What Every Child Should Be Able To Do by 12 Years of Age

“When you have to do one of the following chores, invite your child to help – let him or her watch as you demonstrate, then have a go. Give plenty of praise for effort and progress. Next time it crops up, invite your child to help again, and this time to do a little more. Give lots more praise. Eventually, you can hand over the task. But don’t rush at it – it’s not a race – and don’t get impatient if your child takes a long time to acquire the skill. Just enjoy the oppurtunity to spend time together.

  1. sew on a button;
  2. handwash clothes;
  3. iron a shirt;
  4. unblock a sink;
  5. wash a car;
  6. use the phone book;
  7. make a hot drink;
  8. defrost a fridge;
  9. change a fuse;
  10. clean a window;
  11. cook a meal;
  12. change a plug;
  13. grow a plant;
  14. change the bed;
  15. look after a pet;
  16. weed a garden;
  17. change a light bulb;
  18. sort the recycling;
  19. use a vaccuum cleaner;
  20. use a potato peeler;
  21. clean and dress a wound;
  22. use public transport;
  23. find the way home (with a map);
  24. go shopping (with a list);
  25. mow a lawn;
  26. clean a cooker hob;
  27. put out the rubbish;
  28. stack and empty a dishwasher;
  29. take phone messages;
  30. make conversation with a guest;
  31. use a screwdriver;
  32. give simple first aid (e.g. grazes, burns)
  33. check the cars oil and water;
  34. use a washing machine;
  35. contact the emergency services;
  36. wash the dishes.

And, of course, 21st century life skills, such as,

  1. check out a website;
  2. tidy up a desktop;
  3. send a text;
  4. find snail mail details on the internet;
  5. get rid of spam;
  6. download or tune a program.”

Source: Palmer, S. (2008). Detoxing Childhood: What Parents Need to Know to Raise Bright, Balanced Children. London: Orion Books.

Please let me know if you have any more ideas.

Shazad Khan

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