Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Adulting 101

Back in December I came across this article. In a nutshell, The Adulting School in Maine holds live and online classes to teach millennials the basic skills - think budgeting, paying bills, meal planning, sewing, and simple "making" and "fixing" - needed to survive and thrive as adults. The founders of The Adulting School reference changes in school curriculum, family dynamics, and the pace of society as contributors factors to the need for this special kind of education, and to be honest, I get it. Sadly, I regularly hear from Tom (a college professor) about, read stories about, and witness for myself circumstances in which young adults don't actually know how to behave and/or take care of themselves like adults. I certainly didn't have it all together when I moved away from home for college - or even when I started my first job after graduation - but thanks to my mom's hard work, I knew how to do my own laundry, cook a meal, and put together an Ikea shelf.*

This past year I started making my New Year's Resolutions in August/September rather than January, so what I've outlined below is less of a resolution and more of a development plan for me, my kids, and their evolving roles within our family.

Throughout 2017 I will intentionally begin to prepare my children (10 and seven-and-a-half years old) - for adulthood. They're already on the right track, as I require them to regularly clean and vacuum their rooms, unload the dishwasher, and take out the trash and recycling. Additionally, Hallie knows how to bake and both kids can (kind of) use a hammer and a screwdriver, set a basic table, make simple meals (sandwiches, hotdogs, cereal, oatmeal, toast, fruits/veggies that don't require cutting), and write thank you notes. But they have a long way to go...

Here's what I hope to teach them in 2017.

In the Kitchen
  • Cut an apple
  • Scramble an egg
  • Cook pasta
  • Make tacos

Around the House
  • Wet and dry dust furniture
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Sort laundry
  • Wash dishes
  • Set a holiday table

  • Sew on a button
  • Mend a small hole
  • Change a flat tire**
  • Jumpstart a car**

  • Open a bank account
  • Create a budget/plan for a purchase
  • Make a financial donation
  • Calculate a tip

Brush Up On
  • Writing thank you notes
  • Hammering nails
  • Screwing in screws
  • Shaking hands
  • Table manners
  • Making small talk

Anything else you would add?

Based on my past experiences with bucket lists and plans of the sort, I doubt we'll make it through all of the bullet points above. We might make it halfway though, which I would consider a success. (And  then the tasks we don't accomplish can serve as the foundation for our 2018 Adulting List.) Midway through the year I'll report back on what we've/they've learned, and perhaps by next December they can invite you over for a dinner they've made, served at a table they've set, in a house they've cleaned!

* Lots of college students and young adults DO have it together, and I tip my hat to these men and women...and their parents!

** I plan to sit in when Tom teaches these lessons to the kids. I have witnessed both before and could get the job done if absolutely necessary, but I would like to feel more confident and therefore need to practice alongside Will and Hallie.

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