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A generation with no basic life skills

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Goatse.AJ

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Post Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:34 pm

A generation with no basic life skills

Can’t cook, can’t clean, can’t count: A generation with no basic life skills

Anna Taylor
August 06, 2015



In the era of takeaway meals, few children know how to make a garden salad, much less how to grow the ingredients themselves. Photo: iStock
ANNA TAYLOR

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Wi-Fi and 4G is embedded in their DNA. The internet is their lifeblood, as essential as eating and breathing.

We’re told that kids and teens living in this computer age are smarter than ever before. Some write their own apps, with children as young as six learning to code. But challenge a Digital Age genius to pump up a bike tyre, or boil an egg and you might as well have asked them to go to the moon. They simply have no idea.

Basic life skills are on the endangered list, with fewer young adults able to perform simple tasks like sorting their laundry or ironing a shirt, and it’s a disturbing trend that’s only getting worse.

I can’t tell you how many teenagers I know who are worryingly incapable when it comes to essential housekeeping duties.

One close friend of mine was recently gobsmacked when she asked her 16-year-old son to hand write a thankyou note and post it.

Not only had he never before addressed an envelope, he had no clue where to place the stamp.

“He had only ever used his email, or text messages, when thanking people,” she ashamedly revealed.

This alarming lack of basic knowledge when it comes to performing menial tasks is now a major problem for many small business owners, struggling to find competent apprentices.

“You can have these smart, educated kids turning up for work — but they have absolutely no practical life skills,” says Sydney plumber Steve Kowaleczko.

“They’re young adults who’ve never had to do a single thing for themselves.

“I’m talking about Year 10 kids who still have their school lunch boxes packed by Mum, their rugby gear washed and laid out for them and toothpaste squeezed on their toothbrush every morning.

“A lot of these kids just can’t cope in the real world,” he says.

It’s a sentiment shared by Social Researcher Mark McCrindle, who believes the life challenges faced by our young men in particular, are greater than ever before.

A few years back, he published a report into Gen Y, that showed traditional “bloke skills” like fixing a leaky tap, putting up a shelf, lighting a wood fire and changing a car’s oil were all on the decline.

“And in 2015, things are no better when it comes to young people performing basic tasks,” he says.

“The problem we face is that our kids have amazing digital and academic skills, but those talents aren’t balanced out with domestic and life skills.

“Our children can build a magnificent world on Minecraft, but many have no clue how to build a real cubby house.

“They’re growing up with no knowledge of the traditional skills required to become self-sufficient adult,” he says.

As parents, we have to accept some of the responsibility.

One woman I know openly admits to making her daughter a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice every morning. And when her teenager hops into the shower, her mother makes her bed, places out a clean uniform — and has a toasted ham and cheese sandwich waiting for the walk to the bus stop.

“It’s important that she focuses on her studies, so she can get into university and become successful,” the mum admits.

“Learning how to roast a chook, or bake a cake from scratch, or change a car tyre just isn’t high on our list of priorities.”

Parents are working harder, longer hours than ever before. And those of us who enjoy a healthy income can employ others to do our domestic skills. House cleaners, takeaway meals and taking vehicles to the car wash means our kids aren’t getting the hands-on experiences they need.

McCrindle says this outsourcing is compounding the life skills problem, along with the fact our children are living at home until they are well into their mid — or late 20s.

“Kids are dependent for longer,” he says.

“They’re living in households where things like the cooking and the cleaning are just automatically done for them by mum — or by the hired help.”

So what’s the answer?

A father of five himself, McCrindle believes introducing a “life skills” program into schools might be one option.

“I’m of the strong opinion that our kids need less screen time — and more real world time,” he says. “As a parent, I think the most important task we need to focus on is teaching self reliance to our kids.

“When they have a flat tyre on their bike, show them how to fix it. Instead of a pizza home delivery, make one. Practical life skills are vital when it comes to surviving — and thriving in society.”

Here’s a list of basic life skills our kids should have down pat by the time they are 18.

* Cook (don’t just open and pour) a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner.

* Wash and iron clothes.

* Drive a car.

* Change bed linen weekly.

* Clean a bathroom.

* Know what a fuse box looks like and how to reset it.

* Know which tools perform what functions and how to use them.

* Maintain a fitness regime.

* Read a map.

* Understand basic first aid and know CPR.

* Create and keep a budget.

* Understand the risks of credit cards.
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chris_stoffa

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Post Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:39 am

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

As parents, we have to accept some of the responsibility

Some, more like all, if your kids cant do that simple list then as parents we have to accept all of the responsibility.

