Author Topic: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world  (Read 4338 times)

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hyzenthlay

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2012, 11:23:47 AM »
I have never understood how someone needs to 'learn to  sew.'  The thread goes through the needle, the needle goes through the cloth. Yes with practice things look neater and smoother, but buttons and mending simple tears is not difficult.

Likewise basic cooking. There are endless books and internet sites for simple food prep, you simply have to be willing to purchase and deal with raw food. (And instructions for cooking pasta are ON the box!)

Laundry - read the tags on the clothes, watch a few sitcoms to see what not to do.

Basic household maintenance, like sewing it may not be pretty, but it's not all that hard to figure out.

Now making clothes, baking, and electrical wiring, those are all skill sets that need more attention or research, but for basic life skills an adult simply has to be willing to try.

sunnygirl

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2012, 12:21:39 PM »
I did a lot of the cooking and cleaning as a kid because my parents weren't always able to (very similar situation to snowflake, actually). No one taught me how to do any of those things, I learned through a combination of reading books/instruction manuals and trial and error. Then I left home pretty young and had to learn all kinds of things (like how to do basic plumbing and electrical repair work) pretty quickly.

I think the most essential life skill a parent can teach their child is simply the ability to learn and figure things out for themselves. Because the ability to learn independently is a life skill. Of course directly teaching them how to cook and do laundry is great, but I think empowering kids to learn stuff on their own is incredibly important. And that can start at any age. When a kid is a toddler, for example, don't always rush in to show them when you see them having problems figuring out how to do something, allow them time to try to figure it out for themself via trial and error. Then when they get older, if they come across something in a book or their homework they don't know and ask what it is, tell them to look it up in the encyclopedia or dictionary, rather than telling them. I had to learn how to plumb in a washing machine and change a ballcock at age 17, when I didn't know how to do more plumbing-wise than turn on a faucet, but it didn't faze me because I knew it was learn-able. I taught myself how to bake bread. I don't think there's any challenge that would faze me now, because I know I can go online or get a book and learn how to do nearly anything (I mean, not open heart surgery, obviously, ;) but you know what I mean).

Not that I am suggesting allowing teenagers to learn how to do plumbing, or young children how to cook, unsupervised! Mine is an extreme example. But I think a combination of direct teaching, and empowering self-learning, is the best way to create an independent, capable adult.




Outdoor Girl

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2012, 01:09:58 PM »
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.

There's a country song like this.   :)  The singer talks about his Dad checking his tires, checking his belts and spark plugs, etc. as he's driving off to college.  Also reminding him to call his mother once in a while.  Then he gets his own place with his new wife and his Dad visits, fixing things around the house, trips back and forth to the hardware store and so on.  The chorus goes, 'He was saying 'I love you' the only way he knew how.'  But with my horrendous memory, I don't remember the name of the singer or the name of the song.

Regarding men and laundry:  I was in the university laundry room and I was very impressed watching one of my male dorm mates sorting his laundry into lights and darks.  Until he put the darks in the machine and the whites on top and fired it up.  :)
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2012, 03:05:52 PM »
 Great thread!  As well as the practical - which is very important - let go of the apron strings and stop hovering.  It amazes me to see how some parents helicopter over their children, afraid to let them make a mistake or deal with the fallout from their actions and just interefere with the growing up process in general......and then they complain about how immature their kids are.  Maturity doesn't happen for kids growing up in a vacuum where mommy and daddy were the ones thinking for them and not letting them live a little.

So.....a few things I have noticed growing up and as a parent myself...

- Sever that umbilical cord.  I cringe when I see kids that are NEVER away from mommy.
- Sure - offer help and support with schoolwork but for heaven's sake don't do it for them.  Every third grader will get A's when mom and dad give them the ideas, correct everything and run interference with the teacher over everything.
- Don't cut out every possible "bad influence" around your kids.  Let them see that other values / ways of living are out there and don't shelter them from everything.  That being said - teach them your values and expectations so they can handle themselves.
- Make them work!
- Don't give them everything they want just because you can.

I am no parenting expert or sociologist but I am a parent so these are just a few opinions...

jpcher

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2012, 03:19:20 PM »
I haven't read the entire thread (just skimmed) but THIS:

I think the most essential life skill a parent can teach their child is simply the ability to learn and figure things out for themselves. Because the ability to learn independently is a life skill.

I agree is essential.



magicdomino

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2012, 03:53:25 PM »
A lot of the advice in this thread can be summed up as:  The best way to prepare your children for the real world, is to involve them in the real world.   :)

Lynn2000

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2012, 06:15:52 PM »
I think the most essential life skill a parent can teach their child is simply the ability to learn and figure things out for themselves. Because the ability to learn independently is a life skill.

Well said. Goes along with what hyzenthlay was saying, too--it's not so much teaching the mechanics of doing this or that, but encouraging the willingness and ability to learn. One of my former co-workers, for example, considered herself savvy and independent because she could do things like cook and mend clothes at an intermediate to advanced level. But, whenever she encountered a problem she'd never had before, her response was to whine that she just didn't know what to do, and throw herself on the mercy of those around her. So, someone apparently taught her how to cook and sew, but they didn't actually teach her how to cope with life.
~Lynn2000

audhs

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2012, 06:33:09 PM »
I think the authors idea of having a life skills "class" for her son was a good idea if you are like her and realize that you forgot to teach those skills to your child.  But the best way is to start young and include them in the everyday workings of a home.

