By the time my children turn 10, I am hoping they can be closer to being fully independent (but somehow dependent on me for stuff like cash. I don’t want to imagine crazy outrageous things. the times are evil). By then, I might need them to join a boarding school or they’ll be closer to being admitted to one of the best government schools in the country (fingers crossed). I need to be sure they can take care of themselves. Part of the big idea we have as parents for taking our children to good schools is helping our children learn the basics they need for responsible adulthood. However if I can take small steps, I believe together with other parents we can manage to have them turn out OK. Here is my list of a few ideas.
Basic household tasks
I want my children to learn basic household tasks. These include laundry, preparing tea and light meals, making the bed, mopping floors, doing utensils, basic gardening among others.
Keeping my children safe is a huge priority. I want them to learn about road safety, safety around strangers and online safety in these digital times. I also want them to learn first aid skills, who to call in case of an emergency or if they need help.
Proper Hygiene and Self grooming
My 10 year olds should understand good hygiene and how to take care of their body as well as hair. They should want to shower daily, have a hand washing routine regardless of whether they’re being supervised, have good toilet manners, know how to clean their underwear and love to wear clean, ironed clothes. I’ll also appreciate if my sons could keep the hair clean and shaven with tucked in shirts… Oh yes, that would be a nice way of gentleman practice.
Budgeting and Saving
I’d want them to know about purchasing items and budgeting. I will want them to exercise their choices at picking out items, researching the cost and saving up for it. That will save me the hassle of me saving up to buy them things when they can develop the discipline to. I want them to learn delayed gratification , the value of money and the rewards of hard work way into their adulthood.
I want my children to be able to solve problems on their own. My mother always had an answer each time we couldn’t think through stuff. She always used to ask, ‘So what would you do?’ I want to practice, like deliberately not to always provide the answers just to see how they handle issues. I came to learn this wisdom of how to provoke problem solving skills through these questions:
- If you got lost what should you do?
- What if you forget your lunch at home, what happens?
- In case of a fire, how will you react?
- What if you see another child in trouble, what will you do?
I’m slowly learning that it’s about creating scenarios that allow them to have enough confidence to solve problems on their own.
The value of hard work
This value must be handed down to my next generation. i want them to value working with their hands and to appreciate getting their hands dirty. I also want them to develop good study and reading habits that will make them appreciate knowledge.In as much as they’ll follow their passions in life, I don’t want it to be devoid of schooling or higher learning.
Proper manners and speech
By 10, I’d like them to treat people respectfully, learn how to approach adults, shake hands for greetings, have some phone etiquette and say thank you when offered a service or given something. In this day and age of SMSing, i want them to exercise proper speech when speaking to people or when writing. I mean this would be gr8. RIGHT?
It will be nice if they have a habit of eating healthy and loving exercise and sports. I also want them to know how to listen to their bodies so they can tell when they are unwell. i want them to know how to pray and read their Bible as part of their routine. I want them to make worship and church a habit that’s not an option and learn how to be confident ministers in the sanctuary. One last one, have a healthy sleep routine that supports the mind.
Caring for others
Believe you me, kids learn a lot when given responsibility to care for something or a person or a pet. So yeah, i don’t know which of these I will commit to providing. I’ve tried plants before but all the leaves got plucked. So…
I want them to develop some out door skills. You know like lighting a fire, have knowledge of living creatures on the soil, wild plants, put on a charcoal stove or crossing a makeshift bridge. Sometimes life is hard and real – very real they need to be in touch with nature.