On September 8, 2009 The Miami Herald printed an article called, “Life 101.” Subtitled, “What every child should learn before you let them fly the coop,” designated specific ages when certain logical life tasks need to be performed. The article separated tasks into “household, skills for life, food and drink, and etiquette.”
Here are a few suggested ages and necessary skills:
Dial 911: By five, a child should know how to dial and what to say in an emergency.
Commence laundry and dishwashing tasks while your child is two or three.
By the age of five, your child should be able to set the table with everyday dishes. By twelve, s/he should be able to set the table with good china and crystal.
Toilet cleaning can commence at three or four with a cloth moistened with alcohol. By nine to ten, s/he should be able to scrub with a brush and wipe clean and dry the entire toilet and toilet area.
By two or three your child should make her/his own bed. With practice s/he will have perfectly made beds and picked-up rooms by eight.
Learning how tools work and how to handle them can be introduced in small steps beginning at three. When the batteries die in her/his toys, let her/him try and unscrew the screws using a screwdriver. Of course, make sure the toy is unplugged.
A task involving etiquette that is critical is how to politely answer the phone and take a message. This skill must be perfected before s/he is allowed to answer the phone.
Also, at four or five, children should know how to greet people by making eye contact and shaking hands correctly.
Finally, how to change the toilet paper roller, balance a checkbook, shut off the main water valve of the house, use a hammer and screwdriver, and throw a circuit breaker must be accomplished before your children go “out into the world!”
Any tasks we left out? What do you think are mandatory skills? Let us know!