The Australian media has been awash lately with stories about the new ‘useless generation.’ The new breed of young teenagers and adults who have no idea how to do basic things, and who rely heavily on Google and YouTube to find out how to do simple tasks like boil an egg or change a car tire or wash a load of clothes.
This story stopped me in my tracks because I find this at odds with my own experiences. I’ve never thought much about it until I saw this on the news the other night. My boys are 23, 17 and 15, and their father and I have always raised them to be independent, strong and self sufficient.
Everything my Mr Fix-it husband can do, they can do. We’ve always taught them life skills and how to do the important things in life. Basically, we’ve taught them how to look after things themselves.
I could quite happily leave them alone in our house for any length of time and know that they would manage our household just as my husband and I do. Maybe with a party or two, but that’s another post entirely. The thing is they are perfectly competent with cooking, cleaning, yard maintenance, and everything in between.Last year they built our huge back shed alongside hubby, from designing the plans on our home computer to nailing the sheets on and helping lay the concrete. They were actively involved every step of the way.
When my teenage driving son has a problem with his car, my mechanic husband makes son fix it himself and he simply supervises. Admittedly, this occurs with a good dose of healthy arguing and disagreement along the way.
Don’t get me wrong; they’re far from perfect – they can also moan and groan with the best of them, act like lazy good-for-nothings and be totally obnoxious sods with bad attitudes and foul mouths.
On the plus side, they are strong and confident young men with amazing work ethic, common sense and good manners. My boys, who can build fences, mow lawns, use chainsaws, fix cars, and also bake cakes and scones, mop floors, and hang the washing.
The more I thought about this, the more intrigued I was by how much our young people might be missing out on important life skills. Are we as parents working longer and harder to provide our children with all the necessary technological gadgets and expensive educations, but neglecting to teach them the basic life skills, like home maintenance and cooking?
Sure, there’s always going to be a Google search that will deliver that information or a person who will provide the service for payment, but are we denying our children the opportunity to learn new skills and help them develop into strong and independent young adults?
I would love to hear other opinions on what they think about this new so-called ‘useless generation’. Do you think it exists? Do you do everything for your children or do you let them learn and do things for themselves?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Inspiration to Dream of Adelaide, South Australia. Fiona can be found writing or reading in every spare moment that isn’t filled up with work, her three boys, her gorgeous grandson and of course with a bit of spare time thrown in for hubby as well.
Image credit to Free Digital Photos