Jeni Marinucci: Panic Button Years


The Things Kids Should Know Before They Leave Home. The List:

Do you know all these? Good. Now teach your kids.


Kids learn a lot growing up; from birth until their early 20s their brains are literally information-seeking sponges. And while a lot of what they need to know to prepare for "the real world" after they leave home is taught in school during the course of the school year, there are so many other skills to learn — skills just as or even MORE valuable, I would argue — than plain old reading and math. 

Here is a list of 45 Life Skills (in no particular order) that once mastered, only then will I consider allowing my children to leave the nest. 

1. Read a map

2. Ask for directions

3. Roast a chicken

4. Buy condoms

5. Talk to a pharmacist without giggling 

6. Make a doctors appointment 

7. Barter/haggle on price 

8. Appreciate differences

9. Make an apology 

10. Stand up for a friend 

11. Tell an authority figure they're wrong 

12. Balance a bank account 

13. Make a killer guacamole 

14. Accept help 

15. Say no, offer no explanation, mean it, and stick to it 

16. Paddle a canoe or rowboat  

17. Check the car oil 

18. Own a library card

19. Offer assistance to someone in distress

20. Iron a dress shirt 

21. Vacuum the corners 

22. Cancel a gym subscription 

23. Load a dishwasher

24. Use jumper cables 

25. Negotiate a contract 

26. Catch a fish

27. Start a fire (bon; not house.) 

28. Keep a plant alive 

29. Use a lawnmower 

30. Use an axe/chainsaw/filet knife

31. Swing a tennis racket or golf club

32. Change a tire

33. Tell someone to fuck off (I am serious. It's hella cathartic.) 

34. Diaper a baby 

35. Win an argument 

36. Drive stick-shift 

37. Parallel park 

38. Pump their own gas

39. Swim 

40. Use a drill 

41. Know all the words to a great campfire song

42. Get out of an awkward moment and help a friend in turn

43. Lose gracefully 

44. Understand the importance of: life jackets, sunscreen, helmets, home fire alarms 

45. Hire/marry someone to perform duties from list above should they be unable

There you have it!

The list seems long, but I bet your kids have a great base of knowledge already. I mean, come on; look who they have modelling all this great behaviour for them. (My kids will be pros at #33.) And, because I am always learning (stop learning, stop living) this list is fluid. Perhaps humans in the future won't need many of these skills, but they'll be replaced by others. Who would have thought 25 years ago that "Google something" would mean something?

What would you add?