The other day my mom brought over her new iPhone. Immediately, my daughter began to take pictures with it and scroll through the menu. The funny thing was she had never used an iPhone but was used to similar technology. These days children are quite proficient at using a tablet computer and a cell phone. Hopefully, they learn how to read and write at school. Yet, there are many life skills that aren’t taught at school. In my opinion, it is up to parents to teach kids certain life skills. Here are some I believe all children should learn.
I didn’t have a car until I was 21-years-old. Until then, I took the bus to my job and the shuttle to my classes. For a while, I remember having to ride my bike across campus at 5:30 in the morning to catch a bus to take me to a school I worked at. Learning how to use public transportation was an important skill. It allowed me to be independent. When I finally got a car, I really appreciated it. Using public transportation is vital if you don’t have a car. It can also help college students visiting another country.
Do the Laundry
In college, I remember coming across individuals who would wait until the weekends to do their laundry at home. Typically, their mother would do their laundry for them. Doing the laundry is pretty easy. Simply, teach kids how to sort darks and lights. One of the most important laundry rules I have is to never put a towel or fuzzy blanket in with your regular clothes.
Balance a Checkbook and Stick to a Budget
I’ll admit that I hardly ever write checks anymore. However, I believe writing a check and balancing a check book are important financial lessons. Give kids play checks or an old checkbook to practice with. Equally vital is the idea that kids need to be able to stick to a budget and learn how to spend their money wisely. If kids are not taught about finances, it’s easy to overspend and even easier to get yourself into credit card debt.
Check out a Library Book
Yes, digital books are on the rise. However, the library has a ton of free resources. Kids can read to their hearts’ content. They can also find resources for information.
I always love when I get a card or letter in the mail. Writing a letter seems to be a lost art. Even if you are writing a letter through your email, it is good for kids to know the difference between a friendly and a business letter. Writing a letter is much different than sending a text. Children need to know how to write formally.
Learn How to Use a Word Processing Program
In my 20’s, I remember going to an agency to try to get a temp job. The first thing I had to do was do a typing test. Then, on my application I was asked what word processing programs I was familiar with. Your child may be great at using social media or playing “Angry Birds.” However, being proficient with typing, spreadsheet and PowerPoint programs is helpful for future career endeavors.
Apply for a Job
At some point before kids go out into the “real world,” I think they should have a part-time job. Filling out a job application and going on a few interviews will help prepare them for when they have that big interview for their dream job.
Teaching kids how to prepare healthy meals is essential for their future. Go to the farmer’s market and pick out fresh fruits and vegetables. Then, choose a recipe and make dinner for a whole family.
Swimming is a skill that can save your child’s life. At a young age, get your child familiar with the water. When they are ready, consider swim lessons. Keep practicing and teach your child about water safety too.
Small Household Repairs
Changing a light bulb may seem like a simple task. However, when children move out on their own, they should know how to unclog a toilet or turn off the gas. I don’t know how to repair as much as I should. However, I do have a good home warranty program that has been essential in repairing my appliances.
Life skills are just as important as a good education. What life skills do you want your children to learn?
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