There is a “lost generation” of parents & children that have forgotten the age-old tradition of parents passing down life skills & character traits to children. However, I believe that we are the generation rising to the challenge of bringing back those traditions.
We Are The Generation Rising To The Challenge
There seems to be a movement of 30-somethings taking back the responsibility to teach our children the important skills & character traits needed in real life. Aside from academics, our children need real-life, hands-on experience and skills taught to them before they reach adulthood.
We were launched into adulthood without the most practical life skills & character traits. We grew up in the age of tech and (apparently) many believed that the old-fashioned homeEc and “shop” skills were to become obsolete … one example is that the public school system quit teaching those classes.
More than the practical “handiwork” skills of gardening, preserving, cooking, changing the oil/tire of a car, mowing the lawn, etc., simple things like self-care and ALL that comes with that (not the kind that encourages selfishness or self-pleasure, but actually knowing how to care for yourself, support yourself, etc.), caring for others (the weak, vulnerable, dependents, family, etc.), and stewardship of God’s blessings (money, the earth, natural resources, animals, etc.) were also left out of the equation.
We may have seen our parents/grandparents growing, harvesting, preserving their own food or changing the oil/tire on their car, but even if they encouraged us to work alongside them surely we didn’t need to get our hands dirty! They were old-fashioned, we would live in the age of technology and progress, right??
Turns out that basic life skills and neighborly love go a long way in making successful adults. Thankfully, the gap of lost skills didn’t last long before we realized what we were missing.
Parents are rising to the occasion. Parents are learning these skills themselves and bringing their children alongside them in the process.
And, we’re learning that there is satisfaction in a job well done. That hard work pays off.
We are learning what matters most in life. Relationship with God, family, and neighbor.
While broad-spectrum “social studies” (which receive a major focus in public education) are important, they don’t deserve an academic title or time slot in a child’s day. Those things are best taught when caught — children see their parents living out these skills in real-life and learn by example.
The skills that deserve academic titles and time slots are the forgotten life skills & character traits of our grandparents (the GREATEST GENERATION).
The Lost Generation
Since there seems to have been a generation of parents who slacked in this department (perhaps because they assumed the public school system and the organized church was teaching their children all the needed skills for life), the current generation of parents need to be taught so that they can start the tradition of passing valuable life skills & character traits to the next generation. Thankfully, we have the resources available through the internet, neighbors, family, books, etc.
2 Thessalonians 2
1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
The Challenge Of The Generation Rising Up
In reality, if we just start doing these things, we will learn as we go and our children will learn with us — if we include them and make it a part of everyday life. Children should be alongside their parents in the kitchen, yard, garage, grocery store, church, etc.
And let’s be honest, nowadays it is rarely scheduled in nor made a part of real-life! Children are often experiencing two realities each day — scheduled school time where they feel like they are learning “useless” facts – or are there only to socialize; and endless amounts of screentime where they are wasting away in a virtual world — both will leave them feeling empty.
Proverbs 19:15 “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.”
Have you read Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder? Remember how Almanzo transitions from boyhood to adulthood directly and so seamlessly that it is hard to tell where his childhood ended and manhood began (no teenage years there, btw – that is a recently made-up label to excuse the lack of mature humans in the world)?
How did he do that?? By living life alongside his parents, being given responsibilities, working hard, learning by the example of his parents, and valuing the goal of becoming a man.
While his boyhood was more carefree than his adulthood, it was not a life of selfish pleasure. It was filled with meaningful participation in his family’s life — he contributed valuable efforts while learning to become a man able to care for himself!
For that matter, Laura herself also became a young adult through hard work. She was brought alongside her parents to experience real-life and learned the skills needed to survive.
Life Skills & Character Traits – Books For The Generation Rising To The Challenge
The Homemaker’s Mentor Treasury of Homekeeping Skills: A Vintage Keepsake Collection (Volume 1)
The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming
Educating the Wholehearted Child
The Lifegiving Table: Nurturing Faith through Feasting, One Meal at a Time
The Lifegiving Parent: Giving Your Child a Life Worth Living for Christ
The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop
Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons…”
That is the challenge our generation is rising to. We were part of the lost generation who had forgotten the skills & character traits needed to survive but we are a generation rising to the challenge of learning those skills and bringing our children alongside us so that we/they are not left feeling dull, depressed, useless, restless, and unfulfilled.
As a Christian, I know that our true fulfillment is found in living a life for Christ. Seeking His will and surrendering to His will — will bring us eternal peace.
I believe it is biblical and God’s will for parents to pass life-skills & character traits to their children. Raising mature & moral adults is our responsibility and I know we can rise to the challenge!
There are a lot of ways to implement life skills & character traits in everyday life. From reading God’s Word & wholesome books with our children daily — to putting our words into action through homemaking, homesteading, homeschooling — in other words: learning to love/serve others and provide for ourselves in various ways while serving the Lord!