Every summer I like to take advantage of the extra time to teach my children a skill. Some years they all learn something and other years the focus is on just one child.
This summer it will be my youngest son who will be taught how to wash his own clothes. I can’t tell you how much this has unburdened me with my other two children now completely responsible for their own wash.
With my daughter, she just sort of decided on her own to start doing her laundry. But she’s pretty independent and self-sufficient that way. My oldest had no desire to do it but he was getting tired of not having something washed in time. So he realized that it was up to him to have his favorite shirt clean.
It’s interesting to me how differently they approach the task of laundering. My daughter does a load either every day or every-other-day. My oldest waits until his laundry bag is full and then does it. I honestly don’t care what method they use, I’m just glad to have this off my hands.
But although it is a huge benefit to me, more than anything it helps them. They are learning skills that they will need as adults. I used to always be the kind of mom who did everything for my children because it was “easier.” You know the excuse of “Well it’s just easier if I do it.” What that really translates to is, “They don’t do it the way I would do it.”
I have really had to learn to let go of that. Especially when I see that my son doesn’t unroll his socks before washing them. The temptation is there to do it for him but if he wants to still have wet socks after he has put them through the dryer, that’s up to him.
It may not be laundering but you may need to teach your teens some new skills this summer. It might be balancing a checkbook, mowing the law, cooking a meal or something else. The point is that you should take advantage of this time to teach your teen a new skill that will help them in the future.
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