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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