Life skills everyone should have before leaving home... - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 03:27 AM
 
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Wow, no wonder so many tele-receptionists are so bitter & ready to be rude. I have always heard the rumor that tele-help is bad news... but honestly IME, I have dealt with many many very friendly ones... they are just doing their job & want a peaceful day just like you do.

Try the experiment of giving what you get - really... next time you're waiting, anywhere, make the absolute best of it VS making the absolute worst of it... see internally & externally, check the differences.
umm...yeah. Did you read my post? I've tried that. I've tried dealing with some problems for weeks, even months, by making the absolute best of it. When I finally snapped from sheer frustration, the things they "couldn't" do for weeks or months were suddenly totally possible, and taken care of in minutes. It's not like I decide every time I have a problem to grab the phone and give some poor sucker making minimum wage a bad time. I've been on the receiving end of my fair share of rude people myself, and I know how much it sucks.

ETA: I just saw your edit, and I realize you weren't talking directly to me, but...yeah. I don't know if I'd blow my top these days, because I'm unlikely to be facing disconnection charges on my phone when I don't have the money to feed my kid, or harassing calls from the company who foolishly granted my ex a credit card (that I didn't know about), or any of that. I can pay the phone bill while disputing the charges these days, and that takes a lot of the stress off. I haven't had any serious issues for a long time.

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#122 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 03:41 AM
 
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Wow, no wonder so many tele-receptionists are so bitter & ready to be rude. I have always heard the rumor that tele-help is bad news... but honestly IME, I have dealt with many many very friendly ones... they are just doing their job & want a peaceful day just like you do.

Try the experiment of giving what you get - really... next time you're waiting, anywhere, make the absolute best of it VS making the absolute worst of it... see internally & externally, check the differences.

& Storm, I'm not pulling you out of the crowd, just that your post was the most all-encompassing one... so I went with it. just fyi.
Did you miss the part with both Storm and I said we have tried this? I tired to get an issue resolved with Sprint for more than SIX MONTHS. Everytime I would call in and they would tell me they fixed it and I would get my bill the next month and it hadn't been fixed. Then finally I was told they couldn't fix it because it had been too long. WTF I call you EVERY SINGLE MONTH.. but you know what.. there were no notes to that effect. For more than six months there were no notes? So I went off and the problem was fixed LIKE THAT. A problem that couldn't be fixed in over six months of being polite and patient with them.
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#123 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 03:47 AM
 
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umm...yeah. Did you read my post? I've tried that. I've tried dealing with some problems for weeks, even months, by making the absolute best of it. When I finally snapped from sheer frustration, the things they "couldn't" do for weeks or months were suddenly totally possible, and taken care of in minutes. It's not like I decide every time I have a problem to grab the phone and give some poor sucker making minimum wage a bad time. I've been on the receiving end of my fair share of rude people myself, and I know how much it sucks.

ETA: I just saw your edit, and I realize you weren't talking directly to me, but...yeah. I don't know if I'd blow my top these days, because I'm unlikely to be facing disconnection charges on my phone when I don't have the money to feed my kid, or harassing calls from the company who foolishly granted my ex a credit card (that I didn't know about), or any of that. I can pay the phone bill while disputing the charges these days, and that takes a lot of the stress off. I haven't had any serious issues for a long time.
Hm, yeah, not being able to feed kids (any) b'c some jerk needs a hug/payment/new deal, irritates me as well. I know thats not what you were saying, but, yeah. I hear you.

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#124 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 04:01 AM
 
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How to use a fire extinguisher!

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#125 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 04:18 AM
 
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Recognizing dangerous plants and insects/animals -- and what to do if you've been bitten/stung/etc.
DH grew up in the city, but we moved out to the suburbs and bought a house shortly after we were married. He is very clueless about some of these things.

DH was cleaning the crawlspace under our back porch. He came into the house after wards rubbing his arm.

DH "I think something bit me."
Me "What did it look like?"
DH "It was a big black spider"
Me joking "Sure, and it had a red hourglass shape on it belly"
Dh "Yeah, how did you know"
Me


Last summer, DH weed whacked through a patch of poison ivy.

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#126 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 04:19 AM
 
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How to use a fire extinguisher!
Good one. I think my family and I should go over this one!

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#127 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:23 AM
 
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I think a general ability to find needed information is very important. We can never teach our child everything they need to be a functioning adult, but we can make sure they know how to figure out this kind of stuff. So skills like reading instructions with products, how to do a good web or library search for the thing you need, asking questions from those who do know, etc.
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#128 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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Thought of one more...

