Monday, May 30, 2005

A Parents Duty

As parents we have been commanded by the Lord to teach our children.

To teach them the word of God is the primary thing. They need to have his word so they can gain a personal relationships with God.

But there is another thing. We need to watch our children and find what their talents are. You'll see it in their play, things that they are very good at and things they enjoy doing a lot are clues of what their talents are. This gives us a basis to build up parts of their curriculum that will emphasize and extend their talents.

But developing just their talents will not make them successful, by themselves.
We, as parents, need to help them learn the foundational skills they need to be successful. These skills are things like goal setting, money and time management, cooking, driving, and many others. I guess I could just give you a big list of skills that they should learn but that wouldn't be as meaningful just saying here is the skill and making a checkmark on the list. As easy as that is you only have to do this once a year, things change that is the only constant.

For example, one of the reasons Michael Jackson is so rich is because he used the money he made while singing to buy the rights to other artists' songs, so whenever they are played on the radio he gets the royalties. That was a good move on his part since he has passive income whether he is singing or sitting in court. Most singers haven't done this so they have to go on tour so they can pay their rent this year. That was a very important skill he learned that had nothing to do with his singing but has really helped him.

What skills do you children need when they are ready to leave home at 18-19 years years old? That is a good question. The first step in creating a good goal is to determine what the achieving the goal looks like. In many respects this is looking into the future, that is something God does so you had better ask him.
In any case, you need to ask yourself, what skills have made you and your family successful? What skills have made people you admire successful?

What does success mean to you? Even before you figure out what skills your children should have is to determine for yourself what success looks like. Is it a big house with a swimming pool and car? Is it a modest house with money in the bank while supporting missionaries in the field? What does success look like to you?

There are some common skills everyone should know, these are basic, housekeeping skills that you need everywhere: These are skills you can teach quickly and easily by just telling your children to "Watch me, then you can do it next time."
Skills like how to choose good, fresh food and how to cook it. I live in a college town and it is disturbing to see the new freshmen in the fall wandering around the supermarket trying to figure out what to buy. I had a roommate in college that survived solely on Total cereal, and Swanson Pot Pies for dinner with a Hungry Man dinner for Sunday night.
How to drive a car and keep it in good working order. My niece had a friend who had never rotated the tires and found out that it drove so badly in the snow because they were bald on the inside, though the steel belts that were showing should have helped.
Personal hygiene: some of our friends are foster parents they recently had a set of brothers who didn't not know how to use towels to dry off after a shower. I am sure if you are reading this you are far better parents but it does show how bad things can be.
Laundry: When I went to college I had to read the instructions on the detergent and the washing machine because I had never done laundry before. It is a very simple skill but often neglected to be taught.
Simple home repair and maintenance things like how to hang a picture, or fix a sticky window or door. or clear a jammed disposal, or change a lightbulb.

Q: How many nuclear engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Seven. One to install the new bulb and six to figure out what to do with the old one for the next 10,000 years.

That is only the start of what they could know. But you have to start somewhere.


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