With Finley starting school in September I’ve been thinking alot more about the true value of academic education and what life skills we should be teaching our kids. I gained a lot from school in an academic sense. I loved History and Science and even Geography. I got good grades and enjoyed the majority of my school years. I passed exams, paid attention and did my homework. I was a good student and to this day can still remember specific details about historical events and biological processes.

However I can’t help but think that what I took away with me into my adult life was all much more theory and philosophy, than anything practical. Whilst I knew a lot and had the knowledge to pass a lot of exams, I was seriously lacking in some basic life skills by the age of eighteen. I think I could and should have been better equipped for real life, just normal every day – get your shit together life.

So although Finley’s school life is a long road ahead, it’s got me thinking. There are certain things we should be teaching our kids (at home and at school) that are more important than academic studies. Constructive things, everyday useful things – things that every kid should know how to do or what they mean by a certain age. You know basic life skills…

1. How the political system in your country really works

Until I started to take an interest in what was going on around me, in my early twenties lets say. I had no idea how our political system worked. I mean, I knew we were a democracy and we voted for either the guys in the blue ties or the red ties or the yellow ties. I knew that most people hated the blue guys because of Thatcher and there was something called New Labour but I didn’t really get it all. I had to teach myself about my local MP’s, the House of Commons and what the Government really gets up to.

1p

2. Why its important to vote

Not voting is never an acceptable answer in my book. Not voting is irresponsible and can unjustly sway results. Apparently 90 million eligible people didn’t show up to vote in America last November and around 13 million didn’t turn out for the Brexit vote here. That’s just madness, think how different things could have been if people had been educated to understand how their vote does actually make a difference.

2p

 

3. How to prepare a couple of basic meals – real ones from scratch not microwave ones

All I could cook at eighteen from ‘scratch’ was Tuna Pasta Bake. It’s still one of my staples now. Enough said.

3p

 

4. What APR is

Christ knows if someone had actually sat me down and explained to me in a very practical sense what APR meant, I would have saved a lot of money and stress. Telling kids not to get credit cards and not to get into debt is not the answer. We live in a World where everybody is conditioned to think they can have it all. We should teach our kids how to realistically deal with that lie and educate them on how to balance their expectations with reality.

4p

 

5. How a mortgage works

I didn’t really understand how a mortgage worked until I didn’t have one anymore. The best advice I will give my son on this is, not to tie yourself down financially at a young age. Once you get a mortgage and ‘own’ a home, that’s it everything – forever will revolve around that. You will miss out on so much and your life will become far less flexible. You wont be able to just move towns or move jobs or travel on a whim. Nothing is guaranteed in life, so don’t box yourself in too early.

5p

 

6. How to wrap a present properly – like all fancy and shit

Still can’t, never will.

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7. How to change a tyre

I think I could?

help

 

8. How to deal with a serious wound that just keeps bleeding

Come on everyone needs to know this, even if you are like 5 years old. Apply pressure, elevate, call Ambulance.

8p

 

9. How to protect yourself from an early death

Wear sunscreen, don’t fucking smoke, alcohol is bad. I’m all for showing kids pictures to demonstrate these facts.

*not to young children like my son (3), I mean like 15 year olds*

 

10. That the way you look will matter less and less to you and everyone else as time goes by. So you best find the value in yourself from another source

Looks fade bitches and they fade pretty quick. You’ve got more life years being a bit dumpy and wrinkly than you have being youthful and gorgeous. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy being pretty, just make sure you find value in yourself from other places than just the way you look.

10p

 

Life Skills We Should Be Teaching Our Kids

25 thoughts on “Life Skills We Should Be Teaching Our Kids

  • January 29, 2017 at 10:44 pm
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    Some great advice here. I should really get round to working out how a mortgage works myself. 🙂

    Our eldest is four and he’s very keen to learn some cookery and baking; I never really learnt much when I was a kid, and still can’t really cook well now, so we’re keen to get him clued up. His main talents so far have been teaching himself to escape travel cots, booster seats, etc.

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  • February 9, 2017 at 12:30 pm
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    Nr 10 is probably the most important. Love the post. #stayclassymama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm
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    Defo. I had no idea what APR, Mortgages any of that was- then I went to work in a bank! Ha. Even after spouting it out for a few years on a daily basis, I’m still not quite 100% sure on the whole APR thing. We should teach our kids so much, I’m already running out of time! #stayclassymama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 1:09 pm
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    Oh my gosh – I couldn’t agree more! Life skills need to be taught along the way. Especially stuff about money and electing officials to represent your best interests. Basic cooking/baking is nice too, as well as mending buttons and how to do laundry. I had to learn a lot in university – maybe that’s why my academic life suffered more there!

    ~Jess
    #StayClassyMama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm
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    Yes! I have been spouting about this for years! I was personally lucky enough that my mum (hated her at the time for it) was nuts about making me learn how to do things at home, but financial, political learning etc all came from me.. And APR! Surely this is ‘must have’ knowledge these days?! Academia is great, but surviving in the real world needs to be on the curriculum too! #StayClassyMama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm
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    I always thought it was incredibly misguided to not vote because you don’t like any of the options. Like that’s supposed to prove a point and teach someone a lesson? Pick the least objectionable option and vote!