HOW TO DRIVE IN THE SNOW

Seriously, here in the north east snow is a part of life. And yet, first fluyrry of the year and it's accidnet after accidnet after accident and people in SUVs or whatever else just flying around like it's summer then BAM they're spinning out and end up in a ditch.
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#129 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 07:34 PM
 
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How to use a fire extinguisher!
: I learned by reading the directions, crossing my fingers, and aiming the thing at the fire and squeezing. : Thank goodness it was a small fire, and thank goodness for really clear pictograms.

I find it interesting to see the differences in opinion on what is constituted by "basic life skills." Obviously geography has a huge influence. Some of what you list is something I consider learn-able when one moves out on ones own. Some I see as things that should and can be learned almost entirely by example. Some I see as basic life skills necessary to master before living on ones own. Clearly everyone draws those lines in different places.
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#130 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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I don't know anyone who can juggle and very few people who can skip stones. If you aren't around water much.. it's not a skill you are going to pick up.
I know lots of people who can skip stones. DH and DS have been practicing at local lakes and creeks, and you'd be surprised how many little boys come up and ask DH if he will teach them. It's a fun thing to do. I guess if you don't live near any water, you'd never have a reason to, but it can be a great way to pass the time and for little ones to learn coordination.


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I have to admit.. I am 38 and I have never had the occasion to eat lobster or other shell fish at a business function. I have never seen it served. DH took me to Red Lobster once and it was gross. He insists I need to try lobster somewhere "real" before deciding I don't like it.. but I am hesitant to fork out big bucks to try something I didn't like the last time I tried it.
Again, I think where you live would matter, but I completely agree with OOOF. I've seen people who didn't know how to use which utensils and so forth, and it is embarassing if they're ever in that situation. It's also embarassing if your family ate a pretty basic "American" diet and don't know what foods are on a menu. By the same token as your comment, I thought my BIL's gf was joking when she said she'd never had shrimp. When I realized she was serious, I couldn't help saying, "you're 23. How have you never had shrimp?" It's just a foreign concept to me that at 23, she had no idea how to peel a shrimp or even if she liked them.

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#131 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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That would be different, but it does sound well outside the norm in North America, at least. Even the most menial tasks here are paid by cheque. The only time I've ever seen anyone get paid cash is if they're working under the table.
I've lived in one community where it was standard not to have a checking account. People got paid with checks, but they just paid to cash them. Check-cashing places were the most common form of business there. Someone saw my checkbook once and assumed it meant I had tons of money because I had "enough to need a bank." Yeah, I was making $19K a year as a reporter. But, part of that in the community was socioeconomic, and part of it was a distrust of *all* forms of authority. That distrust was deeply ingrained in people, so they just didn't trust banks with their money. Still, though, I think it's pretty rare.

By the same token, I know quite a few people who don't really keep their checkbook balanced because they have a good cushion that they're safe knowing roughly what they have. That's not a strategy I would advocate, but it seems pretty common where I am now.

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#132 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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By the same token as your comment, I thought my BIL's gf was joking when she said she'd never had shrimp. When I realized she was serious, I couldn't help saying, "you're 23. How have you never had shrimp?" It's just a foreign concept to me that at 23, she had no idea how to peel a shrimp or even if she liked them.
There are many people who never eat shrimp or lobster. Vegetarian/vegans obviously, also Jews who keep kosher never eat any shell fish, etc. Any one raised in these cultures will never have had any shell fish to eat.

Though these days with quick shipping, it has become easier to get shell fish inland, in the past, shell fish were strictly something people only ate near the coast, since shell fish spoil rapidly and dramatically. Many people still view shell away from the coast with suspicion.

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#133 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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Again, I think where you live would matter, but I completely agree with OOOF. I've seen people who didn't know how to use which utensils and so forth, and it is embarassing if they're ever in that situation. It's also embarassing if your family ate a pretty basic "American" diet and don't know what foods are on a menu. By the same token as your comment, I thought my BIL's gf was joking when she said she'd never had shrimp. When I realized she was serious, I couldn't help saying, "you're 23. How have you never had shrimp?" It's just a foreign concept to me that at 23, she had no idea how to peel a shrimp or even if she liked them.
I guess one of the basics I would teach is to make someone in that situation feel comfortable. To be able to give them help without humiliating them and introduce them to something that seems normal to you. In fact, to make them feel welcome so they can enjoy themselves, the meal and the experience instead of being made to feel intimidated is pretty important to me.
I was lucky (who knew?? Actually these comments about seafood on this thread really make me think that)) that my parents exposed me to seafood and some fancy dining and events (such as plays/ballet/musical recitals) . I think it was something that was important to my dad that we even saved up for it, because it wasn't something we could easily do when I was little. But it has helped me feel comfortable when I have been in social situations with those that are many levels above me.
I guess a skill would be to be able to carry yourself in situations that you are not comfortable in or used to. To either watch and follow others lead or get a little help without coming across as helpless. To be able to be comfortable and relate (even if just a little) with the company you are keeping. That goes for both extremes... of being with people that are well above or well below your means.

