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Practical Life Lessons I Taught My Daughter from Our Summer Road Trip

Published Oct 20th 2017, 8:00am by Kaeli in Featured Articles

When you start to think about life lessons, you need to think about the simple things that you may not think about on a daily basis, but lessons that will stick with your child as they age. I was fortunately able to teach my daughter some life lessons as we were on our summer road trip.

To give you a bit of a back story, I am not rich by any means. I am a single mom who just happens to be a little car savvy because, well, I have to be. I have learned some tough lessons since becoming a single mom and I have learned how to be fully independent.

Below, I will talk about some of the practical life lessons I taught my daughter about and you can teach your children about them too.


How to Change a Car Tire

You never know when you may have a flat tire and it is important that everyone, man or woman, knows how to change one. If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road in the night, or really any time of day, you should know what to do, so that you do not feel like you are stuck.

It is important to keep all of the tools needed to change your tire in your vehicle as well. For example, making sure the spare is in the care before you head out and tools to jack up the car and remove the lug nuts on the tire would be a good idea too.

One survey found that nearly a third of millennials don’t know how to change a tire. It is crucial to teach your child this lesson, at the very least, in case he or she is stranded late at night with no way to get help.


How to Change the Oil in a Car

Now, I normally do not do my own oil changes unless I have a lot of free time on my hands, but I do know how to do it and I learned early on because you never know when you will need to do it.

I took some time to teach my daughter how to change the oil in our car before our summer trip. I wanted her to know how to do it and understand the fundamentals of it. While she would not be able to change the oil on her own now, she can continue to watch me and practice and soon enough she will be able to.


How to Replace the Windshield Wipers

You need to be able to see out of your windshield to be able to drive down the road and if you cannot, then you run the risk of crashing your vehicle. I taught my daughter how to change the windshield wipers. We took a trip to the store and I showed her how to look at the book to find our vehicle and then choose the blades.

Changing out your wiper blades is pretty simple and doesn’t take too long at all, but it is one of those things that needs to be done and if it is not, you may not have them when you need them most.


How to Shift Gears on a Manual Transmission

One of the hardest things I had to learn to do was shift the gears on a manual transmission. I found myself in a predicament once because I needed to have this skill and did not. Needless to say, after a bumpy ride down the road, I decided I would learn how to shift a manual transmission just in case.

I took the time to teach my daughter about the gears and how to shift appropriately. She still has some learning to do, but I allow her to practice, so that she can gain the skills she needs.


Final Thoughts on Practical Life Lessons for My Daughter

I do not want my daughter to be dependent on anyone and I want her to know that if something goes wrong, she has the skills and knowledge to handle the situation on her own. Some of the life lessons I taught my daughter were about our vehicle, but they will play a significant role in her life because she will eventually have her own vehicle.

I also took some time to teach her about other things involving the car such as routine maintenance before our summer trip. We went over how to check the tire pressure and how to fill the tires with air, how to change the air filter, and similar.

I think learning how to take care of a vehicle is a wonderful lesson for any child who will soon have their own.


Patty runs – a site focused on figuring out the tough balance of working and being a single mother. You can also find her on Twitter @WorkMomLife.


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