Author Topic: wish they had a manual for this...  (Read 2519 times)

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blue2000

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2013, 09:08:21 AM »
Most of the skills I learned as a kid are foreign to today's teens and 20s. I am only 44 and feel like an ancient geezer next to them sometimes.

I learned how to deal with household stuff as a kid. I was doing serious home improvement by my late teens. I can do basic car maintenance without blinking and I have had complete charge of my finances since I was 18.

On another board I frequent, there was a recent thread about getting kids to help around the house. There was a wide range of opinions. Some believed kids should start helping around the house when they are toddlers (with age appropriate tasks). Others felt a teen needed to learn basic tasks before leaving the house. On the other end, some had no problem not teaching their children any functional skills around the house. Their opinion was that the tasks were so simple the kids would have no problem learning them when they had a need to do so.

Back in the dinosaur days when I was young, I ran into many people my age who couldn't boil water, operate a washer, take public transit, etc. No matter how simple the task, the time to learn something is before you need it, not when you are in a bind!
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

KenveeB

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2013, 12:44:06 PM »
A lot of community colleges and other groups will offer life skills class. I just got the quarterly catalog of events and activities that my town offers -- various sports classes, art, etc -- and there was a life skills class for teenagers in it. I think I'd require my kid to do something like that, in addition to teaching them on my own.

Seven Ate Nine

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2013, 01:11:43 PM »
I have also wanted a required class like this - a little finance & credit advice, cooking, cleaning, auto repair, basic home repairs, etc. 

It may be offered as an elective now but it needs to be required prior to high school graduation.  "generic" We are turning out a generation that doesn't have a clue beyond swiping a card to pay for something...

Truth be told, though, none of those things are really all that hard - they just require a bit of effort to learn how to do them.  Finance and credit advice is readily available if you're willing to look.  Cooking is just following directions until you're confident enough to make something up.  Cleaning covers a wide variety of things, but most of them boil down to "point, spray, and wipe."  Even basic auto and home repairs are mostly a case of reading a manual / watching a YouTube video / asking someone to demonstrate and then just doing it.

Not saying I can do all these things perfectly, of course  :) but I'm confident I could if I had to - and I highly doubt a high school class would be more beneficial than the internet if I actually wanted to learn something.  On the other hand, I really did like my math and history and whatnot even though I don't "use" it so I would be grumpy if I had to give one of those up to take a required "basic skills" class  :P

I think there needs to be a mandatory class or at least seminar about how to find this information.  Yes, I can go to Google and type in any question that I want to, but it might be a bad idea to take financial advice from Yahoo! answers.  Honestly I don't think that a year of high school is enough to really cover all of the topics that we've talked about here, but if you could touch each one superficially and teach how to find the rest of the information that you might need, it would teach two life skills.  Really, I think that the important information is not "how to [blank]" but "you are going to need to [blank] and here's how to find the information on it."  While DH and I are nearing/at 30, almost in the age range being discussed here, we do pretty well for ourselves.  I know people our age that are unable to put together IKEA furniture and need to call in dad to help.  Could dad have taught them how to do these things?  Probably.  But there seems to be a growing trend of thought that kids need to be dependent on their parents, and I believe that this trend is holding them back. I fully intend to teach my future little ones how to do basic things for themselves.  If they can't cook gourmet meals when they leave my house, that's ok.  If they don't know what a spatula is, that's a problem.

This thread makes me want to go hug my mom for making sure that I knew how to take care of myself.  I remember at least one time when my dad was out of town and something broke.  It wasn't super important and we could have left it, but mom and I went over to the Home Depot, got what we needed, and talked to the electrical guy there to make sure that we had the right idea of what we were doing.  When dad came home, everything was fixed and we hadn't burned the house down.  OTOH, all of this forced helplessness may bring about a renewed industry for "handyman" type services.  Maybe I should teach my kids all of the basic household stuff that I know and nudge them towards starting a business  >:D

misha412

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2013, 03:47:45 PM »
Most of the skills I learned as a kid are foreign to today's teens and 20s. I am only 44 and feel like an ancient geezer next to them sometimes.

