Are you going to dedicate your son?

I’m going to dedicate my son to free thinking and reason. I’m dedicating my son to good citizenship.

My sister-in-law asked me if I was going to dedicate my son. “Dedication” is a ceremony that many churches are doing these days for new arrivals. Families bring their babies to church and publicly declare their intention to raise their child as a Christian in front of the congregation. Since some of my family members don’t know that I’m atheist, I gave her an awkward look and just said, “Oh no. We’re not going to do that.”

But you know what? I am. I’m going to dedicate my son to free thinking and reason. I’m dedicating my son to good citizenship. As a parent, I have a responsibility to raise a person that can be a good team-player, a reliable co-worker, a friendly neighbor, a patriotic citizen. An all-around useful member of our society that people enjoy being with. So I thought I’d make an ongoing checklist for parents/kids of things that we should be able to do by the time we leave the nest.

If I think of something more I’ll come back and add to it. If you have some suggestions, leave a comment!

Household Skills

  • Unlock a lock
  • Taking out trash
  • Clothing
    • Sort, wash, dry and fold laundry
    • Sew a button
    • Tie a tie
  • Kitchen
    • Set the table
    • Wipe the table
    • Wash dishes
    • Make breakfast
    • Boil an egg
    • Make noodles
    • Chop an onion
    • Reading a Nutrition Facts label
    • Setting a menu
    • Sweep the floor
  • Garden
    • Watering the flowers
    • Planting seeds or flowers
    • Identifying and pulling weeds
    • Identifying flowers, bushes, and trees.
  • Repair
    • Hammer a nail
    • Screw a screw
  • Bathroom
    • Cleaning the tub
    • Cleaning the toilet

Car Skills

  • Wash & vacuum the car
  • Reading a map (treasure hunt or geocaching.com)
  • Reading signs, wayfinding
  • Naming make & model
  • How to interact with law enforcement
  • How to check the oil
  • How to add washer fluid
  • What to do if you are in a car accident
  • Change a tire
  • Change the oil

Life skills

  • Make a hair appointment (or any kind of reservation or appointment)
  • Safe sex
  • How to fill out of voting ballot
  • Wrapping a gift
  • Writing a letter
  • First aid, treating a wound

Good Conduct Skills

  • Recognizing brainwashing techniques
  • Recognizing logical fallacies
  • Critical thinking
  • Sportsmanlike conduct

Money Skills

  • Set up and manage a budget
  • Save up for a large purchase
  • Pay a bill
  • Do taxes
  • Bartering
  • Health insurance
  • Money, saving, budgeting, giving
  • Writing a will

Vacation Skills

  • Build a fire
  • Make travel arrangements

Secular Lessons for Kids

Another idea I’ve been kicking around is to do a weekly lesson with my son when he’s old enough. When I was young, my parents took me to church regularly. I always looked forward to bible class with the other little kids at my church. The teacher told us fun stories, we did activities, crafts and coloring. I want to give Ian that fun too, so I thought I’d put together short, age-appropriate lessons that we can work on together. I have a list of topics going, If I get a few done, I’ll share them with you here.

Finally, I have a board called “Discovering the World”. There’s tons of great play ideas for kids on pinterest, and I have collected just a few of them.

I’ll come back later with more… 🙂

Further Reading

Image Source: alphagling

 

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