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#134 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:40 PM
 
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I know lots of people who can skip stones. DH and DS have been practicing at local lakes and creeks, and you'd be surprised how many little boys come up and ask DH if he will teach them. It's a fun thing to do. I guess if you don't live near any water, you'd never have a reason to, but it can be a great way to pass the time and for little ones to learn coordination.




Again, I think where you live would matter, but I completely agree with OOOF. I've seen people who didn't know how to use which utensils and so forth, and it is embarassing if they're ever in that situation. It's also embarassing if your family ate a pretty basic "American" diet and don't know what foods are on a menu. By the same token as your comment, I thought my BIL's gf was joking when she said she'd never had shrimp. When I realized she was serious, I couldn't help saying, "you're 23. How have you never had shrimp?" It's just a foreign concept to me that at 23, she had no idea how to peel a shrimp or even if she liked them.
While skipping stones might be great fun.. it's not really a life skill one needs before leaving home. It's not going to ruin their life if they don't know how to do this.

As far as food on menus, knowing which utensil to use..ect..those are all things of privilege to me. I can't afford to eat anywhere that I wouldn't know what was on the menu.. nor a place that would have different utensils. I have been to places that had more than one fork.. but they were exactly the same.. so it's not like you are going to use the wrong one.

As for shrimp.. why would you peal it? It's sold at the stores ready to cook and not needing pealed. And I have only had fried prawns. My stepfather hated sea food so it was never served in our home and we were never taken out to eat anywhere except places like Lyons and that was on rare occasion.
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#135 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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I can think of a few basic things every adult should know... some are not really 'skills'

...to remember to replace the toilet paper if you use the roll up
...to know where the cleaning supplies are and how to use them
...to know how to change a baby's diaper and how to talk to a child for a little while
...to know how to check your oil, tire pressure, and fill up your gas tank (unless you are over the age of 70)
...to know how to greet people in a friendly way (whether handshake or other)


Oh, so many... just not the time for me to think of any more right now.

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#136 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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Most of what I'd say has been said already, but I'd add critical thinking skills to the list.

We have 2 sayings in our house -
1. Work before play.
2. Every problem has a solution. Your job is to find it.

The kids make fun of them (mostly the 4YO), but they repeat them. They will say "2 tasks done, 1 more before I can play." I really think that kind of work ethic is important (and honestly one I had to learn as an adult).

I also see people who can't think critically. I've seen it in students but also in people I encounter in my everyday life. It's something for which I have little patience, and I want my children to be able to think through problems and solve them (even if the answer is to find a professional trained to do it).

Charity is vital for a well-balanced life. I don't know that it's a "life skill" per se, but it's an important value we work to teach.

As for things that may be specific to our lives/desires for our children: computer skills are a must. I don't just mean word processing but using the internet well; conducting heavy research; evaluating sources; using image manipulation software, etc. DH is a programmer, and DS has been *begging* DH to teach him how, so I'm sure both DC will have a basic understanding of programming by the time they're adults.

I also think being well-read is a basic life skill. Yes, I know many people won't, but it's important in the education/work that DH and I both have to get literary references and subtle references to major scientific theories. I'd also add good writing skills.

You are responsible for your life. I mean that both in the sense that they're responsible for taking credit or blame for their choices but also that they're responsible for making the changes necessay to be happy/successful/fulfilled if they're not at the current time. My children are privileged, and I want them to know that, which is why it's all the more important for people given everything they have to make the most of it.

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#137 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:08 PM
 
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While skipping stones might be great fun.. it's not really a life skill one needs before leaving home. It's not going to ruin their life if they don't know how to do this.
No, it's not a basic life skill, but you both seemed bent on "I don't do it" versus "I do." I think the bigger skill to be taken from the things listed like skipping rocks and juggling is that all children need to be taught relaxation/coping skills whether that's juggling or meditation or tossing a baseball in the backyard. Coping skills are a really important skill to have to get through adult life.

