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What Necessary Adult Skills Were You Never Taught Growing Up?

Lifehacker asked this question of its readers: What necessary adult skills were you never taught growing up? The site was properly called out for asking it as a call for article ideas, but that’s not really a sin. It’s kind of related to a discussion thread we once posted titled Buying Bread that asked what surprised you when you got out on your own away from family. The answers Lifehacker got were about personal finance, personal hygiene, sex, taxes, health, job hunting, and auto mechanics, among many other things. A thread at Metafilter has even more.

The first thing I thought of was computers: I knew nothing of computers because no one had any. Even in college you couldn’t touch one unless you were taking one of the three computer language classes. But I don’t have to worry about teaching computer skills to my kids. I do worry about what else they don’t know. They can write cursive, read a map, budget their money, and cook better than their peers, but maybe I’m overlooking something. What else should be on the list?   

(Image credit: Flickr user Tulane Public Relations)


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I never talked to my parents about the pitfalls of relationships. Mom married the first guy she dated and it was darn near perfect until the day he died. But I have plenty of advice for my own daughters.
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I think a lot of kids at my wife's school don't know enough about computers - they know how to entertain themselves, but if they are told, "sign up for an account with your private email, and then send your username to the teacher" they wouldn't be able to perform the task without help (10 year olds). I was talking to a teacher in Japan who has the same problem and said he felt that this was a common shortcoming in Japan.
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