View Full Version : Kids, dishes, and saftey

02-20-2009, 08:03 AM
I don't have my kids wash dishes and/or load the dishwasher. I do have them put their dishes in the sink after a meal or snack for me to attend to.

Around Thanksgiving time several people were in shock that I didn't have my eldest washing the dishes and loading the dishwasher. I had never thought about her doing this and began to wonder how many people had children her age washing the dishes. It seemed like everywhere I went people had kids her age doing dishes. I just kept on doing dishes and left it at that.

Well, now I know 2 kids who have been hurt while washing dishes. One child who is 10 is fighting to keep sight in one of his eyes due to an incedent with a knife while washing dishes. And this week at dance class I learned about a 7 year old who managed to stab herself in the arm with a knife while doing dishes---I think she slipped. See this is one of my fears that my kids will get hurt. I feel so bad for these kids; especially the little boy who is loosing his eye sight.

So do you have kids wash dishes? If you do; when do they start? And is there items they are not allowed to wash?

02-20-2009, 08:45 AM
My girls are 6 and 7 years old. They clear the tables after meals leaving anything too heavy for me to carry or anything too fragile (special china). They are allowed to handle a sharp knife from table to counter because I have and continue to train them on how to do it. We don't have a dishwasher - I wash the dishes 90% of the time. The girls dry and put away what they can (we don't use any plastic, only ceramic and glass), and the things they can't reach to put away they place on the table for me to do later. I do let them wash dishes when I have just the right things, a sink full of just dishes or I will leave all the silverware for them to do. Sometimes I let them do the glasses which don't seem to break easily because I bap them around enough myself and they survive pretty well. When they wash I am always in the room, usually cleaning something else. When they dry I know fairly well what is going on just by the sound they are making. I only let them dry at the same time if I am in the room with them. Also one girl cleans the table off with a cloth and the other one sweeps up after each meal. It isn't perfect but if I can tell they are trying their best I just say, "Thank you for the good work." If I see they are being distracted or lazy then I usually try to help them out because it typically means something is out of balance inside or they are truly too tired to do well. If they are having a bad attitude then usually the cure is another task after the one they are being snotty about (I don't think this is punitive but I can see how some people might not agree. You would have to hear the whole dialogue I think...) where they are able to practice a sweet and willing attitude, helping out when we are able is being a part of the family for which we are thankful. (I often help them with the "second task" just so we can talk and maybe play a counting our blessings game. Counting your right toe, windows and good food etc...make tasks go quickly and painlessly by.)
That is probably much TMI but I think the main thing is that they need to be helping and learning how to keep house. Tasks do take discipline and we can make them pleasant with a godly outlook (Thankfulness is the cure for almost everything!), and we work our way up to things. No one starts out washing tables well, but they learn slowly and with patience.

If you aren't comfortable with your kids doing dishes then don't sweat it, but I would make sure that they do have regular jobs that they know are expected and they can do well. They can help you with dishes when they are older and you feel more comfortable with it!!

(Maybe they could make your bed for you after they do theirs since you are washing their dishes?? )

02-20-2009, 08:53 AM
My older two unload the dishwasher. There are times when I make sure I take the knives out first, but that has more to do with Bug than an overall concern for safety.

Tater Tot likes to "wash" dishes, so I'll let him, but I usually do that. :)

02-20-2009, 10:32 AM
I wash all knives by hand and all of our children know it. After a Christmas day trip to the ER for Bart they understand very clearly the danger of a sharp knife even in cautious hands.

Bear unloads the dishwasher for items that get put away at countertop level or below. I do all things that go in wall cabinets.

They all rinse their dishes after eating but they are either plastic or heavy pottery, no glasses.

I load the dishwasher only so that everything is placed in a way that it will get clean and that it is filled using the space to the max. Bear will hand wash if we ask but I don't like how clean she doesn't get the dishes when she hand washes.