Have we used the complexity of newer cars as an excuse not to teach about basic maintenance? Are we too busy to teach kids about laundry and cooking? Exactly where do we fit this stuff in the schedule of AP classes, sports, community service, doing our jobs and on and on?
Is it just too time consuming to shadow them and we just end up hoping they'll learn this stuff "along the way"? They're a "point and click and get it delivered in 24-hour" generation and not knowing how to care for themselves will leave them vulnerable.
Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh and ordering pizza online might best be used in a "pinch", but they've become a way of life for many of our kids. The Millennials may be smart, but their functional competence may undermine them. It's time to intervene.
Clearly, we're going to have to do it ourselves since insurance premiums have made these vocational classes too expensive for school districts to offer. As well, there doesn't seem to be much emphasis on learning vocational skills. Yeah, go ahead, how much are you willing to pay the plumber to come out on Sunday to deal with "that"...? We're moving farther and farther away from "real-life" skills and we'll pay the price when life gets more challenging. I swear, it was all those farm boys and inner city kids with skills and street smarts who pulled the world's collective rear end out of the fire in the mid-1940s.
The major DIY stores have classes that teach all they need to know about plumbing, electrical work and carpentry so they won't kill themselves. My advice? Don't sign your kid up with a group of his/her friends. They'll be so disruptive with their teenage act that they'll be asked to leave. Go with them. Make sure they learn while you spend some time together. If they want a friend to come along, a parent needs to come, too. No babysitting a 17-year old.
As for the domestic stuff, local adult education and parks and rec programs have cooking programs that can teach the basics. Go. Enjoy. Learn something.
It's not too late to start teaching them about the skills that really count. Not just the ones on the computer. Think about the long-term impact of what I am saying.
Dad always said that the one thing no one can take away from you is your education. Despite having only a 3rd grade education, he taught me calculus. He was smart, just not well-educated. He was 8 years old when the Depression hit and he was put out on the streets to sell coffee in Washington, DC to those folks who had jobs. He loved to read and learn and he passed that onto me.
I love to pump my own gas, go to the tire store, go to a garage. It smells of my Dad. He always came home smelling of gas, brake fluid, transmission fluid or oil. At times, he would come home late from piecing together a "junker" to get a little family to their next stop. He was kind that way. I never quite understood the Gift of Grace he had. Despite his brutal early life which did not get any easier on D-Day, he had a remarkably hilarious sense of humor. He was sarcastic, but never mean. The obvious was his fodder. One of my brothers would ask, "Dad, where's the hammer?" Dad would shoot back, "I don't know. It's not my day to watch it". Brother would walk off, frustrated, but not coddled. The only time I saw Dad even remotely fall apart was the day my brother, Jack, left for Vietnam. Dad went to bed. In the middle of the day, my Dad went to bed. I was terrified.
On the day Dad died, I held his hands. They were still stained from all of those years doing what needed to be done to care for his family. Smart, strong, kind, funny and brave; and oh, mercy, how he loved his wife, the mother of all five of us.
Not everything that can be counted, counts and not everything that counts can be counted~Albert Einstein.
Be careful what you value,