4 Skills Every Child Should Have By the Time They Move Out
Posted: May 11, 2018
As parents, we want to do everything in our power to enrich our children’s lives and prepare them for a successful future. We sign our children up for tutoring, music lessons, and sports programs. What other steps can we take to prepare our children for the future? With that question in mind, below are 4 common-sense life skills every child should learn.
How to Manage Money
Even a very young child can learn to manage a simple budget. Children can learn to budget the money they receive for an allowance and gifts. Make it a habit to include your child in household shopping and simple planning. Young children should be taught about the difference between wants and needs, saving and comparison shopping. Older children and teens should learn about compound interest, investing and responsible credit card use.
From a very young age, every child should be taught how and when to call 911 and should know where to find the first aid kit. Basic first aid lessons should include dressing a wound and responding to an allergic reaction. As soon as your child is strong enough, ensure he or she should learn to perform hands-only CPR. The Red Cross babysitting training is an excellent resource for emergency training and can be taken by students aged 11 and older. The Emergency Reference Guide included with the training provides a wealth of first aid information, and can be used to start introducing these skills to your child.
Every child should learn to swim and be comfortable around water. Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death in children — an alarming statistic that could be reduced if all children took swimming lessons. SwimJim explains that, "Most children do not ‘automatically’ or intuitively know aquatic skills, as swimming has different familial, cultural, and social contexts," so it is especially important for children to take swimming lessons while they are young. In addition to being a lifesaving skill, swimming is excellent exercise and a lot of fun.
Basic Household Chores
Young children can and should help out with chores. They can learn to sort laundry, keep a tidy room, and help with basic kitchen tasks. Cooking is a particularly important skill to teach, and even young children can learn to put together simple meals without using the stove or knives. Continue teaching your older children age-appropriate cooking skills, and they will leave home equipped with the ability to cook for themselves.
If you’re concerned about improving your child’s diet, then working in the kitchen with them might be a successful strategy for you to try. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “The best way to teach kids about eating right is to actually get them into the kitchen to prepare healthy meals together. Cooking is a valuable life skill that teaches children about nutrition and food safety, as well as building math, science, literacy and fine motor skills.”
While there are many other life skills we can (and should) teach our children, these 4 skills are an excellent start. Continue to expand these life skills, and your children will be well-equipped for the future. While you’re at it, think about what skills you can work on developing in yourself in order to be the best parent you can be!