For the Dads: Skills Your Son Should Have by the Time He's 12 Years Old
Today's Dad is busier than ever. No more do I hear of fathers who come home from work, put their feet up, have their newspaper and martini handed to them while the wife cooks dinner and the kids play.
These days, Dad works 10+ hours per day, then comes home, wolfs down dinner, and helps to get the kids to their various activities. Smartphone in hand, Dad continues to work while watching the Little League game or gymnastics meet. Then it's back home, bedtime for the kids, and falling asleep in front of the TV for Dad. The martini may be the only constant.
In the midst of this non-stop lifestyle, it is easy to forget that as parents, our job is to eventually raise our children to become responsible, functioning adults. It's a long-term position, and it means that we serve as constant teachers. In addition to sports and academic skills, we must provide our children with some basic life skills as well.
What skills could a kid possibly need? Well, lest your son get to high school feeling like Napoleon Dynamite ("I got no skills"), here is a list of abilities that a boy (and heck why not a girl) should have by the time he turns 12 years old:
- Safely build an open fire
- Plan and cook a meal over that open fire
- Sharpen an ax
- Administer basic first aid
- Paddle a canoe or kayak 1 mile
- Build and launch a model rocket
- Tie objects together using the best knot for the job
- Ride a bike 25 miles or more
- Give service to his community
- Boil water for emergency situations
- Properly fold an American flag
You may be wondering how in the world you are going to teach your son all of these skills on top of all his other activities. And the answer is simple: Enroll your son in the Boy Scouts of America. As a Boy Scout, your son will master numerous age-appropriate skills that will eventually help him function as an independent adult.
As a Dad, you can participate as a Scout leader, or place your trust in the other fathers who run your local troop. Either way, your son will grow in ways that will make you proud.
A Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. And a Happy 100th Anniversary to the Boy Scouts of America.
From a proud mom of a Boy Scout,
REALTOR - Sturbridge, MA
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Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador
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