I Am Done Adulting
It is quite the popular meme: I Am Done Adulting! It is the latest in an ongoing slogan being attributed to millennials. Adulting is a verb. It means to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups (thanks Urban Dictionary). It implies that there is some kind of reward or status for simply completing a basic task, like cooking, cleaning, or showing up for a job. It is a concerning trend, and I firmly believe it hurts our kids.
It’s kind of funny, in a scary, crazy, really sad kind of way. It has become a social brag about the fact that many basic skills are no longer being taught to our children. Not in Schools, and sadly not in many homes. I’m not even talking about advanced skills, like trades such as carpentry, masonry, or welding. I will leave that to the much more qualified Mike Rowe.
I am talking about basic life skills to function outside the confines of your domicile walls. Things like doing laundry, boiling an egg, changing a lightbulb, checking your car’s oil, ironing a dress shirt, making toast and so much more. It is a farce. Just check out this video recently posted by Attn:. It frames the evidence for my thoughts.
Teach Basic Life Skills
You might dismiss me as that “old guy yelling at the kids to stay off the lawn”, but I am writing this because I witness this with my own kids. I need to figure it out along with the rest of my peer group of parents. It is painfully obvious to me when my son who is now seven, still struggles to tie the laces of his shoes. Part of this, I can blame on the shoe industry. They go with velcro shoe closures on apparently larger and larger sizes each year. I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal, until baseball season started, and I realized he should be able to tie his own cleats. It was a basic skill that my wife and I worked with him to achieve.
Equip and you will Empower
If we fail to teach basic life skills, I fear for the next generation of adults that will be responsible for running this big blue marble we live on. Let’s be honest, some of them are more than likely going to have to take care of you and me. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my peanut butter toast a certain way, and most of these kids get to college and can’t figure it out. Did they really never have Eggo Waffles or Poptarts? What kind of childhood did they have?
We need to re-evaluate where and when we can teach life skills. We used to have basic courses in school such as shop, home economics, financial literacy, and economics. It is time to bring them back. Teaching our children to do for themselves is empowering them to survive! Teach kids how to cook and we impact obesity from a life of eating processed foods. Teach our kids how to sew, mend, repair, and fix things and we impact waste and the throw away culture.
The results of empowering our children are immense. One of the greatest struggles people face in life can be tied to finances. We need to teach our children the basics of financial literacy at the beginning of their journey with finances. Start them off on the right foot and you have a greater chance that they can avoid or better yet, prepare for financial issues. When I went to school, Financial Literacy meant learning about checkbooks. Checkbooks are basically irrelevant. We need to teach budgeting, saving, and investing basics.
Teach them to care for themselves
Basic life skills can also prevent many other life problems. Basic auto maintenance skills like checking tire pressures and changing the oil regularly can prevent break downs. If you can change a tire, you can save on towing and other fees. If you change oil regularly you can prevent engine damage. This applies to most devices with engines like lawnmowers and snowblowers as well.
The final point I want to make, is that if we don’t teach our kids to adult, another adult will have to take care of them. Fail to Adult your own health? There’s a Doctor for that. Fail to Adult your car? There’s a Mechanic for that. Fail to Adult your Finances? There’s a Lawyer for that. Fail to Adult your behavior in society? There’s a Warden for that.
It’s time to Adult!