We all want the best for our kids, and to raise them to be happy and successful individuals that thrive throughout their life. Part of our job as parents is to teach them the right skills so that when they do grow up, they will be prepared for what life is going to throw at them.
And while we often focus on the basics, there are certain parts of the basics that we often miss. While helping them pass their classes in school, and preparing them for college is great, there is so much more to life. By focusing primarily on schooling, we miss a much larger piece of the puzzle.
To make sure that isn’t the case, you need to make sure you teach them at least the following. Depending on your own culture, goals, etc, you can add whatever you need to this list.
1. How to cook.
In life, one of our primary needs is food. That’s why it’s so astonishing to me that grown people don’t know how to cook. Unless you figure out how to cook, you are never going to be able to make cheap and healthy meals from the comfort of home. Sure, you can eat fast food, or order take out, but being able to cook is a fundamentally important skill for life.
2. How to organize.
Teach your kids how to organize a space, their school work, and other things. This will help them throughout their life in various areas, including productivity, and with their work later on.
3. How to talk to strangers.
During our life, it will be inevitable that we have to talk to strangers. Whether it’s in the workforce, when we are trying to find a job, or just in general, the need will arise for us to talk to a stranger. So, do your child a favor and teach them basic social skills.
4. How to do laundry.
Show your child how to sort, wash, remove stains and fabric soften their clothes. The need for clean clothes will never stop, and rather than having to have someone else do it for them, it’s important to show them how.
5. How to clean a home.
Basic housecleaning, like sweeping, mopping, dusting, and dishwashing is essential in life. If you don’t teach them how they will either live like pigs or have to figure out how to do it themselves when they get older.
6. How to manage money.
Kids need to understand the value of money and how to use it to pay for essentials and bills. Simple budgeting, saving, etc., are very helpful for them when they grow up. Additionally, they will find life much less stressful if they know how to budget their money.
7. Basic self-defense.
You don’t have to teach them Kravmaga, or anything fancy, but going through typical scenarios, like “What should you do if you are attacked in an alley?” is very helpful. Showing them how to properly use a weapon, or defend themselves if they are robbed are all great tools.
8. Basic first aid.
There again, you don’t have to teach them how to be a nurse or anything, but basic first aid survival tips are great. Even just the basics like how to take down a fever, how to clean a wound, and how to conduct CPR are all good.
9. Time management.
Teach your children how to manage time properly. While they don’t have to be expert planning, it does help to say if you have two hours to clean your room, how are you going to go about doing it? Or, if you have such and such appointment at this time, and such and such appointment at this time, you need to be careful with your time. You can give them a planner and help them make notes and lists.
10. How to meal plan & grocery shop.
This goes along with cooking, and while most people might say that this one should be obvious, there is an art of practical grocery shopping. Making a list, and making sure that every item has a purpose, and sticking to it so you can plan for meals is pretty easy to teach, but still necessary.
11. How to be alone.
While this one might sound obvious, a lot of people do not know how to be alone with themselves. And not only is it important to get used to being alone from time to time, but it will also help them. Alone time is when great thinking gets done, and is also when self-reflection is done, which are both parts of successful adulthood.
12. How to write correspondence (a resume, write a check, a letter, an email, etc.)
Teach your kids how to make a resume that will help them get the job they want, including a cover letter. Show them how to write a check, sign it and endorse it, and teach them how to write a letter and mail it. Additionally, showing them how to write a professional email is another great skill.