Do the Children Help With Their Laundry?

How Nannies and Au Pairs Can Teach Children to Help Do Laundry

Since nannies and au pairs typically launder the children’s clothing during the work week, it’s a great opportunity to get the kids involved in learning a necessary life skill. Here’s how kids can help nannies and au pairs do laundry.

SORTING: Kids love helping sort the laundry into whites, darks, bright colors, and so on. It is easier if they have a hamper that is divided so they can easily sort whites and colors.

PRETREAT STAINS: Kids as young as five-years-old can use a stain stick to treat stains before tossing them into the hamper. Before washing you should also spray with stain remover.

CHECK POCKETS: Before washing clothing check pockets for gum, tissues, crayons, and so on.

TURNING KNOBS: Always wash dark colors on COLD/COLD because dark colors bleed in warmer water. Wash white clothing on WARM/COLD.

POUR DETERGENT: For young children you can pour and measure the detergent for them and allow them to pour it into the machine. If they have the strength and a steady hand they can measure and pour liquid detergent as well.

WET CLOTHES INTO DRYER: Remove the laundry a few pieces at a time and hand it to the child. He can shake them out to remove all washer-induced twisting, and place them in the dryer. Some clothing will need to be line dried. Show them how to hang clothing properly so that it can dry quickly on a clothesline.

CLEAN OUT LINT FILTER: You must clean out the lint filter between each drying to prevent fires.

FOLD THE LAUNDRY: Children of any age can help match socks. Proper folding of clothes may be tricky for youngsters but once kids are 8-years old or so they certainly can fold clothes properly.

PUT FOLDED CLOTHES AWAY IN DRAWERS: It’s even easier to put folded clothes away in drawers than actually neatly folding clothing.

SAFETY FIRST: Explain to children that they must never, ever play around the laundry machines. They are not permitted to use the laundry washing machine or dryer without adult supervision. Never allow a child to help iron.

Do you only launder the children’s clothes or do you wash the parents laundry also?

Comments

  1. Au pairs are not allowed to do chores for the parents, just the children. I don't do the parents laundry the cleaning staff does.

  2. I've always done laundry for the children. If the parents left something in the washer, I would put in the dryer- and sometimes even fold the clothes if I needed to use the dryer, but it was not my job- just did it to help out.However, in one job once child attened school part time- parents asked if I would mind doing their laundry. I wanted to be helpful and flexible- so I said yes.Immediately I was sorry….It was mostly their sweaty, smelly gym clothes, which they just threw in the hamper all jumbled up.IT WAS HORRIBLE! I did not know how to bring it up, but after a few weeks of it- I had to. I asked them kindly if they could start the load of their gym clothes, and I'd be happy to put in dryer and fold.After that experience, I don't think I will ever agree to do parents laundry again. But I will offer to pick up from dry cleaners-or even drop off- if they place their clothes in a laundry bag.

  3. I only do laundry for the kids. But the housekeeper helps me with that too. I don't do the parents laundry or any of the bedding or towels. I just do the kids clothing and the housekeeper does some of the kids clothing too.

  4. I find it hypocritical of parents to expect us to teach the kids to help with laundry and making of their beds when the parents don't do it themselves.That is the excuse the kids use when I ask them to help "Mom and Dad don't do it!"Unfair. Parents need to practice what they preach.

  5. Nope, I'm not asked to do ANY laundry. Of course if something really messy were to happen I know how to do it, but it's the cleaning ladies and parents that do the laundry.Miriam Melrose MA

  6. I never ever agree to do parents laundry anymore. I did at a previous job. I felt like I never interacted with the baby. Always doing laundry. In a bind of course I help out, like after a long vacation or beach trips, etc… Of course if someone is sick I'll pitch in do extra wash. But I make it part of my contract now that I do not do parent laundry or parent chores around the house. I don't do their dishes. None of it.Once you start doing a task you don't like you get stuck doing it forever.

  7. In 25 yrs of nannying I never have been able to get older kids to help with laundry. I can get toddlers to help out. The older kids rebel. Parents say they want them to but refuse to give consequences for doing it. I'm lucky if it reachs the hamper. I can't beleive you mention having kids use a stain stick before putting laundry into divided hamper. All the parents and kids I've worked for have zero desire to do any laundry (who blames them). I ALWAYS do it. And the point above mentioning how do you kids to make beds when parents don't – I feel same way about beds, laundry, cleaning dishes, etc…

  8. In 25 yrs of nannying I never have been able to get older kids to help with laundry. I can get toddlers to help out. The older kids rebel. Parents say they want them to but refuse to give consequences for doing it. I'm lucky if it reachs the hamper. I can't beleive you mention having kids use a stain stick before putting laundry into divided hamper. All the parents and kids I've worked for have zero desire to do any laundry (who blames them). I ALWAYS do it. And the point above mentioning how do you kids to make beds when parents don't – I feel same way about beds, laundry, cleaning dishes, etc…

  9. After the age of 4 it's really hard to get kids to help with chores, even when they have an allowance and positive reinforcement for the chores. Not likely I'd get kids to follow thru with these ideas either. Maybe if you work with the kids from infancy on you can teach them good habits. As a nanny coming to a new family with older kids it's impossible to teach them new chores.Meredith Dallas

  10. R U kidding re: parents' laundry? No way! Hard enough with just the kids'!

  11. At my first live in job I did all the laundry including beds and parent's clothes. No more. Doing the kids laundry is plenty. I write it in my contracts children's laundry only and tidying of children's areas only. I leave parents dishes for them to do when they come home.

  12. Necessary life skill? Come on, their own parents have nannies and housekeepers to do it for them!

  13. Well anonymous above they will need to know how to do laundry once they go to college. I mean, at least the parents know how to do laundry whether they choose to pay someone else to do it or not they have to know how to do it. We all strive to teach kids to become independent adults. It is a necessary life skill.No I don't do the parents laundry I do the kids laundry. The kids LOVE folding sheets!!! But, since the housekeeper does the sheets we don't fold sheets often, but boy do they love it. The 7 yr old still loves helping with any part of laundry except folding. The older child despises it. The other kids are too small to help at this time.

  14. The 3 and 5 year old love to help with the laundry. They bring their clothes to the basement from their bedroom, they sort it, they fill the washer, press the buttons, move the clothes to the dryer. Between the two of them there isn't much left for me to do. I have found that turning it into a game works really well to get anything done.

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