Well here is my story............. I come from a very large family and I have a lot of neices, nephews and great neices and great nephews and they always love coming over to my house because they love seeing all of the animals. When they come over, not only do they enjoy the animals, they also enjoy the lessons that I teach them and the stories. My sisters and brothers say that my house is "Boot Camp" but they LOVE sending their kids over to my house. I think I know why. I wouldn't necessarily call coming to my house "Boot Camp". I chose to say that it's "Learning Camp". Coming to my house to visit on weekends, sleep overs or summer vacations is always an opportunity for me to teach them something new. I'm sure that their parents teach them things on a daily basis but I tend to spend more time with them or life skills, social skills, etc. So my original question is...... when is a child too young to learn. My opinion is................ a child is never too young to learn. When I talk to friends and co-workers, I hear so often how they are still "doing things" for their kids such as washing their clothes, cleaning their rom, etc. and the kids have not been taught to do these things. At 17 years old, I think (and this is just my opinion, so don't chew me out) that a child should know how to wash their own clothes right? I heard one co-worker talking about how she packed her 16 years old bags so that he could go to camp. I was like, "HUH". I wanted to ask her why didn't he pack his own bags or TEACH him how to pack for a weekend trip. I taught my neices and nephews how to pack (at age 5) AND what to pack when going on a trip. You start by making a list of what will be needed. Am I missing something? I guess I am from a different background and our parents taught us at an early age to do as many things as possible for yourself. I can remember years ago, when VCRs were popluar and my nephews (3 years old) enjoyed watching cartoons or animated movies on VHS tapes. I always have animated movies for them to watch. Well, they were always asking me to turn on the VCR and put in a VHS tape because they didn't know how. Well, I decided that I would teach them how to turn on the VCR, put the tape in, press play, record, or rewind and to eject when needed. Well, I was successful at teaching them this through colored stickers on the places they had to touch to get the VCR working. After that, they never had to ask me to how to turn on the VCR. I also teach/taught them about getting a job, keeping a job, making money, saving money, etc. This vocational skill begins as early as 5 years old. They have NEVER asked for money because they know my rule. "You have to work for what you want". If they need money for whatever, they will ask me if there is work to do around the house to earn extra money. And the answer is always, "Yes". So, I treat their "work" as them having a regular job. I have made up timesheets readily available for them. We always negotiate a wage that we think is ok. After that, they go and get their time sheets and fill it out by writing in their name and the date. They also write in the time that they begin their work. Most of the work that they do is picking up twigs/sticks that have fallen from the tree, cleaning feeders and waterers (which can be an all day event because I have about 75 of them), taking about the trash, folding towels, washing the car (they are terrible at this job) and a few other things. They may work for an hour and then they take a break. They have to write their time out when the break begins and then write their time in when they start work again. Sometimes, I have caught them "playing" on the job and they haven't "clocked out" so they get written up for that infraction because they were made aware of the rules and have signed off on the policy and procedure handbook that I made for them. After their work is complete, they turn in their time sheet with their total hours are already calculated. Their time sheet is signed by them and date. I take a look at the work that they have completed and I sign off on their time sheet. After I sign off on their time sheet, I give them a time to come back to me and collect their earnings. Believe it or not they really enjoy this. They say that they love learning new things. That's why they always beg their parents to come to my house. They want to see what new skill I have for them to learn for that weekend. The last story that I will share (I have so many teaching stories) is teaching them how to sort clothes and how to wash their own clothes. They are not able to reach the washing machine and dryer, so they have to pull a chair to put their clothes in the washing machine. Again, I use different colored stickers on the washing machine and dryer which shows them where to turn the knob for their particular load of clothes. This is how I taught them how to wash their own clothes, ONLY when an adult is there to supervise. My sister-in-law called me one day and told me that she went to my nephew's rooms to get his clothes and my nephew told her that I had taught him how to wash and dry his own clothes and that she should not wash his clothes because he knew how to do it. The only thing that she had to do is show him how to use their washing machine and dryer (different type) being as though I taught him how to use mine. When I was 8 years old, I knew how to cook an entire meal in addition to knowing how to clean a house, wash clothes, etc. As I got older, my father showed me how to change a flat tire and how to do other minor work on a car. I got a job as early as 15 years old. When I got in the work force, I assumed that every child (who was functionally able to) was exposed to the same thing. Now I am finding too often, that is not the case. I totally understand that parents are so busy these days with working (some having more than 1 job), taking care of their family and household and may not have that extra time to teach their kids some of the things that I teach my neices and nephews. I truly do not want to offend anyone by saying parents don't have time to teach their kids daily living skills. I guess that I am just fortunate to be able to spend this time with them and provide as much learning as possible. So, what is your opinion on when is a child too young to learn. Do I sound like a Boot Camp instructor? These are just my personal stories, so don't bash me too hard if your way of looking at this is different from mine.