Have you taught your kids everything?
Did you teach them how to survive without you?
Growing up in the housing projects in New Rochelle, NY, we learned life skills early. Everything from spending money and counting change. Shopping at the corner store when our parents gave us just enough money to buy milk, bread and cigarettes then told us that we could keep the change.
We learned how to count in our heads and by using our fingers. We had to know how much change to get back because we used those remaining funds to buy as many pieces of penny candy that would fill a small brown bag which we carried home with pride.
We learned how to cook on the stove and in the oven, there was no Crock Pot, microwave or even a toaster. Burnt food and burned hands were a sign that we could really “burn in the kitchen” – you would scrape that burnt toast then cover it with butter and jelly – don’t even think about throwing it in the trash or giving it to the birds.
Dishes were washed by hand, using soap made with harsh chemicals and steel wool pads sprinkled with Comet – not that fancy, hand protecting Dishwashing Liquid and soap-filled Brillo Pads of today.
Ironed our clothes for the week, which by the way, I still do, but we used Argo Starch mixed with water to get those sharp creases and sometimes snacked on those white chalky pieces – why – I don’t know – just because.
Sewed and repaired our own clothes using a needle and thread, bought Peace Sign and Smiley Face patches from “Head Shops” to sew onto our jeans just to be cool!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we should want to go back to those days, but there are some common sense things that we should be teaching our kids that we learned back in the day. After all Alexa doesn’t know everything, trust me, I have tried asking her a lot of questions which she can’t answer yet.
Remember when getting the latest attachment for a tool from Sears was a big deal? Now it’s downloading the latest App from a Smartphone.
Do your kids know where the fuse box is…do they even know what a fuse is…I know it’s no longer a fuse box, it’s the electrical panel, but do they know how to check to see if a circuit has been tripped?
Can they change a tire or will they need to call AAA, even if the car is parked in their own driveway – yes, my son did that!
How about unclogging a toilet…using a plunger to remove the waste or how to turn off the water valve when the mess spills over?
Can they parallel park …. Use a hammer or wrench…. Know what “lefty loosy and righty tighty” means?
How to check food and beverages for spoilage and expiration dates…do they know how to use the sniff test or will they just taste it and get sick instead?
There are a million other things that we can teach our kids to help them survive without social media. Please leave a few of your own lost survival skills that you think we need to teach them.