7 Things You Still Can't Trust Your Big Kid to Do

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At least he has bathtime covered!
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 unclear.

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 his bed.

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 that.

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 ...

5. Prepare 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 more.

6. Walk the dog. No explanation needed.

7. Shower. 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, right?)

What everyday things does your big kid still need supervision to accomplish?

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