‘On the couch’ with Jasminda


DEAR Jasminda,

I am sick of washing for the entire family. How can I encourage them to wash their own clothes?
Mrs Tina H.

Dear Tina,

There seems to be a lot of variation in advice for this problem.

I know of some parents who make their kids wash their clothes when they start high school, and others who are willing to accept baskets of dirty washing even after their children have flown the coop.

I’m a bit pedantic about washing and drying clothes because I like to match the pegs and hang the clothes depending on who owns them and then play the ‘match the sock’ game, which never ends well because of the sock-eating washing machine.

I have, however, stopped putting the washing away.

Now I just place piles of clean clothes outside each person’s bedroom where they invariably sit until desperation kicks in.

I feel that this is going to be a short-term dilemma, because eventually they will all leave home, or, if they don’t, I will leave home and join a commune where everyone wears easy-care clothing or maybe no clothing depending on where the commune is located.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I would simply implement a clothes-washing roster for your offspring, or else wait until they have their own children and then bask in the joy of their appreciation – even if it is 20 years too late.

Carpe diem,

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