Older parents today often complain that the current generation of parents are raising big kids, not adults…and to an extent, I can see in the world around me that it’s true. We’ve made the world a little too “safe” for our kiddos and not given them enough experiences. Also, home economics and trade-type classes aren’t taught in schools nearly as much as they used to be. (Both home ec AND personal finance classes were required for me in the 90s, just sayin’.) As a result, many of today’s young adults leave high school without knowing how to boil water, much less cook a meal or balance a bank account.
One genius administrator at Kentucky’s Bullitt Central High School, Christy Hardin, is helping to rectify that grave error: she’s started an “adulting” seminar for seniors that hasn’t only been successful, but gone certifiably viral. Hardin, who directs the Family Resource and Youth Services Center at the school, says she got the fantastic idea for the course from a meme of all things. I’m sure you know the one: it says something to the effect of, “I sure am glad I learned about parallelograms instead of how to do my taxes. It comes in so handy during parallelogram season.”
“It frustrated me a little bit because we offer these classes, but it has to be an elective path that they choose,” Hardin told the TODAY Show. “(I thought), ‘Well, what can I do about that?’”
The fruition of Hardin’s idea was a half-day seminar where seniors could choose from the following 3-hour long workshops:
- Dorm-room cooking
- How to interact with the police
- Healthy relationships and boundaries
- It’s money baby (aka personal finance)
- Physical fitness after high school
- Writing a resume and cover letter, filling out an application
- When you need to see a doctor and what level of care you need (when to go to the ER compared to family doctor)
- Basics of checking and savings
- Why it’s not worth the T-shirt to fill out the credit card application
- UPS on-the-spot hiring
Ummm….can you say “BRILLIANT?” I love the way these address so many adulting topics, not just cooking and managing your money (though Hardin did say dorm-room cooking was the first to fill up! Hey! Newly minted adults gotta eat, am I right?). It turns out that Hardin’s idea is catching on in other places in the country, too, with public libraries and other county and city social services offices offering similar seminars and classes.
Christy Hardin says she’s so glad her idea came to fruition and that it’s definitely helping seniors transition into adulthood. “Every kid I talked to said what a positive impact that it had and how they learned so much,” she said.
What do you think about these “adulting” classes? If I’m being honest, I could maybe use a refresher on some of these topics! After all, the adulting game has changed a bit since I’ve been in it, and I’m not sure I’ve kept up with the times. More than anything, Hardin has inspired me to make sure my kids are equipped in, at the very least, the areas of cooking, money management, and relationship boundaries before they graduate! Color me motivated to make sure I do actually raise independent adults instead of just adult-sized children.