One of the chiefs complaints from parents, teachers & coaches is the level of self-entitlement in todays youth.
So many kids today are lacking the appropriate skills to navigate this world on their own. We have created a generation of children who win a ribbon for showing up, not trying their best & working to achieve a goal. We have raised our children with technology, not people. It’s easier to send them off to be entertained by video games, then it is to get them to help make supper.
We, as adults tend to complain about the lack of skills our children have, but not many are willing to put in the work to correct this.
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Basic Life Skills are required to navigate this world effectively. Without them, we have self-entitlement, a strong need for immediate gratification in our youth, but we also have some very burnt-out, frustrated parents as well.
Start with Basic Life Skills
Basic Life Skills teach very important lessons:
Value of a job well done.
Cooperation & team work
Respect for belongings
These skills should be introduced at an early age, but can be taught at any stage.
Personal Hygiene enhances their sense of independence, self-esteem.
Cleaning encourages team work & self-starting tasks without reminders.
Cooking teaches self-sufficiency & proper nutrition.
Laundry again enhances the respect for possessions & instills a level of control.
Care for Plants / Pets is where the self-entitlement decreases. They learn to care for something other than themselves. They learn empathy, compassion and are rewarded when they see the flower, or can eat the fruit.
It is not a parent’s job to do all these tasks for everyone in the home. It is the parent’s job to ensure everyone in the home knows how to complete these tasks to the best of their ability. Parent’s who do all of this & work full time, will be burnt out before their children are teenagers. Believe it or not, the teenage years are where you need to bring your A Game.
Little side note about allowance – I get asked this one all the time:
Allowance is a great time to teach financial responsibility & budgeting. Teaching your children the value of a dollar will go along way to encouraging financial independence.
Method A – Chore List
Have a family discussion to create a list of tasks that must be completed in the home on a weekly basis. This should include tasks such as maintaining individual spaces (clean your room) but also maintain community spaces (mop the kitchen). You can either pay a flat rate at the end of the week, or assign a dollar value to each task.
Method B – The Extra Mile
If you choose to not pay your child for being an active participant in your home, there is still a way to earn money. Have a list of tasks that are not required everyday; raking leaves, household laundry, cleaning windows, organize the garage, weed flower beds, help a neighbour. Assign a dollar value to each task to be paid upon completion of task.
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Continue reading about Essential Life Skills.