he's been making his own lunch and helping with the laundry. (We have to pay for each load of laundry, so it's not practical for him to do his own laundry yet.)

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#24 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 10:42 AM
 
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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.
As long as there is plenty of good food available, I don't see a problem with it.

When I was in high school I was expected to make my own lunch. Problem was, there was never any food. I usually scrounged for some change and bought an ice cream sandwich for lunch. Now, that's nutritious!

And "fend for yourself" for dinner meant a bowl of cold cereal.

My 10yo and 12yo enjoy cooking. They do make dinner--some months it's often some months just occasionally. My 14yo doesn't like to cook. She can and she does occasionally, but she's not as apt to volunteer as the others. She'd rather set the table and do the dishes than cook.

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Besides, there's nothing wrong with someone being proud they taught their kids, or stepkids for that matter, basic life skills when other parents don't care enough to do that for them.
Unless a person is abusing their children, you can generally assume they love their kids and are doing the best they know how to do for them. My MIL never taught her son (my husband) to cook, and it was not because she didn't care enough. She just didn't think it was important.
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#25 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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How can it be unimportant to teach your child about cooking and food and nutrition????

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#26 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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How can it be unimportant to teach your child about cooking and food and nutrition????
Of course, it is important. We all know that
My MIL saw cooking as a "woman's job" and therefore, unimportant for boys. Wrong, obviously. But, it doesn't mean she and others who thought that way cared less about their children.
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#27 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 12:23 PM
 
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Noooooooooooooo!

Just kidding.

He should be able to make meals by that age.

My 11yo has just started making lunches and it's wonderful. He helps with dinners too.
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#28 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 12:27 PM
 
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what a great topic. You mamas are so cool.

I wish my mom had made me do my own laundry- I only did two loads my entire first semester away from home!
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#29 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 12:27 PM
 
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We've always been pretty much child-led... I nursed her until she was done, slept with her until she was done, carried her until she was done. I wouldn't have felt right about "making" her do these things for herself before she was ready, but by supporting her in her efforts to do them for herself, she did eventually choose this. For us, things like cooking, laundry, cleaning, banking, using public transportation, etc. all happened in this way.
That's my attitude too. I follow my kids lead and support them in doing things.
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#30 of 51 Old 07-30-2007, 01:26 PM
 
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Kids need to help out around the house, and I need the help!

DSS is 12. He makes his own lunch every day for camp/school. he gets his own breakfast everyday... cereal, fruit, toast...

he sorts his laundry and is capable of running the washing machine and dryer.

He can cook simple things and is learning more complicated stuff. He doesn't have a lot of interest in cooking beyond making something he wants to eat, but maybe that will change, and even if it doesn't, at least he won't starve when he goes off to college!

He also does yard work... mows the yard, trims our trees, and this weekend he helped his dad dig a dry creek!

hmm... he does a lot! He's a great kid!
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