Author Topic: wish they had a manual for this...  (Read 2339 times)

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Judah

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2013, 04:34:01 PM »
I thought there had to be a book like this, and there is! Life Skills 101: A Practical Guide to Leaving Home and Living on Your Own. I need to order two.
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VorFemme

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2013, 08:27:48 PM »
I've been saying that for years!  Since high school in fact. We need some sort of "how to be well functioning adult" class. It can start with simple things - how to open a bank account and write a check, and how to file basic taxes, onto things like what things a person needs to do when they move (change mailing address, update drivers license, get electricity, etc), basic home repairs like changing a fuse or light switch and using a plunger, and more advanced things like starting retirement accounts and negotiating (for a raise, when buying a car, etc).

Or a manual for widows & widowers on how to run whatever the OTHER spouse used to.  I had a sixty year old friend who was lost when her husband died - she couldn't change the A/C filters, light the pilot light on the heater, or anything around the house that her husband had always done.  Navigate from one town to another driving to meet friends for lunch (he'd driven her almost everywhere - except for short trips to "local" stores for groceries, lunches in town with friends, and the like - out of town shopping or to visit their adult child - HE drove). 

It's not just the 18 year olds who need a manual, at times......she'd gone from her parents' house to being married - without enough time to herself between to be comfortable that she knew what to do.
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HoneyBee42

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2013, 09:23:02 PM »
I've been saying that for years!  Since high school in fact. We need some sort of "how to be well functioning adult" class. It can start with simple things - how to open a bank account and write a check, and how to file basic taxes, onto things like what things a person needs to do when they move (change mailing address, update drivers license, get electricity, etc), basic home repairs like changing a fuse or light switch and using a plunger, and more advanced things like starting retirement accounts and negotiating (for a raise, when buying a car, etc).

Or a manual for widows & widowers on how to run whatever the OTHER spouse used to.  I had a sixty year old friend who was lost when her husband died - she couldn't change the A/C filters, light the pilot light on the heater, or anything around the house that her husband had always done.  Navigate from one town to another driving to meet friends for lunch (he'd driven her almost everywhere - except for short trips to "local" stores for groceries, lunches in town with friends, and the like - out of town shopping or to visit their adult child - HE drove). 

It's not just the 18 year olds who need a manual, at times......she'd gone from her parents' house to being married - without enough time to herself between to be comfortable that she knew what to do.

That's one of the things that I was so proud of my grandfather for--he had been married for 59 years when my grandmother died (I'm not really sure about the length of time he was married the first time--his first wife died from childbirth complications and the child also died).  He was also from a generation where men just really didn't do household stuff, but he learned how to do his own laundry and everything else around the house within weeks after Grandmother had died (he lived for four more years after her).


LadyJaneinMD

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2013, 10:19:31 AM »
I thought there had to be a book like this, and there is! Life Skills 101: A Practical Guide to Leaving Home and Living on Your Own. I need to order two.

Thanks!  Now I know what I need to get for my nieces when they're ready to graduate high school.  They're almost 14 now.

WillyNilly

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2013, 11:08:01 AM »
I've been saying that for years!  Since high school in fact. We need some sort of "how to be well functioning adult" class. It can start with simple things - how to open a bank account and write a check, and how to file basic taxes, onto things like what things a person needs to do when they move (change mailing address, update drivers license, get electricity, etc), basic home repairs like changing a fuse or light switch and using a plunger, and more advanced things like starting retirement accounts and negotiating (for a raise, when buying a car, etc).

Or a manual for widows & widowers on how to run whatever the OTHER spouse used to.  I had a sixty year old friend who was lost when her husband died - she couldn't change the A/C filters, light the pilot light on the heater, or anything around the house that her husband had always done.  Navigate from one town to another driving to meet friends for lunch (he'd driven her almost everywhere - except for short trips to "local" stores for groceries, lunches in town with friends, and the like - out of town shopping or to visit their adult child - HE drove). 

It's not just the 18 year olds who need a manual, at times......she'd gone from her parents' house to being married - without enough time to herself between to be comfortable that she knew what to do.

Actually that really is something that could be covered in high school "even if you have a partner, or live with family its important to know how to do all the life skills. You don't have to be the primary person doing them but no one lives forever and you might have to do it someday yourself, so you need to know."

When I was 22 I had an anxiety attack about being poor and signed myself and my best friend up for a community seminar on women and finances. Well it turned out it really was something geared towards older women who were widowed or divorced and were now lost. But wow what a great thing for us to hear about so young. We signed on with the FA who ran the event and got IRAs that week! And I never have forgotten the lesson learned from seeing all those lost women, it was such a great thing for me to learn when young. And ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2013, 01:33:04 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...

