Opinion

Harmonious living without the HASL

Our Corner

The Sexton parents are ripping a page from the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s notebook. We are instituting a skills test. We are calling it the Household Assessment of Situational Living, or HASL for short.

We, the adults, as educators of day-to-day living, are realizing our offspring are having retention issues. I believe we’ve followed all the steps to make learning possible. We’ve set an example. We’ve provided verbal and, when necessary, written instruction. We’ve allowed time for review. Most of the time, but not all of the time, we’ve provided positive reinforcement.

Lately, and perhaps it has more to do with their period in life, middle school-aged, a test seems appropriate to see if they are learning the basics skills of living with others.

Please answer the following questions and then explain your answer in pictures, numbers and words so those assessing the test know that you fully understand how you arrived at the answer and it was not a random guess.

Question 1

When the toilet paper roll is empty, it should be: a) replaced with a fresh, full roll and the cardboard tube tossed in the recycling bin; b) left without thought for those who could follow.

Question 2

When the dishes coming out of the dishwasher are not clean: a) we scrub them clean and replace them in the dishwasher or wash them again; b) we put them away and hope no one notices.

Question 3

When making cereal in the morning, the empty milk jug and equally empty cereal box: a) go into the recycling container and are replaced with full versions; b) are returned to the refrigerator and pantry, empty for someone else to handle later.

Question 4

When mom or dad bring the clean laundry upstairs, it should be: a) placed immediately in drawers and closets; b) tossed on the floor or mixed with dirty laundry so it gets washed again.

Question 5

When snacking or sipping a beverage in a room other than the kitchen (NOTE: This is frowned upon, but we acknowledge it happens): a) pick up any dishes, food wrappers or containers that would let a parent know you were eating in the room; b) leave the evidence as a trail so they can find you later.

Question 6

When something really bad happens, for example, the toilet backs up: a) seek immediate assistance; b) walk away and later pretend you know nothing about the situation.

This is a brief glance at the HASL we’re considering. We would like our children to pass the HASL prior to leaving our home and venturing out into the real world, where they may find themselves living with roommates or mates, who may not be as patient and tolerant.

We know we are not alone; please share our HASL with friends.

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