There are several skills we develop as we grow up. We learn them through experiencing situations and we polish them as we grow.
Now, kids need lots of time to enjoy their youth. Eating, sleeping and playing should be their priority and then us parents gradually give them responsibilities as they age. If you don’t know where to start, here are 30 handy life skills all kids should learn. You don’t need to pressure yourself or your kids, just have fun while learning! After all, kids love it when you make them feel like they have a job to do.
1. Effectively Take a Message on the Phone
Sometimes, mums are so busy accomplishing every household chore that they don’t want to be disturbed by anyone, and that’s why teaching your child to effectively take a message on the phone is very handy. Whenever someone calls, you can just continue what you’re doing and let your kids handle it.
2. Shake Hands
It’s important for kids to know how to shake hands because it will help them in most social situations they’ll encounter when they become an adult, especially when they’re already working. Handshake is vital if someone wants to appear more confident and, well, more polite.
3. Wash the Dishes by Hand
If there’s one thing apart from sweeping the floor that even a kid can do among the household chores, it’s washing the dishes. Washing the dishes, while time-consuming, is pretty basic. You can’t always rely on the dishwasher forever, what happens when it’s broken? Plus, did you know that there are benefits that your kids can get by doing it by hand? It can relieve stress, help them be immune to bacteria, and relax their mood!
4. Set a Table
You shouldn’t train your kids to eat and run. If you let them get used to the life where the food is already served to them, they wouldn’t even bother knowing the importance of hard work (although setting a table isn’t that hard) or even the principle of “clean as you go”, as well as appreciate the waiters or other restaurant attendants. Expose them to the table before the food.
The heat coming from the sun is worsening, and one of the reasons why is the lack of trees. Instead of exposing your kids to technology, you should let them know that what the world needs right now is protection from global warming. You should put them into the world of nature and let them grow up as people who are concerned about the world condition. Mother Earth needs them.
6. Ask Someone for Help
Asking for help isn’t something that all people can do. There are people who think it’s a sign of weakness or it makes people dumb, which isn’t true at all. Tell your kids that they shouldn’t hold everything inside them because they can always ask for assistance or a hand to hold. If there’s something bothering them, then be upfront about it. It’s just normal to not know and be able to do everything.
7. Say “No”
Teach your kids to be assertive and say “no” without ever feeling guilty about it. It’s also one thing that most people struggle about nowadays – to always want to please other people and agree even though deep inside them they really don’t. Let your kids be comfortable choosing themselves every single time.
8. Say Sorry and Mean It
Knowing how to say sorry and mean it is a good thing people should learn at a very young age. If you teach them the importance of apologising whenever they hurt someone, they will also learn that it isn’t avoidable to cause someone pain unintentionally, so they should be mindful of their actions as well as the words they say.
9. Admit When They are Wrong
There are a lot of people who grew up as liars, and we know too well how terrible they are. If you don’t want them to not learn to own up their mistakes and to be like those liars, they should be told to always be aware of themselves and know and admit when they are wrong. But before that, you should tell them it’s just normal to be wrong because people are naturally flawed.
10. Adapt to Changes
Change is inevitable, as they say. But kids don’t have enough experience yet, so they tend to be overwhelmed when changes occur to them and their surroundings. And that’s fine, actually. After all, they’ll eventually realise that changes are normal. Although they can be able to adapt to changes themselves, you should, of course, talk to them and be there for them in case there are some things they can’t understand.
To fill the heart with too much anger is unhealthy. It can even make a person vengeful. If you teach your kids to forgive or let them know the importance of forgiveness, they wouldn’t see the world as a terrible place to live in. They’d rather see the goodness of life, which will help them be understanding and sympathetic.
12. Wake Themselves Up On Time
Waking up in the morning, especially for school, is just so difficult for kids to do. And if you wake them up forcefully, they’d get mad because they were sleeping, and you disrupted it. If you train them to wake themselves up on time, be it through the help of an alarm clock or just conditioning their body clock, they’d be more likely to have a good mood because, well, should they be mad at themselves? It’s also a good thing because it will make them disciplined.
It’s a psychological thing that kids don’t seem to have the ability to control themselves. Whatever they feel, they show it to the world. If they don’t practice self-control now, they will have a hard time managing their emotions when they grow up. Hence, don’t tolerate your kids’ tantrums every time. Talk to them and tell them there’s a right place for that.
14. Take Challenges
Taking challenges makes one brave so if you expose your kids to them, they’ll not be scared of taking risk and will not give up that easily. There are several ways to do that. You can involve them to different activities that require strength, surround them with bold and successful people, or just let them go after what they want and encourage them to try again whenever they fail at it.
15. Manage Time
If your kids don’t learn the importance of time management at a young age, they’d believe that it’s just okay to procrastinate. And it’s not a good thing because if they don’t know how to do things one step at a time and are multi-tasking all the time, then they’ll be more prone to stress and perhaps illnesses as well.
