Monday, September 15, 2008

Life Skills

Getting my driver's license was a liberating day. I thought I had discovered freedom. I didn't know what to do first. My parents let me take the car to school. I was so excited. That afternoon I decided I was going to do something really grown up and drive through McDonald's and get french fries and a coke. I went through the drive-thru and placed my order. When I pulled up I was so excited that I gave the girl my $10 bill, she gave me my fries and coke and I drove off. I completely forgot to get my change. I was chomping on my third french fry when it hit me what I had done. I felt like such a dork. I was slapping my head and thinking, "Why don't they teach you useful stuff like THAT in school instead of dumb stuff like trigonometry?"

I have never forgotten that feeling and so I have been determined to teach them the life skills that I didn't think they would learn in school. There are so many things that we as adults do that we simply take for granted. Think about some of these:

Telephone and book skills - If we need a phone number, I always ask the boys to look up the numbers in the phone book for me OR I ask them to get on http://www.whitepages.com/ and look it up.

Take out orders - When we place orders for take out food, we always write down the orders and ask one of the boys to call and place the order.

Banking skills - Both boys have savings accounts and we take them to the bank to have them fill out the forms and deal one on one with the tellers.

Washer/Dryer - Big Guy is responsible for jeans. Little Guy is responsible for towels. They know how to run the washer and the dryer. They can do loads of laundry. I know college kids who can't do loads of laundry.

Baking - I try to pick recipes that are kid friendly and then give them to one of the boys and ask them to cook them. I have been teaching them to cook for several years so if the recipe is simple enough I leave them alone in the kitchen and just observe.

Chores - I'm not telling you anything. It takes a lot to keep a house clean and everyone plays a part in getting it dirty. No better way to learn how to windex, dust, vacuum, sweep, mop, clean the bathroom or the refrigerator except first hand experience?

Gas pump & Tire Pressure - Hubs taught both the boys to pump gas and check the tire pressure on the car. He thinks no lady should have to pump gas. Who am I to argue with that?

These are just a few of the things that we are working on with the boys. I am sure as the boys get older we will keep adding. The school is working on academics. Hubs and I are working on life skills and spiritual life.

23 comments:

Patrice said...

Being a mom of three boys, I totally agree! Our children are not excused from any household chores. They can cook, wash clothes and do dishes that would give Martha Stewart a run for her money!!

The gas....ladies pump gas?? Never happens! He he!

Dr. Wifey said...

i didn't know how to wash clothes until after i started college, what a pity. wish i had learned some money saving skills when i was younger too.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'm black betty said...

washing clothes and cooking, to me, are the most vital...especially when you move out on your own!!! oh, and balancing a budget... :)

good for you!

mayberry said...

You are absolutely right. Even now, Mini-me is learning how to do things that I shouldn't have to do for her, especially as she gets older. Plus, she still thinks helping is fun so it's not like I've got to beg her to be Mommy's helper.

K Storm said...

That is great. We should teach them these things early on.

I do have a funny story about the pumping gas though. My dad always fills Mom's tank up for her too. But one time he had to go to England for a couple of weeks with work. Mom never considered that she needed to watch the gas gauge and ran out of gas. While it is great to have a gentleman to take care of you, I think I'll make sure my daughter knows how to read the gas gauge and pump gas!!

Deanna said...

K - I am bad about not watching the gas gauge myself I have gotten so used to hubs filling up the tank. Not too long ago I looked down and the tank said 3 miles to empty. So glad I looked!

Wifey - There were so many things that I didn't know how to do.

Deanna said...

Betty - I still can't balance my checkbook. Ask hubs... that is one of his pet peeves.

Patrice - My boys are not giving Martha a run for her money that's for sure. Hee Hee!

Braeg Heneffe said...

Congratulations on your driving license

Deanna said...

Braeg - Thanks, but that was actually about *mmmm* years ago.

From the Doghouse said...

OK, I like the way you break things down!

gingela5 said...

Oh that is great! I hope when I have children that I can teach things that my parents didn't necessarily teach me!

Sandi said...

You didn't put cooking on the list, but you've blogged before about your boys' kitchen skills. You're raising them right, Deanna!

* TONYA * said...

What great ideas. I really should start the twins early.

Jay can cook eggs & toast, mow the lawn and do his banking stuff, but admittedly we only taught him these things over the past year.

Amydeanne said...

you know those skills are so important.. i think most parents forget them and than wonder why their children have a hard time making the right decisions.. i'm a very bad teacher these days, so i know my kids need to learn those things and think it's easier just to do them myself, yet i know they need to learn!
great post!

Miss Mud Puddle said...

There are adults who still can't do laundry. I hate it. But it gets done. And I do it right.

rtsponderings said...

When I was in college, there were two girls in the laundry room. One was showing the other how to do wash. Scary.

Crystal said...

You're such a good mom. I wanna be just like you when I grow up. But seriously, it's wonderful that you take the time to teach your boys so much. Their wives will thank you one day!

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

You are right these are skills we need to teach our children. Balancing a check book the most important, i can't tell you how my times I bounced mine, paying out fees that I couldn't afford to give... very hard life lessons

Deanna said...

Oh, I could tell you stories on all the mistakes I have made when I was first out on my own. I am sure my parents tried to teach me more than I was willing to learn. Like I have said before, I have to learn things the hard way, but I at least want to have some peace of mind that I have tried to teach them.

Jenn said...

That's great ! I think those are all good things . I have never pumped gas !

Style Expert said...

It is such a good thing to teach them those things. As a special education teacher, I was set on teaching my students how to fill out applications, add their wages, and things like that. I taught occupational diploma, so it was very important! You are doing such a great job!

Kelsey said...

Oh awesome idea!