15 Life Skills Your Kids Need
Have you ever witnessed a grown adult who didn’t have the proper skills or tools in order to function on their own? Maybe they didn’t know the first thing about cooking, or never learned how to pick up after themselves? It’s certainly a sad sight to see if you have experienced it. As parents, it’s our responsibility to prepare our children for adulthood. In case you missed this post, 10 Pioneer Skills Every 12 Year Old Should Know
Hope you heard me! It’s up to us. Leaving everything in the hands of your children’s school would be a big mistake because there are things that simply aren’t taught in school. These are 15 life skills that your kids need to learn in order to be independent and confident in themselves now and later on in life.
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15 Life Skills Your Kids Need
When your kids grow up and pursue a degree, vocational training, or other steps to further their career, they’re going to need to have developed an understanding of responsibility before they even get to that point. As a parent, you may need to take a step back, and allow them to do their own work and finish their own tasks. This also teaches them independence and to feel better about themselves.
2. Working Independently
Too often parents do all of their children’s tasks for them, and this won’t be helpful for your child later on in life. This will leave them relying on others for so many important things. It’s okay to let them make their own bed and clean their room by themselves. Even packing their own lunch is something else that they can handle when age-appropriate. It’s okay to make it exciting for them by using some of your cleverness, but allow them to finish the task on their own.
3. Managing Time
Do your kids have a tough time balancing playtime and getting their homework done? Sounds like they need to learn how to better manage time. You can work with them on this by getting them an alarm clock so that it’s not you getting them out of bed. Also, get them a planner where they can write down their homework and other curricular activities that need to be done for the day. This will help them separate time for work and time for play.
4. Decision Making
Another crucial skill that your kids need is to know how to make good decisions. Provide them with a number of different scenarios where they have a few different choices that each come with a consequence. It’s okay to guide them if you need to, but help them understand the advantages and disadvantages of each decision that they could make.
You’ll also have endless opportunities over the years to sit down with your child when they’ve made a mistake and explain to them what they could have done differently, and what the results would have been with a different decision.
Kids need to understand how to be adaptable when a certain situation or their environment changes. Fortunately, many kids are more resilient than their adult counterparts when faced with these challenges due to the adults tending to hold on to old approaches and habits. Don’t always feed your child a solution when this happens, but allow them to problem solve when a new challenge comes their way.
6. Interacting with Others
Interacting with others is a skill that adults are expected to apply every day, and your kids will need to develop that skill at some point. Yet we’ve taught our younger children never to talk to strangers. (Which they shouldn’t if they’re alone.) What we ought to be teaching our children is how to differentiate between a good stranger and a bad stranger. Interacting with them is okay, especially if mom and dad are engaging in conversation with that person. Bill mentioned this one: Self Discipline! They need to learn how to get along in a group setting.
7. Putting Themselves in Someone Else’s Shoes
If you have more than one child there will be plenty of teaching opportunities for you. Sit them both down and help them understand why the other child felt angry, sad, or scared, and help them find a solution together. This not only helps children with problem-solving skills but also understanding people and their feelings better. In case you missed this post, How to Prepare Children for School in the Fall
Your children need to understand that grocery shopping is much more than just tossing everything into your cart that looks good. Teach them how to shop the store’s ad flyer in order to find the best deals, and also how to create a meal plan for the week based on a set budget and the need for healthy food. Shopping healthier by reading the nutrition labels is essential, too. They also need to be aware of the price per ounce that’s listed on the shelf tag so that they’re able to find the best-priced option as they consider alternative choices. In case you missed this post, Grocery Shopping Life Skills.
When your children are younger, encourage them to cook simple things with you, such as spaghetti, macaroni n’ cheese, scrambled eggs, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They’ll also learn certain ingredients and measuring skills when they help you bake some of their favorite desserts like chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Yum! In case you missed this post, Cooking From Scratch 101
Doing laundry is a chore that you don’t have to feel bad about when you get the entire family involved. They’re not just your clothes, after all. There’s nothing worse than seeing a grown adult who stares at a washing machine dumbfounded because they don’t know how to do their own laundry. Teach your children how to separate clothes, how much detergent to use, and how to safely operate the washer and dryer.
11. Managing Money
Teaching your kids how to manage their money starts with you, mom and dad. More than you may realize, your kids are watching how you spend your money. If they see Amazon packages showing up on your doorstep almost every day, they’re going to be led to believe that money grows on trees. It’s important that they learn how to save for the future, and also save up so that you can afford something that you really need.
