Sometimes a Facebook meme catches my eye and it really bugs me. This post is about one such meme. Almost every time I have seen this in my timeline, I have commented on it. I have received some interesting replies to those comments. I decided to bring the meme to the blog for some hopefully, helpful discussion. First let me show you the stuff you should know before you turn 18 meme. The photo is watermarked from 9gag.com. I have searched that site and cannot locate it but I wanted to give them credit.
According to the original author of this post, you should know the following things before you turn 18:
- How to Change a Tire
- How to Change Your Oil
- How to Drive a Car with a Stick Shift
- How to Balance Your Checkbook
- How to File Your Taxes
- Credit Card Pros and Cons
- How to Hem Pants
- How to Sew on a Button
- How to Cook
- How to Season a Pan
- How to Grow Your Own Food
- Basic First Aid
- The Cost of Having a Baby vs Getting an Education
Yes, I agree these and many others are all skills any 18 year old should know. Where I take issue with this meme is the fact that the author feels these should all be classes offered in high school. Arguably, many of these skills are taught in school IF you take the right courses and we all know that fitting multiple electives into a high school schedule nowadays is near impossible, but that isn’t the issue. The issue is that these, and many other skills should be taught by PARENTS!
I learned all of these from my parents and I taught them all to my children. I couldn’t get my drivers license until I could change a tire and change the oil on my father’s car. I cannot for the life of me drive a stick shift but my mother, and some friends have tried hard to teach me over the years. Balancing a checkbook and filing taxes are usually taught in high school economics classes but practical application happens at home, with parental guidance. I learned to sew buttons around age 8 and so did my boys. My boys started planning and cooking dinner one night a week each at age 13. When Aaron got married at age 21 he took over all of the cooking duties because his wife’s parents never took the time to teach her.
Parents, we all need to step up and invest time into our kids. I know we all work hard but parenting is the hardest and most rewarding job we will ever have. I have written before about raising productive, God-fearing citizens. This list from this meme is a place to start. Pour into your kids, show them how to do whatever it is you are doing. Doing home or car maintenance? Have your child beside you, explain what you are doing and why. If it is safe, let them help. Hands-on education is the best education.
If you don’t know how to do something, learn together. Thanks to Google and YouTube you have a world of lessons at your fingertips. Don’t you want your kids to know more and be better than you? Do you really want the school system to teach your kid everything? They seem to have a hard enough time teaching reading, writing and arithmetic-let alone anything else.
Also, if you know a single parent who may need help teaching their kids some of these life skills, offer to help. Invite them over and make learning a fun, hands-on event.
Step up and raise your kid, give them the power that comes from knowledge and experience. Don’t let them turn out like the author of this meme.