Author Topic: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world  (Read 4478 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Judah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4769
  • California, U.S.A
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2012, 12:07:18 PM »
I think that basic survival skills are learned more easily when they are learned in a more organic fashion.  My kids learned to cook, clean, do laundry, and basic auto maintenance because as they grew they were given responsibility for those things. My kids were helping keep the house clean from the time they were old enough to pick up their own toys; basic cooking skills were learned as they helped me in the kitchen; they were doing their own laundry by middle school; and were not allowed to get their drivers licenses until they could demonstrate the basic auto maintenance skills taught to them by their dad.  Money management was learned the same way, by being made responsible for their own money and by watching how DH and manage our own money. 

Unfortunately, this method left my kids without the skills that I don't posses. There's no sewing going on in this house, so my kids didn't learn to sew. But then, I've never had the need to know how to sew, so I guess it's okay.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14224
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2012, 12:13:07 PM »
I don't have kids but I have two nephews.  From an early age, they were expected to help around the house.  It started small ('Take your plate to the sink, please) and grew to them helping out with meal preparation, making salad or peeling the potatoes or whatever.  My brother had a 'boys' weekend at his camp with another father and his three sons.  When it came time for dinner, he said, 'Friend kid 1 and nephew 1, you two peel the potatoes and carrots.  Friend kid 2 and 3 and nephew 2, you three get some lettuce and stuff out of the garden and prep the salad.  Friend and I will take care of the burgers and their fixings'.  Friend kids looked at their Dad with kind of wide eyes.  They were never expected to help out at home.  So Dad said, 'Get to it, boys' and started having them help more at home.  The kids were all 10 to 15ish at the time.

Now, my nephews are 18 and 20, still living at home.  The youngest is taking an extra semester of high school; the oldest is going to university in town, which the youngest will also be doing next fall.  My SIL has left and it is 3 bachelors living at home.  They are having no problems keeping the house (somewhat) clean and running and getting food on the table.  Youngest has even started baking.  With only my brother's income, there isn't a lot of money for extras so both boys are working to buy the things they want.  Brother buys them what they need.

It's funny, my middle brother and I both went to college-prep private schools and my youngest brother (who has Down Syndrome) went to a public high school and was placed in "Life Skills" classes with the other special ed kids where he learned how to balance a checkbook, clock in and out for work, cook, do laundry, manage a household, the importance of personal responsibility, etc., where as my middle brother and I never had any kind of classes or instruction in those types of things, just typical school subjects like History, Science, Math, etc. Sometimes I think my mentally disabled brother has a better understanding of how to be a functioning adult in today's society than I do.

That's awesome for your youngest brother.  There should be a required life skills class for all high schoolers.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11367
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2012, 12:17:32 PM »
When I left home for college, I could boil water to make any kind of pasta, including mac & cheese, could make scrambled eggs, an omelet, and grilled cheese.  As for laundry I could also do that though I wasn't very good at remembering to put it away though I don't blame that on my preparation. 

I have taught the older two to do laundry, though now and then I find they need a reminder about making sure the weight is properly distributed so the washer won't "walk". They both can make scrambled eggs, omelets, boil water for pasta, and I'm working at teaching them to be able to tell when chicken and beef are done. They enjoy cooking, especially my middle child who sometimes will offer to make dinner or help come up with ideas. My oldest took home ec (or consumer science as it's called now). 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16059
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2012, 12:21:21 PM »
My college bud should have had this instruction.  He never learned to cook and now that he's divorced he lives on take-out food and deli meats.  Here is the oven in his 4-year-old stove:


siamesecat2965

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8871
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2012, 12:35:38 PM »
I think in addition to everything previously suggested, parents should teach their kids how to deal with various situations, and have THEM take care of them. Things like getting copies of HS transcripts for college apps, calling the computer company for repairs when they spill water on their laptop, and so on. I have so many co-workers that I hear on the phone, on a daily basis, taking care of "stuff" for their college-age kids. I shudder to think HOW these kids will ever manage to survive in the real world. My parents were of the mind "suck it up and figure it out", but were there to advise and suggest.

On the other hand, I was speaking to another CW, who's son is a college freshman. He went to one school, had a bad roommate experience, and on his own, made arrangements to change.

