You could neglect teaching your child basic home care and assume an attitude of “They can learn it when they need it.”
However, you would rob them of responsibility when they are young and burden them with extra learning when they are older.
Children need to have responsibilities in the form of helping around the house. As they become older they need to become responsible for bigger jobs. This will form a habit that will follow them through their adult life. They are then prepared to live on their own and not have the burden of learning home care as a young adult.
Clean a bathroom (all fixtures)
Clean a kitchen (including appliances)
Clean mirrors and windows
Organize and de-clutter
Home care is easy to teach to children, especially when they are young and want to help you. Encourage them to help alongside you. As they get older let them do chores on their own.
Establishing a routine makes this easier and assures that care and maintenance is done regularly.
If your children are teenagers but have not had any homecare responsibilities, choose one or two chores to be their responsibility for a month at a time. This will help them develop a routine as well as help them become proficient in that skill. Rotate through all the chores until they are familiar with each one.
What about home maintenance? Some maintenance is seasonal and some is ‘as needed’.
Change air filters
Change batteries in smoke alarms
Clean fans and light fixtures
Clean inside of refrigerator
As Needed Maintenance:
Change light bulbs
Replace toilet O-rings (my boys have had to do this several times)
There are probably things that I have not listed. What would you add to the list?
The point is, when a job needs to be done, get your (age appropriate) child to help. Eventually, they will be able to do the job on their own and be much better prepared as an adult.
Being an adult can be scary enough without needing to learn many skills that should have been learned before leaving home.
Don’t handicap your child with ignorance. If you haven’t started teaching them home care and maintenance, start today.
Trust me. Do it.
Other posts in the Essential Life Skills series: