Thursday, June 30, 2016

Could You Help Me With This?

"Never do any tasks alone that you could do with a kid/teen." That was advice I received at a Young Life leader's training. Today on Facebook there was a post about youth not knowing basic skills of being an adult like changing a tire or baking a cake. It is true that not all schools teach home economics and auto shop anymore. Budget cuts and increasing graduation requirements are no excuse for us not providing basic life skills. Truth is not all students would or do choose these classes even when they are offered. We encouraged our own kids to take building trades and ROTC to learn how to build a house and to experience what the military has to offer. Communities raise children. Spending time with kids and letting them be helpful is a way we can all teach, encourage and raise resilient adults.

The story at the YL conference was that this leader was going to cancel a planned outing for teens because he got a load of rock that he needed to spread in his backyard. Then it occurred to him that he could include the kids rather than cancelling on them. Teens rolling each other around in wheelbarrows, laughter, and accomplishment of a job well done were the rewards. Of course, there was pizza, water hose fights and exhaustion at the end of the day. Working together on that backyard was probably way more memorable than any other event they had planned.

I used to be good about reaching out and including someone even if my trip to Santa Fe was just to go to Sam's Club for groceries and tires. The conversations were what mattered not what we were doing.  I am guilty of thinking no one would want to do that and so I don't call. Connections are so important in life and with our busy lives we tend to work alone and then try to fit in a half hour here or there to grab coffee and catch up. Barn raising was a real thing. Neighbors coming together to work together on each other's barn to get it up and ready quickly. The pictures we see of those times tell it all. It was not only about building a barn but coming together as a community to work together. The spread of food looks delicious too as the reward at the end of a long day.

So next time you are cleaning out the garage, rotating your tires, or making applesauce, include a kid or call a neighbor. That is how we can all learn those adult skills and connect with each other in the process. Guaranteed that your chores will be less tedious and you may even have a great time.

In Him,

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