He's now transferring mid-semester, and did it ALL on his own. All he did was call mom and dad, and say, hey, i'm doing this, is it ok.  They were fine with it, and I told her its so refershing to hear of a kid actually doing something himself, rather than relying on mommy and daddy to do it all for him.

snowflake

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1812
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2012, 02:25:11 PM »
I figured out life skills because both my parents had a mental illness that hit an all-time high when I was 13.  It was useful but I'd like my kids to learn that WITHOUT the same motivation I had. 

I am fascinated by stories of how people replicate "life" on a micro scale for their kids.  I know someone who got their children credit cards with very low limits and gave them a small "income."  The kids had to budget for their own clothing, grooming supplies and school supplies.  The kids learned at 14 that you can get in debt trouble even if you are mostly sensible.  But it was them trying to pay back a hundred bucks, NOT tens of thousands.

I've also seen kids as young as 8 work with a special within-house banking system that their parents set up.  Of course that has back-fired because my friend offered her daughter a crazy (10%/month) interest rate to get her to save.  Three years later the daughter now will NEVER spend a penny and refuses to put her $500+ in the bank because she knows the interest rate there will be a joke.  She has already calculated how many thousands of dollars she will have when she graduates from HS.  JUST from the current principle.

When they are ready, I'll probably make them responsible for one dinner a week.  I did my laundry starting at 9yo and I think that's a great age.

And I'm definitely sitting down with them in junior high and talking about the "red flags" in a relationship.  Male AND Female.  I am always surprised that people don't think that's necessary until they're neck deep in being manipulated.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2012, 02:48:35 PM »
I don't have kids, but I don't remember learning any of these things anymore then I remember learning to dress myself or how to eat, they were just part of life. I know I was cooking at an age young enough I had to pull a chair up to the stove to stand at it, so I guess pretty young, and by 3rd or 4th grade I was occasionally tasked with making dinner for the whole family.  At 11 my mom stopped doing any of my laundry, but she didn't have to teach me how to do it, I already knew from having been expected to help out countless times previously.  My weekly chores in elementary school consisted of a rotation (between myself and my brother, each chore for a few months then we'd switch) of vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, mopping the kitchen floor, etc.  We were expected to shovel the side walks when it showed and rake the leaves int eh autumn, along side my dad, for as long as I can remember.  I don't know when I learned to sew but I was making Barbie clothes as a kid and I grew out of Barbie by 4th grade.

I started getting an allowance in first grade and was expected to budget it myself for things I wanted.  I only got raises if I asked for them and could demonstrate why I deserved a raise. It started at 50 cents a week in first grade and was up to $25 by 12th grade; my brother never made it over $18 a week.

My dad, a former Eagle Scout instilled in my brother and I a knowledge of basic foliage identification and insisted we could start a fire with no paper and only one match at a very young age. Weird skills to insist your NYC kids know, but then again those were fun things to learn so no harm, no foul.

By the time I was in high school my mom had moved out and my brother was off to college, so it was just me and my dad.  He would task me with writing any checks (and balancing the register), etc I needed for school stuff and he would just sign them. Because my grandparents had set up a savings trust for me as an infant my dad had been filing taxes for me annually which he always had me sign myself, but once I had an after school job he made me do my own (which he sent to his accountant to check).

I learned electrical in elementary school science class (simple circuits, etc) and since my parents always did their own minor electrical work around the house the lessons easily stuck.

I went to high school in a different county which required me taking the subway and using buses and/or the railroad, so being able to read a map and navigate public transportation alone well before then was a must.

I'm very glad I did learn all these things although in someways it was a social hindrance in that I had (and to be honest sometimes still do) very little patience with people who couldn't.  Knowing how to make basic food, or do laundry, read a map, or change a light switch were just things I expected everyone to know how to do as a matter of course.

Adelaide

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 959
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2012, 03:40:13 PM »
The biggest thing that I wish my parents had taught me was discipline. I think that consistency is key. It's always been a struggle for me to follow through with things and set schedules that I can maintain. I was never allowed to do anything "extra" as a kid that was more than one day a week and I never had fixed chores. So I sat around the house all the time. Occasionally my parents would come and scold myself and my brother for being lazy or for not jumping up to do things like empty the dishwasher. (I may have posted about that in the brain hurt thread.)

