Here are 10 pioneer skills every 12-year-old should know. I have grandkids and I know their parents have taught them well, and for this, I am very proud. I also realize we need to brush up on some of these 10 pioneer skills so the entire family can work on them together. Here’s the deal, our kids or grandkids will not have to use first aid skills every day, I get it. But, we want them to be self-reliant so if we are not around they will know what to do if someone is cut, scraped or even sunburned. This will give them the confidence to deal with these 10 pioneer skills without feeling quite as scared or nervous.
I realize some parents are both working, and there are single parents who are working one or two jobs just to make ends meet. It’s expensive to feed a large family compared to when I had children. I honestly do not know how some people feed their families with the price of food these days. I know, I can hear you, we raised our family on beans and rice and Mark and I still eat those items to this day. I love beans, just so you know, and the price of them is fabulous! I have these 10 pioneer skills and I will add yours if you have some I should add to my list.
10 Pioneer Skills:
Every child needs to learn to cook from scratch and not just how to open a can of food, although that would be great too! Hopefully, at this age, they know how to boil water, cook pasta, make salad dressing from scratch, to name just a few. I have seen 12-year old kids that can make boiled eggs, biscuits, homemade bread, and to make a complete dinner. I love this!
By the age of 12, or younger, the kids can do their own laundry, help with the family wash, and transfer the wash from the washer to the dryer. Pioneers didn’t have this luxury, but we do. But laundry is laundry, being self-reliant makes a child happy and confident. It’s surprising how much cleaner their rooms are if they have to do their own laundry, or it can be worse because they are expected to their laundry! I have to laugh because I know this from experience, and those involved will remain nameless.
Doesn’t feel wonderful when we see that an older child has cleaned a sibling’s wound, applied a salve complete with a band-aid if needed? This makes a mom and dad proud! Now in order to achieve this goal with a few first aid skills, the kids will need to know where the supplies are stashed. I use containers with drawers and they are labeled with stickers to show what is in each drawer, like band-aids, Neosporin, etc. I highly recommend this book where the kids can look through it when needed, or just to study before the information is really needed. Medical Handbook
4.Canning and Preserving Food
My family grew up canning and dehydrating everything we could possibly grow or pick. We grew, picked, washed and snapped green beans and then canned them. Oh, peaches were our favorite, they were easy to can in quart mason jars. Cherries were okay, but we liked them fresh. We made grape juice with the grapes we raised, tomatoes were easy to can in quart jars as well. There is something about making salsa together and spaghetti sauce as a family. I bet you can picture the whole family lined up with their particular job to preserve the items so we had food stored for the year. It seems like we have preserved every fruit and vegetable known to man. This year is the first year I pressured canned meat. Unfortunately, my daughters have not carried on this tradition but they all work hard raising their families and teaching them so many other skills they need to use as they leave the nest, so to speak.
I love it when my granddaughters and grandsons come and want to learn how to sew and quilt. I purchased a sewing machine for two daughters so when I go to their house if they need help with a sewing project I can help them. It makes me smile when I see my two grandsons and granddaughters sewing or mending their own clothes. They buy clothes from thrift stores and alter them, woohoo! Way to go by saving money!
This is a great skill whether they go to a garage sale or they are overcharged at a local grocery store. They need to know it’s okay to speak up if they are overcharged even $.25. We need to teach them money is money, learning to watch your pennies is a critical skill because we need that $.25 more than the store who may accidentally overcharge us needs it.
Wow, I don’t know where to start on this one. I am shocked at what I see at some of my local grocery stores, some of the kids are running all over while their mom or dad is talking on the phone. I feel we need to teach the art of saying please, thank you and the skill of being grateful for what we have. I have seen a lot of children who are so darn cute and polite, doesn’t it just melt your heart? I raised my girls to use a napkin at the table, whether paper or cloth. It’s the little things like teaching children to eat with their mouths closed. It’s critical to teach them to say excuse me or pardon me when walking in front of someone. I was so proud of one of my granddaughters mentioning she was surprised her date didn’t open the car door for her, she was used to her dad doing this for her. A good example of a parent is everything, right? Teach our children that bullying is wrong.
This one is so different today compared to when I was raising my kids. We didn’t have cell phones with texting or using the phone in the car. I have seen young girls filling their gas tanks talking on the phone unaware of what’s going on around them. I listened to a woman who gave a talk about how her husband was killed and she was critically injured because a woman was texting and hit them with her car while they were holding hands walking on the sidewalk.
Life changed in an instant for them. I really wish the state I live in would make texting or calling on a cell phone while driving a misdemeanor, or whatever is needed to teach them a lesson. A young girl 16 years old was texting while driving her car and died after driving off an embankment near our neighborhood. Life will never be the same for her family. Luckily no one else was hurt. Please teach your children to be aware of their surroundings, not to be fearful, but be aware of what’s going on around them.
It’s very important that our families know where to navigate in our community and have the confidence to know how to make it home safely if they need to because of a disaster, flood or unforeseen emergency.
In Utah, we have a lot of game meat hunter’s, so it’s important that our children respect a weapon and what it can do. Please keep them locked up and out of the reach of children. A safe is a great place to keep them, along with the ammunition. Please teach them how to shoot, load, and clean a weapon if you use them. Safety is everything.
I only talked about these 10 pioneer skills today in order to teach the next generation to keep these skills going forward. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected, may God bless this world.