106: Life Skills (AKA: I Am the Egg Man)
When I was in high school I started working as a busboy and then got promoted to chef. Granted, I was a Happy Chef chef, but a chef nonetheless. Anyway when I started I only knew how to cook Totinos pizza, and various microwavable foods like marshmallows, hotdogs, and scrambled eggs in a Styrofoam cup. Unfortunately none of those food items were on the Happy Chef menu. I quickly learned how to cook most of the menu items, but some things didn’t get ordered very often and so every once in a while I had to wing it.
Imagine my horror when someone ordered a hard boiled egg. I knew what a hard boiled egg was, but I had no idea how to make one. I told the waitress that I would be glad to give her a cold hard boiled egg that we had for salads, but she thought her customer wanted a warm one. So I proceeded to microwave one up for her. In the meantime she informed her customer what I was doing, and he decided that he wanted something to eat that I knew how to prepare.
The waitress happened to be going on break and asked what I was going to do with that egg. I told her she could have it. She took it into the back room and reappeared a minute later with little bits of egg all over her clothes, hair, face, and eyelashes. I quickly deduced that microwaved eggs have the potential to explode when prodded with a fork.
The waitress eventually forgave me for my uncontrollable fit of laughter, and eventually I learned to cook all kinds of eggs. So it all worked out in the end, but I want my kids to learn some of these life skills before they have to face much more challenging things in the real world. Our home is their training ground for not only spiritual things, but even for basic life skills.
Proverbs 22:29 Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. NIV
I hope my kids will be skilled and excel in whatever careers they choose, but I want to make sure they at least get down basic life skills while they are at home. Here are a few areas to think about. Obviously your three year old doesn’t need them all, but your teen does. What would you like your kids to be able to do in each area? Is there anything they can take over that would help you? Can they do all the cooking for a week? Can they do all the yard work?
- Pumping gas
- Lawn mowing
- Changing a flat
- Balance a checkbook
- Changing diapers
- Basic home maintenance
- Hooking up electronic equipment
- Wash the car
Obviously the list goes on. Remember Parent, your goal is to make sure that your child can manage his/her life in the essential, daily areas in order to free him/her up to focus on the bigger things in life.
What skills do you want to pass on to your kids? Summer is fast approaching, and it is a perfect time to address/ engage in some of these basic areas. In our home, we find that even the skills they have already been trained in, need refining and reworked in order for them to do them better, more efficiently, etc.
Take a minute and think through each of your children. Set some basic goals in these areas for this summer. Ideally, each child should advance in their skill levels. Little kids can take over some of the responsibilities of older kids, and older kids can advance to more challenging and difficult tasks. Don’t waste your next three months by putting your children out to play so that you can get a break, or keeping their lives full of activities so that they don’t get bored. See this summer as a window of opportunity to address and engage in fresh, different skills with each of your children. There will be fruit from doing this, both in your child’s life and in your life. Parent, your impact with your child will be stronger and more purposeful if you use these upcoming summer months to impart life skills into their lives.