 

 

EMuir

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2013, 02:29:15 PM »
About the pants... I found that washing pants after one day's wearing helped a lot.  When I was growing up we weren't rich and I only had two pairs of pants, so we wore each one for a week or so.  I found the wearing issue happened a lot.  Now I have pants that I've had for ten years that haven't worn, because I've washed them after each wearing.  My theory is that sweat helps the fabric break down.

daen

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2013, 02:58:38 PM »
What I wanted (and still would like) is a manual for house maintenance.
I know they exist, but (complicating factor #1) what I was looking for was something that would give you a month-by-month list of what needs to be done.
I'm pretty certain one or more of those exist as well, but (complicating factor #2) I live significantly further north than the majority of the population that I would need to prepare for winter significantly sooner, and for spring significantly later, than most. While there's not much of a problem getting the lawnmower serviced two months early in preparation for mowing season, needing to clean the gutters/put away the hose/start up the furnace two months before it comes up in the book could cause some problems.

I suppose I could have started with a "southern edition" and customized it. The main thing was not knowing what all needed to be done to maintain a house - having the correct month-by-month listing would have just made it easier.

Just Lori

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2013, 05:37:48 PM »
I've often thought that high school graduates should be required to do some sort of two-year service program.  It could be a military path, or it could be non-military, but they'd be in a semi-supported environment where they'd learn to be self-sufficient and responsible for themselves.  I think more people would be much more prepared to go to college after those two years, and they'd probably get a lot more out of it.


Vall

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2013, 06:20:51 PM »
I've been saying that for years!  Since high school in fact. We need some sort of "how to be well functioning adult" class. It can start with simple things - how to open a bank account and write a check, and how to file basic taxes, onto things like what things a person needs to do when they move (change mailing address, update drivers license, get electricity, etc), basic home repairs like changing a fuse or light switch and using a plunger, and more advanced things like starting retirement accounts and negotiating (for a raise, when buying a car, etc).

My parents taught me all those things, except info about retirement.  They started when I was a pre-teen and by the time I was 15 it was all old hat to me.  They got me a checking account, savings, and Christmas club as a pre-teen.  There wasn't much money in them but that wasn't the point.  Any mistakes I made were made in the security of living with my parents.  Also, I had to live with the full consequences of any poor decisions that I made (ex. and overdraft check fee that I had to pay for?  Eeek!  Never did that again.)

They sat me down to read through contracts (theirs) and explained the importance of knowing what you sign before you sign it.  They took me with them to vote so I understood how to vote.  They took me with them to buy cars and showed me what to look for and how to negotiate.  They showed me their taxes and taught me what they had to do every year.  They taught me how to read their utility bills.  I wasn't thrilled being forced to help with home and car maintenance stuff but I learned how to do it, and that came in handy when I moved out on my own.

Neither of my parents graduated from high school and my dad was disabled.  But they were very independent and were determined to teach me to be independent too.  Also, they were foster parents to teenage girls so they needed to teach them to be independent before they turned 18 (or graduated from high school).

I've always found it a bit odd that many parents don't teach their kids these things.  This is the stuff that people need to know before adulthood.

VorFemme

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2013, 07:13:03 PM »
About the pants... I found that washing pants after one day's wearing helped a lot.  When I was growing up we weren't rich and I only had two pairs of pants, so we wore each one for a week or so.  I found the wearing issue happened a lot.  Now I have pants that I've had for ten years that haven't worn, because I've washed them after each wearing.  My theory is that sweat helps the fabric break down.

You'd be right - and the bacteria growing in the stale sweat give off acidic substances that don't increase the lifespan of the garment, either.

Swimsuits used in chlorinated water last longer if you use a product (from the swimsuit specialty store or the fish & aquarium supplies in a pet store) to break down chlorine as part of a rinse (set up de-chlorinator - drop suit in water with it - then swish around, squeeze it out, and I dip it again and squeeze it out twice....then let it air dry). 

My biggest issue is that I have suits that I wear only in summer (not "swimming suits" but "lay around the pool suits") that still have the elastic die before the suit does.......
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Slartibartfast

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2013, 12:30:43 AM »
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

misha412

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2013, 12:48:48 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.

Thipu1

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2013, 08:24:59 AM »
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...

I seem to remember that there was a course for high school seniors some years ago. At the beginning of the term, students were required to look at the want ads  in the local paper and find a 'job' they could get with a high school diploma.

They would then find an apartment they could afford with what that 'job' paid.  They learned budgeting, how to handle bank accounts and all the ins and outs of living on one's own. 

By the end ofthecourse  they had 'gotten married' and 'had a baby'. 

I have no doubt that the course was a great wake-up call for many teens.  It may have even given some the incentive to continue their educations. 

that_one_girl

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Re: wish they had a manual for this...
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2013, 08:49:33 AM »
While I agree that some kind of service, military or civil, should be encouraged for today's young folk, I don't think it would teach them how to run a household.
In the military, you are given free lodging, free food, free laundry, and free medical care.  You don't have to pay bills every month or do anything besides show up to your job.  Even there, you are just told what to do by your superiors.
My husband was in the Army for 4 years and he still has trouble sending out the mortgage check on time, even with me reminding him TWICE that it needs to be sent.  He also has trouble making dinner, even when all it requires is to preheat the oven and throw in a lasagna.