General Question

ideabrian's avatar

What's one skill you wish you'd been taught by your parents?

Asked by ideabrian (404points) December 7th, 2007

This might help volunteers know how to spend time with little brothers and sisters.

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13 Answers

Spargett's avatar

My “parents” taught me how to do everything by doing the exact opposite of what they did.

Even as a child I was aware I never wanted to do the things they did. With that I’ve lived an incredibly productive and positive life. So to summarize, there’s more than one way to lead by example.

Though, I would have liked to have learned many of the financial secrets it takes a lifetime to learn earlier. Which can be so powerful the younger you learn/understand. That, and a more diversed culture.

narussian's avatar

Delayed Gratification where money and savings are involved.

gailcalled's avatar

How to get angry, have conflicts, resolve them and still love each other.. I felt that if I weren’t obedient. overachieving, docile, accepting and always dutiful, I would lose the love of my parents. So I harbored all kinds of confused feelings and guilt that had few outlets.

I ended up by spending time at my kind and empathetic piano teacher’s house spilling my heart out to him, instead of having my lesson.He listened to me. A correllary to this is not to keep big secrets from your kids, once they are old enough to understand, guess or intuit that something is wrong. Really important question, Brian. I am eager to read others’ responses.

weightless's avatar

Money management.

ironhiway's avatar

Confidence, I know it’s not a skill but it can be taught

zina's avatar

- a second/third language

- financial things, as above – budgeting, unexpected costs to consider, loans, credit, health insurance, utilities—all those things you suddenly deal with as an adult and if you don’t know about it you’re like “WHOA, what’s THIS?!” and it’s a steep learning curve with all the details

- communication skills – to second gailcalled, though i was fortunate enough to get this elsewhere – but i see my friends who didn’t learn good long-term relationship (friendship or romantic) communication skills really suffering. as above, conflict and resolution, addressing the uncomfortable topics.

gailcalled's avatar

Weirdly, I learned all about good financial management, fiscal prudence, budgets,etc from my emotionally withdrawn father. That has held me in good stead as a business woman (and running a marriage as a good business venture) but I, too, now, find finances – on all their fronts – infinitely more inexplicable and mysterious due to the complications and bureaucracy….when I had to pick out a Medicare Drug plan, I ended up needing to get help from a county agency. The woman there could barely figure out the plans and in the past two years, my monthly fee has gone up 250%.

It is never too late to learn a second language; However, I think that our emotional insecurities are hard-wired at an early age. One can understand intellectually but to change one’s emotional response really takes work and only succeeds partially. ironhighway talks about confidence: I believe that that comes from unconditional love from your parents when you are young. You don’t have to be an A student, captain of the football team, or the best in anything…you are simply a beloved child.

A powerful book that explores this is THE DRAMA OF THE GIFTED CHILD; THE SEARCH FOR THE TRUE SELF; Alice Miller

christybird's avatar

How to change a flat tire. Or anything car-related, for that matter. Luckily I seem to have found the world’s most honest mechanic (he lives in Kentucky, if you are wondering) and this hasn’t been an issue much lately. Before, every time I walked into a garage I felt like I was wearing some kind of sign that said: “I know nothing about cars…take advantage of me, please.”

susanc's avatar

Speaking courteously without being invited to speak at all; initiating conversation,
nicely. So that I could have learned more. I was not invited to the conversational table
until I was 20.

gailcalled's avatar

@christybird; around here we single woman say “Sometimes you need a baritone” and not just for car mechanics- plumbers, electricians, roofers, snow plowers, brush hoggers, driveway graders, etc. I have learned how to speak wiring, pipes, joists, flashing, septic, leaching fields, shingles w. great authority and eye-contact. Car Talk is too much. I take my bro-in-law’s advice.

@susanc:Yr last sentence provocative but needs clarification for muzzy-brained me. (Oh, Gott, that passive voice. Sorry)

figbash's avatar

The ability to make good decisions and have confidence in them.

susanc's avatar

@gail: seen and not heard. At 20, suddenly subjected to criticism for passivity.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

How to break up with a girl. Also how to see failure as a learning tool and not as dread and despair.

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