By Corey Sutton | Brekky producer

Parents who aren’t ready to face the music look away now, because these 8 things are about to hit hard. It might as well be called 8 things parents should stop doing for their kids!┬áBuckle up!

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Podcast: Kath Healy from Nature Play WA (Part 1)

Podcast: Kath Healy from Nature Play WA (Part 2)


Here’s the complete list of 8 things your kids should do themselves before they turn 13:

1.Waking them up in the morning

If you’re still waking them up when they’re teenagers, it’s time to buy them an alarm clock. You’re child needs to learn to be responsible.

2. Making their own breakfast and packing their own lunches

Plenty of people are guilty of this. However, your child is old enough to get the cereal out of the cupboard.

The lunches is a tricky one, but certainly within reason by the age of 13. Don’t be the parent who hates it when their child doesn’t eat their own lunch. It’s time to encourage them to be creative in the kitchen!

3. Filling out their paperwork

This one is controversial! It’s not about bank applications. It’s about permission slips. Let your child fill in what they can. If there is something that they can’t answer, then that is when you come in and complete the rest of the form.

4. Delivering forgotten items

If you are doing a mad dash to bring your child their forgotten school bag or lunch, then you’ve got to stop now! As hard as it is for you to say “you forgot your lunch, you’re going to have to go hungry”, it’s a valuable lesson for them to learn that a fail safe is not always going to be in place.

5. Making their failures your emergency

When they come out on a Monday morning saying a project is due in 3 hours, you shouldn’t be the one to run out to Officeworks and complete the project for them.

It’s about teaching your kids how to plan those projects that take a little longer to do. If they mess up, they mess up! Failure is not a bad thing, it’s training for the future.

6. Doing all of their laundry

By this age, their big enough to fold and put away their own laundry. If they can work a PlayStation or an iPad, they can use a washer and dryer! Give them their own basket, turn it into a game!

7. Stop being your child’s first point of contact for their teachers and coaches

Don’t be the person who gets straight onto the teacher or coach if they fail a test saying “what’s going on?”. At 13, your child is old enough to ask the teacher themselves. Teach your kid to be assertive. Learning to ask questions at their age is a powerful tool for the future.

8. Stop doing their assignments for them

Back away from your kid’s assignment, despite how bad it may look! They’re responsible for it. Advice is one thing, but doing it is a definite no go.

All these tips are designed to help make your child a responsible person in their own right when they’re released into the world at 18 years old.


Kath Healy from Nature Play WA joins Kirste and Morro fortnightly on Thursdays

Nature Play WA seek to get kids off the screen and outside