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Timeline reveals ideal age for children's development milestones

The survey was taken by 2,000 mums and dads

23 August 2017
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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, according to parents. A survey of 2,000 mums and dads found they have a very clear idea of when their children should have achieved, or be allowed to do, particular things.

Parents also believe the kids should be allowed 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.


Commissioned by My Nametags, manufacturer of durable sticker and iron-on labels, the research among parents with kids aged two to 18, also found 70 per cent believe privileges are granted too soon nowadays. Lars B. Andersen of 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. WhatsApp and Snapchat accounts are permitted at 14, while MP3 players and tablets are allowed at 12 – and laptops are considered acceptable at 13.

Ten is the age they can have friends over for sleepovers and go to their pals for overnight stays too. And 13 is the point when parents trust their children to be in the house alone and also go out on their own. Those polled 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.

Twenty-nine per cent of mums and dads consider themselves to be stricter than other parents. However, 56 per cent said they granted many of the privileges featured in the research earlier than they were granted them by their own mums and dads.

Four in ten said they feel peer pressure from other parents to allow their kids to do certain things, while half have fallen out with their partner over the kid's privileges. Teaching children the value of belongings and how to avoid loss are among the things that cause mums and dads the most problems as their youngsters get older.



16 YEARS OLD:Have friends over when parents are awayGo out after dark

15 YEARS OLD:Listen to explicit songsGo on a dateBuy their own clothesHave a girlfriend or boyfriend round to visitDrink energy drinks

14 YEARS OLD: Have FacebookHave SnapchatGo to town with friendsHave their own front door keyHave WhatsAppGo to the cinema with friends

13 YEARS OLD:Be in the house aloneGo out on their ownGo to the shop on their ownFaceTime friendsHave a computer in their bedroom

12 YEARS OLD: Walk to school on their ownSurf the web aloneOwn a mobile phoneCycle to schoolPlay at the local park unsupervisedHave a laptopHave an MP3 player

11 YEARS OLD:Have a tablet deviceHave a TV in their bedroom

10 YEARS OLD:Put the dishes awayTake care of their school uniformNot to lose belongingsUnderstand the value of their possessionsBe allowed to choose what they wearHave friends over for sleepoversGo to friends for sleepoversFold-up clothes when they take them offGet ready by themselves

9 YEARS OLD:Lay the tableStart getting pocket moneyBath or shower without help

8 YEARS OLD:Tie their own shoelacesPut their own clothes in the washBrush their teeth without help

7 YEARS OLD:Ride a bikeGOING TO BED: 8pm – eight years old 9pm – ten years old 10pm – 12 years oldMOVIES: Watch 12 certificate movies alone – 12 years old Watch 15 certificate movies alone – 14 years old Watch 18 certificate movies alone – 16 years old

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