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Being a parent is a pretty complex job. It is in our hands to prepare our kids for a bright future, and a major part of that is instilling values in them and encouraging them to understand skills.

When I was younger, my mother taught me many skills that she valued. Things like cooking, cleaning, balancing finances, and the like were always considered important. Of course, there are many important skills that we as parents should be teaching our kids. Even before the age of 10, our children are like sponges. Here are 9 skills every child should have by the age of 10.

1. How to shake hands.

Having a firm handshake is very important. It’s a major part of making a good impression, and it is super simple to teach. Simply teach your child to make eye contact, to position themselves towards the other person, to smile and squeeze their hand confidently, and to maintain eye contact.

2. How to carry a conversation.

By the age of 10, your child should be able to have a conversation with someone else. They should be able to do so without interrupting and in an acceptable manner. No, they don’t need to be perfect, but carrying a conversation can go a long way.

3. How to swim.

The earlier you teach your child how to swim, the better. While there are adults who can not swim, life is much easier when you can. Not to mention it’s a necessary survival skill.

4. How to be alone.

There will be times in life when your child will be alone. For many, the thought of being alone is anxiety-provoking. But, it’s still necessary and entirely beneficial.

5. How to care for a pet.

As soon as your child begins paying attention, show them how to care for the pets. Let them help you bathe them, feed them, and tend to another task. By the age of ten, they should be able to do the basics.

6. How to make a change.

When I first became a server at the age of 17, I was very bumfuzzled about how to make a change. Thankfully, I was taught quickly, but imagine how much easier things had been having I learned it earlier.

7. How to save.

Start by giving your child a small allowance. Then, when they say they want something, show them how to put small amounts away toward their goal.

8. How to clean their room.

Beginning at a relatively young age, kids can clean their rooms. They can pick items up, put them where they go, and toss them out of the trash. They can even make their bed. All of this will be helpful for later down the line.

9. How to write a letter.

While hardly anyone writes letters anymore, there will come a time when one is necessary. Find them a pen pal, and show them how to write letters, address them and sign them.

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