I read a great article last week – ‘The key life skills parents should be teaching their children‘ in The Washington Post. It touched on the topic of kids going off out into the world, not knowing how to do the most basic of tasks, and it made me realize how important those seemingly menial things actually are. Schools don’t teach them, and many of us over look the basics. It’s often easier to do everything ourselves, so, without even realizing it, we send our kids out into the world not knowing how to do the every day tasks; like making dinner, paying the bills, or reporting a stolen credit card. We send our kids off to college, and expect them to manage in a ‘grown-up’ world, without providing them with the ‘grown-up tools’ to do so. No wonder so many college kids end up cracking under the pressure!
So, we come up with a new plan. It is called ‘Life Skills Class 101’ and it’s being held in the the kitchen/living room twice a week. We haven’t quite tied down the schedule yet – but we’re thinking Mondays and Thursdays from 7 to 8, just before dinner.
So, i bet you’re wondering just what this ‘Life Skills Class 101’ is anyway…(oh, lets call it ‘LSC 101’ for convenience sake – and also because it makes it sound more ‘academic’ 🙂 ) Well, in ‘LSC 101’ we’ll be looking at all the things that Kayla needs to learn now, so that she can go on to be a fully functioning, happy, productive member of society, when she eventually goes off on her own. With that i mean that Kayla will know how to cook her own meals, wash and iron her own clothes, learn how to properly use (and balance) her bank accounts, learn to link a card to PayPal, change a car tire, deal with a government office and how to complete a job application and sit for an interview, among other things.
Of course, she is still young, so we have lots of time – Kayla won’t be going off to collage for another 4 and half years (wow, it’s not that long! – aarrgghhh! okay! 🙂 )
One day a week, Kayla is going to be helping me prepare dinner for the family – in fact, hang on, let me rephrase that… one day a week, i’ll be helping Kayla prepare dinner for the family. She’s going to learn about all the aspects that go into creating a meal – So, we’re going to be doing a budget for the meal, then we’re going to go shopping, and she’s choose the ingredients for her meal. She’s going to learn how to prepare the veggies, and how to cook the different meats to their correct, safe temperatures – can’t have the family eating raw chicken, now can we !?! I’m pretty sure she’s looking forward to the cooking side of ‘LSC101’.
One part that she seems a little less keen on is the ironing, lol! Yip, my dear, welcome to the real world! Yes, there are a few ‘crazos’ out there that love ironing (like the people that take part in extreme ironing – just a fun clip for a little extra entertainment), but generally, men and women the world over grit their teeth, and barrel through. It’s one of those skills you need to have. Even collage kids need to be able to iron a shirt for a work interview, or a fancy outfit for a graduation ceremony. Well, little by little, young Miss Kayla’s going to learn. We’ll start off small, like she said, ‘maybe with a pair of socks’ 🙂 , but we’ll get there!
With banking and payment trends changing as fast as they do, who knows if what we teach her now will even still be relevant, but one thing that definitely won’t change is going to be the attitude that she develops to money and saving in the next couple of years. That’s going to depend heavily on what we teach her, and on the kind of example we set for her. Luckily, there are lots of great activities that i have planned, like a trip to the bank, to open her own proper account, and an afternoon (or two) on the computer, teaching her how to use the internet banking functions. (All within reason, of course – no Amazon shopping sprees just yet!)
We’re also going to be popping in to the local Police Station, to show Kayla what to do in an emergency, for instance, if she has her phone stolen, or how to report her identity documents lost or stolen. These are all real life situations that kids need to know how to handle, and if we don’t teach them, no-one else will. It is our responsibility to share our real world knowledge and experience with our children, hopefully they’ll learn from it.
Of course, there are some things that she needs to learn that that Mom might need a ‘refresher course’ in. Luckily, Dad’s also here to throw in his two cents when needed. I know we’re going to need his help with a couple of things – but we’ll cover those as we go.
We’ll be starting with our first ‘LSC101’ lesson on Monday, with more to follow soon after that!
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