I learned how to deal with household stuff as a kid. I was doing serious home improvement by my late teens. I can do basic car maintenance without blinking and I have had complete charge of my finances since I was 18.

On another board I frequent, there was a recent thread about getting kids to help around the house. There was a wide range of opinions. Some believed kids should start helping around the house when they are toddlers (with age appropriate tasks). Others felt a teen needed to learn basic tasks before leaving the house. On the other end, some had no problem not teaching their children any functional skills around the house. Their opinion was that the tasks were so simple the kids would have no problem learning them when they had a need to do so.

Back in the dinosaur days when I was young, I ran into many people my age who couldn't boil water, operate a washer, take public transit, etc. No matter how simple the task, the time to learn something is before you need it, not when you are in a bind!

I was a bit flabberghasted that a parent would think that teaching their children basic life skills was a waste of time. Their take on the situation was that it was easier for them (the parents) to do the tasks themselves than teach their children how to do it. They also thought that because the kid could not do the job to the parent's expectation levels the first time it would do no good to even have the children try.

fountainof

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2013, 05:16:27 PM »
I work with someone who does hold her kids back from life stuff, she even still washes her 24 year-old's clothes!!!  She does complain about it all the time though as I think she really enjoys having such a hard life and such useless (her word) children.  Personally, I would be embarassed by it as a parent I want to raise my child to be an adult and be able to look after herself on her own.

The IKEA furniture thing is hilarious, my 4 y/o helps me put together stuff as it all pictures ands she counts the holes and measures the bolts against the picture.  I could see some people not being mechanically inclined and it could take longer but to not be able to do it at all when there are instructions (pretty goods generally, I find other places stuff have much worse instructions).  Sure sometimes I put a piece backwards and then realize in a few steps but not usually for IKEA, but I fix my error and move on.

VorFemme

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2013, 05:29:57 PM »
I just replaced two light switches for less than $4 USA and the sink sprayer for less than $8 USA, because I did the work myself. 

I just lined the wires up the way that they had been on the original light switches (and hoped that the original electrician had done it right over twenty years ago when the house was built)!  The sprayer was a little harder because there was this tiny retainer clip that didn't want to come off....but I got it done.

I've been doing it myself for a lot of minor repairs (and watched a plumber do a repair when we were renters and the landlord sent them over - so that I could do THAT myself the next time it needed it - we had two toilets THAT time - so we had an option - but "just in case" I learned what to do) for decades.  Seriously - some repairs need to be done NOW rather than later and having a toilet keep running for an hour or overnight because you don't have the parts on hand will cost something just for the water bill!  Waiting for a plumber could be expensive, if you didn't know how to turn off the water under the sink, toilet, or even at the street (depending on what broke - there could be sheetrock or floor repairs needed, on top of the water bill)!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Virg

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2013, 02:18:27 PM »
Slartibartfast wrote:

"Truth be told, though, none of those things are really all that hard - they just require a bit of effort to learn how to do them.  Finance and credit advice is readily available if you're willing to look.  Cooking is just following directions until you're confident enough to make something up.  Cleaning covers a wide variety of things, but most of them boil down to "point, spray, and wipe."  Even basic auto and home repairs are mostly a case of reading a manual / watching a YouTube video / asking someone to demonstrate and then just doing it."

This is true, but it's all reactive.  The Internet can cover a lot of how-to-do-it stuff, but it's knowing what to ask or even knowing when to ask it is the challenge.  Doing your taxes is easy with online help, but most people who are just starting out don't know to go look for the info that tells them, "hang on to that particular receipt, because it'll save you a hundred bucks when you do your taxes five months from now".  If you don't know and nobody tells you, you might never realize you need to visit the site that tells you how to change the filters on your furnace before they crud up so much that it breaks, or that your smoke alarms and septic system need regular service.  You can easily find places that will give you a good list of tools you'll need when you move into your first apartment, but there's a lack of people and places that will give you a nudge when you sign your first lease that you need to look up that list and make sure you own a toilet plunger before the first time you need it.

There's a vast array of preventive and proactive tips that would be of huge benefit to newly minted adults, but not much in the way of compiled and easy to access pointers that suggest them, and that's what drives this particular lament.

Virg