    I was taught how the political system works and about all the dangers of smoking and drinking with videos and graphic pictures. We also had CPR and first aid as part of our curriculum. They tried to teach us how to cook and sew but I would say that was a failed attempt. It wasn’t planned out very well and nobody seemed to know what was going on. #StayClassyMama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 6:55 pm
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    I absolutely agree with all these, and there were so many useless things I learned at school that have never helped me in any way. Academia and life are just not the same. And number ten is the most important. I wish I had learned it sooner, but life has been do much better since I did. #StayClassyMama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 7:58 pm
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    I think this is the role of parents, not schools, though #9 is covered in primary schools in Oz (15 is way too late – they know it all by then and won’t listen to reason)
    What’s APR?
    #Stayclassymama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm
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    I agree. Life skills are often more important than the academic stuff. I love your choices. They seem random, yet are all so valuable. A great post, which I shall share with my teens! Alison x #StayClassyMama

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  • February 9, 2017 at 9:16 pm
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    I’m with you, especially on the political front. It’s going to be crucial that the next generation is engaged in politics, understands how government works and gets the value in voting. You only have to look to Brexit and Trump to see what happens when people are ignorant of/disengaged in the political process. #stayclassymama

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  • February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am
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    YES!! This is something that we talk about often, how our children would be better off learning life skills than algebra!! It’s so important that they learn about politics and finance, I try to educate my children on these things as they grow. #stayclassymama

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  • February 10, 2017 at 1:23 pm
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    I still dont really get politics and in the current climate have given up on an attempt of getting a mortgage! I completely agree with teaching kids to cook and some first aid. #stayclassymama

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  • February 10, 2017 at 1:33 pm
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    Too funny and SPOT ON! There is definitely a children’s book in the making with that content!!!! #stayclassymama

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  • February 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm
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    Absolutely! This is the important shit. You know, I’ve always been baffled that schools don’t teach students things like writing a check or about a mortgage. Awesome post. #StayClassyMama

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  • February 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm
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    This is the truest thing ever. I’m not above showing my kids (not toddlers, obviously) pictures of horrific STD’s or rotted smoker’s lungs. Whatever keeps them moving in the best direction possible! Loving this whole post!

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  • February 10, 2017 at 7:12 pm
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    I remember having one lesson on Apr and mortgage in Year 11 but it was delivered so randomly I left more confused than I’d started!!! #stayclassmama 🌺

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  • February 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm
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    Oh my gosh I love this post! This is fantastic, I also think schools do not teach the right things and was planning on teaching my boys how to cook, diy, budget, etc at home. I want them to understand what the real world will bring well enough not to feel overwhelmed when they enter it. I love that Baz Luhrmann song and will definitely show it to them some day! xx #stayclassymama

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  • February 10, 2017 at 7:57 pm
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    This is great. Love the GIFs for each one! But #10 is very true. A great lesson to learn…for everyone.
    #stayclassymama

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  • February 11, 2017 at 12:53 am
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    Awww I love these! Great and you’re so right… all totally important <3 #stayclassymama

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  • February 11, 2017 at 7:24 pm
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    Life skills are definately just as important as academic skills. I’m pretty sure I did get taught some life skills in schoold though such as cooking but maybe that’s only because I took home economics. I know they definately teach some life skils in Brownies ans girl guides etc because I remember being taught how to write out a cheque properly, not that anyone really writes cheques anymore so I guess that was kind of pointless lol. I especially agree with point number 10 of your post though. Thays very good advice indeed.

    #stayclassymama

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  • February 12, 2017 at 5:44 pm
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    This is so true. I think it should be a combination of the education system and parents/guardians. But basically when I got to 17 and went to work (before going to uni a bit later), I was fairly well ‘educated’ but had zero life skills, I was so naive and stupid it’s scary. So yes I will be very weary of this as my children grow up and do my best to help them deal with ‘real-life’ #stayclassymama

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  • February 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm
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    These are really good life skills. I always think it’s terrible that they don’t teach you more about money, bank accounts, mortgages etc at school! #stayclassymama

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  • February 16, 2017 at 12:10 am
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    I am such a strong believer that people need to be better informed and involved in politics. So many things would be better if more people actually understood politics, and didn’t rely on unreliable tabloids as a source for what is going on. I have parents who are very interested in politics, so I did grow up knowing about those things, and being interested in them. But I was a definite minority among my peers and I still am, and it is such a shame. I always remember that, when the 2010 election was hung, my then boyfriend and I were the only two people at our work – which was a LAW FIRM – who had the faintest idea what that meant, or how our system works, or what the options were. That’s just terrible. These were all people with degree level education, working in an area that relates to politics and our systems and constitution, and they had still never thought to take an interest. I do think that if this type of thing was better taught when we are young, we would get a lot more people who were interested, involved and well informed. #StayClassyMama

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  • February 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm
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    What a great post! Especially number 2! How can so many millions let both sides of the pond slip into turmoil and chaos! Ugh… #stayclassymama

    Reply

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