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As far as food on menus, knowing which utensil to use..ect..those are all things of privilege to me. I can't afford to eat anywhere that I wouldn't know what was on the menu.. nor a place that would have different utensils. I have been to places that had more than one fork.. but they were exactly the same.. so it's not like you are going to use the wrong one.
Hmm...rather than privilege, it speaks to me of social climbing. DH grew up in an upper middle-class house. They had more than one fork at their house on some nights, and they certainly had been to restaurants of that caliber. I grew up working-class, but my mother taught me how to do things like fold linens and use various forks because she always anticipated I'd enter a social class where it was necessary.

As a student, I was taken by professors and speakers at events to really expensive restaurants. I remember one night being almost in tears (thankfully in the bathroom) because the menu had 4 entree choices, and I didn't know what any of them were. I was starving, and I was terrified either to ask or to order something I wouldn't like. I did once ask a professor I knew really well what something was because the menus were in Italian (and my literacy in Italian is pretty rough), and she said, "you can't read Italian!" Yes, cases like mine may be rare, but I know how much they made me feel unworthy of being at the place where I was *because* I didn't grow up with privilege. My children are privileged in many ways - well-educated parents, white, upper middle-class, stable nuclear family, private school & all the activities they want, and I think those food skills are required to function.


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As for shrimp.. why would you peal it? It's sold at the stores ready to cook and not needing pealed. And I have only had fried prawns. My stepfather hated sea food so it was never served in our home and we were never taken out to eat anywhere except places like Lyons and that was on rare occasion.
We never ate shrimp from a store - only fresh (though for the record she'd never had it that way either). That's what I prefer now, but I live in the midwest so usually have to make do with flash-frozen.

Maybe I just have a bias for seafood. I'd eat it everyday if I could. I just can't imagine my children growing up never eating a whole category of a popular food.

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#138 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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As far as food on menus, knowing which utensil to use..ect..those are all things of privilege to me. I can't afford to eat anywhere that I wouldn't know what was on the menu.. nor a place that would have different utensils. I have been to places that had more than one fork.. but they were exactly the same.. so it's not like you are going to use the wrong one.
So often, people view manners as following a strict set of rules, but those rules change from place to place and time to time. The ability to observe and adapt is more universally useful than memorizing forks.

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#139 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:22 PM
 
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It's not about "I didn't do it so it's not important." It's more about the fact that it is not skill that it would hurt them not to have.

It does sound like your family is very privileged so I guess it would make sence your children learn things that others consider only those of privilege need to know as a "necessity."

Where do you get shrimp if you don't get it at the store? Do you catch it yourself?
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#140 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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To add a few that haven't been mentioned (hopefully)

Time management!!!!

How to use initiative, to have initiative or at least imagination to try to solve a problem.

Critical thinking /curiosity.
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#141 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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Maybe I just have a bias for seafood. I'd eat it everyday if I could. I just can't imagine my children growing up never eating a whole category of a popular food.
My stepfather hated fish.. my mother never ever served it. (did I say that or did I delete it?) In any rate I have tried to teach myself to make fish. After years of trying it seems the only fish I make that my kids will eat is pan fried. Everything else.. just never turns out. We don't eat it all that often... the stuff I like is expensive. DD wants to try salmon but I don't like it. Dh thinks I should let her try it.. but I can't cook it either....Maybe some day we will find a restaurant that serves it. I mean.. we are in the PNW and the kids have been going to see salmon runs all fall!
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#142 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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It's not about "I didn't do it so it's not important." It's more about the fact that it is not skill that it would hurt them not to have.

It does sound like your family is very privileged so I guess it would make sence your children learn things that others consider only those of privilege need to know as a "necessity."

Where do you get shrimp if you don't get it at the store? Do you catch it yourself?
Yes, my family of choice is privileged, but my family of origin isn't. I know I have to be careful with my children because they will say things like "do you have sushi (or hummus or tons of other things)" to my FOO, and it can be awkward. Consequently when my son said my grandmother's fried chicken wasn't meat because he didn't recognize fried food, it was kind of a weird moment. Geez, I didn't even realize I had so many food issues!

On the coast where I grew up, you get seafood from fresh fish markets...or a guy selling it on the side of the road!

