Teaching Yw Basic Life Skills

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A recently came across some paperwork and notes from a former calling in Relief Society (in a previous Stake). One of the pages was a letter that the Stake had sent out, about 5 years ago. It described a survey that they had conducted of ADULT sisters in the Stake (in a suburb of a large city), asking about their current provident living skills and those that they felt they still needed to acquire.

Due to the results of this survey, the Stake was encouraging the ward Relief Societies to focus on teaching the sisters in each ward these vital life skills that many lack.

What was on this list of skills that the leaders felt that the sisters desperately needed to learn?

  • Basic Budgeting
  • Planning and cooking nutritious meals
  • Cleaning
  • Basic Sewing (such as sewing on a button)

I am as shocked now as I remember being when I first read the letter. The sisters don’t know how to clean? Or cook? Or sew on a button? But yes, while I’m sure there were many who did have these skills (or at least some of them), these were the main areas that the sisters themselves had reported that they needed more training. 

I have thought about that letter many times since I found it the other day. While it is mainly the parent’s responsibility to prepare their own children to function as adults,  we as Young Women leaders have an opportunity every Wednesday to teach skills like these that will help prepare (or reinforce the preparations of parents) these young women for college, missions, and/or being a wife/mother. Would budgeting, planning & cooking meals, cleaning, and basic sewing help a young adult in college, on a mission, and/or as a young wife/mother? Absolutely! And the same thing goes for the young men. These are basic, basic life skills, but they are being taught less and less.

Within the church, these types of skills are frequently referred to as “provident living skills”. This term means that these skills are necessary for any person (not just the young women) who wants to be capable of doing things for themselves instead of always relying on others. Can we sew on our own button, or do we need to run to our mother (or have to pay someone to do it)? Can we do our own laundry, or do we need to hire someone to do it? Could we take care of our own needs in an emergency situation, or would we sit around and wait for someone to rescue us?

In our class activities, we have already had a few cooking and meal planning activities (see previous posts under the “life skills” label at the right of this page). I now have a goal to have a “cooking” activity with the Mia Maid class once very quarter (or 4 times a year). This way, they will have at least 8 opportunities to learn to cook something during the time they are a Mia Maid.

I have also taught some basic sewing (see previous posts under “life skills”) and budgeting. Teaching “cleaning” is a little tougher (although maybe I could get them to fold my laundry?). But we do have regular assignments to clean the ward building.

My goals for teaching basic cooking are to teach them to make things that they actually want to eat and make things that won’t be too overwhelming.

Some things that we have already made: pico de gallo*, wheat ciabatta bread*
Some things I plan to have them make soon: spinach/artichoke dip and pita chips, spaghetti, fruit pie

Please become a “follower” of my blog and I will post what we cook and how it turned out!

In the meantime, here is a great article about teaching teenagers the basics of kitchen safety, food preparation, and safe storage of foods from yourteenager.co/uk (click  here)

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