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5 Surprising Things Your Kids Don’t Know How to Do
And we thought our kids already knew it all! /insert eye roll here/
After working with teenagers for quite a few years in many different avenues (youth ministry, music lessons, volunteer work) AND working alongside college students, I have comprised a list of surprising things that your kids don’t know how to do! I consider these things surprising because we, as parents, assume our kids know these things or will learn them elsewhere. Also, I will admit, these skills might have been taught, but just not absorbed /we all know what I mean by that *le sigh*/.
Disclaimer: These are not blanket statements, but general observations.
No one really likes to clean. OK, I admit it. I LOVE to clean; I find it therapeutic. Not everyone is crazy like me, though. But it is important for kids to have a basic knowledge of cleaning. Being a youth pastor’s wife for seven years and being a camp counselor for seven plus years, I began to notice the non-existent lack of knowledge in these almost adults. For example, I had to teach a 15 year old how to clean a toilet. That may not seem incredibly severe, but she didn’t know what a toilet brush looked like. Really?! Also, as an assistant manager in retail, I had to explain how to mop a floor to a college girl. Need I say more?
If you feel like you may have dropped the ball on this and your kids still live at home, no worries! You can start now. Growing up, my mom would post lists in our cleaning cabinet that described how each room should be cleaned and with what cleaners. I needed the list the first few times, but after that, I knew it by heart. From there, I knew how to clean in whatever situation.
Manage their time
This one is a challenging concept. It’s hard to teach, because it’s hard to demonstrate. It’s an important skill to develop, though. I remember carrying a day planner around in 10th grade that contained the due dates for all of my assignments, special events and meetings. I can promise you that I never missed an assignment deadline or extra rehearsal. Now that I’m older, I realize that I was definitely in the minority when it came to staying that organized.
I really see the lack of time management in my music students. Usually about once a week, I show one of my students how to set reminders or alarms on their phones to remind them to practice. They always have their phone around, so if they have the discipline, this strategy really works.
Eek! Does this one get on your toes a little? It does mine! I struggle with saving money, but I have developed some skills to help me along the way. This is something I started a long time ago. I remember going to church camp as a middle school student, and on our way back, we stopped by the mall. I spent every last cent I had, and I was left with nothing to buy lunch. Adults and other students kept offering me money for food, but I refused to take anyone’s cash. /I guess I’ve been stubborn for quite some time!/
I remember that I never wanted to be in that situation again. Sometimes, lessons are best learned the hard way. Allowing our kids to go without, as a result of their own choices, can be some of the best lessons we teach.
Count back change
I will be the first, second, and every other voice claiming that I am not the best when it comes to numbers. With lots of practice, I learned to count back change. I don’t use this skill on a daily basis since I don’t work in retail anymore, but when I did, it was a lifesaver! Most all first jobs for the young ones are usually in some type of customer service or retail related field. Working as a cashier, I found that customers are more confident with their purchase when they know they are receiving correct change.
Starting this practice young with play money, or even real money, is a great way to prepare your children for a great financial future.
Kids are usually great with the getting part, but not always so wonderful with the giving concept. More and more young people are not being taught about giving to others and tithing. The Bible references giving so many times, it would be hard to list them all. One of my favorites is found in Proverbs 11:24-25.
Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (NLT)
With obedience comes blessing. Most every verse that references giving, also expresses the blessings that come with giving freely. Many parents give their children an allowance. This is a great opportunity to teach them about giving back to the church and those that are in need.