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10 Life Skills to Teach Your Kids From an Early Age

February 29, 2024 4 min read

A mother teaching life skills to a child

Teaching children life skills is essential for their wellbeing, now and in the future. These skills help kids navigate childhood and prepare them for tackling challenges as adults. They encompass personal security, dealing with bullying, handling peer pressure, practising good hygiene, and much more. This article explores ten life skills that will set your child on a path to success in life.


1. How to Manage Money

To ensure your children have solid financial foundations later in life, it’s crucial to teach them money skills when they’re young (and we don’t mean just teenagers!). Research shows kids as young as five years understand the basic concept of money. According to the researchers, they show emotional reactions to money. 

That’s why it’s essential to broaden their financial understanding as early in their life as possible. Teach them the concepts of income, spending, budgeting, and saving. Let them also learn the value of sharing with less fortunate members of the community.

2. Cleaning and Laundry

Some parents prefer to do all the laundry and cleaning for their kids. While this might appear as a caring gesture, it’s a lost opportunity to teach your kids critical skills on cleanliness. Teaching them about hygiene at this stage instils a clean attitude that will serve them well into their adulthood. You can start by teaching them to make their beds and brush their teeth. 

You can also show them the basics of using a washing machine as they grow older. Teach them to measure the detergent, select the right settings, and load or unload the laundry. Other skills may involve cleaning the house and washing dishes. These activities develop essential motor skills that help them grow into independent adults.

3. Communication Skills

Communication is one of the best skills to introduce to children early in life. Children well-grounded in communication skills are more socially active. They learn to be team-players who are kind, polite, and considerate towards others, whether it be at home, school, or work. 

That also means learning to apologise when wrong - a skill that some adults struggle with!  By helping your child develop their communication skills, you’re also helping them to refine their oratory abilities and develop leadership qualities. Communication skills instil confidence and help kids grow into successful personalities. 

4. Time Management

Time management is another skill children should learn. Teaching this skill in their childhood helps them become respectful and responsible adults. One of the ways to do this is to give them small tasks to complete within a specific timeframe. 

Common examples include folding clothes, tidying their bedroom, putting away their colouring sets and packing up their toys. You can add fun by having two or more kids competing with one another for the completion of similar tasks. That teaches them the value of time now and in the future.

5. How to Cook

Letting kids learn how to cook is a valuable skill to teach your kids. They start to appreciate food, develop healthy eating habits and gain basic cooking skills. Introduce them early and gradually by involving them in meal preparation. 

Start with meal planning, preparing a grocery list, food shopping, meal preparation, and cooking. Simple tasks like preparing a sandwich or warming food in the microwave oven are good examples. You can then move on to more complex tasks with age. Cooking is a creative way to teach children about food and cultivate healthy eating habits for life.

6. Learning to Keep Safe

Ensuring children's safety is paramount. Teach them essential safety skills to safeguard themselves from potential dangers. They should understand the importance of caution around strangers and avoid walking alone at night.  Moreover, it's beneficial for them to learn basic self-defence techniques. 

Parents should also be aware of digital risks. Cyberbullying, organised crime rings, and exposure to drugs and alcohol are tactics criminals use to target children online. However, by equipping kids with the right skills, they can become confident, make smart decisions swiftly, and resist potential threats.

7. Learn How to Handle Stress

Everyone experiences their fair share of stress in life. However, children with a good grounding can learn to overcome such matters. Starting from childhood, they should learn to cope with stress from failing exams, bullying at school, and other issues that can take an emotional toll. 

Teach them different methods to help with reducing stress. Effective techniques include mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

8. How to Stay Organised

Getting organised is a powerful skill every child should learn. One of the best ways to teach them is by helping them track their activities. For example, create a routine plan or checklist that enables them to track their homework or bedtime and morning tasks. 

Doing this helps them to avoid a stressful day at school and equips them with sound organisational skills. You can develop this further by adding new tasks. 

Analogue clocks, a calendar and imagination books are some other tools to help keep them organised. Establishing structure and systems will help them become successful.

9. How to Practise Gratitude

Gratitude is an important virtue for children. Practising gratitude prevents the common habit of false entitlement. Kids must learn to be thankful for what they have and know that things won’t always go their way. 

To teach this, you can regularly sit with your kids and discuss things they’re thankful for and why. This encourages them to learn important things they could otherwise take for granted. Being grateful goes a long way in nurturing a kind, compassionate child.

10. Developing Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is forming a non-biased opinion based on available evidence. This is an essential skill children should develop for independence. They should know how to analyse information, look at different angles, and ask themselves questions before making decisions. 

In other words, let them not take everything at face value.  Introduce useful books that encourage your child’s critical thinking skills.  This will help to sharpen their analytical ability and improve their mental health.

Final Thoughts

Life skills are an essential part of childhood development.  They equip children with the foundations for handling life’s challenges and they pave the way for a successful future. The above list can get you started on providing your kids with the skills they need. You can read more inspirational articles about activities to help your kids on our blog.


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