16. Basic Self-Defence
Nowadays, there are numerous people who have terrible and even inhumane intentions so you shouldn’t let your kids go outside unarmed and without enough knowledge on how to fight for themselves. Knowing self-defence is important because, sometimes, there are no one to help them. Enroll them in a self-defence school so you don’t lose them!
Letting your kids know how to budget will be very beneficial for them especially when they’re already working and earning their own money. If they’re exposed to budgeting at young age, they’ll know what to prioritise and they won’t overspend. Plus, they’ll also know the importance as well as the benefits of saving money, which comes next.
18. Save Up for Something They Want
Kids should know that money isn’t unlimited and that it’s something that doesn’t come from trees. If you teach them how to save money, they’d learn that being materialistic is terrible because it’s expensive to be one! So, as a consequence, they’ll be smart about deciding where they’ll spend their money on and will know the difference between needs and wants.
19. Put on a Load of Washing
If you don’t want your child to be clueless about how washing machines are operated, then teach them how! There will come a time that your kids will grow up and will do the washing of their clothes themselves. So, don’t wait for that time and teach them how to do the laundry now. You can start with the basics, such as separating the whites from the coloured ones or putting the clothes into the washing machine.
20. Wrap a Gift
Teaching your child to wrap a gift is the right thing to do because it’s very handy especially if you want to have someone who’ll help you on Christmas! Apart from that, however, it will also be very beneficial for your child because, well, isn’t it such a huge disadvantage if he or she still doesn’t know how to wrap a gift at the age of 20?
There are some occurrences wherein those people who know how to swim are at an advantage. For example, when the ship sinks or when there’s a huge flood. That said, teaching your kids how to swim is very important because swimming skills are a life saver. Plus, they won’t appreciate the beach or the pool if they’re scared of drowning, right?
22. Take Care of Another Living Thing
Yes, I’m talking about pets. Did you know that when you surround your kids with pets, they’ll become more sensitive to the feelings of others? It’s true. Exposing your children to pets at a young age can have a long-term good result. Let them feed them, hug them, play with them, and so on and you’ll be thankful soon.
23. Read Books
These days, people are very much into technology that books are already fading from the picture. Actually, reading itself is not a preferred activity anymore because of the existence of videos, social media, and the likes. But then, you see, there’s a pleasure one can get from reading. So, before you introduce modernity to your children, give them the opportunity to experience the traditional.
24. Be Street Smart
Teaching your kids to be street smart can help them because it will make them bold enough to go on adventure. Plus, if you let them remain oblivious about what’s going on outside their usual route, they will be scared of exploring different places and even be panicky when they found themselves in an unknown place.
25. Cope with Failure
Failing is normal, and that’s one thing that kids don’t know yet at a young age. In order for them to understand that, of course, you should tell them that it’s okay to fail. Other than that, don’t get mad at them whenever they get an F grade. Just tell them they can always try again next time. If you motivate them instead of make them feel bad about it, they’ll be stronger to take risks when they grow up.
26. Cook Scrambled Eggs on Toast
Everyone should know how to cook because they shouldn’t expect other people to always cook for them. Teaching your kids how to cook at an early age is handy especially on those times that they get hungry and you’re not around. But, of course, you should be considerate of their age and not ask them to cook a difficult dish. Scrambled eggs are fine. Still a good start.
27. Write a Letter Properly
There are people I know that don’t know how to write a cover letter properly, and they’re already in their 20s! So, if you don’t want your kids to be so clueless about the proper way of writing a letter, you should teach them it as early as possible. After all, if you don’t, they’ll pester you to write one for them every single time. Do yourself a favor!
28. Sew by Hand
Sewing is easy, and although there’s the presence of needles, it could be a safe activity for your kids if proper guidance will be given on the early stages of their learning. Teaching your kids to sew by hand is handy in cases where their clothes need to be repaired and you don’t have the time (or even just the motivation) to do so. You see, it’s minus one on your responsibilities!
29. Check the Tyre Pressure
Kids are too young to fill in and change tyres but there’s no harm in introducing them to their world, right? One good way to do that is to teach them how to check the tyre pressure. Checking the tyre pressure is fairly easy because there’s an equipment for that, and it’s called a gauge. The experience will be helpful especially when they already grow up and have their own car.
30. Treat Wounds
It’s not all the time that you’re there beside your kids when they get a wound, so you should inform them about the things that they should do on those times. Give them a kit where medications like band-aids, alcohol, or any disinfectant can be found. Tell them the use of each and let them know that a wound can be dangerous if they don’t clean it as soon as possible, so they should learn how to treat it themselves.
If you know other handy life skills all kids should learn, share them with us!
- Life Skills