By Melanie Lewis
If my kids are an example of the ability to perform basic life skills, they would perish without parents. Resourceful “Box Car Children” they are not. Recently I heard a news story on NPR about college age kids taking “adulting” classes. Classes about common things; changing a tire, balancing a checkbook, making hardboiled eggs amongst other sundry mundane tasks. Seems ridiculous, but at 11 and 13 it’s time for my kids to get cracking.
While going through a stack of papers I ran across this list in the ” Homesteader” magazine of Age-appropriate chores: Ok so we start adulting classes because training is involved even at the 6-8 year level. Help with yard work when your neighbor asks for extra hands working in their yard. Raking correctly and finding a way of picking up debris required a level of instruction proven by constant repetition. Aliens landed in my yard shown in the crop circle created from kids’ mowing! But I didn’t run right out to fix or say bad job.
Many other moms I asked felt as though they were always having to redo the tasks; load dishwasher, sort clothes, sweep floors, etc. because they weren’t performed up to scratch. But from the book, “The Gift of Failure”, by Jessica Lahey, kids will learn from the missteps like dishes coming out gritty or clothes turning pink in doing the job. Anybody learning knows that there will be bumps along the way.