The Mr. and I were talking about the way the kids today (that sounds like my mother’s voice) are lacking in basic skills that, up until recently, were taught to all children before they were old enough to drive. At least we were taught those skills and we taught them to our children and they are now being taught to our grandchildren.
I made a list. There are a few rules to abide by.
1. This will require the kids to put down the phone and devices to have a face to face conversation with their parents.
2. This will require the kids to pay attention to what is being said or demonstrated, and for the kids to actually complete the task on their own.
Things kids need to know how to do to be a productive and self sufficient adult.
1. Put gas in the car.
2. Change the oil in the car.
3. Change the windshield wipers on the car.
4. Know when to add coolant or water to the radiator and how to check the levels.
5. How to check air pressure in the tires.
6. Change a flat tire without assistance.
7, Charge a flat battery.
8. Know how to read a real paper map, not the GPS.
9. Learn what basic tools are, how they are used, and what they are called.
10. Plan a budget.
11. Learn how to use a check book and balance the bank account.
12. Learn how to pay bills on time.
13. Learn how to buy groceries.
14. Learn how to plan, cook, and serve daily meals.
15. Learn to cook on a stove or in an oven, not just using the microwave.
16. Learn to read and follow directions for everything.
17. Learn how to fill out a job application on line, and on paper.
18. Learn how to do a job interview.
19. Develop a firm handshake and learn how to look people in the eyes when speaking to them.
20. Be realistic concerning entry level jobs.
21. Learn a good work ethic. Be on time, fulfill your shift, be dependable, work hard.
22. Learn basic self defense.
23. Develop good study habits, it will help you be a better employee.
24. Learn to mow and take care of the lawn.
25. Learn how to clean a bathroom and kitchen.
26. Learn to vacuum the house and mop a floor.
27. Learn how to do laundry.
28. Learn how to iron.
29. Learn basic mending for clothing.
30. Learn how to sew on a button.
31. Learn how to change a diaper and feed a baby/toddler.
32. Learn self respect and how to dress and groom yourself appropriately for the task at hand.
33. Learn how to care for pets.
34. Learn to respect your elders.
35. Learn some manners, and how to act in public.
I am sure that everyone can add to the list, but those were the first things that came to mind. If we, as parents and guardians, take the time to teach our children as soon as they are old enough to start picking up after themselves, all of this will come in handy when they leave home. I see far too many twenty, even thirty, something people who haven’t a clue how to do the most basic things. Any kid past the age of nine can do their own laundry if they can operate the complex phones and gaming systems they play today. Teach the responsibility but giving them the tools they will need to be independent, confident adults. Otherwise, you will be the one picking up the slack in their lives.