An interesting thing happened the other day when I asked my younger son to turn off the oven. He asked me which one that was. He gets mad when I bring it up, he says he was 95% sure which it was, he just thought he’d ask. The fact that he had to ask as a teenager which one was the oven, brought home an important issue to me. My child’s life skills. It became quickly apparent that he had no idea how to take care of himself. The question became in the event that I was unable to do something for him, was he able to cae for himself?
So today we had our first lesson, if you don’t want to count the pointing out of the oven. I had gone on line and read through the A&P circular and wrote up a list of items that we were going to purchase. I then had him come with me and hold the list. I made him keep track of what we had bought and what we still needed. I also showed him coupons that I had clipped. During our foray into grocery buying we had to go to the deli counter. I had him get the number and order the food when it was our turn. Everyone was very supportive in the store and you can’t imagine the smiles and nods of approval that I got from all the grandparents who were shopping, especially the grandfathers. My next adventure with him is to teach him to use the stove. He is rather annoyed at me about all the life skills coaching and promptly told me that if he wants to cook he’ll look up on the internet for how to do just that. Knowing him of course, that is exactly what he will do. I bet he even doesn’t burn the house down.(Which was something I had done as a 15 year old when I tried to make falafel in my mother’s kitchen. Mom got a new kitchen out of that one and I learned you can’t put out an oil fire with water.) Next time we go food shopping though I will have him help me with the circular and the list. A little at a time, so he doesn’t get overwhelmed.
Life skills and my older son is more of an adventure. I felt it was about time for him to learn to do laundry. After all if he was living away at school he would have to clean his clothes. He wouldn’t necessarily have to cook, which is on his schedule to learn, but he would have to wear clean underwear eventually. The genesis of his learning though has more to do with his new found capitalist heart. He likes making money and after we pay him to help in the yard there is nothing here for him to get paid for except laundry. He now does the towels, and even the clothes. I taught him to seperate the colors and whites. He even folds everything such as it is. I ususally have to refold, but I don’t tell him that. Actually that is how I get him to do thing in the house. He now dusts as well. This of course is in addition to the chores he doesn’t get paid for like cleaning the toilets and vaccuuming (see earlier post about lieing). R,ight now he wants to learn to mop, something I agreed to pay him for. I told him to vaccuum first. He’s non to pleased with me about that since he’s not getting paid. Heavens I hope I haven’t created another Gordon Grekko.
By the way anyone feeling bad that their teenagers lack certain life skills should take heart. I related the oven story to my mother and she said that my father doesn’t know which is the oven either or how to use the washing machine. She’s going to give him some lifeskills lessons and teach him how to take care of himself too. He’s 75 years old. I guess its never too late to learn.