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Demosthenes's avatar

Who should teach life skills: parents, schools, both, neither?

Asked by Demosthenes (8854points) May 27th, 2018

It’s a common complaint I hear that young people don’t learn how to manage finances or run a household. Should parents teach their kids these things? Knowing that many parents won’t do so effectively, should schools take up the burden?

Where did you learn your life skills?

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14 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Life skills need to be taught whenever and wherever possible.

I learned mine in both school and from my parents. I was basically yelled at by my counselor in high school because I signed up for and took vocational classes. At that point they don’t believe you will go to college. Most of them did teach good life skills like working on small engines, keeping your yard up, how to maintain your vehicle, type properly etc.. It’s not uncommon now to find highly educated college grads who can’t mix two cycle fuel or change a tire because nobody ever showed them how. Schools in the US shifted from teaching to chasing numbers on standard tests for the ever dwindling share of funding.

chyna's avatar

Both. You need to learn how to wash clothes, clean a house, boil an egg, balance a checkbook, write a check and do a budget. I think most of these things should be learned at home, but there should be classes for some of these also.

Demosthenes's avatar

My school didn’t teach much that was practical. There was a home economics class, but it was optional and I never took it. Personal finance was never addressed. I learned most practical skills from my parents and I’m grateful that they taught me. I was surprised when I got to college to find out how many people my age didn’t know how to cook or load a dishwasher properly or clean a bathroom. Maybe their parents never gave them any chores; I always had to pitch in around the house. When I started my first job, that’s when my dad taught me most of the financial stuff.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I guess my answer would be BOTH!!!

I think it is the parents responsibility to prepare their children for life in general by teaching them the best moral ground & the best way to relate with others. Schools should give them the knowledge with which to survive life especially in the workforce. I found school another good place to grow socially.

IF a child learns something at school that is opposite of the parents belief, then I feel it’s the parents responsibility to use that opportunity to explain to the child WHY they feel it is wrong. So, nether should be the ONLY experience the child receives; but BOTH working in tandem should give the child a well rounded start on life!!!

The reality is that the child will determine their best course in life without listening to either thw parents or the school. Given a good foundation, the child will have a better chance of choosing te right course in life!!!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Both I remember my study hall in junior and senior years (we had the “business teacher”, he could type 100 words per minute on a manual machine and taught business law) for our study hall. If we didn’t have anything to study he would show you how to balance a checkbook and other “life skills”>

zenvelo's avatar

All. It takes a village!

LadyMarissa's avatar

^^^^^ A village it does take. Sadly, we are losing our village mentality!!!

kritiper's avatar

Any and all.

YARNLADY's avatar

Most people forget that children learn entirely by themselves by observation and mimicry
of everything and everyone they come in contact with.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@YARNLADY is correct. I babysit with 2 children who lie a lot. Their mother is constantly yelling at them for lying & then the next words out of her mouth are “don’t tell Grandpa that we ____.” Then she gets mad at me when I point out to her that SHE is the one who is teaching them to lie!!! Strange as it may sound they don’t lie to me (most of the time). The youngest is still earning that I know when he lies & the oldest has learned that it’s easier to just NOT lie to me!!!

JLeslie's avatar

Schools definitely, because we can regulate that. Sure, it’s best if parents do too, but there is no way to be sure they are doing it, plus they might suck at it for themselves. Not all parents are good with money, cooking, relationships, sewing on a button, filling out an application, kitchen safety, balancing a checkbook, etc.

I learned this stuff from adults in my family and in school. I had a good Home Ec class in Jr. High that augmented what I had learned at home.

LadyMarissa's avatar

My Mom said I was 4 when I first pushed up my chair to stand next to her while she cooked. I can’t remember when Mom wasn’t teaching me about cooking & sewing. Still my Home Economics teacher, Mrs Duncan, added to what my Mother had taught me. It was like the icing on the cake!!!

Adagio's avatar

I absorbed my life skills from my parents. No doubt I picked up some things here and there but undoubtedly most of the skills I use as an adult were absorbed during my first 17 years at home.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Mostly my mother and my grandparents, as far as checkbooks, general finances, housework/ maintenance, etc…. I did take Home Ec in junior high, which taught general sewing, hygiene, basic cooking and things like that.

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