• May 24, 2018, 03:34:57 AM

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Author Topic: Five things you want your (real or hypothetical) kids to learn before adulthood  (Read 4147 times)

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Offshoot of another thread: if you had to pick five things you'd "require" your child (real or hypothetical) to learn before they're allowed to leave home, what would they be?

For me:

1) learn to swim
2) learn to read music
3) learn to keep tabs on a bank account
4) learn to drive in snow
5) learn to read maps when traveling (including subway maps)

What are your "musts"?


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1) krav maga
2) another language
3) driving in storms/rain/snow/hail
4) how to swim
5) how to budget time and money wisely

Slartibartfast, I admit that I straight-up copied you on the "how to swim" part. That would have never occurred to me, but it's pretty important (and fun)!


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1. how to be secure enough in their beliefs to stand up for themselves
2. personal financial management
3. basic household stuff- cooking, laundry, how to really clean a toilet, etc...
4. know how to ask for help/admit they need help/locate resources
5. how to choose wisely their friends/future life partner/education and career path

Easy stuff, right?
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.


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1) How to speak another language
2) To learn that being persistant is more important than being "smart"
3) How to be a gracious host and a gracious guest
4) To be comfortable saying "No" to any and all offers she wants to refuse.
5) To figure out stuff (covers everything else)


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"To figure out stuff"

Still working on that one myself!
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.


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Ooh, great question!

1) Personal finance/budgeting
2) Basic household cleaning/laundry/dishes
3) Filling out legal-type forms/reading contracts
4) How to say no/draw boundaries
5) Knowing how to ask/look for help for things you don't know

I would say those have all been really important things in my independent life, which I could imagine being able to convey to someone else.


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"To figure out stuff"

Still working on that one myself!

Actually that makes me realise that is a crucial thing. You never reach the "I know everything I need to know". Learning stuff is hard and takes a long time and hard work and is fun when done right. While there is some joy in mastery, it is important to realise that there is always someone better and that you can always get better.

Or at least that is what I try to tell myself.


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1. How to say no/draw boundaries
2. Basics of living on own such as budgeting, laundry, cleaning, and basic cooking
3. Good manners
4. That not backing down on what he/she believes, even if it isn't the popular opinion
5. Be able to do math without relying on a calculator


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1. behaving in public places
2. know what is appropriate dress for different places (example: no shorts and tee shirts worn to church)
3. Using please and thank you without constant prompting
4. behaving in private settings
5. Doing homework without constant prompting/reminders


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Almost everything people have mentioned. There's a lot that goes into being a responsible, productive adult!

Here are five I am already consciously working on with my kids (daughter, 12 and son, 3)

1. Read labels and choose quality foods (people think I am crazy, but I prefer to grocery shop with my kids in tow so we can practice)
2. Prepare healthy, balanced meals
3. How to use public transport
4. Clean up after themselves
5. Identify character traits they value in themselves and others, so they can engage in healthy relationships
Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not. - Uncle Iroh


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1.  That "No" is indeed a complete sentence.
2.  Basic self-defense in case the person takes violent exception to "No."
3.  How to have a healthy scepticism when reading on the Internet, or talking to people.  Also, how to recover when despite one's best efforts, the Internet offer really is too good to be true, or the best friend isn't much of a friend.
4.  Basic cooking, including how to read a recipe, cut up a chicken, and make soup from scratch from that chicken.  Also, basic nutrition, especially if the child decides to become vegetarian.
5.  Basic home repair, including how to read a home repair book (or Internet page) when you don't know how to do something.  Since we have only five items, I'm including clothing repair under this.   :)


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Fiscal responsibility
Respect for others
How to do basic household chores
Healthy skepticism
The value of research


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1. Feed themselves properly (buy and prepare food that is reasonably healthy and affordable)
2. Work out a budget
3. Keep themselves and their surroundings clean (cleaning, laundry, dishes)
4. Really read and understand what they're reading be it newspapers, packaging, labels, contracts or whatever
5. Stay safe (swim, know what to do in case of fire, first aid, self defence)

Right now I'm working on learning to walk and talk, so I might change my mind a few times before she actually leaves house.


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1. You can treat others better than they treat you without allowing them to take advantage of you.
2. You're as good as your word. This includes financially. If you say you're going to pay someone back, you make it a top priority.
3. Balance your budget on time and money. You only get so much of either.
4. Tell those that you care about how much you love them often. You never know when you won't get that opportunity again.

Most importantly:
5. Trust God, and never stop talking to Him. When you're happy, let Him know. When you're sad, cry to Him. When you're angry, yell at Him. He loves you and He's in control, and it's too important to never let the conversation stop.


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Learn to swim
Learn to ride a bike
Learn to play an instrument
Learn how to do their wash
Learn how to cook (this turned into a love of baking, but not so much cooking.  Both girls have learned from the school of hard knocks what "beat egg whites to a stiff peak" really means now"