I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to my kids.
I have myself pretty convinced that I am being a neglectful father and to be honest I know I can still do better than I am. I really want to do everything with my kids but when the opportunities arise I am plopped in front of the PC or the TV and out to lunch. I don’t actively choose these options over spending time with my kids it is mostly a energy thing.
Wiped out from a long day at work it is difficult to locate that extra Omph I need to get out and actually do something.
I ran across this basic list of things every child should know how to do. While it is not all inclusive of course it does set a rather good base as to some functions a kid can be taught that can transfer over to a real world experience:
- CPR and basic first aid.
- Know how to tie Basic Useful Knots
- Know how to swim.
- Know how to ride and fix a bike.
- Know how a combustion engine works, how to change a tire, how to change the oil in their vehicle and properly dispose of it, how to jumpstart a vehicle, how to change the air filter.
- Be able to build a fire (bonus points: build a fire without matches or a lighter).
- Be able to set up a tent, build a lean-to, collect and purify water.
- Be able to navigate with a map and compass.
- Understand how the toilet works. Be able to fix and replace the basic components in the tank. Know how to shut off the water supply (for any piece of plumbing, including for the whole house).
- Understand how the house electrical system works. Know basic electrical safety. Know where the breaker panel is, be able to flip a tripped breaker, know how to use a volt stick. Advanced: be able to replace a simple wall outlet.
- Understand basic conditional logic in computer programming. Write a “Hello World” statement in one or two programming languages.
- Understand basic sewing techniques, including the straight and whip stitch.
- Know how to solder
- Know how to safely handle fireworks, explosives, and propellants.
- Know how to safely handle power tools. Know how to safely sharpen tools and knives.
- Be able to identify the flora and fauna in our area. For the flora: know what’s edible and how to prepare it, and if necessary, the fauna, too
Then I realized…My kids already know how to do some of these maybe less then ½.
They may not be MacGuyver* in all their abilities but they could do them if they needed to.
Maybe I aint so bad after all?
*and yes MacGuyver is indeed the average against which all abilities are weighed. Basically if you can take an ordinary ability/knowledge/skill or talent and you know it so well you can twist it into a whole different set of skills, well then you have MacGuyvered.