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Words on Wednesday

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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.

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