This is something of a belated response to Emily Esfahani Smith's piece last week: Three Cheers for Glamour's "30 Things".
I am raising 4 girls (ages 3 to 11 as of this writing), and have been keeping a mental checklist of sorts since they were born of the essential life skills I think they should have before they turn 21. This list is not in any particular order, but it does contain those skills I think they'll need and want as they face the world, either single or married. What's on your list? What am I missing?
Don't be turned off by the first few visible, scroll through the whole list.
1. Know how to cook without a cookbook - great for when your pantry is skint, or you've got an unexpected party on your hands.
2. Know how to remove stains from clothes - keeps your wardrobe in good repair longer.
3. Know how to repair your clothes - you might not like sewing, but at least know how to fix things.
4. Know how to plunger a toilet - saves calls to the plumber, makes you look like a hero in your dorm, apartment, etc.
5. Know how to keep your residence clean.
6. Know how to make basic household repairs (Mom already sets a good example here, she installed our new dishwasher while I was at work).
7. Be able to identify, describe the function of, and proficiently use a standard tool set (socket set, crescent wrench, vise grips, box wrench, hammer, pliers, cutters, screwdrivers, saw, etc). They will each leave home with a starter set.
8. Know how to put 10 consecutive pistol shots in a 10" target at 25 feet
9. Know how to put 10 consecutive medium-calibre rifle shots in a target at 100 yards
10. Know how to hit a clay (or real bird) with a shotgun.
11. Know how to strip and clean your rifle, your shotgun, and your pistol (they'll leave home with one of each).
12. Know how to reload your own ammo.
13. Know how to throw a punch
14. Know how to take a punch and keep going
15. Know how to disagree with your mother in a firm but civil way.
16. Know how to spot and counter emotional blackmail.
17. Know how to listen to your family's advice, even when you don't agree.
18. Know how to drive with a manual transmission.
19. Know how to change a tire.
20. Know how to change the oil.
21. Know how to jump a dead battery.
22. Know how to spot BS from a mechanic.
23. Know how to navigate by map and compass.
24. Know how to go camping in a tent.
25. Know how to remain level-headed when your adventure wasn't expected.
26. Know how to start an adventure.
27. Know how to take constructive criticism.
28. Know how to work around people to get your job done.
29. Know how set goals, and how to recognize BS goals from others
30. Know how to fail and get up again.
I could switch some of these out for others.
What would you add or change?