A Plea for “Life Skills” in our Schools!

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A Plea for “Life Skills” in our Schools!

By: Terry Burgess, America’s Mid-life Coach for Men with Upward MC

I am saddened by the news out of Dickson County, Tennessee this past weekend about the arrest of the father for the murder of his missing 5-year-old autistic child. I grew up in this area. I know how shocking this is for my friends, family, and other residents to hear this news.

I will never be able to understand or comprehend how a parent or guardian could bring harm to their child. My heart and mind are broken for the mother, siblings, grandparents, and other relatives whom are now mourning the loss of this child. I am also praying for the community and region as well as the family for comfort and peace as the search for the boy’s body continues.

My mind also begins to wonder if there was a way that someone could have helped the father deal with stress and challenges of parenting an autistic child. I wonder if he ever was offered and/or sought help from professionals and or friends.

This is just another example of why we need to bring back “living skills and education” to our schools instead of focusing solely on “Math, Science, Reading, and Writing” skills. I agree those are important skills but if we do not teach basic life skills such as home economics, family life, health, personal communication, civics, and personal economic skills are we not failing in educating our children to be successful parents, community, and society members as a whole?

This is the society we live in because politicians and government officials have forgotten that school is much more than book learning.  The purpose of schools in prior to the 1980’s was to not only teach kids about the 3 R’s (Reading, Writing, and Arithmetics).  The schools also taught life skills such as communication, cooking, budgeting money, balancing a checkbook, sewing, typewriting, health education, driver’s education, family development and childcare.

However, as technology came into our world so did the thought that these life skills could be taught at home by parents and officials began to cut these programs from the school’s budgets to use that money to require testing to ensure that our teachers and successful having our kids understand the 3 R’s.  This process has failed our entire system.  Our kids are growing up in a society where they have little knowledge of life skills and they forget the book knowledge because they can apply the concepts they learn in academic classes to real world applications other than a standardized test.  Many of these kids forget these lessons shortly after they get by with the test.

I believe it is time for both parents and governmental officials step up to the plate and take responsibility.   Let’s make sure that our students are ready to live on their own and deal with social and life issues.  Let’s make sure that we put less emphasis on “book knowledge” and more emphasis on “life skills knowledge”.

I firmly believe that if we did that our World would be a better place to live in and our children would be able to know how to be a productive member of their family units and society as a whole.

Please feel free to contact me for a complimentary 45-minute coaching session.  I can help you develop a simple starting point plan to help you get on the road from your “mid-life crisis or challenges” to your “mid-life rediscovery and renovation” for your life.  You can visit http://bit.ly/SchedulewithTerry to schedule you complimentary coaching session!

 Terry is a Personal Leadership and Mid-life Coach for Men with Upward MC in Benton, Kentucky.  He can be contacted via e-mail at Terry@upwardmc.com or by phone at 270-493-0967. His website can be found at http://www.terrypburgess.com

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