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Life skills everyone should have before leaving home... - Page 2

post #21 of 183
It occurs to me that even though I think budgeting is huge, I need to work on this with ds1. He gets an allowance, and knows he has to work within it for certain things. He also gets a clothing allowance in September (back-to-school money from my in-laws and from us). He may get a pack of socks or boxers from us, at some point in the year, but he's on his own for clothes, other than that (and gifts, of course - MIL usually gives him a pair of jeans at Christmas). But, I really haven't talked to him much about budgeting for food. He has come grocery shopping with me - probably hundreds of times, although not so much in the last 3-4 years - but I don't know how much he's picked up by osmosis. Maybe when we get back to meal planning (started doing it in earnest in January, and it fell apart again when we had dd2), I'll pull him in a little, to let him know how it works.
post #22 of 183
Ok so once again, not a mom but had awesome parents who taught me a bunch of skills that has made me successful since I moved out three years ago.

Money: paying bills, saving, investing (even if there isn't money to invest, learning how is important), budgeting, how to fill out basic tax forms, banking, check writing, checkbook balancing and even if you (general you) don't use credit cards it is really valuable to know how they work and how easy it is to get into a ton of debt using credit. General money management skills are so incredibly important, but so many of my peers are lacking these skills and I see fallout from this all the time.

Food: knowing how to cook at least basics, good nutrition (even if I don't always do the best at eating healthy I know how to and do a relatively good job), and grocery shopping (this goes under money too I suppose).

Organizational skills: scheduling, keeping a calendar, learning how to manage and prioritize time, keeping a filing cabinet (or box) for important documents and know what is important enough to keep.

Laundry (I don't think I really need to say more here)

cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, mopping floors, and how to clean a bathroom, (you wouldn't believe the number of people who have never ever cleaned a toilet and don't have a clue how)

basic repairs: how to spackle (spelling) the nail holes in your apartment walls is pretty important, how to use a drill, stop a toilet from running or unclog it, i'm sure there's more but these are just a few.

car maintenance is definitely a plus but at the very minimum it's really important to be able to jump-start a car, check tire pressure, and change a tire.

Basic legal rights are also important now I've never even been pulled over for speeding but since I know my rights and what I could be risking if something were to happen I feel like I'm better prepared to make good decisions about the situations I put myself in and the people I choose to hang around with.

When it comes to social skills everyone has said a lot of really important things, but for me the most important thing my parents taught me was communication skills and especially how to politely stand up for myself. This has been so important when dealing with everyone from roommates, friends, professors, and maintenance workers to dealing with the utility companies, landlords and people in administrative positions whether it's at school, or elsewhere.

Oh and one more thing, well maybe it's two, healthy coping skills for relieving stress and when that fails and I'm struggling to just ask for help.
post #23 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebunny View Post
I think budgeting is a big one. My parents started us off early by giving us an allowance and requiring that we put a certain percentage in a jar for "savings."

Also, I think learning how to grocery shop is another important thing to know. For instance, my mom would send us to the store with a list and coupons and certain amount of money. We had to learn what were good prices for certain items -- produce, for example. Learning how to follow a list and be mindful of prices has certainly helped me.
I think both of these are GREAT!

I was never taught budgeting. We were never given an allowance, and I never had a savings. I am terrible with budgeting and we suffer financially for it. (my DH claims to be able to budget but he doens't want to.. and he will just not pay bills or will pay the whole thing without making sure the money is there to cover 100% of it so I don't let him)

Grocery shopping.. my mom is a big one to walk down the isles and just pick up what she wanted. She never had menus or lists and every thing we ate came out of a box or can.

I also struggle with this.

I think my mother was raised in a world where my grandmother went in the yard and killed a chicken for dinner and they grew their own food. Enter the 70's where just about anything can be had at the store and she figured these skills would never be needed again. So she didn't use or pass them on.
post #24 of 183
Phone skills. How to make an appointment, order food, etc.

Plus everything mentioned.
post #25 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
I agree, being proficient with technology is evolving into a life skill. Thankfully, my computer was color coded (the cord with the green plug goes into the green hole of the same size)
I'm pretty good on the computer stuff. However, we have a DVD/VCR player, a DVD player (we use the other one for playing CDs and for VHS, but it doesn't work very well for DVDs), a Wii, a GameCube, an Atari simulator and...some other unit, all plugged into our TV. We have a switchbox, and we have to have the DVD/VCR and the TV set to certain settings for VHS, and different settings for DVD. I'm okay for a movie, but if dd1 wants to give the Wii a try (she occasionally boxes on it *sigh*), she has to wait for dh or ds1, because I have no idea how the consoles work.

