More life skills that kids, and maybe adults, ought to know
01/26/2012 12:00 AM
01/25/2012 1:11 PM
Reactions to last week’s column about skills children should have before they leave home fell into two general categories:
1.) You’re absolutely right! Everyone should master those things and more. For example …
And, 2.) You’re absolutely right! But I’m embarrassed to say there are a few things on that list I need to learn myself.
My suggestion, for instance, that every adult should know how to fold a fitted sheet prompted a Twitter conversation in which one friend shared a video tutorial — to watch it, Google “how to fold a fitted sheet” — and others thanked him for finally solving one of life’s great mysteries.
Some readers were glad my list included basic car maintenance, such as checking the oil and changing a tire, but thought it should go further: changing the oil, checking and refilling coolant, jump-starting a car, even changing the battery, starter and alternator.
“I know a girl that paid nearly $300 in parts and labor to put in a starter that I know my 19-year-old daughter could have put in,” wrote Rick McMullen.
Similarly, many readers agreed that children should learn how to balance a checkbook but suggested additional money-management skills. (Fortunately, a new graduation requirement in Wichita means all high school students will get at least one semester of financial literacy.)
Thanks to dozens of people who called, e-mailed or posted on Facebook, here are more modern-day skills everyone should know and then teach their children:• How to clip coupons and look for sales.
• How to figure interest on a loan.
• How to perform CPR and first aid.
• How to write a prompt, proper thank-you note.
• How and when to say “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me.”
• How to set a table.
• Basic table manners.
• Basic self-defense.
• How to introduce yourself, shake hands, exchange pleasantries and maintain eye contact.
• How to treat a stain.
• How to use a corkscrew.
• How to file income tax.
• How to plan meals and make a shopping list.
• How to tell when food is expired and when to throw it out.
• How to count back change without a computer or calculator.
• How to buy insurance.
• How to hem pants or skirts.
• How to schedule doctor or dentist appointments.
• When to schedule basic car maintenance.
• How to register to vote.
• How to negotiate a car purchase.
• How to drive in bad weather.
• How to make a bed and keep a room clean.
• How to be safe in your room, apartment, house or car.
• How to listen to your instincts and avoid questionable or dangerous situations.
• How to flip a breaker and change a fuse.
• How to turn off the water supply to a toilet, sink or entire house.
• How to light a water heater and furnace.
• How to change a light bulb.
About Suzanne Tobias
Suzanne writes about family life on Thursdays. She has covered local news for The Eagle since 1990. Suzanne is a native of North Carolina and earned an English degree from North Carolina State University.
Find her on Twitter: @suzannetobias
Contact Suzanne at 316-268-6567 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Discussion
The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.