As parents, one of our most important jobs is to make sure that our kids have all the life skills they need to be able to function when they become adults, so I’m sharing 10 Life Skills to Teach your Kids this Summer. I am always shocked when hear of someone moving into their first apartment in their mid-twenties, and they have to hire someone to hang their pictures. What? Or have their mom organize their closet and their dad build their Ikea desk. How?
10 Life Skills to Teach Your Kids This Summer
I can’t imagine sending my kids off to college or to their first apartment without knowing how to do basic things like assembling furniture, changing a tire, or sewing a button on a shirt.
There’s a very good chance YOU may not even know how to do everything on this list. That’s okay! There are hundreds of resources on the internet that can teach you how to do these things, so you and your kids can learn together. Being able to do these basic things saves money, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and helps kids learn to be independent adults!
Check out our printable random acts of kindness notes, which is a great way to spread some joy this summer!
This is the number one thing to learn how to do! What you eat affects your health, productivity, and quality of life. Pick 5 simple dishes that fit your child’s age and skill level, and teach them how to make them! For example, an 8 year old can make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while an 11 year old can start learning how to make pancakes and pasta on the stove.
Cleaning and Organizing
Some kids are naturally more inclined to cleaning and organizing than others, but every kid I’ve ever met appreciates a clean and well organized environment. Teaching kids a system for organizing their belongings helps them care for the things they own and keep track of them. Showing kids how to do things like dust, sweep vacuum, and wipe surfaces helps then keep their own room clean, as well as giving them the knowledge of how to help around the house. Kids often want to help more than we let them, but they just don’t know how to do it. Don’t expect perfection when teaching kids to clean! Show them how to do it, have them try, and then praise their efforts. Give them tips when needed, but don’t expect them to do it as well as you would.
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Basic sewing skills are incredibly valuable, and you don’t even need a sewing machine! If you have a needle and thread, you can teach your kids how to sew on a button or hem a pair of pants. If you do have a sewing machine, they can learn how to make simple clothes like skirts or pajama pants, and even sew a quilt.
Lawn Care & Gardening
Teach your kids how to rake leaves, mow a lawn, and weed around flower beds. If you live in an apartment, have them grow a plant on their windowsill. Or even grow some mint or peppers on the balcony.
If you live in a large city with a great public transportation system, this may not be a concern for you. However, a large amount of us are completely reliant on cars to get to work and school everyday. If your kids are planning on getting their license, I highly recommend teaching them basic car maintenance before you let them out on the road. Teens should know how to add basic fluids (windshield washer fluid, coolant, and oil) to their cars. They should also know how to change a flat tire, jump their battery, put on new wiper blades, and what to do if they’re ever in an accident.
Household Maintenance & Tools
By the time they graduate high school, kids should know how to use a hammer, a screwdriver, and a drill. Kids should know how to do things like hang pictures, turn water lines on and off, use a fire extinguisher, assemble furniture, and change lightbulbs.
I do not advocate adopting a pet to teach your kids responsibility, or giving animals as gifts. However if you choose to bring a new furry (or scaly!) family member into your home, or already have one, it’s a good thing to teach your kids how to care for them. Pets need a lot of care. Teaching kids how to properly feed, walk, and brush pets is a great way to show them what to expect if they ever decide to adopt a pet in the future. Also, it teaches them to take care of something other themselves, which shows kids how important it is to think of the needs of others.
Kids age 10 and up can easily learn proper treatment of cuts, scrapes, bug bites, and sprains. They should also learn how to handle mild issues like colds, allergies, headaches, and sore muscles. It’s also important to teach kids which illnesses and injuries can be handled with home care, and which ones require medical attention. Older kids can also take classes on CPR and more advanced first aid techniques.
Finances & Budgeting
Teach your kids how to open a checking and savings account. Show them how to save money, pay their bills, budget for needs and wants, and how to use credit responsibly. If your kids can go into life with a strong knowledge of how to handle their finances, and the importance of having an emergency fund, they’ll be off to a good start.
A lot of us think of self-care as bubble baths and face masks, but that’s not quite what I mean. Kids should know how to care for their mental and physical health. Kids should know how to get enough sleep, exercise, and balance their work and free time. They should also know how to ask for help when they need it and reach out to family and friends if they’re feeling down. Make sure your kids know how to find help if they’re being bullied, or having anxiety, depression, or other personal issues. So many families just don’t talk about these things, and they’re so important.
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I know many parents want their kids to always come to them when they have problems, but it’s important to equip our kids with the knowledge and skills they’ll need to be healthy, independent adults. Your kids will feel more capable and strong, and you will know that they can handle themselves! And remember, if there’s something on this list that you don’t know how to do, then you can learn how to do it together! Kids respect their parents so much when they can say, “I don’t know, so let’s learn this together!” I hope you found these 10 life skills to teach your kids this summer helpful!