Family Bonding & Life Skills

paintingAs a mom to four grown children, I found that there were a few tasks—important tasks– I neglected to teach them before sending them into the cold cruel world. Why is that, you ask?

Moms and dads are busy. It’s often easier and faster for parents to do a task ourselves than taking the time to teach our children. So for some real family bonding time, grab your kiddo and show them how to do all those little tasks that are required in the adult world.

Warning: Princes and princesses can skip this blog. These following tasks can be handled by one of your minions.

Useful everyday skills pre-adults should learn:

  • Cook something. Pasta, scrambled eggs, steak, their favorite meal, something! Fast food is expensive and most young adults struggle financially. My oldest three can cook almost anything, the youngest never learned.
  • Bake a cake. Either from box or scratch. One of my fondest mommy moments was when my daughter made me a birthday cake.
  • Clear a jammed or stuck garbage disposal. ( Goes with learning to cook ). One twist of that wee L-shaped doodad ( allen wrench) solves the problem.
  • Understand basic cooking terminology. Sear, caramelize, reduce, baste, marinate, saute, simmer, mince, knead, etc. Oh, can someone puleeze teach my hubby?
  • Wash clothes and remove basic stains ( like grease, grass, blood, or red wine). My children have been doing their own laundry since middle school. A real sanity saver. Of course, don’t forget to add the Full Load rule. “No, you cannot wash one pair of jeans unless you’re paying the water bill.”
  • Iron a shirt—spray starch optional.
  • Sew on a button.
  • Hem pants/skirt. Granted, some fabrics or styles require an expert but knowing the basics is a money-saving skill.
  • Write a thank you and condolence letter.
  • Locate the shut off valves both inside and outside the house. Knowing about the valve on the wall at the bottom of the toilet might help future overflow problems.
  • Replace the toilet flange and other parts. When the kids’ toilet broke, I bought a basic toilet repair kit, tossed it to my 16-yr old and said, “fix it.” An hour later, he had replaced all the tank’s insides and strode around the house saying, “I. Am. Plumber!”
  • Change the heating and air conditioning filter.
  • Pump gas, replace windshield wiper fluid /wiper blades, check tire pressure/oil.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Grow/plant something. Herbs, vegetables,flowers—no, not marijuana.
  • Prune a bush and tree.
  • Paint a room and all that goes with it. Brushes, rollers, taping, paint types, and clean-up.
  • Patch a wall. Because everyone like to get their renter’s deposit back!
  • Change a fuse.
  • Reset the circuit breaker.
  • Make an appointment on the phone.
  • Tip. Smart phones make it easy to calculate.
  • Assemble something—because ‘some assembly required’ demands patience and practice. Second son never had to assemble anything until 1st son moved out. After purchasing 2 pieces of ‘some assembly required’ furniture, I left the boxes with 2nd son and walked away. If you can read, you can follow directions, right? A few trips to the garage for tools and a “What if I have leftover parts?” question later, I had a bookcase and an end table. ( Yes, they are still standing.)
  • Clean an oven, sink, toilet.
  • Polish shoes. Two words: Job interview
  • Start/build a fire in the fireplace or fire pit.

I’m sure I left out a few tasks, so feel free to comment so I can include them!

Related Posts: Mom Musings & Hubby Funnies

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