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Since an early age, I have always been extremely independent, and proud of it. I suppose I have my parents to thank for the way I was brought up – and for the life skills they taught me from an early age, and also of course my attitude to want to continually learn new skills. I remember been shown the basics – how to iron my shirts, how to use household appliances, how to do jobs around the house – and I am grateful of that nowadays (even if I didn’t see the point of it when I was a teenager!). Also working in the hospitality trade most of my life, I learnt how to cook, and how to clean! From running a pub as a licensee – you soon learn to become a cleaner, a cooker, a manager, a cellar man, an accountant, an electrician, a sales person, an entertainer and a host. It gave me great confidence in life. It taught me skills of how to manage money (both as a business and as a person), how to speak to people and how to treat people.

I remember hearing on TV recently that a mother said (about her teenage son) – “All I want is for him to be able to leave the family home being able to do everything needed in life” – What a great attitude. I agree and believe that is what happened with me. But how many others leave home with the basic lifestyle skills? It frustrates me when I have met people who I have interviewed who have obviously never been told how to dress, how to speak, or how to prepare for interviews for example.

I know that Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) is fighting to get money management in to school curriculum. I’m all for it, along with a ‘Life-Skills’ lesson for many kids before they leave school.

I’m not saying I know everything I need to in life – but what I have learnt over the last 15-20 years has made me into the independent man I am today. I try not to rely on anyone – but know to ask for help when I need it, and am not frightened to do so.

So for all you parents out there, keep teaching your kids the vital life skills that will only help them in the future.


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