As talked about in my previous post, my husband and I have started a list of skills and knowledge that we want our daughter to learn as she grows up. These are areas we think are important in order to be a responsible adult and function in society. The second half of our list is below.
1. Living in the world: If our children are to be the future, they need to learn how to live in the world through our environmental footprint. If there is to be a world for our children to live in they need to learn how to care for the planet. This world is our home and we should care for it as we would our own houses.
2. Being up to date on world events: World events affect us through their societal ramifications, laws, court rulings, general safety, and so much more. As much as we try, we cannot live in a bubble because one day the daily news might just reach our front door. Think of 9/11. Our children need to be aware of what is happening around them and in the world because it affects their lives in numerous ways.
3. Self-assuredness/independence: I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my daughter living with us forever. At some point she is going to leave and be on her own. She needs to know how to be independent and sure of herself not only as an adult, but as a child as well. This will help her when we, her parents, are not around anymore. She needs to be able to make decisions, be sure of her beliefs, who she is, and how to live and play independently.
4. How to respect and interact with the opposite sex: It seems that on a daily basis we hear about a sexual assault, inappropriate advances, or the hiding of these events for years. Our children need to learn how to interact with the opposite sex with respect and dignity. They need to see what this looks like in various relationships such as familial, friends, boss and employee, church, and general everyday interactions. They should know what sexual assault is and to not be ashamed to report something no matter how small it seems.
5. Online etiquette and safety: As much as we wish the internet would disappear some days, it is here to stay. As we’ve learned, the internet is just another avenue for trolls, bullies, identity theft, pedophiles, kidnappers, etc. Knowing how to navigate the internet with their personal information and to be careful with what they say can help our children protect themselves. Think stranger danger, but online. They should also know online etiquette. As we’ve learned many times, Facebook is not always the place to address issues. Teach your children the proper place, time, and language to address someone with a different point of view.
6. Sew and garden: These are helpful skills that save money and could possibly turn into a business one day. Simple skills like learning to sew a button, shorten a hemline, or fix a hole are good techniques to know when it comes to fixing your clothes. Ready Set Sew on Ringgold Road will offer a beginner class in April. They even allow birthday parties — how fun would that be? Growing vegetables and flowers are a great way to get kids outside and learning to care for nature. There are many easy to grow vegetables that do well in our Tennessee weather, are delicious, and help with the food budget (a plus). With the ever-increasing desire in society to support local businesses, your child could use any of these skills to create an income one day. Think flower or vegetable farm, jams and jellies, making clothes or quilts — there are so many possibilities.