I'm oddly weak on home repair. I learned lots of it when I was younger. (My ex and I painted my whole house when I was 18 - my parents were putting it up for rent, and we made some extra money by working cheap. I've rewired a plug at school. I can change lightbulbs and wield a screwdriver and hammer. I took "industrial education" - shop - in 8th grade, and have even laid out a circuit board, and done soldering. I've hammered in nails and helped rip up old carpets. I've unplugged toilets, and even taken apart the drain for my bathroom sink, in search of a tooth. I've done lots of this stuff.) However, as an adult, I've been renting for almost 20 years. Most of this is done by the landlords. DH is really good on it, and he moved out of his house much more recently than I did, so he has a tendency to just do it. I need to learn again. I hate feeling dependent, and we both prefer to do the little stuff ourselves.
post #26 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly1101 View Post
Social Skills. How to talk to and deal with people politely in day to day life. Man, I've known some who apparently never learned that. I'm not talking about being the most popular person in the world... I'm talking about having the courtesy to open doors for people, and not cuss out old ladies at 7-11.
Yeah to that. I've had so many nice people help me with small kindnesses when I've been out and about with both kids, and it's almost always someone over age 50 taking the time to open doors and such.
post #27 of 183
Basic health: good diet, exercise. How to deal with a cold, mild fever, bruises and cuts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lynsage View Post
How about driving? I know of a woman (an acquaintance of people I am close with) in her late 20s whose parents still drive her around. Now THAT is a person who has not been taught life skills. And before anyone asks, no, she is not disabled in any way.
How to get from home to where you need to go on a regular basis without a car. How to walk, how to take public transit, how to ride a bike and plan a route.
post #28 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by major_mama11 View Post
Yeah to that. I've had so many nice people help me with small kindnesses when I've been out and about with both kids, and it's almost always someone over age 50 taking the time to open doors and such.
I've always held doors, even in my teens. My ex and I used to get funny looks from people, because we'd be at the mall or something with our long hair, heavy make-up (errr...just me), denim vests (his with an Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast backpatch, and mine with a hand-drawn, horned, flaming skull), studded wristbands, etc., but we were holding doors for people with canes or pushing strollers or whatever. It seemed to cause a mental disconnect for a lot of people.
post #29 of 183
Oh and how insurance works (deductibles, what types there are, who needs what) and how to deal with issues relating to insurance. This has been especially important to know for health insurance, but also for car insurance, and renters insurance.

Basic first-aid skills (and dealing with illness) are pretty important too, even if it's just how to disinfect a cut, and decide when you really actually need to go to the hospital, or if rest and tea will fix everything.

How to fill out an application and present yourself for a job/school/anything else interview has been pretty useful too.

So many life skills to learn, I'm a little amazed writing out this list that I actually have most if not all of these skills, I'll have to thank my mom and dad.
post #30 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
How to get from home to where you need to go on a regular basis without a car. How to walk, how to take public transit, how to ride a bike and plan a route.
This. I had so many people who were stunned that I was a grown, married woman with a full-time job and a child, and I didn't drive. I was equally stunned at how many people couldn't seem to find their way around their own community without a car...and I'm not talking about the kind of area that's laid out to make it almost impossible to function without a car. Vancouver is generally very transit-friendly.
post #31 of 183
I keep thinking of stuff I forgot.

How to read a map was one of the things my mom really stressed was important to me. I guess she wanted me to be able to figure out where I was, where I was going, and how I was going to get there no matter where I ended up.
post #32 of 183
Thread Starter 
My dad filled out the paperwork for me to go to college...He stood over my shoulder while I did the application. HE filled out my student loan stuff. HE did most of it...and the next year (when they weren't speaking to me for various reasons) I had no idea how to reapply for anything. I was so embarrassed. DH was great, though. He walked with me to the student aid office and helped me get help. I vowed never to do that to my children.

DH is also the one that doesn't know how to use a plunger! I thought he was kidding when he told me that. I just tilted my head to the side and said, "It's not hard..." and he said whenever he tries he can't get it to suction right.
post #33 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post
DH is also the one that doesn't know how to use a plunger! I thought he was kidding when he told me that. I just tilted my head to the side and said, "It's not hard..." and he said whenever he tries he can't get it to suction right.
I have some sympathy with your dh. I've used one successfully on several occasions, but I've definitely had some times where it just doesn't seem to work right, and I can't fix it. Sooooo insanely frustrating!
post #34 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I've always held doors, even in my teens. My ex and I used to get funny looks from people, because we'd be at the mall or something with our long hair, heavy make-up (errr...just me), denim vests (his with an Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast backpatch, and mine with a hand-drawn, horned, flaming skull), studded wristbands, etc., but we were holding doors for people with canes or pushing strollers or whatever. It seemed to cause a mental disconnect for a lot of people.
Loving the mental image. Yeah, I can't tell you how many times I had a door shut in my face (even while pregnant or holding a baby) And how many of those time the teens LAUGHED about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by <3mymom View Post
Oh and how insurance works (deductibles, what types there are, who needs what) and how to deal with issues relating to insurance. This has been especially important to know for health insurance, but also for car insurance, and renters insurance.

