Thursday, October 05, 2006

How you know that you've successfully raised your children...

From Kim, via Rodger...

Your son should understand...
* Drive a car well, ie. a stick shift;
* Know how to handle any gun, and be comfortable with its operation;
* Understand basic macro- and microeconomics;
* Know the difference between a popular democracy and a representative republic;
* Be able to cook a basic meal (meat, rice/potatoes, vegetables) from scratch;
* Speak at least one foreign language
* Understand how to read a map, and be comfortable with basic orienteering;
* Have two years’ experience in a trade (any trade, eg. carpenter, electrician, welder, auto mechanic, plumber);
* Play a musical instrument, and have a basic understanding of music;
* Understand basic self-defense/unarmed combat techniques;
* Have excellent manners, and know all aspects of social etiquette;
* Travel to a foreign country (Mexico and Canada don’t count, in the U.S. circumstance);
* Be extremely knowledgeable about history (for the reasons given by Coop
[shown at the link] );
* Have read at least twenty books in the Western Canon;
* Be able to use a computer, especially spreadsheet, word processing and basic database programs;
* Be able to write a cogent, grammatically-correct essay of no less than 1,000 words in length
* Been a member of a social group or club (4H, Boy Scouts, Young Republicans, whatever) for at least two years

Your daughter should understand...
The basic rules of fashion (and the difference between fad and fashion, never giving in completely to the former)

Be comfortable in the body she was born with

How to properly groom herself and apply/wear make-up appropriate for the setting/circumstances

Sew (sufficient to hem, reapply a button, make curtains) including a knowledge of fabrics and fashion terms

How to iron beyond getting the creases out (knowing how to properly iron a dress shirt including a non-permanent press version, set creases in slacks, and handle pleating)

The rules of etiquette in both business and personal settings for a variety of cultures, including:

* How to set a table
* How to make introductions
* How to make seating arrangements at a table
* Proper conduct at formal events, such as weddings, funerals, etc.
* Rules of reciprocation

Recognize gossip, know how to avoid it, and people who do it

Be an ear/shoulder without being a martyr or know-it-all

Bathe and clothe a baby

Feed a baby

Be physically fit sufficient to birth a baby and endure a 2-year-old

Understand the basics of child psychology and child rearing, sufficient to properly coach a child to explore, read, and discover

* Basic arithmetic
* Basic science
* Properly address and handle a tantrum

Write letters

Be gracious without being condescending

Understand our system of government sufficient to keep vigilance of it and properly exercise her right to vote

Be able to defend herself, her husband, and her children with a gun

Read at least 20 books from the Western Canon and understand them

Recognize at least 100 paintings/art treasures and what is good/bad about them

Play at least one musical instrument, and understand the basics of music

Recite poetry or sing without being self-conscious

Speak a foreign language sufficient to travel in that country

Play bridge to win, and win gracefully

Drive defensively

Understand how a car works, sufficient to attend to its required maintenance

Be able to use basic household tools to perform basic household repairs

Know how to hang a picture and WHERE to hang it

Understand the basics of design as it applies to household decor, architecture, garden and landscape planning/maintenance

Manage a household:

* Hire, direct, and train household staff
* Menu/meal planning (including organizing and planning parties and events)
* Budgeting and forecasting
* Maintain records (including important documents, expenses/checking and savings accounts, etc.)

Cook/Kitchen management, including:

* Make bread
* Understand dietary considerations (health, customs, and religions)
* Select, keep and store ingredients properly and safely
* Understand the proper use and selection of herbs and spices
* Bake a pie, including fruit, cream, and meringue
* Make sauces, including rue-based, vegetable-based, and creams
* How to test for doneness in meats, breads, and cakes
* How to choose equipment and serving pieces
* Be capable of making an entire Thanksgiving dinner on her own (on time and everything hot/cold as appropriate)

How to say “no”

How and when to say “yes”

Be supportive of her husband without deameaning herself

Recognize and end relationships that are destructive

Dance etiquette

Walk gracefully in high heels (or know not to wear them!)

Tell a joke

Bathe a dog

Kim appears to be a bit harder on his daughters than he is on his sons. However, this is good preparation for life, as life has always been harder on women than on men.

By Kim's standards, we've failed our children on a number of counts, but overall, they're turning into wonderful young adults, in spite of our failures.

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