10 Life Skills That All Kids Should Know
You want your children to be successful adults, right?
Teach these ten life skills that all kids should know.
- Prepare food.
Every child must know how to fix themselves food. Begin with the basics, like fixing a bowl of cereal, and then work up to sandwiches and even meals requiring following a set of directions.
- Wash clothes.
Are you still doing your college-age kids’ laundry? Children as young as six can wash their own clothes, although they may need a stepstool and directions on how to operate the washer and dryer. The laundry might not get folded perfectly, but you’re instilling can-do attitude when you trust your kids to care for themselves.
- Wake themselves up.
Kids do well when they have a routine to follow. There’s a time for everything, including when to go to sleep at night and when to wake up in the morning. You can help them set that routine by establishing a predictable schedule, but encourage your child to set an alarm by which to wake up.
- Put gas in a vehicle.
If you’re the one always doing this for your child, what happens when she drives long enough to empty the gas tank, and you’re not there to help? Even if you live in a city with excellent public transportation, children should learn how to pump gas.
- Develop a budget.
Money doesn’t grow on trees; there is no endless supply of dollar bills that will magically appear whenever your child wants something. Teaching your child how to make and stick to a budget is one of the smartest things you can do to prepare him for life.
- Shop for groceries.
Teach your kids where to find produce and dairy in the supermarket and how to find bargains. Teach label-reading to older children so they know what they are purchasing and eating.
- Establish good hygiene habits.
Children who develop the habit of daily bathing, brushing and grooming are healthier and often more popular than their peers who don’t brush their teeth or use deodorant.
- How to do chores.
There’s plenty to do in a household. In addition to cooking and washing clothes, you have to dust, vacuum, mop floors and mow the yard. Unless you have a staff to help you with domestic duties, your kids can pitch in, taking on age-appropriate tasks.
- Think creatively.
By encouraging your kids to think on their own, you are preparing them to be problem-solvers. Creative thinking begins with coloring everyday items non-traditional colors (who says a horse can’t be purple?) and can be as elaborate as building Rube Goldberg machines.
- Self-advocate. By the time your child is in high school, she should be able to talk respectfully to teachers about her assignments or grades. Children who are prepared with basic life skills can seek to understand, communicate with adults, and speak up for themselves.
Children who can perform these ten basic life skills will develop the confidence and self-reliance needed for adulthood.