When Should Your Child Do Their Own Laundry?

By Julia Bauer

Do you remember when you started doing your own laundry? Did you learn in middle school? Or did you figure it out on your own once you moved out of the house? Figuring out when a child should start doing their own laundry has always been up for debate. There’s no universal parenting rulebook to follow when it comes to deciding when your child is ready to help around the house.

If you’re wondering when your child should start doing their own laundry, age 10 is recommended – but it’s really all up to you.

How Chores Benefit Your Child

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, kids who do chores may be more responsible, demonstrate higher self-esteem and have increased emotional intelligence. 

There are benefits of introducing chores to your child when they are as young as 3. Encouraging your child to engage in age-appropriate chores helps them with time management, organizational skills and helps build the foundation for independence. 

So, When Should Your Child Start Doing Laundry?

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommends children ages 6 to 7 start putting laundry away. This means folding and hanging already washed clothes.

Laundry can be a lot, which is probably why you’re wondering when your child will be old enough to do their own. Introducing the concept of doing laundry by having your child put clothes away will allow them to get comfortable with this chore. 

By the time your child starts middle school, they should be ready to tackle doing their own laundry. At this age, between 10 and 12 years old, they can also start cleaning bathrooms and changing their sheets. 

However, you know your child better than anyone else. It’s your call when they start doing their own laundry. If you don’t think they’re ready around age 10, wait a year or two. Or if you think they’re ready sooner, try introducing them to the chore earlier.  

How To Encourage Your Child To Do Chores

When introducing chores – such as doing laundry – to your child, it is important to remember that consistency is key. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, being consistent will help your child develop a habit. Inconsistent expectations will make chores confusing for your child.

Setting clear expectations, reasonable standards and regular routines will help your child develop a habit of doing chores. Positive reinforcement will also help encourage your child to keep up with their chores. Complimenting or showing praise for completing a specific chore will make your child want to continue doing it.

When it comes to getting your 10-year-old to do laundry, remember that you serve as a role model to them. Being a good role model will not only motivate your child to complete their chores, but it may also inspire them to take on even more. 

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