So often we hear teachers and parents discussing things like common sense, being “book smart”, or maybe even a kid that is “street smart”. It boils down to needing to teach kids life skills in unison with academia for them to succeed. No matter the age of the child from baby and toddler to tween and teen, we can invest our time and energy into making sure they have a strong set of life skills to help them in day-to-day living such as cooking, chores, and even responsibility.
I am such a firm believer in life skills that when I was teach high school history, I told my students that if they retained nothing of World History (though I hoped they did), my goal for them by the end of the year included three things:
- that they would learn organizations strategies
- that they could write a thesis statement and write a cohesive, professional paper
- and that they would understand how to research and find ACCURATE answers to their questions.
Those 3 skills would serve them regardless of what they did in life and would empower them to grow themselves in the field they loved.
But even beyond this, I have worked diligently with my kids from the time they were born to help the understand their role in the house and how their jobs contribute to a larger picture. So including babies and toddlers in seemingly mundane tasks or even in “big” adult tasks means that they have a better understanding of real life so that hopefully when they’re grown they won’t feel so overwhelmed by “adulting”.
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How to equip kids of all ages with the life skills they need
When we think of life skills, most of the time it’s learning how to do the laundry or cook a meal. Those are both great skills to have. But as parents we need to think in eve broader terms of how our children will grow up and what we can teach then that will serve them well.
For instance, teaching our children to be safe using technology is important.
So is learning to make wise decisions when making a purchase both financially and learning to know how much waste they might produce..
Even understanding how to interact with people on a social level through games or lessons on friendship are paramount to the success of our children.
All of these things and more play into if our children will be well-rounded members of society.
I have done my best to separate our resources based on age; however there is overlap… even from teen to toddler so some are just in the most appropriate category.
Important Life Skills for Kids of all ages
- Raising kids with life skills to crush entitlement (Ep. 016)
- Here are the 7 reasons every family should start a game night right now
- In a world full of trash, how can we teach kids to be low waste?
- 5 little precautions are all you need to know your child is safe on a cell phone
Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
With young kids, it’s important to help define boundaries early on so that kids can learn (and even test) limits. In doing this, we can help them feel confident in their abilities. Especially when we ask them to do things that are a bit challenging or what most would consider for older kids, they learn what they are capable of and that they have a voice.
- Why teaching life skills matters more in the toddler and preschool years
- Babywearing: Practical Life Learning Experience
- Teaching Toddlers Consequences for their Choices
- Raising Children to Problem Solve So You Don’t Have to
- 10+ Practical Chores for Young Toddlers
- Participation effect: introducing adult tasks to kids
Elementary school kids
- Easy & smart ways for kids to earn money in their own neighborhood
- Teaching basic map skills and cardinal directions for every learning style
- How to help young kids learn to care for a pet
- One simple trick to teach kids responsibility through school supplies
- How to help kids foster meaningful friendships: don’t just be good, DO good.
Tweens and Teens
- What soft skills are proven to help teens excel in the future?
- Are we warning our kids of the dangerous down sides of new tech?
This guide will be continuously updated with new information. Consider pinning it or saving it in a way that you can easily revisit it both as your kids grow or as you’re looking to expand your child’s skill sets!
Download your free customizable routine and chore charts for kids
It’s 17 pages and includes a guide for how to use it most effectively. There are also several pictures, chore puzzles, and even contracts to sign with your kids. Yes, we even did this as young as three! It’s both written and includes visual cues as well, making the whole packet of routines and chore charts fully customizable.
Click the preview image to snag your copy today!