Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Essential Life Skills: Clothing Care

teach your children to do their own laundry

Sometimes young people leave home without the necessary life skills either because it is easier for the parent to do it herself, or the parent really enjoys doing things for their child.

Neither of those reasons is a good excuse for sending a young adult into the world unprepared.

Clothing care is an easy life skill for you to teach and for your child to learn.  Three essential areas of this skill are:

Even young children can be taught to sort laundry by color or type.  When my oldest child was 2 years old she would help me sort the laundry.  Your children want to be with you; let them help you in your everyday tasks.

For the teenager who has no clue how to wash/dry their clothes, teach them to read clothing care labels.  Hopefully, most everything is machine washable, but if not, set aside the handwash only items.

Next, decide if they will sort their laundry.  Is there another way, you wonder?  Yes, my teenagers don’t sort their laundry.  I provide Shout Color Catchers(You can find Color Cathers with other laundry care items in the store) This works for most everything.  I do have to teach them not to over-stuff the washing machine!

Show your child how the washing machine and dryer work and then require them to wash/dry/fold/hang their own laundry.  Teach to any areas where they are deficient, such as stain removal and proper use of bleach.

Children can (and should) learn to mend their clothes to prolong the life of the garment.
Teach them to:
    sew on a button
    repair a hem
    repair a seam
    patch a hole

I know that ironing has almost become extinct.  I have even been known to throw a damp towel in the dryer with wrinkled clothes and run the dryer again to remove the wrinkles!

However, sometimes ironing must be done.  Teach your student to iron their wrinkled clothes.

My children do their own laundry starting at about age 12.

Once your teenager takes over their own laundry you will wonder why you didn’t do this sooner!

Trust me.  Do it.

Other posts in this series:  Money Management, Cooking

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