If we banked a quid every time we heard a parent exclaim in exasperation that they wished children came with a manual, we’d all be very rich.
Many of us seem to rely on advice from other parents, manuals and sheer luck when it comes to raising our offspring. However, one area that is fraught with anxiety and uncertainty is the age you should allow your child to do certain things.
Apart from the obvious reassurance that your child is developing at the right pace, as they get older it’s more about when you should loosen those strings and allow them to become more independent. Ultimately it is up to you as a parent to make the final call, but wouldn’t it be great to see what ages other children reach milestones?
A new survey, commissioned by My Nametags, (a manufacturer of durable sticker and iron-on labels) does exactly that. The study shows the results of 2,000 mums and dads, with kids aged two to 18, who were questioned about when their children achieved milestones, or were allowed to do particular things.
It turns out that children should be able to tie their shoelaces at eight, ride a bike at seven and be trusted to have their own front door key by 14. Other stats show that kids should be given pocket money at nine, start putting their own clothes in the wash at eight and be old enough to have a Facebook account at 14. Youngsters are also considered mature enough to walk to school alone and have their own mobile phone at 12 years of age.
A spokesperson from My Nametags, said:
“The survey just goes to show some of the many intricacies of being a parent.
“Of course, every child is different and may be able to do things or take on certain responsibilities later or earlier than our results show. However, it’s fascinating to get some indication of when mums and dads will typically allow or expect their kids to do certain things.”
The study also found mums and dads will let their kids watch 12 certificate movies alone at 12 years old, 15 certificate movies at 14 and 18 certificate movies aged 16.
Once they reach 16 they can have friends over when mum and dad aren’t around and also be out after dark. While 15 is the age they can listen to explicit songs, go on dates and start buying their own clothes.
Parents are happy for their youngsters to have a TV in their bedroom at 11 years old and trust them to surf the web unsupervised when they are 12.
Those polled also believe children can stay up until 8pm at eight years old, not go to bed until 9pm aged ten and not get their heads down until 10pm aged 12.
AGE OF EXPECTATION – A TIMELINE:
16 YEARS OLD:
Have friends over when parents are away
Go out after dark
15 YEARS OLD:
Listen to explicit songs
Go on a date
Buy their own clothes
Have a girlfriend or boyfriend round to visit
Drink energy drinks
14 YEARS OLD:
Go to town with friends
Have their own front door key
Go to the cinema with friends
13 YEARS OLD:
Be in the house alone
Go out on their own
Go to the shop on their own
Have a computer in their bedroom
12 YEARS OLD:
Walk to school on their own
Surf the web alone
Own a mobile phone
Cycle to school
Play at the local park unsupervised
Have a laptop
Have an MP3 player
11 YEARS OLD:
Have a tablet device
Have a TV in their bedroom
10 YEARS OLD:
Put the dishes away
Take care of their school uniform
Not to lose belongings
Understand the value of their possessions
Be allowed to choose what they wear
Have friends over for sleepovers
Go to friends for sleepovers
Fold-up clothes when they take them off
Get ready by themselves
9 YEARS OLD:
Lay the table
Start getting pocket money
Bath or shower without help
8 YEARS OLD:
Tie their own shoelaces
Put their own clothes in the wash
Brush their teeth without help
7 YEARS OLD:
Ride a bike
GOING TO BED:
8pm – eight years old
9pm – ten years old
10pm – 12 years old
Watch 12 certificate movies alone – 12 years old
Watch 15 certificate movies alone – 14 years old
Watch 18 certificate movies alone – 16 years old