But in a lot of other ways, kids today are growing up slower than ever – at least in North America. They aren’t finishing school until well into their twenties and when they finally do leave the nest, they often wind up coming back at least once. Marriage and babies don’t even enter the picture until their early thirties.
Sometimes we think, at eighteen, they should just know certain things and we forget that they need to be taught basic living skills in much the same way we had to teach them to blow their nose when they were toddlers.
Where am I going with this? Well . . .
My son and four of his buddies have decided to rent a house next year instead of staying in residence at university. The thing is that the lease for this house is for one year starting in May; they will be paying rent for the summer even though they won’t be attending school during that time.
So they have decided that, since they’re paying rent anyway, they are going to get jobs and live on their own starting in May.
Now, with all of the technology today, kids think they are so smart but they have yet to invent an “App” that teaches you how to live on your own.
They’ve all lived away from home for a year but they were in residence. Residence is sort of like living on your own but not really. It’s more like living on your own with “training wheels”. There is so much more to know than they realize and we have six weeks to impart all of our wisdom to our son.
Besides the obvious; how to set up a budget, how to do laundry, don’t forget the deodorant; there are so many little things that you may not realize need to be taught.
How to write a cheque: I already taught him “what” a cheque is when we ordered them but he has to know how to write one so he can pay his rent every month.
How to pay a bill: he is going to have to pay utilities
When to talk to a bank teller: I don’t think he’s done anything at the bank other than withdraw cash from the ATM. Having said that, I better make sure he knows how to deposit at the ATM.
What an NSF cheque is: better to teach him than have him find out the hard way
How to turn off the water to the toilet
How to use a plunger: he says he knows how but let’s make sure
How to unclog a drain
What bad chicken smells like: and bad milk and bad meat and “when in doubt, throw it out”
What mold looks like: all the different kinds of mold; fuzzy, black, cheese . . .
How to return a purchase: politely
How to flip a breaker switch: and what a breaker switch is and where the breakers are
How to take a taxi
Basic first aid
How to cook at least 3 simple nutritious meals: eggs, salad and grilled cheese will do; hoping one of the other guys has a larger repertoire
How to deal with a door-to-door solicitor: I’m sorry, I have something on the stove right now
How to deal with telephone marketers: I’m sorry mate but you’ve reached a construction site
What paperwork is important: what they need to keep and how to file it
If I’ve missed something, PLEASE let me know. I only have 6 weeks to get him ready!
Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net