I tried to teach my oldest (6) to do the laundry, including things like putting it in and switching it to the dryer. Unfortunately, the washer is just too deep for her to effectively reach the clothes. I *could* have her put stuff in the washer and get stuff out of the dryer. But it's also hard for her to carry a full load up the basement stairs. So right now I just have her fold loads of kid stuff and carry it in a small, kid-sized laundry basket, up the stairs by person. She still puts stuff in the wrong people's drawers *all* the time, though, drives me crazy. But yeah, she's 6. By the time she's 18, I would *hope* we'd have all these things ironed out.
She needs a long-hangled tongs!
And at 6, she really can be better at categorizing. Maybe some more coaching and a reward/penalty if she gets it right?
Maybe she can invent some system for helping her remember? (like, one stripe on the white socks for the oldest male; add a stripe for each person down the age spectrum; a white circle or dot for the oldest female?)
And maybe she doesn't put it in the drawer but on the bed?
It does seem like people want children to be less independent nowadays, though. Our local children's agency recommends that children not be out of line of sight, including in their own backyard, until they're 8 years old.
Yeah, really! I once wrote a little blurb for a Q&A/parenting column about whether a 7yo can use a toaster. The agency we contacted said no. I'm thinking, "ye gods, it's not that difficult." I argued that if she said "no, not at all," we'd lose credibility and some parents would completely toss out the entire answer, and that we'd more like to influence them if we said, "Yes, with some surprisingly serious reservations" and coach parents through how to coach their KIDS (like, yes, but not if Mom isn't home; yes, if you use the bamboo tongs and not a fork; yes, if Mom is in the same room; yes, if you have the toaster plugged in somewhere easy to UNplug; yes, if you walk them through all the things that could go wrong and what their response should be--fires, sparks, stuck toast, too-dark toast smoking but not burning, etc.)