Every child needs to learn how to do certain things in order to be successful as an adult. These are what we call life skills, and they can include anything from cooking a meal or making their bed up to budgeting their pocket money carefully. The good news? Learning these life skills doesn’t have to be difficult or costly! In this blog post, we talk about 7 essential life skills that every child should learn by the time they become adults.
These skills will help them overcome adversity in life and prepare for the future.
1. Basic Computer Skills
The world is changing and becoming more focused on technology. Computers are now a big part of our daily lives, and kids are growing up with them. So it’s important to teach them the skills they need to succeed in this digital age. Almost every job imaginable requires a worker to use a computer or phone app these days.
You might think that your child is comfortable using a computer if they play games on it. However, that’s not the same as using it for schoolwork or a job. If your child is learning how to use keyboard shortcuts, like CTRL-C and CTRL-V, then they’re already thinking about computers in a more sophisticated way than you might think.
2. The ability to look after themselves
A lack of self-responsibility can be problematic for children. They won’t learn how to cook, clean up after themselves, or do their own laundry if they’re surrounded by adults who take care of them all the time. Doing too much for your kids means that those very important life skills may never develop.
Learning how to cook is one of the most important life skills a child can learn. If they’re cooking for themselves, then it’s also more likely that they’ll eat better and healthier food as an adult. Even little kids can start learning how to do things in the kitchen and helping out at meal preparation times. Most children love to get in on the action, so have them help you make their favorite meals. Safe meal prep activities for children include washing veg, stirring, and tasting.
Another one of the essential life skills for children is learning how to do their own laundry. It’s a chore that will take up many hours of their lives as an adult – might as well start now! Kids should be encouraged from the beginning to look after their things properly and that includes their clothes.
Have your child put the dirty laundry in the basket each night and help fold and put away clean clothes.
3. Time management
I seem to hear people complaining more and more about not having enough time these days. But we all have the same amount of time! No one has more than 24 hours a day. Set your kids up for success by teaching them how to manage their time. Do you wake them every morning? Get them an alarm clock or have them use their phone to set an alarm.
Have them map out a timetable for themselves and make sure they stick to it. Build-in work time with relaxing time after it so that they know they have something to look forward to, and reward them when they are finished. Planning in this way will help teach them how much time it takes for simple tasks or even more complicated ones like homework. It will also help them to learn to be more independent.
4. Money management skills
Money management skills are essential for children when they grow up. Kids should be taught how to save, spend and budget their money wisely. It should also be made clear what happens if they don’t manage it well or set goals in advance. How can we teach them this skill? Start with a bit of pocket money each week and talk to them about what they’d like to spend it on.
If they want something that costs more, help them come up with a saving plan. This is also a useful exercise to teach how to prioritize. Open a bank account for them and teach them the value of saving money. Encourage them to keep some of their money in the savings account for a ‘rainy day’, rather than saving up just to buy something.
5. Decision Making Skills
Decision-making is one of the essential life skills. When kids have to make their own decisions, they are more likely to learn how to manage the ones that come up in adulthood and be able to weigh pros and cons logically. How can we teach them this skill? One way would be by giving them small, simple choices, and gradually work up to harder, more complicated ones. For more challenging choices, if they choose something that seems unwise, talk it through with them and help them analyze the benefits and disadvantages of each option.
6. Independent thinking skills
Encourage your child to solve problems, without needing you to make every decision for them. Talk about the problems they’re facing and offer a range of solutions, but let them decide which one is best. Encourage your child to think differently when solving everyday problems – for example, by thinking outside their comfort zone or trying new things.
This will help them develop a can-do approach to problem-solving that doesn’t involve waiting around for others to make decisions for them. Creative and critical thinking skills can be enhanced through playing games, something your kid probably loves to do. Board games such as chess, life, and monopoly can help them to think strategically, while card games teach the importance of observation
A key life skill that we can pass on to our children is resilience. We need to teach them how to bounce back when they experience setbacks and disappointments in their lives. Central to this is teaching them to persevere, rather than just giving up. This is what makes kids into adults that know how to pick themselves back up when life knocks them down.
The essential life skills you teach your child now will define how they start life out as an adult. You can help them learn how to grow into independent adults by teaching them these important life lessons. We discussed how children need to learn time and money management, critical thinking skills, and more — all of which will come in handy when they face adversity in the future. To make sure your little one is ready for life outside of the home, be sure to share these lessons with them today! What are some other values you want to pass on?