My mother did not teach me how to cook as a teen. She and my Dad worked second shift and I went to school first shift and spent a lot of my weekends with friends/boyfriends. Dinner was left in the refrigerator to warm up. It was rough cooking as a newlywed. I went from home to college dorm to married never living in an apartment until I was married. I did learn to cook though. I cook every single day now. I learned through cook books, magazines, Google, Pinterest, and asking people how to make dishes that I liked when I happened to be at their house.
I would like for my kids to be more prepared. My older two can do make themselves a sandwich and make themselves a bowl of either oatmeal or cereal. As they get older I will teach them more. My youngest is the one who I am afraid will not learn as much because she is skilled at getting her older sisters to do things for her. I think it was that way with me. My parents taught my older sister a lot more than they ever taught me.
My mother, in addition to her depression was also OCD for cleaning. One of her problems is that she would literally clean all day and all night and never sleep. She would vacuum at 3AM if she felt the need (explain that one to a teacher - "sorry, I didn't do well on that test because I didn't get any sleep due to my mother vacuuming all night"). So my standards for cleaning are very high and I get depressed if the place isn't spotless.
I felt very prepared in all the household things, as well as car maintenance. But I had no idea how to budget or anything to do with money. Dh and I actual went to a financial counselor before we got married, best thing we have ever done.
My children have more chores then any children their age that I know. They start doing all their own laundry at 10 years old and they start cooking 1 meal a week starting at 11. I do this to teach them life skills but also because I think when they help keep the house clean they are more likely to appreciate what it takes to run a household. We also plan on having them pay all the bills for a 6 mth period when they are 16 or 17 so they know how much money it costs for a family to function.
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
I'm like some of the others. I didn't learn a lot about how to run a household at home but I figured it out. . .all part of the process. I did my own laundry at home anyway, but most things I just stumbled through. I never learned to cook, but I bake all the time, that's just a preference and as an adult, I always lived in cities where ordering in or picking up food was easy, and now my husband does the cooking.
I do think I'd have been served better by doing more tidying up/cleaning at home....just to make less of a big deal, more of the regular routine, like brushing your teeth. Just something you do.
I'm working on it with my kids but I also enjoy doing stuff for them, as they get older they'll be told to do more.
I also think part of the independence process is a period of irresponsibility where you learn just how bad things can get when you don't take care of the details. Lessons learned that way sometimes stick better. For me, I had to crash & burn a bit to learn how to make sure that never happens again.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 11 ) and Juliet ( 7 )
Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)
Above and beyond that we offer cash jobs. These are their opportunities to be entrepreneurs.
My Dad used to be incensed that schools didn't teach basic life skills like what was a stock vs a bond, how to balance a check book, or what a mortgage really was. He had a fantasy about teaching such a class when he retired. He taught me that stuff, for which I feel lucky. We are doing the same with our kids, even at their young ages. They love to cook and bake with me, even if its messy it is worth it, they are just growing up knowing that caring for oneself is a part of life ~ they help garden and then help cook that same food that they grow into dinner or lunch. I feel lucky to have parents who prepared me well to run a home and who prepared me well to budget/be financially responsible. I do think that it is important to do that for our kids.
I was a latch-kay kid from an astonishingly young age because my mom went back to school full-time after my parents divorced and she couldn't afford a sitter. And my dad had to pay barely any child support, either, and wouldn't pay a penny more than court-ordered. I had a lot of responsibility for a lot of things that I shouldn't have had. I've been very careful to not push too much responbility onto my kids, but I do expect them to do their chores. They don't do laundry because we don't have a washer or dryer, but they put it away, they help unload the dishwasher, they help cook when appropriate, they clean up their toys, they water plants, they feed pets. But I consider those things just being part of our family, not so much training for adulthood.
When I think of the lessons needed to live independently, I think more like living within one's means (and I don't mean by eating ramen the whole last week before payday), knowing what a balanced & nutritious diet looks like, reading a map and being able to navigate around town, drinking in moderation and only in a safe place with safe people, knowing when food has gone bad, knowing how to complain politely but effectively, knowing whether something is a good deal or not. Those are the life skills I want my kids to have. We've been in our home for over 11 years and my DH *still* can't give directions to anyone coming over a bridge, and he's gotten sick twice from eggs I told him he shouldn't eat. My SIL cut out meat but didn't replace it with anything good for her, and wondered why she got sick & felt like hell. My youngest sister still calls our mom or other sister for help because she doesn't know how to stick up for herself, like with Comcast charged her $300 for transferring her service to a new address or her insurance company refused to help repair her car that had been hit by someone else. I can't believe how many tourists in Golden Gate Park can't figure out which direction the map should be turned to figure out how to get where they want to be. Those things are the essential life skills IMHO.
Last edited by Spacers; 07-10-2013 at 05:12 PM.
The number of U.S. states in which a person can marry the person they love regardless of gender: 30 and counting!
My parents did teach me quite a few things (cooking, baking, cleaning, basic car care, etc) but I feel like I was less equipped than I would have liked to be in some areas. My parents never had any debt the entire time I was growing up, except for a mortgage. They never spent money they didn't have, and always drove used cars they bought with cash. Because of their lack of use of credit, I grew up knowing very little about how it worked...like for example, what is an acceptable interest rate and how quickly interest can stack up. Because of that, when I got to college and was offered a credit card by my bank, I was very irresponsible with spending money that I didn't have. I thought that I didn't need to worry about it because once I graduated I'd be making "the big bucks" (ha ha) and would have no problem paying it off. As I result, I left college with $18,000 in credit card debt ($5,000 of which I used to pay someone else's tuition, knowing they would likely never pay me back) and realized quite quickly how hard it would be to pay that off and how long it would take. The world is very different now and my parents use credit just like DH and I do....to get rewards or to use a company's money without paying interest (like taking 18 months to pay off our floors at no interest, even though we had the money to pay them up front....why not???).
The long story short is that I really want my kids to grow up to be financially saavy. To truly understand how money works, how credit works, how much you need to live, how to budget, etc. The other stuff talked about (cooking, cleaning, laundry, chores) will of course be a part of their growing up as well, but I guess I put special focus on the financial aspect because I feel like my parents always lived wisely financially (as DH and I do now) but never really taught me how to do the same, and I had to learn it the hard way.
CARRIE and DH 7/14/07