I've gotten shocked responses from people when they heard that I expected my kids to clean up after themselves  --with help of course--- since they were old engh to pick up a toy and put it in a box.  They also started putting there own laundry away about two years ago' they are now 6 and 8.  I fold they hang up and put in drawers.

Slartibartfast

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2012, 12:02:50 AM »
I have never understood how someone needs to 'learn to  sew.'  The thread goes through the needle, the needle goes through the cloth. Yes with practice things look neater and smoother, but buttons and mending simple tears is not difficult.

Likewise basic cooking. There are endless books and internet sites for simple food prep, you simply have to be willing to purchase and deal with raw food. (And instructions for cooking pasta are ON the box!)

Laundry - read the tags on the clothes, watch a few sitcoms to see what not to do.

Basic household maintenance, like sewing it may not be pretty, but it's not all that hard to figure out.

Now making clothes, baking, and electrical wiring, those are all skill sets that need more attention or research, but for basic life skills an adult simply has to be willing to try.

I can't sew - which is to say, I can use a needle and thread to hold two pieces of cloth together, but a) it's not going to look pretty, and b) I'm thoroughly incapable of using a sewing machine.  Apparently there's this thing called a "foot" that my brain has a mental block about putting down, so the only thing I can sew is pretty little knots of thread.  I discovered fabric glue, though, so when I have to hem something I just glue it (or, on one memorable and time-sensitive occasion, duct tape it) and I replace the glue as necessary.

On the other hand, I was very excited the day I learned how to properly fillet a trout - now I can catch, fillet, cook, and eat a fish all by myself  ;D

Venus193

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2012, 06:47:14 AM »
Most people will never actually make a garment and therefore will never own a sewing machine, but everyone should learn to put on buttons, repair an opened seam, and do a hem.  This is not a big deal and the stitching is meant to be invisible on the outside of the garment.

JustCallMePat

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2012, 08:47:59 PM »
Practical Life Skills:
- (#1) - Think for yourself
- (#2) - Take Responsibility for Your Actions
- swimming
- basic cooking
- changing a baby
- basic sewing (a button, mend a tear)
- make a realistic budget
- balance a checkbook
- change a tire
- drive a stick shift car
- understand a contract
- resolve conflict reasonably
- help an injured person
- shoot a gun / handle a gun safely
- change a lightbulb
- change an outlet or other basic electrical fixure
- present your argument well
- pass a job interview
- deal with rejection
- have a friend
- be a friend
- know when to stop
- plan an invasion (ok, maybe not!)

Deetee

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2012, 09:07:38 PM »
My mom specifically did not teach me to cook or clean or do laundry. I had chores and responsibilities but those were outdoor, backyard and general life skills.

My mom said much later that she didn't want to teach me the "girl skills" because then I would just end up doing them when I moved out.

So when I moved in with my BF at 19 we were both equally clueless at the specifics of running a house, but I can't say it was all that difficult for either of us to figure out. After hearing for ages how tough it was to be an adult and "pay bills", I was surprised to figure out how easy all that stuff was.

We cooked some bad meals and shrunk a few clothes and lived off potatoes at the end of the month a few times, but it was nothing tramatic and honestly, it was fun.

So personally, I think knowing specific stuff is not neccessary. Knowing how to figure out how to do stuff and knowing that is your personal responsibility is invaluable.

Lynn2000

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2012, 09:46:04 PM »
JustCallMePat, interesting list! I don't think I would have come up with all the same things exactly, but someone could do worse than to start there. I actually don't know how to do a lot of those things myself, like swim, drive a stick shift, handle a gun, or change a baby's diaper. But, none of those things has ever come up in my life as a hindrance (so far) (and may actually have saved me from changing diapers of babies I am not responsible for! <g>).

I think you could ask ten different people to make such a list, according to their lives and experiences, and each list would probably be somewhat different, but I bet there would be some core similarities.
~Lynn2000

Slartibartfast

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2012, 09:58:04 PM »
I think you could ask ten different people to make such a list, according to their lives and experiences, and each list would probably be somewhat different, but I bet there would be some core similarities.

You've inspired me to start a new thread  :)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 10:00:51 PM by Slartibartfast »

Adelaide

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Re: How to prepare your son (or daughter) for the real world
« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2012, 10:07:21 PM »
Most people will never actually make a garment and therefore will never own a sewing machine, but everyone should learn to put on buttons, repair an opened seam, and do a hem.  This is not a big deal and the stitching is meant to be invisible on the outside of the garment.

Agreed. I literally had to sew a girl into her bridesmaid's dress (the zipper on the side completely busted) at a wedding I was part of this fall. I was the only one who'd thought to bring needle and thread, and when I asked if anyone else could do it because I wasn't ready yet, they all panicked because none of them had so much as inserted thread into a needle before. :P