The importance of real-life experiences for our kids

Stephanie GrandestaffMile Markers

Children in Generation Z are growing up in a world where they’re bombarded with more content than they know what to do with on a daily basis.

Children in Generation Z are growing up in a world where they’re bombarded with more content than they know what to do with on a daily basis.

I have a challenge for you. One day, out of nowhere, ask your 8, 9 or 10-year-old to make the family breakfast or dinner, using anything in the kitchen. Now, ask them to do it without using the help of a device or Alexa. We did this when our two oldest were about that age. They treated it as a competition to see who could make the better dish. For the most part, they did a great job cooking without recipes. They learn a lot just by watching what we do in the kitchen daily.

Once our kids became teens, we sat down and made grocery lists with “needs” and “wants”, then gave them a budget to go shopping with. This taught them to find the best deals on the things we needed, so they might have enough money left over for items they wanted. This helped them understand budgeting and gave them a good sense for what groceries cost.

Go to the gas station, show your kids how to pump gas and wash the windows. Have them do their own ordering at restaurants and ask for refills or more ketchup. They need to learn how to interact with people and be polite in doing so. My poor daughter gets anxious when having to talk to strangers, but it’s something she will have to do for the rest of her life. My youngest, now 9, loves to take the ticket and have everyone guess the total of the bill. He will then ask for the money so he can go pay at the register, and try to figure out how much of a tip he should leave. 

We try to instill the importance of household chores and keeping things neat and tidy. They all know how to use a washer/dryer, dishwasher, how to clean their bathrooms, toilets, showers and bathtubs. I have gone inside many homes and have felt as though some adults were not taught how to clean as kids! 

I hope that I have helped teach my children communication skills beyond texting and social media. Hopefully they have gained confidence and will be better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at them once they are out on their own.

Herb Cody is a husband and father of three. He is a part time Uber driver and full-time caregiver of his spouse, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after an auto accident November 2015. Herb loves football and is a St Louis Cardinals fanatic. He and his family live in Nixa MO. Herb can be reached for questions or comments at herbie05@yahoo.com

You can check out Herb’s own blog at, www.thecodylife.weebly.com