Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Things I Want My Children To Know How To Do Before They Leave Home

I originally posted this list in January 2009, and I'm thinking on it again.  With a few more years of parenting under my belt, I'm more sure than ever that these things are important and also that in the day-to-day of parenting, sometimes it is really hard to focus on the big pictureI'm thinking of laminating the list and putting it somewhere I'll see often!

Things I want my children to know how to do before they leave home: 

1. Look to God for guidance, comfort, strength, joy, hope, love, and acceptance
2. Pray

3. Study their Bible 
4. Serve others 
5. Be a part of a family - sharing joys and hurts, fun and work; encouraging, supporting, and helping each other 
6. Sew on a button 
7. Load, unload, and start the dishwasher
8. Wash clothes
9. Change a tire
10. Exercise
11. Cook meals

12. Light a pilot light on the hot water heater and furnace
13. Feel compassion for hurting people.
14. Safely drive a car
15. Be responsible
16. Shop
17. Mow the grass and other basic yard maintenance
18. Make a bed
19. Clean a bathroom
20. Be considerate of others
21. Study
22. Set an alarm and get themselves up out of bed
23. Budget and track spending
24. Eat healthy
25. Overcome adversity
26. Hang pictures and shelves
27. Write a thank-you note
28. Clean out the refrigerator
29. Manage their anger
30. Set goals and create action plans
31. Tend a garden
32. Gracefully win and lose a game
33. Plan a vacation
34. Pack a bag
35. Pack a car
36. Resist temptation
37. Paint a room
38. Iron
39. Swim
40. Take notes
41. Care for a pet
42. Make a decision
43. Organize their things
44. Love someone that is hard to love
45. Apologize
46. Appreciate what they have
47. Come back home and visit their Momma!

You may laugh at something like #7, but I knew a guy who made it to college and thought the dishwasher detergent went in the Jet Dry hole! 

The list is long and can be a bit overwhelming; I pray for Divine Help! Having this list does keep things in perspective and works to keep me focused on the things that will matter in the long run!

Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this list! What have I left off? Anything I could remove from the list? I’d love to hear your perspective!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.


  1. I assume your track spending means how to balance a checkbook. Although with online banking that isn't as difficult as it used to be.

  2. About #7, I would add a separate item, "Wash dishes by hand." I had one housemate who literally had no idea how this was done--and several others who used much more water and soap than necessary but didn't actually get all of the dishes clean.

    A few others that come to mind:
    -Know how pregnancy occurs and several ways to avoid it. (Of course you will teach your morals about which of these ways are acceptable, and why.)
    -Do basic first aid.
    -Assess symptoms and know when to call a doctor.
    -Set up a new appliance following the instruction manual.


I'd love to hear what you think!