Mikayla

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4070
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2012, 03:57:44 PM »
I think my parents were outstanding at this aspect.   I remember being 6 and getting my first allowance.  Dad set up a balance sheet with 4 categories (these weren't negotiable):  longterm saving, short-term savings, donations (church/charity) and spending money.  There were 2 rules:  Never touch longterm savings, and chores must be done before the money is handed over.

As we got older, the chores increased, as did the money, but those 2 rules never changed.  And we also had to update our little balance sheets/spending projections weekly.  I thought it was fun and quite grown up!  Until my teens, anyway.

Softly Spoken

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 638
  • "I am a hawk on a cliff..."
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2012, 01:06:31 AM »
I wish that instead of trying to get me to play on the school sports team (which I sucked at and wasn't into competitive sports), my parents had enrolled me in a drama class. I think any and every kid could benefit from a safe environment where they are encouraged to take risks, make mistakes and explore who they are and who they want to be. The acting class I am in now (30 yrs late but at least I'm here! ;D) has helped me to express myself. I put on different "faces" like we all have to in real life to cope with people. I've found my voice. I wish I had had theater when I was little to help me build my confidence.

Sad anecdote re: education - I didn't appreciate the grade-school or high school math I was dismissively told I "had to know for when I was out in the real world". I didn't care about advanced math until community college algebra showed me how to calculate the interest in a bank account. I was like, "Why didn't you tell me about this 10 yrs ago?" All those dang story problems about trains and apples and nothing about banking...talk about glossing over a subject! >:( ::)
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Phoebelion

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 295
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2012, 06:38:00 AM »
While Sis and I are very well rounded (can change the oil on the car and replace light fixtures as well as "woman" chores), Bro wasn't and still isn't.

Bro lived with parents until after college and got a job out of state.  He first call home was the best.  How do you make spaghetti.   He may be smart, but obviously real short on problem solving.  Went thru the whole process.  Got a call two hours later that something was obviously wrong as it was terrible.  When asked what was wrong, he said it was more like soup.  Light bulb - we forgot to tell him to drain the spaghetti.  He had dumped the jar of sauce into the pot with the spaghetti and water.  He spent a whole lot of money eating out til he got married.

To this day - some 35 odd years later - he has never cooked, done laundry, changed a tire, painted a room, etc.

People make a ton of money off him.   Good thing he makes a lot.

QueenofAllThings

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2921
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2012, 08:41:53 AM »
My boys know how to clean a bathroom, do laundry and iron a shirt.  They can make a bed and wash a dish. 

They know nothing about cooking - my 24 year-old occasionally calls me for guidance - but I figure they'll learn.  Oh, and they vacuum, build a mean fire and light a Christmas tree like nobody's business, so I don't feel too badly about letting them loose on the world.

scotcat60

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 485
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2012, 09:16:47 AM »
When my oldest nephew was off to uni. he needed some new clothes SIL took him shopping and showed him the labels with the comment don't buy that, it's dry clean only, and you are not going to be able to afford the cleaners's bills. Younger brother was taught the same. Both helped out from early childhood doing housework, and cooking.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6887
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2012, 10:41:01 AM »
My parents were pragmatists.  Early on, I learned household chores and basic cooking.  By 15 I could at least make a lasagna from scratch and handle a roast chicken dinner on my own.   

Once I started school,  I had a little bank account and A Christmas Club.  That taught me how to budget and manage my money.

When I was preparing to move into my own apartment my Dad, who was not an affectionate man, did something that was rather touching.  As a moving gift, he taught me  how to wire a lamp, change a washer in a faucet and snake a toilet.  He also gave me a set of tools from his personal cache.  For him, that was a sign of great love.

I never did learn to construct an acceptable garment but I can darn a sock, sew on buttons and repair a hem. 

I think my parents did a pretty good job. 


caz

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 302
Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2012, 10:52:28 AM »

When I was preparing to move into my own apartment my Dad, who was not an affectionate man, did something that was rather touching.  As a moving gift, he taught me  how to wire a lamp, change a washer in a faucet and snake a toilet.  He also gave me a set of tools from his personal cache.  For him, that was a sign of great love.

This is so lovely.  I am a hugger, but am learning to appreciate other signs of affection, like my housemate getting out of bed because I can't have a shower with a spider in the bathroom!