Raising a handful of children – my two daughters and three sons – has taught me many different things. I learned many things I never imagined I would, but I also thought many things I would never have to confront either.
When my oldest son was heading off to college, I fretted for the first time. I realized my very first kid was heading off to college, into the real world now. I couldn’t help but wonder if I had prepared him. Did I forget to tell him something or teach him how to do stuff?
Clearly, I felt my son wasn’t ready, but I just wasn’t ready to let him go. I was scared of all the things he might not know after leaving home.
With college just around the corner, you might be saying goodbye to your first kids as they head off to college in a couple of months. Maybe you have already sent off your first one and are considering what other things you can teach your younger kids before it is their turn to go to college. Whatever it may be there are always some great teachable moments we can share with our kids.
Here are some of the things your kids should know about cooking.
- Using a microwave to cook different kinds of foods, such as defrosting meat.
- Knowing how to meal plan and shop for a healthy diet.
- Being able to read nutrition labels and know if the foods are healthy to eat or not.
- Being able to prepare serve, and store food.
- Know when to toss spoilage food out.
- Cooking a well-balanced meal.
- Knowing how to use basic kitchen tools and equipment.
Learning how to manage and budget money.
- Learning to make a weekly or monthly budget and how to stick with it.
- Knowing how to use an ATM.
- Opening, using, and balancing a checking account.
- Knowing how to apply for a credit card and using it responsibly.
- Knowing how to save up and buy an item they want to purchase.
- Setting aside money to donate to charities or other causes.
- Knowing how to keep track of important papers.
Doing the laundry, along with some other tips to handle their own clothing.
- Mending a seam.
- Sewing a button on.
- Ironing their clothing.
- Folding and putting away their laundry.
- Knowing how to read clothing labels, including what the symbols mean and how to follow them.
- Washing clothing and knowing how to treat stains.
- Knowing how to wash and dry items by hand.
- Packing a suitcase.
Living on their own or with others requires some knowledge with how to care for their living area.
- Being able to find a circuit breaker and how to use it.
- Knowing where to find and use water and furnace shutoffs.
- Using a fire extinguisher.
- Knowing how to perform basic first aid.
- Fixing a running toilet.
- How to use household appliances, such as loading a dishwasher the right way.
Automobile skills your kid should know how to handle.
- Pumping gas.
- Checking oil fluid levels and add if needed.
- Checking washer fluid and add more if needed.
- Knowing when to get a routine maintenance check.
- Jump starting a car.
- Changing a flat tire.
- Adding air to tires.
- Providing the necessary documents when stopped by the police.
Other things you can teach your kids.
- How to dress for an interview.
- The importance of exercise.
- Never forget to say thank you.
- Always telling the truth – being trustworthy is a valuable trait.
- It’s okay to fail, getting back up and trying again is important.
- How to manage their time wisely.
- Surround themselves with others that push and challenge them in a positive way.
- Always being kind to others.
- Remembering to have fun.
- There are a support system and people who love them. They are never alone, especially when going through a difficult situation.
- Look people in the eye when having a conversation.
- Offering their seat to anyone older.
- Putting their cellphones away during meals, especially when eating with others. Don’t answer the phone unless it is an emergency.
- Putting your napkin on your lap.
Don’t forget to talk about some serious things.
- Taking your friends car keys away instead of them driving if they are intoxicated.
- Never put anything on the internet they wouldn’t want to discuss with a potential employer, first date, or their parents.
- Profanity doesn’t make you always look cool.
- It’s okay if you outgrow your dreams. Sometimes what you dreamt of doing might change as you grow.
- Knowing who your friends are and aren’t.
There are a lot of things you can teach your kids. This is only a good start, so think of your own things you’d want to teach your kids!