Parents are responsible for feeding their kids, clothing them, and keeping them safe, but there’s something else important they can impart: life skills. While life skills often come into play at school, they’re not the core mission there. It ultimately falls on parents to make sure their children learn the following 30 critical life skills.
30 Important Life Skill To Teach Your Kids
1. Communication Skills
Communication is required every day. Kids need to learn different methods of communication and how to communicate clearly and effectively.
A parent, teacher, or manager isn’t always going to be there. They have to learn to figure things out on their own and not rely on others.
3. Critical Thinking
We’re presented with a lot of information, and we have to evaluate what’s helpful, misleading, biased, and so on. Critical thinking develops good judgment so we can make good decisions.
4. Financial Literacy
Entering adulthood without sound financial literacy is a course for disaster. Childhood is the time to learn about budgeting, saving, managing income, and expenses, etc., so that our children are prepared for them when they really matter.
5. Time Management
Adult life is a constant balancing act with work, family, and other obligations. Managing time wisely is key to managing those obligations and not getting behind or overwhelmed.
6. Basic Cooking
For the vast majority of people, most meals are prepared at home. Knowing how to cook with stoves, ovens, and microwaves is among the life skills people need the most.
7. Home Maintenance
When there’s a leak or something breaks, you call a professional for a repair. However, a lot of home maintenance, like changing air filters and clearing drains, is DIY, and kids can learn much of this when young.
8. Self-Care and Hygiene
Brushing teeth, washing hands, and the like are important for good health and hygiene. We teach those life skills when children are young so they form good habits that last all their lives.
9. Social Etiquette
Kids often grumble when being taught manners and etiquette, but they’re still important. As adults, they’ll have to know how to behave around others and how to make a good first impression.
10. Emotional Intelligence
The ability to manage our emotions and understand those of others is something that’s harder to master the longer you wait. Even though it can be a long process, this is one best started young, even before school age.
11. Decision Making
Reluctance and indecision are barriers to leadership, independence, and success. Teach children to evaluate choices but then commit to a course of action and pursue it.
12. Conflict Resolution
The easiest and most common responses to conflicts are fighting, submitting, and avoiding. None of them are healthy. Children have to learn constructive ways of resolving conflicts, starting when they first begin playing with others.
13. Goal Setting
Goals create a focus for us and help us make plans. They’re also measures of success. At a young age, children can learn the value of setting goals and working towards them.
14. Public Speaking
Many people dread public speaking, but everyone has to do it sooner or later. Schools prepare children for this with oral presentations, but parents can practice it at home, too.
15. First Aid and CPR
Accidents and emergencies are going to occur. Kids can learn early on how to administer basic first aid and CPR, knowledge that can benefit them when seeking part-time jobs and careers.
16. Basic Sewing and Mending
For many people, a torn seam means throwing the clothing away or taking it on for repair. Knowing some basics here will save money and get more use out of clothes.
17. Computer Literacy
Most schools heavily incorporate technology in the classroom now, and many kids are actually more computer-literate than their parents are. However, there should be home access to computers so learning and proficiency can continue and so that parents can work to fill any gaps.
18. Research Skills
There’s always going to be a need for research, whether it’s academic, for work, or to find a good mechanic. Developing these life skills early prepares children for independence.
For disorganized people, life is always harder. Teach your children how to plan and organize so they can meet responsibilities efficiently.
Accountability and trust helps to build responsibility. In turn, responsible people are seen as more trustworthy and reliable. A sense of responsibility can start at home with simple household chores and academic expectations.
21. Healthy Eating Habits
Americans have bad eating habits overall, leading to poor health and medical complications. Help your kids avoid this cycle by instilling good eating habits when they’re young.
22. Physical Fitness
Another casualty of poor eating habits is physical fitness. Sedentary lifestyles are detrimental as well. Competitive sports are not for all kids, but all kids can be physically active and exercise.
23. Vehicle Maintenance
Mechanics will always be in demand for repairs and complicated maintenance. However, everyone should know how to check tire pressure, change the oil, replenish fluids, switch out wiper blades, etc.
24. Personal Safety
Being able to assess risk is a life skill and a survival skill. Help your children know how to evaluate potential threats and how to avoid them.
25. Stress Management
Stress and anxiety are key contributors to low productivity, depression, and suicide. Your children need to know ways to manage stress so that it doesn’t engulf them.
26. Active Listening
People can tell when someone’s actually listening as opposed to letting someone else talk. An active listener is someone others feel safe around and can trust.
Networking has become a huge part of the business world. Building connections and expanding your reach helps your career grow. You probably engage in networking in your working life; talk to your kids about how it works and come up with ways they can apply it.
28. Resume Writing and Job Interviews
Hiring managers have things they look for to weed out resumes they’re not interested in. During the interview process, how you respond is as important as your knowledge and experience. Work with your children on these critical skills as they apply for their first part-time jobs.
29. Basic Home Gardening
For many, gardening is a relaxing pastime that rewards patience and care. However, it’s also a way to grow your own food and live more frugally.
30. Environmental Awareness
Our world has finite resources and faces some critical ecological threats. Lead by example and show children how to reduce their footprint and do their small part in protecting Mother Earth.
Life Skills To Live By
Life skills are tools that enable us to get through basic and essential aspects of everyday life, and they’re a foundation for lifelong independence and success. Parents can teach these skills to their children and feel good knowing that after they’re gone, the kids will be alright.