Parents told to stop packing kids’ lunches when they turn eight

Knowing when to allow your children increasing levels of freedom is a tough balancing act.

Too much too soon could see things go wrong very quickly, but sheltering them could mean they aren't exposed to the life lessons they need.

A paediatrician has told mums and dads they should stop packing lunch for their children when they turn eight years old.

Dr Damon Korb says it will help develop their independence and planning skills from an early age.

"If we think about what we do when we make lunch, it requires planning and it requires problem solving," Dr Korb, from California, told Australia's Today show.

"Kids need to think 'am I going to be hungry?' if I don't pack enough or what can I put in my lunch that isn't going to make my mother mad?

"Those kind of planning skills are important to be developed in kids and the everyday tasks like making a lunch is the way you do it.

"Our goal is not just to help kids find two socks that match or be able to turn their homework in on time… we're trying to teach the executive function skills that they need in order to become independent thinkers when they get older."

He says by the time our offspring are 10 years old, they should be responsible for making their own breakfast and lunch, as well as managing their schoolwork with no guidance.

The author of 'Raising An Organised Child' also said it's good to let children be bored, rather than reaching for electronics or letting them watch TV to pacify them.

"The reality is kids are best served going outside with a stick and a ball – and try to figure out what to do," he said.

"Learning how to be creative and learning how to be imaginative are skills that we use to build problem solving abilities they would use later in life."

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