Adult Skills – Master Inspire Plan Part 7

by Mary Ann on July 23, 2010

I came from a very entrepreneurial family. My father loved setting up businesses. He had a remarkable work ethic which he got from his father and mother who got it from their pioneer mothers and fathers. When my dad was just nineteen he began his first business. He opened the Cazier’s Sweet Shop next to the theater in Afton, Wyoming. In those days they didn’t sell any food in the theater. So kids would visit the Sweet Shop before the movie and youth on dates would take a booth after the movie. My dad wanted all of us to learn to work, he wanted us to have jobs, he wanted us to create work for others.

My Dad, the entrepreneur, Verl Cazier

When I was in fifth grade we owned a drive in in Idaho Falls called the Thunder Bird. I was eleven years old and I remember having to go to the drive in, especially on weekends, and peel potatoes and make them into fries. YUCK. It wasn’t a job that I relished at all but I and my younger sister had that job. From age eleven on I worked in my dad’s café’s, drive inns and restaurants in all the places we lived. He made sure that we knew what to do and how to do it without being told. If he caught you just standing around you would feel the sting of his deadly aim with a dish cloth on the back of your legs. He believed that there was always something to fill, clean or organize.

All of my brothers, sisters and I were able to move up the management ladder quickly when we began having jobs outside of our family because we were independent workers. What we weren’t all that keen on during our youth has paid us dividends all our lives and has been passed on to our own children.

When my brotherDirk was  thirteen years old he wanted a couple of rabbits. Soon our entire backyard was filled with rabbit pens and he had a thriving business selling rabbits as pets and food. Whether he wanted a business or not he got one! My dad had never heard about “inspire not require.”

If you want your child to be able to lead a group what can you provide that will give them that experience. My youngest daughter was a bit shy about leading out and I wanted her to have more leadership opportunities so that she could have a greater impact in her family and community. I wanted her to trust her own ability more. So I gave her the opportunity to participate in a mock trial and at a couple of continental congresses. They were hard for her at first. She came home from her first continental congress discourgaged with herself because she hadn’t been bave enough to stand up and make a statement when she knew that her idea could make a difference. In time that changed and she began finding a voice and her courage.  Those early opportunities really changed her life.

When she was sixteen she decided to go back to public school to be a cheer leader. She had wanted to be one since she was six and it was a dream that just wouldn’t die. She had never had gymnastics or tumbling and was totally unprepaired to be a cheerleader. That first year she didn’t have the courage to try out and opted for pep club instead. By the time she found the courage she was facing her Senior year and had never been a cheer leader. Her chances of making the squad were very slim. That’s when those old experiences kicked in for her.  She called around and hired a mentor from Brigham Young University and one from Utah State University to teach her what she needed to know. She paid their fees and got herself to her practices with them. She made the squad and I account part of that chutzpah to the leadership opportunities that she had had earlier.


I follow the agricultural exploits of Stephen Palmer and his family on Facebook. Gardening is a family affair. They want all their children to have the experience of reverencing the earth, planting and harvesting.

Stephen Palmer

Stephen Palmer's Wonderful Garden

I I have another friend who makes sure that all her children have the opportunity to learn how to preserve and store food. It is part of their family culture and legacy. Another mother has made sure that all of her children have had the experience of making and selling bread to friends and neighbors. She wanted them to be able to bake and to have a business.

As you may have surmised, the portion of your Master Inspire Plan that we are considering today is ADULT SKILLS. What are the skills you would like your children to have before they leave your home? What experiences can you help provide that will allow them to gain these skills?

Here is a list  that you might want to consider when making a list of the things that you would like your children to experience.

Lead a group

Speak in public

Perform music-solo and group


Be in a play

Lead and participate in colloquia (book group)

Know how to use parliamentary procedure

Create and run a successful small business

Have a job

Having a savings account and manage money

Make purchases by themselves

Teach others something they are good at or know about

Have experience with our political process in some way

Learn to swim

Learn to ski


Plant a garden

Can fruit

Give significant service to another person



This should get you thinking. Sometimes just pondering the experiences that you had as an adult and wished you had in your youth will help you with your list. Thinking about what you still haven’t had a chance to do that you wish you had or could do will help you with your list. Don’t forget to pay attention to “sparks” from your children. What signals are coming from them concerning experiences they would like to have? Then you search out opportunities and groups that can give your children those experiences.

My Master Inspire Plan will be quite different than most of yours. I am writing it in relation to what I want for Don and I in the next year or two and what we would like our grandchildren to experience. You will write yours, for the most part, based on what you want your children to experience.

Here is what I put  on my list.

Playing music as a family

Singing as a family

Family reading time

Sing a solo

Speak to a large audience

You may remember that in my article on resources I had quite a few musical instruments that I wanted to have on had because I want my family to make music together. So of course in my experiences list I have playing and signing music as a family. This is something we have rarely done and I know that it will really add a choice dimension to our relationships.

I adore books! I read all the time and I always have. I taught myself to read at about five by reading  labels in the bathroom. I did read to my children when they were young but I wasn’t very consistent about it. I notice that my children read to their children but they aren’t consistent either. What I want my grandchildren and my adult children to experience is the warm comfort of snuggling together for an evening of reading when they are with us.

I have sung in a choir all my life but I really want to sing a solo just once. I don’t have a solo voice, just a nice voice, but I want to do it, just once. I have also been successfully speaking all my life in church and to gatherings of one hundred or less in many venues but I want to speak to a really large audience. Audacious of me isn’t it. Oh well, we must have our confessed and written down dreams and this is mine!

So think about your youth.  What experiences did you miss that you wish you had. Think about your early adult life. What did you have to experience for the first time that you wish you had experienced earlier. What experiences have you had in your life that you really want to share with your children. Listen to your children. Now make your list.

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