Not so long ago, I happily, quickly and lovingly landed myself in an instaparent role to a beautiful eight year old named Trevor. Before we met, my brain was filled with loads of “when I’m a parent I will ____” and “my future kids will never eat/do/say/behave ____.” Boy, was I wrong. Along with eating my words more times than I can count, about food, medicine, behavior, discipline, toys, cleanliness, dressing, etc, I’ve also learned a ton and brought forth things I find important to teach this young human, so he can be the best Trevor he can be in his life. Below, I’ve organized things I want to teach him in his youth hood, so he’s prepared for adulthood with tools to navigate through life with confidence and ease. These are things my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents taught me, and things I’ve learned along the journey to parenthood:
- Keeping House
- Kitchen: Cooking, cleaning up, grocery shopping, baking, preparing a meal when there’s “nothing to eat,” organizing and planning meals for others, deep cleaning.
- Laundry and clothing: sewing a button, repairing a tear, doing laundry, ironing and hanging up clothes.
- Energy & decorating: maintaining a happy, loving, positive vibe in the home, decorating for happiness and ease, organization, smudging, opening windows for fresh air, keeping good company, utilizing spaces for their intentional uses, setting intentions for each space.
- Yard/exterior: yard work, safety & security, appearance & presentation, organization of tools and supplies, general maintenance.
- Repair, reuse, reduce, recycle.
- Money Management & Finances
- Earning: primary & secondary incomes
- Saving, storing, investing
- Giving, sharing and generosity
- Bank accounts, investments, credit cards and retirement plans
- Vehicle Responsibility:
- Driving courteously, respectfully and responsibly
- Vehicle maintenance routines
- Insurance shopping & responsibility
- How to change a tire (and to stop to help strangers do the same)
- Change/jump start a battery (and to help strangers do the same)
- Car shopping & buying
- Inspection & registration
- Socializing, Manners & Etiquette:
- Presentation of self, home and space
- Dressing for the occasion
- Conversing with anyone
- Being a gracious guest
- Being a gracious host
- Everyday pleasantries
- Leadership skills
- Celebrating wins of others
- Table manners
- Problem solving, resourcefulness and street smarts
- Time management, respect of time and respect of other’s time
- Emotional stamina & emotional support of others
- How to be a good citizen of his surroundings
These are but a very few simple things that come to mind to share with Trevor in our years ahead. What are you sharing with your youngsters to prepare them for the world ahead? How do you determine what’s relevant now, what will be relevant in their adulthood?
Photo: ‘Wipe you face” by Artbytosca used with permission.