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#143 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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My stepfather hated fish.. my mother never ever served it. (did I say that or did I delete it?) In any rate I have tried to teach myself to make fish. After years of trying it seems the only fish I make that my kids will eat is pan fried. Everything else.. just never turns out. We don't eat it all that often... the stuff I like is expensive. DD wants to try salmon but I don't like it. Dh thinks I should let her try it.. but I can't cook it either....Maybe some day we will find a restaurant that serves it. I mean.. we are in the PNW and the kids have been going to see salmon runs all fall!
My husband's not a big salmon eater either. I usually marinate it in either fresh-squeezed lemon and garlic or (much easier) Italian dressing. It tasty less "fishy" that way to him, and he'll eat it. You can get it vacuum-packed in freezer sections. At our grocery store, it's $4.50 for 4 fillets. You could let her try that since you just have to defrost one. Then if she doesn't like it, you can easily give the rest to someone who does and only be out the $4.50.

Fish is very hard to cook. I actually prefer to cook shellfish to finfish because I have a hard time knowing if fish is done.

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#144 of 183 Old 12-05-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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I guess one of the basics I would teach is to make someone in that situation feel comfortable. ...
That goes for both extremes... of being with people that are well above or well below your means.
You make good points. My DH is really great at that. He's never flinched at anything my family's done despite how bizarre some of it seemed to him. When we opted to live in downtown Cincinnati, it amazed me how completely cool he was with everyone given how he grew up. I honestly don't know why. It's not something I think my ILs passed on, and it's not something I see in either of his sisters (his brothers seem to be much better about it, though). Someone actually said to me, once, "I have to give him crediting for being with you. It has to be an odd experience for him." Yes, our childhoods were *that* different.

I hope I'm teaching my children the same. I know I've talked about teaching them to be "functionally privileged," but I do want them to experience and know people from all strata of society (and to be courteous to everyone no matter how they appear).

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#145 of 183 Old 12-06-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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you can also soak fish in milk before cooking- that takes the fishiness out as well.
baking or broiling are easy ways to cook fish.

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#146 of 183 Old 12-06-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
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.
Yes to this!

I dislike driving, and people are often stunned that we take the bus. It is not very hard! It is also not very hard to find good walking paths in our city. I also know someone who is almost 20 years older than me and can't go out at night because her parents don't drive at night any more.

How about safe walking skills? Wearing reflective clothing and things like yaktrax. I walk as my commute, and when I drive I am constantly scared by people who dress in black and hop out into the road in front of cars.

Also, improvisational cooking. You don't need to cook with all of the ingredients in the recipe. It's ok to substitute/do without instead of running out to the store when you're out of an ingredient. It's ok to cook with what's in the fridge. Interesting meals are invented that way.

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#147 of 183 Old 12-06-2009, 12:27 AM
 
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has talking and being comfortable with a range of diferent age groups been mentioned?

I know lots of teenagers that cant carry on a conversation with an adult.. and adults who can't talk to little kids or teenagers.
I grew up being comortable making interesting conversation with adults and often found other kids my age sort of boring. that was not so cool back then, but it has been useful as an adult- job interviews, professors, etc.

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#148 of 183 Old 12-06-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
No, it's not a basic life skill, but you both seemed bent on "I don't do it" versus "I do."
I don't know if you meant me or not, but I'm not "bent" on "I don't do it". I simply can't conceive how any skill that a person can live 41 years, go to school, find employment, have four children and support her family (financially, emotionally, etc.) without ever learning can possibly be called "basic".

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go to school, I think the bigger skill to be taken from the things listed like skipping rocks and juggling is that all children need to be taught relaxation/coping skills whether that's juggling or meditation or tossing a baseball in the backyard. Coping skills are a really important skill to have to get through adult life.
Of course coping skills are important, but that's not where the poster who mentioned skipping rocks was coming from (according to her). And, in any case, tht means coping skills are important, not that juggling is "basic".

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Hmm...rather than privilege, it speaks to me of social climbing. DH grew up in an upper middle-class house. They had more than one fork at their house on some nights, and they certainly had been to restaurants of that caliber. I grew up working-class, but my mother taught me how to do things like fold linens and use various forks because she always anticipated I'd enter a social class where it was necessary.

As a student, I was taken by professors and speakers at events to really expensive restaurants. I remember one night being almost in tears (thankfully in the bathroom) because the menu had 4 entree choices, and I didn't know what any of them were. I was starving, and I was terrified either to ask or to order something I wouldn't like. I did once ask a professor I knew really well what something was because the menus were in Italian (and my literacy in Italian is pretty rough), and she said, "you can't read Italian!"
Umm...wow. I hope my kids have the basic social skills not to exclaim over
someone else not being able to speak a particular language. That's far more basic than knowing how to use various forks.

