To expect a yr 10 student to put his clothes in the wash and make his own packed lunch. Teachers also please answer.

(188 Posts)
PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 08:31:25

I'm having a dilemma with eldest ds, nearly 15.

I have been too soft on him imo and told him that he will have to make his own packed lunch as from the start of this term.

So far, he can't be arsed. This puts me in a difficult position. I think part of my job as a parent is fostering independence. He is definitely capable of even just making a sarnie.

I'm torn between letting him get to the point where he'll realise that he needs to make his lunch for school and making it for him. I'm worried that his teachers will think I'm neglecting him! If I keep making it for him, he won't ever make it himself though.

Apparently there was nothing to eat yesterday, but we had cheese, laft over roast veg, seedy bread and fruit. So, a good lunch there imo.

I've also put him in charge of getting his laundry in the machine. So, that hasn't been done in time so his PE kit is damp.

DP and I are also busy and I think it's time DS should be starting to take responsibility over meals, laundry and other bits. Unfortunately, he really can't be arsed and I don't want to be a pushover. So, it's a case of stalemate.

Will I get a call from the school asking me wtf is going on?

CoffeeTea103 Wed 25-Sep-13 08:36:42

I think you should persevere with this. He is definitely old enough! Why don't you give him suggestions the night before on what he could make for lunch the next morning? This will give him no excuse.

SkinnybitchWannabe Wed 25-Sep-13 08:38:35

YANBU. my eldest ds is also in yr10. He makes his own lunch and unless his washing is in the machine it doesnt get washed.
He puts away all his clean laundry (as do my 8 and 10 year old ds).
They are my rules in my house so like it or lump it.
Keep the rules you want and dont ever give in.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 25-Sep-13 08:39:41

YANBU. Persevere, facilitate, offer help but keep the responsibility on him and let him live with the consequences of doing nothing. I have a friend with a 22 yo graduate back at home acting like the place is a hotel and making no effort to find work. If you don't make a stink at an early stage they're unlikely to just work it out solo.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 08:40:44

I'm already doing that Coffee. Apparently there's no food, but what he actually means is that he can't be arsed to use his imagination or actually make anything.

I've asked him about the kinds of food he likes and when he does actually bother to do his lunch, he doesn't usually eat it anyway. Damn these pesky teens!

curlew Wed 25-Sep-13 08:42:27

I would be amazed if the school even noticed, to be honest.

What does he eat if he doesn't take a lunch?

Norudeshitrequired Wed 25-Sep-13 08:44:51

You are doing the right thing and need to persevere. He is old enough to make his own lunch and sort his washing.
The teachers will not think you are neglectful if he hasn't made himself any lunch. Even at my sons primary school the children are not allowed to use the excuses of 'my mum didn't put it in my bag' as they are simply told that it is not mums responsibility. Forgotten homework or PE kits leads to sanctions.
Your son is 15, if he would rather be hungry than make a sandwich then that's his problem as he is old enough to sort himself out.
Perhaps ask him what he wants you to buy for sandwiches when you are going shopping and then he can't use the excuse that there was nothing in.

cg13 Wed 25-Sep-13 08:45:06

YANBU. I did my washing and cooked meals from around that age. Probably not all the time but if I needed washing/food I was happy to get on with it. But, this came from me, not my mum...I'm stubbornly independent, always have been (and now I wonder why my toddler is always saying
"I don't need your help" smile).

Anyway, my incentive was to be independent and grown up. I think you have to try and find an incentive which will make DC want to do it themselves, rather than just because they're being told to.

Amy106 Wed 25-Sep-13 08:45:40

You are being quite reasonable. He needs to be supervised closely to make sure he is doing the job. Lunch making and laundry can and should be taught to kids because they are life skills everyone needs. Stick to it and don't allow him to slack off.

Morgause Wed 25-Sep-13 08:46:14

DCs made up their own lunch boxes from the aged of 8.

They were responsible for putting dirty laundry in the laundry basket as soon as they could dress and undress themselves.

At age 11 they had to wash their PE kit if it was going to be needed again that week.

By 14 they were capable of sorting the washing and loading the machine.

Ironing at 16.

Cooking for themselves began at 11 and for the family at around 15.

I'm a very lazy mare.

Both boys btw.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 08:46:25

Thanks SkinnybitchWannabe and Cogito. I think I'm doing the right thing. I'm just going to carry on as I am.

curlew, I have no idea, as he just takes his bus money and I'm certain he isn't walking. He told me that one of the teachers bought him lunch the other day because he was sitting in the canteen with his friend and he didn't have any food. I'm bloody livid. angry Cheeky little so and so. I've no idea whether he was spinning me a yarn there however.

Finola1step Wed 25-Sep-13 08:47:16

Good grief. If this is what he's like at home, then school will probably be pretty pleased that you are instilling some independence in him. I know year 6 children who make their own lunches. There are plenty of 15 year olds who not only organise their own lunches but prepare and cook the odd family meal as well.