12. Creating a Budget
When your teenagers get their first job and start having responsibilities paying for things, teach them how to come up with a budget based off of their income. Sit down with them and show them exactly how much money they need to set aside in order to pay for whatever expenses they may have. Anything left over can be saved or used for other purposes. Budgeting will help keep your kids from wasting their money so easily and understanding the value of financial resources.
Mom and dad may not always be around to put a bandaid on a wound for their child. If your child is responsible enough, go over the contents of your first-aid kit, where it’s kept, and teach them how to use each one item in the kit. This way they can take care of themselves until they can find an adult to help out, if needed.
Every child should know the basics of defending themselves, especially in the world we’re living in today. Learning self-defense helps boys and girls feel more independent, but it also helps develop confidence. Of course, this applies to age-appropriate steps, but don’t put it off too long.
15. Basic Chores
I know how hard it is to get kids these days to do basic chores, but don’t give up trying. Start them off with small tasks like cleaning off the table, rinsing off dishes to be put in the dishwasher, or vacuuming. This teaches your child to care for what they have, and also gives mom and dad a break. In case you missed this post, How To Love Cleaning Bathrooms Every Week
15 Life Skills Your Kids Need
These are 15 life skills that I believe all parents today should be teaching their children. This will give them a headstart in life and not leave them relying so much on others. What are some other life skills that you believe are important to teach your children? I’d love to hear from you. What would you add to this life skills kids needed list? May God Bless this world, Linda.
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23 thoughts on “15 Life Skills Your Kids Need”
If only folks didn’t think it was the school’s aka governments job to teach the child everything
Hi Matt, it’s crazy I learned everything at home but picked up a few additional tips from Home Ec teachers. It’s more important that we teach our kids and grandkids the skills they need than the schools. But there are some kids who have parents who need the skills in order to teach ANY skills to their kids. I will never understand it. But you and I are self-reliant. LOL! Life is good! Linda
Most of these are life skills that at least half of the so-called adult population of the country needs. Oh, no, there I go getting political again. Sorry!!
Political?..Oh, Linda, you make me laugh.
Hi Mary, LOL! It may be political if we talk about people on food stamps and low-income subsidized housing. Life is so good when we are self-reliant. Linda
Hi Harry, LOL! It’s not really political, it’s common sense!! LOL! It’s really too bad that more people do not have some of the skills or desire to teach their kids and grandkids. This is why so many people are dependent on the government for housing and food. This is political! LOL! Linda
I agree we need to teach our children these basics. And they should be taught at home! These are life skills everyone needs. Basic sewing is another skill needed. As is basic auto maintenance. How to check the tire pressure, oil, and put gas in a car. We have spoiled our children for too long.
So true! So many have coddled our children and called it love! How many of us at 7,8,9 years old were taking care of younger children, cooking, laundry, remember ironing?, and cleaning, learning from our parents and given responsibilities? I know I was!
Hi Linda, when I was 8 years old I lived in a trailer park/mobile home park. My mother worked full-time so my sisters and I did the laundry, cleaning, and cooking. My two sisters and I took the laundry to the laundromat with our change in our pockets. I don’t remember how much it cost to run a washer and dryer back then, but I can’t picture sending my grandkids to a laundromat these days!! LOL! I’m 71 years old so that was a long time ago. I know as soon as my daughters could measuring the laundry soap they were helping with the laundry in our home, thank goodness. Back then we didn’t think anything about dragging the laundry in a wagon to the laundromat. Times are a bit scary these days to send off 3 littles girls to a laundromat!! I’m sure glad I learned to work, cook, sew, and be self-reliant. Life is good! Linda
Linda, you are so right with these factors! #1 is crucial! The only other thing I would add to this is, to teach children Self Discipline! They need to learn how to get along in a group setting.
God Bless and stay safe…
Hi Bill, that’s a good one! Thank you, adding it right now! Stay safe, Linda
The children and young people most likely to have developed these skills are…..wait for it…..HOMESCHOOLED!! So much for all the trillions for dollars thrown at public schools and teachers unions. That not to say there aren’t good teachers, but in the past, teachers taught their students HOW to think, and how to figure things out for themselves. Now far too many teachers and professors tell young people WHAT to think. More indoctrination than learning.
