As a parent you are always thinking about doing what is best for your children. These 7 Life Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Kids are both practical for daily life as well as useful for those times when conveniences aren’t around. We have become so accustomed to the ease of our gadgets and such that our kids don’t even know the basics to care for themselves. We have to get back to the basics and remember about teaching our children basic life skills for their ultimate success.
How to read a compass and map. We are so use to having a GPS at hand that we have forgotten how to navigate on our own. While it is a rare instance that your child will need a compass and map, it is important to understand how to use both. Should they ever get lost, this could be life saving information for them.
How to do their laundry. Let’s face it, our kids would prefer we do this for them forever, but we have to teach them independence. Start them early by having them sort the laundry for you. Teach them about separating darks,whites and delicates and why it is important for those items to be washed separately. Then teach them about different detergents, stain removers and how bleach should be used safely.
How to cook basic meals. This can start at a fairly early age as well. Basic things like food safety, food prep and how to cook simple meals are important for their future. Before your child leaves home they should at minimum be able to cook 5 basic meals for themselves. That is a small number, and most will be able to do much more. Make sure to focus on proper food handling, knife skills and basic preparations like boiling, grilling, baking and how to pan fry or sauté items.
How to budget and balance a checkbook. While most people no longer write checks, the principal still applies. Your children need to understand the value of a dollar and how to budget their money. Start them early with allowances and savings accounts, and encourage them to create a budget for their expenses. Teaching them good financial choices early on will help prevent them from getting into debt later on.
How to communicate well with other people. This is a tough one. Teaching your child how to communicate all depends upon their ability to think clearly and to stop and think about the other person. Work on communication skills from an early age. Some children have a knack for this while others struggle. Don’t give up. Work as a family to communicate needs, desires and feelings without belittling each other or getting into arguments. Set good examples in your spousal relationship for your children to follow.
How to be responsible for their possessions. This may seem like a given, but it has become something that parents forget to teach their children. Respect for other people begins when you have respect for yourself and your own property. Taking care of their toy, clothing and their home are ways to teach them how to be responsible. Instead of replacing damaged items, make them repair them, go without or replace with their own money.
A good work ethic. This isn’t about being a slave to your job for hundreds of hours a week. This is simply to encourage your children and teach them to finish what they start. That starts as early as their first paper route, or sports team affiliation. Make sure your children understand that work is not something that comes along easily. Help them to appreciate their job an how it changes their future. Also encourage professional behavior by teaching them what is appropriate for public and not.