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Yes, cases like mine may be rare, but I know how much they made me feel unworthy of being at the place where I was *because* I didn't grow up with privilege.
The people who made you feel unworthy are the ones who are/were lacking very basic social skills, not you.

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Maybe I just have a bias for seafood. I'd eat it everyday if I could. I just can't imagine my children growing up never eating a whole category of a popular food.
I doubt if my sister's kids (other than the oldest, because he's eaten at my place quite a bit) have ever had any kind of fish or seafood. She can't stand the stuff, to the point that the smell of it cooking makes her feel ill. My kids have had crab, shrimp, clams, various fish, etc. - but they don't eat mushrooms, because dh and I both hate them. I will let my kids try them, but I don't become nauseated by the mere smell. I can understand why my sister doesn't offer seafood to her kids...

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#149 of 183 Old 12-06-2009, 07:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I don't know if you meant me or not, but I'm not "bent" on "I don't do it". I simply can't conceive how any skill that a person can live 41 years, go to school, find employment, have four children and support her family (financially, emotionally, etc.) without ever learning can possibly be called "basic".
I think a number of the things listed here aren't basic. I don't think reading a bus schedule is basic, for example. I've never, ever had a reason to even look at a bus schedule. While I'm confident I could and figure it out, it's not something that's relevant to my life at all - and not something I'd think is important to teach my children. And I don't think skipping stones is basic, though the original poster from that comment said she was being a bit tounge-in-cheek about it, too.


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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Umm...wow. I hope my kids have the basic social skills not to exclaim over
someone else not being able to speak a particular language. That's far more basic than knowing how to use various forks.
Sure, but many of the people I know do work with the assumption that *everyone* knows lots of things that aren't basic. I speak French, so by extension, why wouldn't I know other Romance languages? That was the general thinking there. Heh, I've since learned basic (vacation-worthy) speech & reading on many of the popular languages, though still working on some of them, so that I won't get caught in that type of situation again. Interestingly it's actually come in handy.

By great irony, my son has a beautiful knack for languages and knows many words in Spanish & Swahili, which he loves sharing with other people. He once identified a cat with the French "un gato" when he was about 18 MO just because he'd heard me say it a couple of times, which really floored a lot of the mamas we were with. It was fun just to shrug my shoulders and smile because it's not something we've ever actively taught him.

I know my experiences are weird, but in thinking about what I want to teach my children, I do, as all of us do, use my experiences to guide me. I once was telling someone a story about how my husband's friends are too cerebral for fun by saying "we once went out to a pub and argued about algorithms all night." The person I was telling said "what's an algorithm," and honestly I felt stupid (not exactly the right word, but it won't come to me) for telling the story without realizing that other people wouldn't understand it - much the way I feel when people tell me stories involving pop culture.
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
The people who made you feel unworthy are the ones who are/were lacking very basic social skills, not you.
Well, yeah, they are. The people in my field aren't known for their social skills, but I still need/want them as mentors. The bar to entry is based in large part on recommendations and connections with other people, and pretty much everyone in the field is that way.

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#150 of 183 Old 12-06-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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Where do you get shrimp if you don't get it at the store? Do you catch it yourself?
This part tickles me. I guess most people do get it at the store, and we do now, but I have lived in a coastal community where seafood was something sold at the docks or along the road -- or yes, it was caught by a friend/neighbor/yourself that morning. No one bought it in a grocery store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
Yes, my family of choice is privileged, but my family of origin isn't. I know I have to be careful with my children because they will say things like "do you have sushi (or hummus or tons of other things)" to my FOO, and it can be awkward. Consequently when my son said my grandmother's fried chicken wasn't meat because he didn't recognize fried food, it was kind of a weird moment. Geez, I didn't even realize I had so many food issues!

On the coast where I grew up, you get seafood from fresh fish markets...or a guy selling it on the side of the road!
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Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I hope I'm teaching my children the same. I know I've talked about teaching them to be "functionally privileged," but I do want them to experience and know people from all strata of society (and to be courteous to everyone no matter how they appear).
I also have this goal for my kids! I seek experiences for them that are more typical of both extremes of the social spectrum. I don't want "class" -- which I abhor the idea of anyway -- to ever limit their options in life.

DH amazes me in how he can talk with anyone. He has set trailers for people without indoor plumbing, but also has had university presidents and key political figures on speed dial.

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