Monday, November 19, 2012

Through the ages

Last night while waiting for Anna to get off work I was reading an article in the fall Jane Austin Knits and an older gentleman asked me if I knit. Now normally I would just say yes an keep reading but when I looked up I swear it was the old man from Up. Tweet hat, pocket watch, jacket with elbow protectors, and he had a look on his face that made me wonder who else knitted in his life.

Get it! 
I followed up my quick yes about how I do knit and I was taught by my grandmother. He got this smile and just patted me on the shoulder and said that it made him happy to hear that.

It got me to thinking, and with the Yarn Harlot's questions regarding how people don't cook it adds to the thoughts, that there are skills less then 50 years ago were common knowledge. Children knew where their food came from and how to cook. Those huge ponchos that remind us of a time when acrylic was the newest and greatest thing were only acquired if you were rich or good with a crotch hook.

But with what I'm seeing today I have to ask:

Have our parents failed us and are parents failing with their kids now?

In the hustle and bustle we saw the past few decades did our parent's parents try too hard to make sure their kids did well in school, sports and other parts of life and forgot to teach them basic living skills. It is so easy to just tell your child to study more and say "I'll take care of dinner/laundry/making the bed/cleaning" and forget that if you don't show them how to take care of themselves, they will never learn. One of the things that is so easy for a parent to take care of is making food, but it is one of the basic skills every person will need. If we don't bring our children into the kitchen how will they learn to cook? I once had a boyfriend that did not know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich and that put things into perspective about how he was raised (issues with laundry should have been another giveaway, but I am sometimes slow to the faults of the ones I love). I have friends that ask me for my recipes and where I got it, and look puzzled when I say I just looked at what I had in the fridge and made something from it.

I learned how to cook, clean, sew, do laundry, knit and make my bed from the woman in my family. My mother was considered no great cook when I was growing up (there were several kitchen fires), but she is a decent one in today's society. She taught me to make a souffle though her chicken soup was bland. My grandmother taught me to knit and my aunt taught me and Anna to make lapskaus. Sewing was one thing my mother could do, and I eventually took the little bit of cleaning knowledge she taught me and which my studio is not sparkling clean, give me 30 mins and it can be. I can also plant and maintain a garden due to my grandmother.

We use to have home economics classes, but now those have disappeared. So where will our children learn about how to keep themselves alive, well fed, clean and well dressed?

The answer is the parents and family. We need to bring our children in again. Give them chores like cleaning the bathroom and making their beds. Teens can suffer through doing their own laundry and fending for themselves one dinner a week. The eventual goal of every parent is to create successful adults out of their children. So shouldn't they succeed in the home as well as the outside world?

No comments:

Post a Comment