I'm sure at school he is able to sort himself out. If not, school would have been in contact with you a long time ago about his lack of independence. Yes I am a teacher. In primary, not secondary. Many of our boys in year 6 find personal organisational skills tricky. But they are 10. Some if them are very much on their way though.

It's about time you did this. Stuck with it you must. Or in a few years time, there will be some poor young woman suffering the fact that her dp can't or won't do his fair share around the house. Then she'll probably come onto mnet and moan about the MIL....

Lweji Wed 25-Sep-13 08:48:14

My 8 year old puts his clothes in the wash.
He has just brought his socks.

I might well make him prepare his mid morning snack soon.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 25-Sep-13 08:50:51

YANBU.

Although my yr10 doesn't do these things - I wouldn't ask her to make her own lunch as she has to get an early bus and I wouldn't want to have to wake her even earlier. Laundry has to go in the laundry basket - I wouldn't want her dumping it all in the washer, it needs sorting. So she does put it where I want it to be, and she'll put things in and out of the dryer if I ask - probably I need to get her being a bit more proactive on seeing what needs doing.

Maybe you could help him a bit at this stage by ensuring that there are things that he can easily turn into a packed lunch, and that he knows are OK for him to take - get him to write you a shopping list of what he wants for the week? I'm not sure many teens would equate 'left over roast veg' with 'packed lunch' TBH!

My two have to put their clothes in the machine or they don't get washed. However even though they are now 19 and 16 and this has been going on for years they are still surprised when they have no clean clothes. As to lunch id leave him to it, I stopped making lunch for mine when they were in year 6. Sometimes if we are running out of food I will make them a sandwich as my DS seems to use half a block of cheese if left to do it. Im sure the school wont care, if they have any concerns they will call you and you can just explain what you are doing.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 08:52:21

Well, he's actually supposed to have been putting his clothes to wash since year 8, but he has a habit of putting the dirty ones back in the drawers or stashing them under his bed.

This will probably out me, but this is the boy who used to keep his pyjama bottoms on under his school trousers because he was only going to have to change back into them later. There was also the changing into his school uniform before he went to sleep, to save him time getting dressed in the morning.

KittiesInsane Wed 25-Sep-13 08:53:15

Infuriatingly, I have to report that while my 11 yd old daughter does her own lunch, her 17 yr old brother doesn't.

He has eating issues though, and it's a problem persuading him to eat at the best of times.

TheWave Wed 25-Sep-13 08:53:23

I think there's a big difference between you talking to him and organising that there are rolls or wraps there with fillings - bought at the start if the week (which I have done) and him searching around for random ingredients.

Bumblequeen Wed 25-Sep-13 08:53:24

Yanbu. He should be able to wash and hang out his clothes, not just put them into the machine. I knew how to operate a washing machine and sort colours from the age of 11.

As for making his own lunch. He should have been doing this from primary school.

Does your son do any housework?

These days teenagers are going to university without basic cooking or cleaning skills. It is very sad.

cg13 Wed 25-Sep-13 08:53:35

Come to think of it, from 14 or 15 I did a lot of the household ironing. We had a little notebook and I'd record how many shirts, t-shirts, trousers etc and my mum would pay me weekly.

flashheartscanoe Wed 25-Sep-13 08:54:11

Good on you for trying to foster independence- its shocking how useless some kids are.

Unless this is a tiny private school the teachers will not be around in lunchtime and certainly not monitoring what the kids are eating.

I give my daughter (yr 9) enough lunch money to buy one school dinner each week. If she can't be bothered to make a packed lunch then she goes hungry or uses her own money, if she wants to make a packed lunch every day she can use her lunch money for something else - these are the sort of choices we all have to learn to make.

(In my opinion only) unless he has specific food issues he is too big for you to be worrying about whether he eats lunch.

SkinnybitchWannabe Wed 25-Sep-13 08:55:00

OP if your ds is anything like my ds and eats like a horse, after a couple of days of going hungry all day he will soon realise you're not giving in.
I also think his comment about the teacher buying him lunch is him trying to guilt trip you into backing down.
Please try and continue what you're doing, he will thank you in the end when he's all grown up and independant.

Crowler Wed 25-Sep-13 08:55:35

You're absolutely 100% right to be doing this.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 08:57:08

I talk him through ingredients and lunch ideas. When he does bother to make packing up he doesn't usually eat it anyway.

We don't really iron. My mum and dad always used to shake the cothes out and hang them to dry round the house. This is very effective!

DS does the dusting, hoovering and cleans the bathroom once a week for pocket money.

Longdistance Wed 25-Sep-13 08:57:29

Definitely persevere with it.

When I was your ds's age I was cooking dinner for when my mum and dad came home from work. My dp's would leave out the ingredients for me to whip it together/ chuck in oven etc.

We cleaned the house often too, hoovering, dusting, washing up, washing clothes (in a twin tub machine), bathroom etc.

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