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Things to Teach

When I was a boy, one of my responsibilities was to shine my shoes on Sunday morning before church. My father taught me how, and I derived a certain pleasure and satisfaction from acquiring this simple skill.

These days, I don't think most boys wear shoes that need to be shined, but the need for one generation to relate to the next in simple ways remains.

Here are ten things an adult can teach a young child. They require no special tools and no more than 15 minutes each. You can teach these things as a parent, as an uncle or aunt, or as a "Big" in Big Brothers and Sisters.

1. How to replace a toilet paper roll.

2. How to thread a needle and sew on a button.

3. How to identify common flowers and trees.

4. How to replace a car's air filter.

5. How to play chess (a universal game that requires no electricity).

6. How a toilet works.

7. How circuit breakers turn off the electricity.

8. How to check the oil level and tire pressure on a car.

9. How to shake hands (or clap) properly.

10. How to unstop a clogged sink.

This list is vastly incomplete. It may be more directed at boys than girls. I am interested in your comments and suggestions.

Whatever we may deem appropriate, let's all intentionally take a moment to interact with the next generation by helping a child learn to work (wash a car), explore (visit a bank), play (shuffle cards), and serve (help deliver Meals on Wheels).

Just as I remember my dad, a child will always remember you for explaining a "mystery" or teaching a practical little skill. Leave a legacy; show something "cool" to a child.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 10, 2006 9:22 AM.

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