Words on Wednesday

Wednesday (3)

In this day and age, there are so many pressures on kids to obtain good grades, get into college and university, find a career and make so many life choices but one thing that kids leaving education seem to be lacking in life skills.

Life skills are things like learning to pay bills, money management, how to cook for themselves, shop on a budget, mend clothing, carry out simple repair jobs, car maintenance, iron, use a washing machine, DIY, even things like time management.  These skills are becoming less and less learned and more and more likely to be outsourced to other people to undertake for them.

I was one of the oldest when I was in uni and I watched the students who were younger than me (by around 15 years) struggle to cope with day to day life, from managing money, shopping on a budget to managing time when it came to juggling uni work, part-time jobs and a social life.

It was sad to see in a way.  But is the education system to blame or is it the other adults in those kids lives that should be more hands-on in teaching these skills?  I think it should be the responsibility of both parties.  Parents are under a lot of financial strain and many need to work and may be too tired when they come home to teach these skills so the education system should have a part to play in teaching basics.

I used to have home economics in school (I believe it is now called food technology…) where I was taught how to make pizza, fruit salad and some sort of rice salad but we were never taught how to cost out these meals per portion or how to create a full meal to feed a family, it has taken me a lot of time and effort to get to where I am now.  I was lucky though that my Grandma and Mum would spend time with us kids in the kitchen teaching us how to make lasagne, pasta sauces, roast dinner, and so many other meals.  Other kids are not so lucky.

When I was growing up, my brother and I always had chores to do around the house, from dusting and hoovering to washing up, laundry, making the beds and all sorts of other jobs so we learned a lot that way.  We also helped my Dad when things needed fixing and gained loads of knowledge that way too.

I hope that something changes for the kids of tomorrow as I think that they are being put into a vulnerable position by not having a skill set that includes a certain amount of life skills.

What do you think about the skills that kids today have?  Would they benefit from some kind of life skills classes?  What do you think they should learn?  I’d love to hear about your thoughts in the comments.

22 thoughts on “Words on Wednesday

  1. I think most of the life skills are down to the parents to teach, the schools can only teach so much, its unlikely to happen but if you have a child from a family of millionaires and then a child from a family living on the breadline and everything in between, budgets are going to vary wildly, parents have the chance to say, well we have £30 for this weeks shop, what should be buy or, lets buy the whole of tescos cause we can.

    1. Yeah, it’s a hard one isn’t it? Plus people with more money may have more time to teach their kids whereas others may not because of having multiple jobs. I think if I was a teacher I’d teach life skills… xxx

      1. Yeah! That’s the sort of thing I mean! Like the parents should have some responsibility but the school could teach things too in normal lessons so at least the kids will leave with a little knowledge! Xxx

  2. I think it’s good for schools to teach some life skills, but in the end it really comes down to the parents. I don’t think it has to be that hard or time-consuming, either. I learned a lot by osmosis seeing how my parents did things and having them explain what they were doing as they were doing it.

  3. I think parents want their children to have every opportunity succeed in life and school so they try to make life easy for them. But in doing that, they hate babying them in a way, not forcing them to be independent. When I was in high school, I had classes and a job. And if I quit one job my dad was all up in my business about having another one. I’m glad he was like that – back then not so much. My brother never had the same pressures and when he went off to university it showed. While I stayed at home for university, I still kept a job and decent grades. And I paid for my own things. It definitely prepared me for working hard in life.

    Like I still don’t know how to balance a cheque book like I’m sure my parents do but I know how to manage my money. I pay my taxes by myself and on time (early if I’m being honest lol).

    But parents today want their children to focus on school and learning for the future and getting into high demand jobs of the future. So there’s no after school jobs or anything like that. It’s lovely they give their children everything and I’m sure my parents would have loved to do that too, but I’m grateful they didn’t. And I definitely won’t be giving everything to my kids if I ever have any.

