Growing up, I was taught that turning 7 years
old signified reaching the "age of reason." What that
meant, exactly, I wasn't quite sure (except that I could make my 1st Holy
Communion). But now that I have kids of my own, an 11-year-old and, you
guessed it, a 7-year-old, I think I kinda get what they were talking about.
Once you hit the age of 7, you're a bonafide big kid. A
7-year-old knows right from wrong, more or less. A 7-year-old
is also pretty independent, or at least that's the way it
seems: Like he's capable of handling most of the everyday tasks
that younger kids with less developed motor skills can't pull off on their own.
And in fact, he seems capable because he probably IS capable. Phew! Time to take
a step back, helicopter parents.
Except, not really.
Just because he's capable of
getting things done "all by himself" doesn't mean he actually will.
Here are 7 things you still can't trust your big kid to do
(even though he knows how to do them):
1. Brush his teeth
properly. "Did you brush your teeth?" "Yup!" Technically, he's probably
telling the truth. Whether or not he brushed all of his teeth, remembered to use
toothpaste, remembered to put the cap back on the toothpaste, and/or remembered
to not squirt the toothpaste all over the sink, however, is
2. Clean up his
room. To be fair, my son is getting much, much better at this chore. At
first glance, his tidying up skills are actually pretty impressive! Until you
drop something on the floor and reach down to pick it up and notice the 800 tiny
Lego pieces under the radiator or the pile of construction paper scraps under
3. Do his
homework. Again, to be fair, this is probably not his fault. I mean,
are they trying to trip kids up on purpose? From the (only occasionally!)
double-sided worksheets to the photocopied pictures of unidentifiable coins to
those ambiguous word/definition match-ups ... yeah, good luck with
4. Get dressed.
Wardrobe malfunctions we've experienced at our house include: Forgetting to wear
socks. Putting on a dirty shirt from the hamper instead of a clean one from the
drawer. Forgetting to change underwear. Short sleeves on a cold day. Long
sleeves on a hot day. The list goes on ...
food. I know, practice makes perfect and they have to learn somehow and
all that. But if you tell your kid to make his own breakfast, for example, brace
yourself for the inevitable trail of milk sploshes on the floor, scattered
Cheerios (also on the floor), burnt toast crumbs all over the butter and
6. Walk the
dog. No explanation needed.
Another milestone that takes some mastering, it's more of a challenge to get
everything good and clean in the shower than it is in the bath, it seems. (Let
'em soak in the tub long enough and the dirt is bound to come off,
What everyday things
does your big kid still need supervision to accomplish?