Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Teaching children life skills {investing time, to shape their future}

Our home has been filled with much activity recently.  Mummy busy, children busy, and Daddy busy.

My lovely husband is a highly skilled "jack of all trades"!

Well, I think so, anyway.

He is able to turn his hand to just about ANY practical job, which has saved us a LOT of money, over the years.  He amazes me, regularly, as to what he can do. From laying laminate floor in an evening, to fixing light fittings - building sheds, to making rope swings - fitting cabinets and work surface, to creating desks for the children's school room. I could go on, but I don't like to boast.....

I was pondering, as he was busy the other evening, on WHY he was able to do this.

The answer is two-fold.

Firstly, his Dad TAUGHT him.  I will be eternally grateful that my father-in-law is, himself, so skilled in many, many practical ways. Being a man who has worked on the land, in farming situations, he can turn his hand to just about anything.  Not just in a basic, "fluffing it" way - VERY well. He has then taken the time to teach his two sons the many things he can do, for which I know my sister-in-law is also thankful! As boys, growing up, they were expected to work on the nursery, too, so their Dad naturally taught them to do the things HE did. He knew that they may, one day, need to be able to do these things for themselves. HOW RIGHT HE WAS!!! To be fair, Robert no longer has need to walk on stilts or reverse a tractor and trailer through a tight space (yes, my husband can walk on stilts!), but who knows when it could be hand? The "around the house" skills, however, are invaluable.

Secondly, his Dad was happy for his children to watch him do things.  My sister-in-law, Anna, (Robert's sister), was telling me, the other day, that she can even do many things, or at least knows how to tell someone else to do them, because her Dad simply let her observe him as he worked. It's amazing what a child can pick up by watching something being done, time and time again.

As parents, we have a wonderful opportunity to pass on skills to our children.  We don't all, as parents, have the same skills, and that is fine! Your hubby may not be able to do the jobs mine can, and I know there are many things other people's hubbies can do, that mine CAN'T! Likewise, as a mother, there are things I can do, which others can't, and vice versa.

The WHAT doesn't matter.

DOING it, matters.

Taking the time to pass on skills to our children, to help them be prepared for jobs in the future.  Having the patience (yes, PATIENCE!) and willingness to bring them alongside us and showing them how to do things, like we do. From making custard from scratch (something my Mum did!), to showing them how to bake a cake.  Laundry jobs.  Hobbies.  Computer skills. Sewing a button on.  The list is endless!

Even just taking the time to teach basic skills like cleaning.  Showing them how a basic chore is done correctly, like tidying their room! They won't know if you don't teach them, and especially showing them by example!

Simply having your children with you whilst you do jobs will help them in the future.

God has shaped our own past, with all of our experiences and skills acquired. What our parents have invested in us, we should make sure and pass on to the next generation.

Maybe your parents DIDN'T teach you much? Perhaps you feel you don't have much to pass on? There are two possibilities! Firstly, that you have skills and talents you just haven't thought of! Maybe you can teach your children about being generous with their time and efforts, or how to show kindness and love.  Maybe you can teach them to be thoughtful.  Perhaps you can teach your sons how to show thoughtfulness and compassion to their future wives, and your daughters how to be supportive and submissive?

Secondly, you could LEARN things yourself! You could ask a friend to teach you how to do something you'd like to be able to do.  There are also loads of adult learning courses for many practical topics, which can save you lots of money in the long run.  Don't forget the Internet! If in doubt, find an instruction video on YouTube!

We have it within our power to massively help our children in future years, by teaching them NOW.  They are never too young to watch us while we work, and it can equally give wonderful opportunities for conversation, too.  Win-win! We are investing our time wisely, if we teach our children in practical life skills, every opportunity we can get.


  1. I agree! My Fil taught my DH and some of his brothers so many skills which have proven to be so helpful for our family.

  2. So true! Parents have such an important job in teaching their children. What a blessing to watch our children grow into the adults God has called them to be:)

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