One day I was scrolling through my phone and this list (below) of 40 Old-Fashioned Skills That Kids Need to Know caught my attention. As I scanned them I didn’t think them old-fashioned at all but recognized most as life skills.
Now, I have no idea who wrote this list or how old it is, but I’d like you to read through it and give yourself a score.
I want you to mark those you *don’t* know how to do.
The great thing about life today is you can search it up on YouTube.
There used to be a time when parents taught their kids these things because chores were assigned and carried out. Things like caring for a pet, clean the kitchen/fridge/bathroom/house, or washing dishes are fairly basic, but necessary. These are easily learned from videos or a personal demonstration. Not a worry there.
Things like writing a letter, addressing an envelope, or putting on a stamp seem simple but if you’ve never had to do it before or been shown then it can be a bit confusing as to what goes where. I’d put budgeting in this category too. It’s sort of one of those things that once you learn you’re pretty much good to go. Here’s a link on addressing an envelope btw.
The ones that really interest me are the ones that take some real time and thought. Like how do you converse with an elder?
While this may seem a lost art I don’t think young people are given enough credit for being family oriented. With elders living longer and healthier lives, they’re much more a part of the upbringing and ongoing lives of young people.
But just in case you need a few tips on speaking to an elder or senior here are a couple. (I’ll let you define what “elder” means in your life.)
- Be aware of the circumstances of the elder. For example if they are hard of hearing then speak louder (without shouting) and clearer. Don’t mumble your words or speak too fast.
- For many it is respectful to look them in the eye (don’t stare) but be aware of eye contact. Now, this isn’t true of all cultures so again know the elder and accepted behavior.
- Try and chose and environment where there’s not too much noise or distraction.
- Don’t get defensive. If they start out a story with…when I was your age… just go with it.
- Put yourself in their shoes. What would it be like to be older? Consider their circumstances.
- Ask questions. It can be difficult to talk with older people when there doesn’t seem to be a lot in common but they may tell you stories of their youth.
- Take a historical book of their childhood town or photo album to spur the conversation.
- Be patient. Be respectful.
- Smile and maybe even try and share a laugh.
- And remember a touch or a hand held is a beautiful gift.
I don’t want to take each and every one of these 40 skills and analyze them because you can do that yourself.
There are a few here that I’ll discuss in future articles though. Let me know if there’s any particular ones that give you trouble or you need some advice on and I’ll answer it.
As an Auntie I think the main thing is that you know and recognized the difference between right and wrong and garner an understanding of the world around you and the beings within it. You can learn a lot of skills by watching YouTube, but to interact or respond with an empathetic and sincere attitude, not only for those in your immediate circle but for those of the world, are the true life skills.
Tell me what you think of this list and if it’s way outta date. Are there any particular ones you’d like to see me tackle?