As a parent, the most important role you play in your kids’ lives is to help them prepare to be functioning adults themselves.
As your children grow up into teenagers, they need life skills that aren’t going to be taught in the classroom but are necessary to help them adjust to the real world. Learning these life skills as a teenager and kid will create a foundation for their success as happy, functioning adults.
These life skills are crucial to functioning and living a happy, healthy life, and it’s essential to introduce these skills early on so teens can learn how to handle different life situations and challenges.
Essential life skills for your kids to learn
- Communication – Communication is essential as it helps teens express their thoughts and feelings effectively.
- Social and interpersonal relationships and emotional intelligence – Interpersonal relationships and social interaction skills teach teens how to build and maintain healthy relationships with others, while emotional intelligence helps them understand, regulate, and manage their emotions.
- Problem-solving and decision-making – Problem-solving helps them find solutions to difficult situations, while decision-making teaches them how to make wise choices.
- Financial literacy – One crucial skill to learn is financial literacy, which teaches your teens the importance of creating a budget and operating within their capabilities and understanding the basics of money management.
- Time management – Time management teaches them how to manage their time efficiently.
- Self-care and personal grooming – Self-care is also vital as it teaches teens how to care for their physical and mental health. Personal grooming is an extension of self-care and interacting socially.
- Critical thinking, goal setting and planning – Critical thinking helps them think logically, while goal setting and planning enable them to set realistic goals and plan accordingly.
- Resilience – Resilience teaches the ability to work through adversity and, partnered with critical thinking and goal setting, are crucial life skills to acquire.
- Healthy habits: eating, exercise, sleep – Learning healthy habits, including eating well, the importance of regular exercise, and getting enough sleep, are the foundations of living well.
- Stress management – Stress management is also an essential skill as they help teens cope with difficult situations and manage stress.
The value of helping your teens build a healthy foundation isn’t as challenging as you may think. You can teach these through various activities such as role-playing, group discussions, problem-solving exercises, and real-life scenarios.
You should also guide and encourage your children to participate in extracurricular activities, whether in sports, music, or art. These activities help them develop teamwork and discipline, reinforce goal setting and communication, and work through adversity.
Emphasizing learning these life skills while your kids and teens are still living at home with you will better prepare them before they move out into the world, trying to support themselves and have a family of their own.
Life skills categories
When you’re teaching these life skills, break them down into three separate categories, such as;
- Household skills
- Money skills
- Personal growth skills
Teaching your tween how to do laundry is integral to preparing them for adulthood.
Start with basics such as cleaning their rooms and bathrooms; learn to do their own laundry by showing them how to sort clothes into whites, darks, and delicates, so they don’t end up with pink underwear! How to fold clothes neatly, so they all fit in their drawers.
Cooking and cleaning are other essential household skills that your teen should learn before leaving home.
Teach basic kitchen safety rules, such as washing hands before handling food and using a cutting board when chopping vegetables. Show them how to read recipes and measure ingredients accurately.
Learning to budget, live within your means, and make a budget to cover unexpected costs are one of the essential lessons a teen should learn.
Start by teaching them the basics of budgeting and saving. Show them how to track their spending and create a budget that works for them. And explain the importance of saving for emergencies and long-term goals such as college or a car.
Helping them learn how to write a resume and getting your teen a job before they have to support themselves is an excellent real-world example to understand these critical money skills.
Personal Growth Skills
Teaching personal growth skills and prioritizing self-care is vital in preparing them for adulthood. Start by teaching them how to set and achieve goals and how to break down big goals into smaller, achievable steps.
Explain the value of a positive attitude and the ability to remain resilient can help them reach their goals. Explain the importance of being assertive without being mean and how to prioritize tasks and time-management skills.
The three foundations of living well are learning how to take care of their home, pay their bills, operate within a budget, and know the value of personal growth.