Life skills every kids needs – it is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. It never ceases to amaze me that kids graduate high school with out many (if not all) of these basic life skills. I know schools are under-funded and parents are over-worked but ya’ll our kids are the future; we need to prepare them for it.
So I sat down I started to think about the skills I lacked at graduation. Additionally I though about what I am seeing woefully overlooked in the young adults and kids I meet in the world today. Now I’m not saying this list is the end-all, be-all, of every skill they’ll ever need to know. But in my humble opinion this is a pretty good place to start.
I’d love to hear your additions – so please leave those in the comments. Also, be sure to check out Vintage Skills Kids Need for more ideas!
Now on to the LIST!
Life Skills Every Kid Needs
- How to use a cookbook and follow a recipe
This implies your kiddo knows how to measure, cut up foods, boil water…turn on the stove. All these kitchen skills are essential if you don’t want them eating fast food or out of a box their whole life.
- How to make a budget
We must teach our kids how to make a budget of bills, living expenses, savings, tithe, etc that fits into the money they are making. This should start with their first allowance and grow as they move into their first job. This is a skill I had to learn myself – school and family glossed over that one completely.
- Car Emergencies and Maintenance
We need to make sure our kids (girls and boys) know how to jump start a car and change a flat. Seriously, please teach your girls this too; don’t make her rely on a possible weirdo to do this for her. They also need to understand what is required for basic maintenance of a vehicle; like oil changes, tire rotation, tune-ups and the like.
- How to AVOID using a credit card!
Yep, I said avoid. Why are we teaching kids how to get in debt? I say, no! Teach your kids how to live on what they make. Teach them to save for short term and long term items that they can’t afford today. SHOW them how much it will really cost them if they use credit. Talk about bankruptcy. If you’ve had credit issues, I hope you’ll feel open to discuss your own problems. We are living in an instant gratification society, but we don’t have to teach our kids to go with the flow.
- How to do their own laundry
You know what I’m talking about. Mamas – please teach your boys too. Make sure they understand the different products and what each is for; maybe even how to make their own. By the time your child can reach the buttons and knobs, they can learn how to do it themselves.
- How to write a check and balance a check book
This used to be something taught in Home Ec – but I don’t think it is anymore. Make sure they can do it without special software. They need to know what a bounced check is…without actually having one. Also, please go over how to make out a check properly and how to endorse one when they receive it. I know a lot is done via electronic transaction now but it is still a skill they can use.
- How to read a map
GPS isn’t always available or right. Knowing how to read a conventional map is a great life skill every kid needs to know.
- How to drive a manual transmission
For the love of Pete…not all cars are automatics. In an emergency situation your teenager may need to know how to drive a stick shift. I learned how to drive on one!
This is the one skill I took away from high school that I use daily. It also helped me get a lot of jobs. I am not talking the two-finger peck either. There are some great programs on the internet, free, to learn how to properly type.
- How to greet someone new
Please teach your child how to greet someone. I firm handshake, eye contact, a nice smile and HELLO! They are NEVER too young to learn this vital skill. It will help them in so many aspects of their life. You’d be surprised how many people have complimented my kids in this area; because it is just rare nowadays. And throw in some manners and they are set for life.
So that is my list of life skills every kid needs. Moms and dads, feel no condemnation from me! If you haven’t started this with your kids already, there is no time like the present. I didn’t get this with all 4 right off the get-go myself. Some kids will respond better to the lessons than others; but teach them all anyway!