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Raising Children with Gender Neutral Skills

I can knit, crochet, sew, mod podge, and hot glue with the best of them. I also can find studs, drill pilot holes, change out light fixtures, and use a miter saw. I can bake just about anything, and consider baked goods one of my love languages. I know what spark plugs do, and the difference between an inline engine and a V8. I have my mommy medical degree, and know how to bargain shop. I’m good with technology and computers, both the hardware and software side.

In a family with no sons, quite a bit of “boy” knowledge was handed down to me as a result of being the default helper. We have a son and two daughters, and my plan is to raise them with the wide spectrum of skills my parents passed on to me! Here are a few things usually attributed to one gender or another that I am going to make sure all of our children can do:

Laundry Skills

I think it’s important to be able to wash clothes without ending up with a pink, shrunken load.  I also think knowing how to treat stains, iron, replace buttons, and fix hems are basic skills that are necessary to know. (If you ever need cleaning advice, hit up “Laundry Love & Cleaning Science” on Facebook!)

Cooking Skills

Like I mentioned above, baking is my thing more than cooking. It doesn’t help that I am the pickiest eater and have no sense of adventure when it comes to food (or life for that matter, but that’s a different blog post), but I am still able to follow any basic recipe. I would love for my children to have a solid skill set and be able to feel comfortable in the kitchen. At this point helping me cook is fun, and I’d love to encourage that so they never see cooking as a chore!

Cleaning Skills

I love my husband for so so many reasons, but a good housekeeper he is not. He’s not messy, but he doesn’t know what to clean, how to clean, or with what substance. I’m sure there are plenty of things I clean regularly that he has no idea need to be done, and I’m a pretty lazy housekeeper myself. My son won’t have the luxury of not knowing these things.

Mechanic Skills

I technically know how to change a tire, I just wasn’t strong enough the one time I needed to do it. I know how to check my fluids and tires and fill them up. Changing wiper blades is easy, and I might have taught myself to buff out surface scratches after I hit a traffic cone. I know what antifreeze smells like so I can identify it if it’s leaking. I think these are good skills for safety reasons too!

Handyman Skills

I will teach my kids what a stud is, why you need to find them, and what to do if they aren’t where you need them. Also which drill bit to select when drilling pilot holes. I think it’s good to have a basic knowledge of electricity and the breaker box, and know how to change electrical fixtures without shocking yourself or burning the house down. I don’t know much about plumbing, but I can change out a faucet, and turn off the water both at the source and at the street in case of a leak or issue.

Money Management Skills

I’ll be honest, this is something my husband takes care of primarily, but mostly because I don’t want to (ha!) and as an actuary, it is his thing. But knowing how to create and follow a budget, take care of your credit score, and make good long-term financial decisions are crucial skills that I’d rather teach them then have them figure out the hard way.

The last thing I will make sure all of my children know is manners, courtesy, and how to be a good human being. This is something my husband excels at and was so attractive to me from day one. They will hold open doors, use “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome”, and acknowledge everyone from the Queen of England to the busboy at a restaurant.

My children won’t park like jerks (seriously this is on my list). And they will stand up against injustices and will speak up when they see someone being wronged. I hope they won’t feel entitled to anything (except love and acceptance).  They will know what hard work looks like and will have goals and aspirations to motivate them to succeed.  My goal is to raise well rounded and positively contributing members of society. We also have family goals like love the Lord, always root for the Dallas Cowboys, and put your parents in a nice “home” when the time comes (only kind of kidding).

What are some skills you want to teach your children?

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