    1. My dad got me my first job interview and I secured the job and it was brilliant! It was so nice to be able to earn (and spend) my own money on what I wanted!

      I totally agree that the demands for high paying jobs need to be met through study and good grades but it makes things harder for the kids to be able to learn the necessary life skills that they need to.

      Little confession – I have no idea how to clean an oven…. 🙈

      1. I wish I learned how to manage money better when I was younger. Like as a teenager I didn’t save anything! And now I have almost no savings at all. Its always a struggle for me to put away and save but with this new job hopefully I can be better.

        And omg we have self cleaning ovens here lol just lock the door to the oven and it goes up to like 600° and burns everything away 😂😂

      2. I need a self cleaning oven! My one is ancient, and second hand! Bought it last year when I moved in!

        I have no savings either, it frustrates me when I hear people advising to save at least a minimum of 3 months wages incase anything happens, my wage isn’t bad but there is no way I could stretch to saving anything as my bills, rent, tax and food eat up most of my wages… xxx

      3. YES exactly! Right now, I haven’t been very careful with my money. Like it was my first month with my new salary and it came really early on so I felt secure in my account. Thankfully it comes like 3 days before I pay all my bills so I just move some to an account for rent and then pay all my bills and I’m good. But in October I really need to be careful and focused and really see what I am spending. I’d love to start chipping down some bills.

      4. haha me too! I only have a few direct withdrawls though, I like the peace of mind that I have to physically open my app and pay them and then I’m checking on my account balance and knowing that I paid my bills lol Auto-pay makes me nervous, what if I have to move money around to pay it, what if there isn’t enough in my account when it has to be paid? lol so many worries

      5. Totally! Most of my bills are paid automatically tho, and I’ve been lucky to be able to set them for the days after pay day! There are a couple that I have to remember to pay manually which wouldn’t let me set my own date to pay xxx

  4. I definitely believe that kids should have home economics in school…I wrote a blog about that awhile ago. But regardless, parents MUST teach their kids life skills. There’s no excuse not to, it’s part of being a parent. There’s nothing easy about the job of a parent, and it is a job, but it’s a parental responsibility to make sure kids understand this. And get good grades and all the other things. My daughter just went off to college and I’m going to talk about her adjustment period at some point in the next few weeks.

    1. Indeed! I think all parents should teach things like that to their kids!

      I’m glad you will be talking to your daughter about the college adjustment period! I found that so hard! Xxx

  5. I’ve been saying for years that high schools should teach a basic “adulting” class. I mean, I started doing my own laundry when I was a freshman in high school, but I know that’s definitely not the norm. I know how to cook and clean and basically take care of myself… but I’m pushing 40 and I’ve learned all these things over time. But I sure would have liked to have had some kind of “How to maintain a budget” course before I left for college. It sure would have helped to have a lesson or two on “How to use credit responsibly.” Maybe I wouldn’t have been in the debt I was in coming out of college. Maybe I wouldn’t be in the debt I am now… No… student loans are impossible.

    1. I agree with the credit thing! I never really understood all the interests and percentages thing, and I too got into debt which was scary! And there should be lessons on how to repair things too! Even simple things like repairing a phone screen yourself can save money (and it’s pretty easy to do, I’ve fixed several screens now!). All kids should have a certain level of skill and knowledge in the life skills department! Xxx

  6. When I was in high school, we had cooking/sewing in HomeEc. I remember making cinnamon rolls and sewing a dress and a patchwork pillow. When I took Single Living as an elective; we learned about food prices and the best stores to shop for value. I would love to see children today be taught more about nutrition, budgeting, credit card debt and scams, checking and savings accounts and even relationship skills. Obviously, the education system and parents need to work together to produce a well rounded future generation.

    1. Yes! I only ever had a few textile lessons where we learned to sew but they were brilliant! I think that there should be a certain standard of knowledge that kids get taught regarding life skills, even if it is just the basics! Xxx

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