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Why Every Day Survival Skills Are Important

Updated on November 7, 2016
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Dreamworker has a lifetime of business, career and financial experience she shares with her readers here.

Survival skills are learned behaviors that most people just assume everybody knows.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of people whose lives are limited or have even been damaged because they never learned them.

The more every day survival skills you possess, the better your life will be.
The more every day survival skills you possess, the better your life will be. | Source

Why Don’t People Know These Things?

There are several reasons why people never learn these skills. For example,

  1. they may not have seen a reason for learning some of them,
  2. parents may not have taught them to their children or may not have known them themselves,
  3. schools may have excluded them from their curriculums or
  4. students who are continually absent from school may have left themselves with learning gaps.

There is a tendency for people to believe that if you don’t know these things, you are stupid, but this simply is not true.

Most people lack some of the most basic survival skills.

  • I know an older gentleman who has a Ph.D. He has never learned how to justify his checkbook with his bank statement.
  • This is because he does not know how to do so, but more importantly, doesn’t want to do it!
  • He feels that as long as his pension checks are deposited into his account every month, he doesn’t have to worry about bouncing checks or having other similar problems.

He doesn’t seem to understand that by not doing this simple task at the end of each month, he could potentially cause some serious financial problems for himself!

Parents don't always teach their children even the most basic every day living skills.
Parents don't always teach their children even the most basic every day living skills. | Source

How Technology Is Affecting People’s Survival Skills

With technology proceeding ahead at warp speed, the list of basic skills people need to survive grows longer every day.

Young people adapt fairly easily to the changes, but many older adults are finding that they can’t keep up with them

Some are so intimidated by them that they simply refuse to try.

This is a serious issue because it is getting to the point where technology is affecting everything they do.

For example,

  • Many doctors now have “portals”, where patients can log on to make appointments, send messages, check test results and other similar things.
  • Since each doctor has his own portal, accessing them can become confusing for older people, especially if they are not computer savvy.
  • Thus, they do without a skill that can help them quickly monitor their health needs.

While it is true that they can still access the information they need by making appointments and making phone calls, doing so is time consuming and costly.

Doctors’ offices are making the assumption that all people have the skills they need to use the portals, but this is far from being the truth.

The portals are good for the medical staff because they save time and money, but they are not so good for patients who lack the skills to use them.

Technology is changing the list of skills we must have in order to function well in today's world.
Technology is changing the list of skills we must have in order to function well in today's world. | Source

Technology Is Changing People’s Attitudes

On the other hand, as technology progresses, people begin to think that the need for certain skills is no longer necessary.

Ask any young person to look at an analog clock and tell you what time it is.

He can’t do it.

The reason is that they have been brought up in a digital world!

So while it seems to most older adults that this is a ridiculously easy skill for someone to have, today’s kids simply don’t see the need for it because in their world most clocks and wristwatches these days are digital.

They assume that this simple skill should be removed from the list, but they are wrong.

There still are many clocks and watches in the world that are analog in nature, and a person never knows when he might need to be able to tell time using one!

The Lack of Survival Skills Damages People

The more survival skills a person has, the more easily he will be able to navigate his way through life.

Unfortunately, a good number of people don’t realize this, so they just plod along hoping for the best.

It takes very little training to learn most of them, and taking the time to do so can help people tremendously.

There are many videos on You Tube that can show people the way, so the ability to self teach right at home is definitely available. I have included two of them here as examples.

Check the list below to see how many skills you and your family members have so that you can help yourself by filling in your own learning gaps.

Survival Skills List

Here is a list of you can check to see if you know how to

  • write a check,
  • balance a checkbook,
  • justify your credit card statement,
  • apply for a loan,
  • open a checking account,
  • open a savings account,
  • figure the cost of interest,
  • add figures without a calculator,
  • multiply figures without a calculator,
  • divide figures without a calculator,
  • subtract figures without a calculator,
  • organize a notebook,
  • address an envelope,
  • back a car into a parking space,
  • keep a checkbook,
  • make reservations,
  • comparison shop,
  • clean a house,
  • cook basic meals,
  • Sew,
  • buy stocks and bonds,
  • fix a flat tire,
  • do an internet search,
  • do research,
  • place an ad,
  • respond to an ad,
  • prepare a basic income tax form,
  • apply for a Social Security number,
  • shell an egg,
  • apply for Medicare,
  • peel a potato,
  • write a formal business letter,
  • fold a letter to match the size of an envelope,
  • properly hang a roll of toilet paper,
  • properly hang a towel,
  • change a light bulb,
  • iron a shirt,
  • properly set a table,
  • sterilize a needle,
  • put staples in a stapler,
  • put tape in a tape dispenser,
  • cut and paste computer data,
  • clear the cache in a computer,
  • perform maintenance on a computer,
  • use a flash drive or
  • transfer photos from a digital camera to a computer?

If you see items on this list that you don’t know how to do, it’s never too late to learn them!

Survival Skills Are Learned Behaviors

Survival Skills are learned behaviors that help people deal effectively with the activities of every day living.

If parents and schools do not teach them to children, they remain unlearned.

Not knowing how to do some of them is not cause for shame.

It is cause, however, for taking the time now to learn what you should have learned years ago.

They are called survival skills because knowing how to do them can make an extremely positive impact on your life, so don’t delay!

After checking the list in this article, do you think you have the survival skills you need to function well in today's world?

See results

© 2016 Dreamworker


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    • threekeys profile image

      ThreeKeys 8 months ago from Australia

      The last time I looked no one wrote a parenting manual yet being a parent is one of the most important human "jobs" one can have in their lifetime. So I think too most parents don't teach or pass onto their children about what the "real world" is really about and therefore prepare their children on how to survive. I mean parents have their own personal challenges but what they can do is just be honest with their experiences (for better or worse) so at least the child/children have some idea of what they need to do. That's the least they can do because if the "children" survive so does the family unity do better overall as well.

      Great hub dreamworker.

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 8 months ago

      threekeys: I absolutely agree with you. I was a teacher in an earlier life and can tell you that parents generally spend far too much time babying and protecting their kids and very little preparing them for life. They think they are doing something good, but they bring real harm in the long run. Just look at the number of young adults these days who still live at home because they can't figure out how to support themselves and, what's worse, don't want to because they don't see the need! It's a real problem that is damaging to families as well as society. Thanks for commenting.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 8 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Another term for these is "Life Skills." In the public school system, it is assumed that most people know how to do these things as they learn them from their families or through their life experiences. The curriculum for students with disabilities does emphasize them, however. This particular population does not learn things readily by observation or even experience. They must be explicitly taught in a step-by-step manner.

    • Dreamworker profile image

      Dreamworker 8 months ago

      denise.w.anderson: Yes, but the sad truth is that the structure of the family has changed and even many parents no longer have these skills. Thus every school should teach them. They are vital to people being able to live a decent, civilized and successful life.

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