Basic first-aid skills (and dealing with illness) are pretty important too, even if it's just how to disinfect a cut, and decide when you really actually need to go to the hospital, or if rest and tea will fix everything.

How to fill out an application and present yourself for a job/school/anything else interview has been pretty useful too.

So many life skills to learn, I'm a little amazed writing out this list that I actually have most if not all of these skills, I'll have to thank my mom and dad.
Yep yep yep. A BIG one on the job stuff. DH and I had to explain a lot of that to his brothers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by <3mymom View Post
I keep thinking of stuff I forgot.

How to read a map was one of the things my mom really stressed was important to me. I guess she wanted me to be able to figure out where I was, where I was going, and how I was going to get there no matter where I ended up.
YES! A MAP not a GPS!
post #35 of 183
Fillling out applications especially for financial stuff can be really tricky, especially the FAFSA..... oh man that one is near impossible. I've never actually had to do it for myself, but I've done it for 3 other people and it took a lot of time to figure out what information they actually wanted. Now I'm pretty darn good at it, but that had a bit of a learning curve.
post #36 of 183
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I have some sympathy with your dh. I've used one successfully on several occasions, but I've definitely had some times where it just doesn't seem to work right, and I can't fix it. Sooooo insanely frustrating!
My parents owned their on janitorial company while I was growing up...so the cleaning stuff was something I just DID as a kid. (Child labor laws be damned! )
post #37 of 183
What a fabulous thread When I started college and moved out of my parents place and into my first apartment, I had no idea what I was doing!!!

I didn't know how to cook, grocery shop, and had never cleaned a bathroom in my entire life... needless to say, I have come a LONG way! Thankfully, the budgeting thing came naturally. My sister and I were raised by my Dad, he is such an amazing person... but cooking, cleaning (beyond the basics) and doing hair are not his things!
post #38 of 183
I've worked as an administration clerk, an accounting clerk and an operations clerk. I'm very good at all of them. I still find many application forms really confusing. Ironically, it's because I'm detail oriented. I get too concerned about making sure I get it all right. DH does it on a wing and a prayer and never has a problem. Grrr...

I've got ds1 covered on maps. I make him navigate whenever he's in the passenger seat.
post #39 of 183
this has been a hot button issue with me ever since I had a friend move in with me (in her mid 20's) who:
*couldn't make anything more complicated than deluxe mac n cheese (the kind with the sauce packet- basically boiling water is the only "skill" here) or scrambled eggs.
*she didn't know how to do laundry. asked me to DO HER LAUNDRY! not show her how, do it.
*she didn't drive (she was caught going drunk to drivers ed at 15- which is another thread unto itself.. ) even though she was constantly asking-no, demanding- rides every where she had to go, which is fine if you live in a big urban place with great public transportation, which leads me to...
*she didn't know how to read a bus schedule or even take a bus by herself
couldn't return library books on time (taken out with my card- and then wouldn't pay the fines because it was my fault I didn't drive her to the library. grr)
*had never had a bank account (my elementary school helped us all open savings accounts in like 3rd grade- we had bank books and had to keep track of our own accounts, so no bank account really floored me)
*couldn't buy a dress for herself (she was supposed to be a bridesmaid in my wedding and when i told her what dress to buy- out of a catalouge- she said "ok, well let me know when you're going to buy it")

this whole situation was quite baffling, and i'm still not quite sure how it even came to be.
Her mom babied the heck out of her, but she hadn't lived with her mom since she was 14. her dad wasn't the coddling type, which only leaves her other friends or her older sister. I can't even fathom babying anyone like that, especially a friend, for over 10 years! she is a masterful manipulator, so maybe that had something to do with it.

My children will NOT be like that. They will learn to be productive and self sufficient as well as they can. My brother and I were doing our own laundry at 8 or 9, we were incharge of selecting a recipe, doing the shopping for the recipe (parents paid of course) prepping, and cooking 1 family dinner a week since we were young teens.

my pet peeve is moms who do everything for their kids thinking they are being "nice". you are not doing your kids any favors by still cutting up his meat or tying his shoes at 9 years old! (obviously, special needs is different!)

** that roommate situation ended badly and I wish it had never happened. She didn't grow up, by the way, just found a boyfriend who would continue babying her. sad for her.
post #40 of 183
You know another big one is a good work ethic. I'm not sure if that's necessarily a skill but I think my parents played a huge role in teaching me to have a good work ethic which has been super helpful in college for the school work or part-time jobs.

Oh and whoever has said sewing, that's definitely been a skill I've used probably once a week at least. I even got a part-time job in my first week of school because I was talking to the owner of a store who was worrying about a skirt that had been damaged, I offered to fix it and she hired me to do that and help around the store.
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