Growing up, everyone in my family worked multiple jobs and I spent most of my days in daycares, aftercares, camps, and hanging out with my retired grandfather.
Childhood was fun, but there were a lot of things that got lost along the way in the interests of saving time. So lets just say adulthood hits you pretty hard when you're brilliantly book-smart but have no life skills - can't really cook, have never even heard of credit or budgeting, and have not the foggiest idea how to repair or mend anything.
There just wasn't time to teach me those things. So of course that's where I started with my kids.
One Reddit user asked:
The next generation will be prepared AF ... for a world that probably won't play by the same rules anymore. So in just a few years we imagine another article just like this detailing all of our shortcomings.
That failing is fine, you can't be perfect all the time
I'm trying to teach my 8 year old daughter how to lose, and not be a sore loser. She starts crying or pouts whens he loses.
I teach my students this. It's hard to undo the work of "you must always be the best" that inevitable results in tears, anger and guilt, but it's possible.
What Not To Do: CreditCredit Card Money GIF by Hustlers Giphy
If you have a $500 available balance on a credit card and spend $100. You now owe $100. NOT you still have $400 to spend. That sh!tty way of thinking caused me so much trouble in my early twenties.
I watched my mom get into trouble with credit cards (not like massive trouble, maybe $10k or so in debt) and vividly remember my dad sitting down with her and making her cut up a bunch of cards. This led me to initially refuse to get a credit card as an adult.
I didn't get one until I graduated college and it was only because I realized building credit was important. I have always paid it off in full every month with a couple exceptions (sometimes I carry a balance for one month around the holidays but it does not accrue interest). When I charge $50 to my card I deduct $50 from my budget as if I had paid in cash. So basically my parents taught me what NOT to do and I reap the benefits of sweet credit card rewards without paying any fees or interest.
Everything. How to cook. How to maintain a basic hygiene. How to deal with bullies. How life works in general. Whenever my kid struggles I'll think "What would my parents do?" and then do the exact opposite.
Same lmao. My parents are anti-rolemodels.
Growing up finances of any kind were not talked about in front of us kids. That was a topic for adults only. Now, I'm 29, and am sh*t at managing my money. I'm still learning and definitely getting a lot better than I used to be, but I will teach my future children basic budgeting and money management.
Do they need to know every cent of what is spent in the household? No, not exactly, at least not until they are older (late teens). Age-appropriate earning, saving, and spending will be taught starting at a young age though.
I've been telling my kids how much money "we" have and letting them know how much money I spend on the house, car, pets, school supplies, clothes, whatever since they were mere tots. They know how little we once had and how far we've come. I make them invest in vacations and fun activities so they know the value of money and experiences and so they know that we build a family home together. Now my kids are 9 and 13 and they are pretty good about balancing their books and keeping track of their funds. I also taught them all about taxes and how to avoid giving the government a free loan.
I don't know if this will help them when they're adults, but I hope it's a good foundation. I know my parents didn't tell me anything and I had to figure it all out on my own. To make matters worse, my mother was a banker.
Clean Your Plate
You don't have to finish all of the food on your plate.
Lots of people have grown up with parents telling them they need to finish their plate and if they do they'll get dessert (myself included). That does 3 things:
1.) Forces you to eat more than you are hungry for
2.) Makes dessert too exciting
3.) Makes you too full to eat the very exciting dessert, but you really want it so you force yourself to eat it anyway.
I understand how parents get there, we're always worried our kids aren't eating enough. But ultimately it's a very unhealthy way to approach meals.
Emotional education. As a man in the United States, no one cared about my emotions or mental state. I want to change that with my kids. I want to teach them about their emotions, how to work with them, why they happen, etc. I still need to learn these things!
That is extremely important, especially for males! Most men I know are so shut off from their own emotions it's unhealthy.
A Pee In The Woodsforest GIF Giphy
Mom with daughters here. How to pee in the woods without getting it on their clothes.
Sex Isn't Evil
I would teach them that sex isn't the evil thing that Christianity says it is, and that its ok to have sex before marriage, as long as they're careful and use protection, and they don't make their lives about sex.
I say this because my dad still refuses to tell me anything other than sex=evil, gay=satan worshiper, god=good.
Yes! Sex was one of those things we just didn't discuss in my family. As a result, and because my school didn't provide sex education, I was completely ignorant about sex for much longer than I should have been. I had no idea what was going on after I started menstruating or what the different stages of my cycle were, what was normal or abnormal during menstruation, nothing. All I was ever told was that sex=babies, so you better not do it unless you were ready to be a parent.
Everything I know about sex, I learned either from my friends or (much later) from the internet.
That a college degree on its own is worthless for a lot of jobs. You really need previous work experience for people to be willing to hire you out of college.
This definitely needs to be taught more to kids these days. I graduated last year, and a few people I know still had the mindset, "Once we graduate, we can just walk into those jobs easily". They thought that as they were university graduates, there would be a job waiting for them upon graduation.
Apart from one of them (who is very well connected), they're now finding out the hard way that a degree alone doesn't guarantee them the job. The people I know who got jobs quickly have had previous job experience, not just in their field but also in places like McDonald's.
Trying to teach my nine year old how to let sh!t go, and just go with the flow. Kid is so stressed all the time, he has mini panic attacks almost every day. Today, he dropped a pencil, making a loud noise on Zoom, and started crying.
We actually just had him do another eval, because his anxiety has gotten so much worse and he started expressing bad mental thoughts, but the psychiatrist said it's just terrible anxiety, and that everyone is at max right now.
He's been in counseling for a while now (a few years), but it doesn't seem to click. I'm trying to get him out exercising more (makes me less stressed, idk) and working on meditation. His mom has cancer and it's really wreaked havoc on him.
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