The List of Lists...

Lists have truly become a hobby of mine. I make lists for work, house cleaning, groceries, books I want to read,  knitting projects I need to finish (this is the longest) and the lists go on and on.


In my mind I have been making lists for mentors, too.  My two greatest parenting books are 1001 Things Yours Kids Should See and Do (Or Else They’ll Never Leave Home) by Harry Harrison Jr. and 1001 Things Every Teen Should Know (Or They’ll Come Back) by the same author.

With wit, humor and a bit of grit, Harrison hits a lot of points:

how to get a job

how to keep a job

how to live on a their own,

how to cook for themselves

read 100 books (I have a list of these, too!)

need to be good citizens

need to know what to do in an emergency

need Encouragement

need to Exercise

need to prepare for post-secondary training/education (when sometimes the only way to a better paying job is through some student loans)

Harrison’s list goes on.  Between the two books there are 2002 Things every kid should know. 

As you spend time with a young person, think about the life skills that could be introduced, honed and fine-tuned. Spend an outing checking out what skills would be needed to be a NASCAR driver or a DIVA and where those careers are on the reality spectrum.  Do some research on the fastest growing careers that may spark an interest with them.  This doesn’t mean that youth should hyper focus on a particular area, but dip their toes into it, expand their knowledge of the world around them. 

My kids roll their eyes when I start talking about what kind of job you could do…say…canoeing? Duck hunting? Fly fishing? Knitting? It is true, though, interests can spark motivation can spark ideas can spark goals can spark education can spark a life long learner.  Find their SPARK through all your fun times together and start making lists of what this young person might want to do when they grow up.


I have 1001 Things Kids Could Do and See(Or They’ll Never Leave Home) in my office to loan.