5 Life Skills You Should Teach Your Kids
The other day, my family went out for ice cream. As we ordered, I watched my two older children order their ice cream on their own and they even said “please” and “thank you.” I was proud. Not going to lie there. And it’s okay to be proud of your kids! As a parent, I want to work with my kids and help them grow into mature teenagers (easier said than done) and adults. Below are five life skills that we should work on with our children while they’re young, to begin developing them into responsible people.
1. Ordering at restaurants
As I mentioned, my wife and I are beginning to allow our oldest two children to order at restaurants and interact with the employees in that manner. I’ll be honest, I struggle with this at times. My son gets distracted and then can’t remember what he wants to eat. All the while, the waitress just stares back at him, wondering how long this interaction will take. My daughter gets super shy and quiet and looks at us for help. But teaching these simple life skills of ordering at a restaurant builds confidence in your child. It allows for self-development and personal growth. There is a reason to celebrate when they successfully order their first meal!
2. Money management
I just recently provided you with 5 creative money activities for little kids. Teaching your children about the importance of money and how to manage your money is so important. Start while they’re young. When my kids see me buy groceries and random items at Target, they forget that we are using our hard earned money for these items. I routinely remind them how money works and why we can’t just buy all the toys that they want. Teaching them how to save money and starting a piggy bank collection will reinforce your conversations about managing money the right way.
3. Cleaning up after themselves
My kids are notorious for eating a meal at the table and dropping a piece of food on the floor and leaving it there. And no, we don’t have a dog or any pet for that matter. Except ants. And now you know why we have ants. This is one of those life skills that is frustrating to teach in the moment, but should not be overlooked. If you just let it be and they go on to play with their toys after their meal is finished, they assume you will take care of it.
It’s teaching them that someone else will take care of their mess! Have them clean it up immediately and help them through that process. This also applies to their toys scattered across their bedroom floor. If you struggle with this, start with “The Family Five” and see how it works for you!
4. Preparing a meal
I’m certainly not saying that your kid has to be the next Masterchef Jr. Although, that would be pretty cool. But seriously, I didn’t learn how to cook simple meals until I was in high school. But I’m glad I learned before I moved out on my own and got married! By starting with our kids now, we are teaching them one of the most important life skills they can have.
We pull chairs up to our counter right next to us and have them practice cutting vegetables or fruit. We have them measure out ingredients when we bake a cake. You can even have them grab the different ingredients out of the pantry. It’s a great family activity and they have fun doing it!
If you have your kids cut veggies, please supervise this process!
5. Conflict resolution
Do you experience conflict with friends? What about conflict at work? Unfortunately, conflict is something that everyone experiences at some point during their lifetime. It may be daily conflict. Maybe you’re experiencing conflict on a weekly basis at work. Don’t you wish you were taught the life skills at a young age on how to handle conflict? When our kids get frustrated with one another and start arguing, my first instinct is to raise my voice and shut it down immediately.
However, my wife holds me back. “Let them work through this together,” she says. And would you know it, they figure it out together! They are working through conflict and sorting out each other’s differences without even knowing it. Let your kids try to handle more difficult situations. Step in when you feel you need to. But this will allow your kids to gain confidence in themselves and prepare them for the future.