I've received a lot of negative feedback (and some positive feedback) about this blog post, primarily from Pinterest users who clearly either #1- did not actually read my blog post OR #2- did not understand that this blog is for YW leaders who volunteer their personal time to help teenage girls. Several of these people have called me "sexist", but if these people knew me at all (or had actually read this blog post in the first place), they would realize that is not true.
Please see my response to these negative comments in the comments section at the very bottom of this post (in the comments section)
A recently came across some paperwork which described a survey that they had conducted of ADULT women (in a suburb of a large city), asking about their current "provident living" (i.e., self-reliance) skills and those that they felt they still needed to acquire/improve.
Due to the results of this survey, local church leaders were encouraging the ward Relief Societies to focus on teaching the women in our congregations (some of whom were single parents) these vital life skills that many lack.
What was on this list of skills that the leaders felt that these sisters desperately needed to learn?
- Basic Budgeting
- Planning and cooking nutritious meals
- Basic Sewing (such as sewing on a button)
I have thought about that letter many times since I found it the other day. While it is mainly the parent's responsibility to prepare their own children to function as adults, we as Young Women leaders have an opportunity every Wednesday to teach skills like these that will help prepare (or reinforce the preparations of parents) these young women for college, missions, and/or being a wife/mother. Would budgeting, planning & cooking meals, cleaning, and basic sewing help a young adult in college, on a mission, and/or as a young wife/mother? Absolutely! And the same thing goes for the young men. These are basic, basic life skills, but they are being taught in the home (and schools) less and less.
Within the church, these types of skills are frequently referred to as "provident living skills". This term means that these skills are necessary for any person (not just the young women) who wants to be capable of doing things for themselves instead of always relying on others. Can we sew on our own button, or do we need to run to our mother (or have to pay someone to do it)? Can we do our own laundry, or do we need to hire someone to do it? Could we take care of our own needs in an emergency situation, or would we sit around and wait for someone to rescue us?
In our class activities, we have already had a few cooking and meal planning activities (see previous posts under the "life skills" label at the right of this page). I now have a goal to have a "cooking" activity with the Mia Maid class once very quarter (or 4 times a year). This way, they will have at least 8 opportunities to learn to cook something during the time they are a Mia Maid.
I have also taught some basic sewing (see previous posts under "life skills") and budgeting. Teaching "cleaning" is a little tougher (although maybe I could get them to fold my laundry?). But we do have regular assignments to clean the ward building.
My goals for teaching basic cooking are to teach them to make things that they actually want to eat and make things that won't be too overwhelming.
Some things that we have already made: pico de gallo*, wheat ciabatta bread*
Some things I plan to have them make soon: spinach/artichoke dip and pita chips, spaghetti, fruit pie
In the meantime, here is a great article about teaching teenagers the basics of kitchen safety, food preparation, and safe storage of foods from yourteenager.co/uk (click here)
and my other life-skill related posts can be found by searching the categories listed at the top of this blog.