Helicopter parents, stop hovering and come in for a landing. You’re not doing your children any good.
After a bit of anecdotal research, a local community service group is organizing Basic Life Skills seminars for youngsters this summer. Parents who do everything for their children forget that they’ve never taught the kids how to do things for themselves.
A smart and accomplished 17-year-old neighbor did not know how to use a can opener. An otherwise bright 15-year-old nephew tried to microwave a plate of spaghetti, with a fork in it. A female Uni student singed her eyebrows off, when a baked potato exploded in her face. She thought that the fork holes that her mother put in them were just for decoration.
One young lad used the dining room table as a makeshift bench, to cut a piece of wood, forgetting that, in cutting the board, he would also cut off a giant slice of the table. His sister once called her dad to ask how she would know when water on the stove was boiling. He hung up on her.
Courses will include
How To Iron Clothes. Turns out that there’s more than one way to mess this up. One college lad tried ironing his shirt while he was wearing it. Another used the new couch as an impromptu ironing board, and melted the foam in two of the cushions.
How to set a table properly: Also, how to wash dishes by hand, and load and unload the dishwasher – and what soap to use. One woman says that a couple of college interns at her work have poured dishwashing detergent into the dishwasher. “Bubble for miles!”
How to use a paper map: One woman was driving her son across town to a soccer meet, when both their cell phones died. They dug a street map out of the glove compartment and, with a little help from her, managed to get where they were going.
How to order food (like pizza) using a landline phone: This will ensure that they know how to use the land line, how to politely order something over the phone, and how to interact with a delivery person, and calculate a tip.
How to mow the lawn: Also how to identify/pull weeds, and plant/water flowers.
How to do the Heimlich on yourself: There is nothing scarier than choking while you’re alone.
How to cut up common fruits and veggies: And how to do it without requiring medical attention. This course goes over basic knife skills – also, how to wash fruit and vegetables properly.
How to shop for groceries: How to compare prices, the value of store brands, how to choose fresh produce, how to interact politely with a cashier, and how to bag the groceries without crushing the bread. One woman waits in her car, and sends the kids in with money, and a list.
How to write – and mail – a thank-you note: What to write beyond, “Thank you for the ______.” How to address the envelope properly, write the return address, stamp it and mail it. One office manager says she has college-aged interns who don’t know where to put the stamp.
How to do laundry: What to wash in hot or cold, where to put the detergent, the magic of drying things slightly, then hanging them up (no ironing), how to fold clothes for a trip. A young woman who moved to Arizona to attend University, was so befuddled by laundry, that she shipped it home – to Minnesota – by train.
If you haven’t taught your kids these things, and many others,
How to turn off water to an overflowing toilet
How to plunge said toilet
How to turn off water to an entire house
How to make a few simple meals
How to relax when you can’t sleep
How to be a good guest
How to politely address adults
How to recognise the smell of propane and natural gas, and what to do when you smell it
How to show good etiquette
How to resolve a dispute
How to make an important decision
it’s time that you started. I’ll be here when you get back.