But then again its ok for a percentage of kids to be functionally retarded, it will create a wealth of service industry careers to soak up their dollars
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DamTriton

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Post Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:30 am

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

Add to that the lack ability of people these days to simply sit quietly for a period of time, without having to be "entertained" by some iGadget.
George Carlin, an American Comedian said; "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realise that half of them are stupider than that".
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BundyRumandCoke

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Post Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:47 pm

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

One of the reasons we have our grandson, and eventually our 2 grand daughters, into Scouts. It helps get them back to learning some basics in life. Its certainly not a be all and end all, but does teach some self sufficiency and reliance. It also gives my wife a reason (not that she needs one) to maintain her connection with the movement.
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80's_delirious

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Post Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:51 pm

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

I'm staggered that the researcher in this story thinks the solution is that this stuff should be taught in schools!!

add his 5 sproggs to the list of useless up and coming muppets!
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V8Patrol

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Post Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:31 am

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

Goatse.AJ wrote:Wi-Fi and 4G is embedded in their DNA. The internet is their lifeblood, as essential as eating and breathing.


here endth the lessons :finger:


out onsite yesterday to a workplace that has ~100 odd employees, haven't been there for about 10years.....

10 years ago you couldn't hear yourself think when smoko was on so many people talking etc :shock:

yesterday it was silent except for the odd chair being pulled out, foot steps as people shuffled in & the clinking of spoons in coffee mugs..... and a symphony of phone sounds of message sent/received...

EVERY head was facing down looking at their bloody phone


I was staggered at the change
:shock:
And your cry-baby, whinyassed opinion would be.....?
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oldmate

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Post Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:42 am

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

80's_delirious wrote:I'm staggered that the researcher in this story thinks the solution is that this stuff should be taught in schools!!

add his 5 sproggs to the list of useless up and coming muppets!



And that map reading is a basic life skill? People struggled with that long before in-car GPS was invented. The ability to read a map is linked to intelligence and spacial awareness. Not everybody can do it.

Some of that article is just sentimental crap. No body sends thank you notes in the mail these days. You do it by SMS or Email, which is a skill in itself.
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Goatse.AJ

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Post Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:03 am

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

DamTriton wrote:Add to that the lack ability of people these days to simply sit quietly for a period of time, without having to be "entertained" by some iGadget.


KaCHING!!!!! Kids these days are, in general, brought up being taught to be ENTERTAINED. It makes them better little consumer sheeples. If they start thinking for themselves, then they become more likely to NOT be good little consumer sheeples.
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rustyvit

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Post Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:25 pm

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

Mostly, Kids are a product of their upbringing, the blame sits squarely with out generation, we rode it the back of utes and did all the fun stuff. How and why did we screw it up?
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stockhorse

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Post Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:43 am

Re: A generation with no basic life skills

rustyvit wrote:Mostly, Kids are a product of their upbringing, the blame sits squarely with out generation, we rode it the back of utes and did all the fun stuff. How and why did we screw it up?


It was screwed up by "The Guilt complex" being exploited in advertising, subtly but still exploited.

Little Billie needs these shoes for school to make sure his feet grow straight and strong, this plastic lunchbox is a must have to keep your child's lunch fresher and help them learn, etc etc etc. Every parent from post war wanted the best for their kids and advertising exploited it.

If you were a "Good and caring " parent you would provide what your child needed, thus the race began. The advertising was aimed squarely at mums.
So mums became the guardians and each had to prove they cared more than the next.

We used to ride on the back of the Iceman's cart up to the end of the street, until one mum said we might fall off and get hurt or catch a disease from the horse. Her kids were not allowed to do it. Suddenly more and more kids got stopped because their mums cared "as much ,if not more" than the first mum.
So the cycle begins and kids start to become "precious".

Advertisers start to aim ads at kids and the " I want" age begins,and we now have the result from that evolution.
The "precious" kids brigade grew up and had kids and wanted "more and better" than they had as a kid. They needed to prove they loved Their kids more than their parents loved them. One of the choices was to wrap the kids in cotton wool: No more riding in utes I'm afraid.Can't swim for 1/2 an hour after eating,don't play on the grass without shoes and a host of other "rules" popped up from no where.
The next lot of parents, wanting to prove their love was greater, had little room to move.Advertising aimed at kids and parents "your child must have a mobile phone for safety" got kids demanding and parents providing.So now we have a group of entitled children growing to adult hood.The entitlement thing has been greatly increased by the "skip a generation" inheritance process where you skip your kids and leave it all to the grand kids. ( I will never understand that one)

But fear not! the age of "entitled" kids are having far fewer kids and are so lazy themselves that they are expecting their kids to do chores and, for the most part,fend for themselves. So hopefully the cycle will go full circle and we will end up with kids that are self sufficient and able to provide for themselves.
My kids will have no inheritance and they know it. What they have when I depart this mortal earth they will have worked for and accumulated themselves.
Protecting form harm is one thing, protecting from life another.

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