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How can we encourage our children to do their own laundry?

BY READERS DIGEST

17th Apr 2020 Home & Garden

How can we encourage our children to do their own laundry?
Mums and dads could be forgiven for thinking that the housework will be cut when their children have flown the nest. Yet, research from Beko shows that this really isn’t the case, with many children in their twenties – and even some in their thirties – still turning up to their parents’ homes armed with a pile of washing
Indeed, more than a third of all British adults wish their parents would still do their washing for them. 
So, why do many children still rely on the ‘Launderette of Mum and Dad’ once they’re grown up? The people that Beko quizzed gave a whole host of reasons, including:
  • "Mum enjoys doing it"
  • "I was struggling to keep on top of it"
  • "I dropped it off because I was busy"
  • "Their washing machine is faster or better than mine"
Beko found that almost one in five people (18 per cent) would gladly drive up to two hours to visit the Launderette of Mum and Dad.
It’s not all a case of laziness or convenience though. Many young people admit to not knowing what they’re doing when it comes to the laundry. While it might seem a pain to still have a massive load of washing, many parents can take solace in the fact they’re still very much needed. Needed and, it seems, trusted. More than half of the people polled by Beko said that they would rather speak to their mum about a laundry related question than rely on Google for the answer.
Why not sit and draw up a checklist for your child to help them know what to do? They’ll secretly find it super useful, and you’ll secretly be glad to play the role of wise expert.
The checklist could cover:
  • How to separate washing effectively
  • What to look for on clothes labels
  • Common problems such as stuck zips and tissues in pockets
  • What to do with delicate items—and how to avoid "shrinking"
  • What different washing machine settings really mean and how and when to use them
  • What type of detergent, fabric softener and stain remover you use and why
  • How to hang/dry clothes to avoid creasing
Failing that, you probably have just two choices—a financial incentive or strict rules barring access to your machine. The checklist and advice approach forms a nice third way in between the carrot and the stick, but your method of choice will depend on your parenting style and what works for your children. 
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