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One of the things I’ve been pondering as my lad gets older is learning to manage a house. There are things as natural as can be to teach him…. like sweeping a floor, taking out the garbage, doing dishes and what not. These are jobs easily shown and given to a lad to do.
Not all jobs are like that though. Cleaning toilets, cooking complete meals, understanding personal finance, maintaining things like furnaces and appliances, and so much more. Sometimes I wonder how to do it all. I don’t think I’m alone in that. 🙂
Learning to Let him Learn
Today I felt a bit of an idiot you know? 🙂 My son was going to make homemade mac and cheese, the oven baked kind. I found him a recipe and then I started remembering how hard it was for me to make a white sauce….and I shouldn’t have….but I did. I kinda took over the “how to make a white sauce part.”. What I SHOULD HAVE done was wait and let him figure it out or ask for help. Why I didn’t? I don’t know.
The lad and I were talking about it. He had a recipe and he knows how to follow one, and here I kept messing around with him and it. He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just let him do it. In the end we basically decided that I was just being a mom learning to let a capable teen learn skills on his own. I haven’t done this before. He’s my first ever teen so I’m bound to make mistakes.
We’ve agreed. Next time I’ll find a recipe for him (until he’s comfortable finding his own) and then just let him run with it.
Plans Moving Forward
In a household there are many chores, jobs, duties that need doing to keep the household running smoothly. I broached the idea to my lad that I’d make a schedule and we’d switch routines every week. That, didn’t go over well. He’s a routine oriented young man so switching things around causes too much stress.
We decided that one day every other week he’ll cook supper. The opposite week I’d pick a chore and say, today can you do the laundry, whatever bin is full. We divide our clothes in black, medium, reds and whites. I do a load whenever a basket is full.
I’ll do the same with other tasks like cleaning the bathroom… toilet and tub not just the counter tops. Weeding the lettuce patch. Trimming back the grass from the sidewalk, and all the mirade of things that need doing. By the time he is 18 he won’t be wondering how to maintain a house any longer, and will have had exposure to everything that needs to be done.
Two months ago he opened a bank account. We had thought about just doing on-line banking with him, but reconsidered knowing the benefit of a personal touch when learning new skills. It was great decision since this past week he deposited all his savings. He learned that putting all the denominations together is better than dividing all the money into groups of $50 regardless if bill or coin. The tellers took their time explaining why group denominations and coins by type/amount is preferrable.
Over the summer I’ll be walking him through how to keep to a budget. We’ll do one month together of this is what we spend money on, this is what we have to spend, how can we make our dollars count best? Hands on, walking side by side learning, it’s the best way you know?
SchoolhouseTeachers has a personal finance course that we plan to take as well. Making sure I cover everything that needs covering. There is so much goodness on SchoolhouseTeachers, they are getting better all time time. Take advantage of their offerings if you haven’t yet!