Hi Chris, I have to agree with you on this. It is sad to think how the public schools are having to change history. What the heck??? I do not like some of the topics teachers are having to teach or indoctrinate our kids. I agree we have some really good teachers, but I think they have to deal with “parents” and “misbehaved” children in some cases. I see kids at the grocery store and I just shake my head, as they run around and their mom is looking at her phone non-stop. We need to get back to the basics with kids and grandkids. I better get off my rant, I apologize. Linda
I think one of the reasons things like this aren’t taught anymore is it is easier to control a group that have to rely on others.
Most of the kids (Ages 10-50 ) in our family can sew, cook and make a fire, cut hair, cleaning is not a high point for a couple of them. Kids like fire so that was an easy one. Now I’m working on survival skills, awareness, compass use, food storage, archery,( i need more arrows) handling a gun, don’t shoot unless you know where that bullet is going to end up. I was surprised that my granddaughters were really interested and good at it. My grandson is a real sharp shooter and taught his girl friends to shoot. They have even bought their own guns now. One wants to get a hobby farm with her own range.
I’ll teach whatever they will listen to. They are getting into more prepping on their own.
Hi Mary, oh I love hearing this!! I had 4 daughters and they left home one by one having the skills they needed to survive. I gave all of them a bread machine to make bread to get themselves through college. They all can make bread, sew, and cook from scratch. I only wish I had taught them to shoot, safely, of course. Life is good when we teach our kids to be self-reliant. Linda
I got the kids to clean the bathroom (at least the toilet) by using reason 😉
I called them individually on different days into their bathroom and told them to kneel down and put your face in the toilet… You can guess the response (ya, the toilet was skanky)…
Then I told them to imagine it’s late at night and you feel sick, your gonna throw up… Is that where you want to put your face?
The next time I came by and checked the toilets *dramatic pause* they were sparkling clean!
They still to this day keep the toilet (and bathroom) clean 😉 It’s been 20 years or so, never had to remind them either.
Hi Bruce, oh my gosh, this is the best idea EVER! I LOVE it!! It’s comical but so true!! Having a clean bathroom keeps the family healthy!! I love this!! Linda
I don’t usually like to comment unless it’s positive. I love these articles. They are well written and very true. The thing I’m having issues with is some of the comments. My family and I have been on government assistance for awhile now. We would like to get off of it but it’s just not in the cards. We work our butts off. I’m a stay at home mom, my hubby works. If I were to work to, my money would go to child care for someone else to raise our children. That would not make sense. My husband had cancer. He had two surgeries and 2 doses of radio active iodine. If not for Medicaid we would be bankrupt. We work hard, pay taxes, help others in need, live frugal, don’t have a whole lot of extras and we are still stuck for now. I make our own soaps, cook from home, raise animals for food, sew, bake, crochet, use natural remedies when I can, Preserve food, garden,among other things. I’m also always learning. I read blogs, watch you tube and read. I hope to get some schooling on herbal medicine but can’t afford it right now so it is a goal. Not everyone sits on their tush, on assistance, popping out kids to get more help. My family may not be the norm but we are here. Some day I hope to not be on assistance and be able to help more folks but for now we do what we can. God always helps us. Sometimes the assistance we get, may it be from government or not is a blessing from God. Thanks for listening to my two cents.
Hi Tiffany, I love your comment, I wish more people were like you. I love hearing YOU want to raise your kids. Here’s the deal, until we live in someone else’s shoes we do not understand it. Thank goodness for Medicaid to get you through your husband’s cancer treatments. Yes, there are people who abuse the system, we all know some of them. But we also know people who really need help. It truly is a blessing from God. Keep up the good work, Linda
Thank you for replying. It made my heart smile. I know we may not be the norm but there are some of us. We are also planning to homeschool this year so say a little prayer for me. I’m super excited yet it is a new venture. I also got a part time job from home so life may be a little more interesting. I’m surprised they haven’t learned to clone moms yet. We have to be in five places at once. God will guide me and I will continue to pray for His help. Thank you again!
Hi Tiffany, I love your comment. I have a daughter who homeschooled her child last year and will do it again this year. Oh my gosh, if they could only clone mothers!! LOL! Have you ever heard about the “I need a Wife”? For instance: I need a wife to go grocery shopping for me. I need a wife to make my dentist appointments. I need a wife to pick up the dry cleaning. You get the drift. It’s an actual article. I have 4 daughters so I sent it to all of them years ago. God will indeed guide you. Linda
I’ll have to look that up. ☺️
Tiffany, I can scan it if you can’t find it. Linda