Our children are growing up in a “throw away” and “do it for me” society where someone can pay others to stand in line for them and their possessions are transient and even disposable.
No wonder our children are feeling so entitled.
But the sad truth is that we’re teaching it to them.
Maybe not intentionally, but through our actions, our children are constantly learning. They see when we opt for convenience instead of putting in a little extra effort. They notice when we make new purchases and even when we work extra hard. And their little laser beam eyes are watching everything we do.
Don’t forget to check out the podcast episode. I sit down with Kristen Mason of Busy Kids, Happy Mom and we dive into this topic. She is passionate about teaching her sons life skills and has so many wonderful ideas on how to start even when your kids are very young. Everything from kid accessible items to organizing kids’ clothes.
Listen while you read!
9 ways to raise kids with life skills that won’t set them up for failure or entitlement
Spend Less money and give your kids more time together.
Part of doing what’s best for our kids sometimes is to just simplify. Decide what’s important to your family and focus on each other. Set aside game nights, movie nights, and trips to the park together. It teaches them to not be so busy all the time which in and of itself is a life skill. But it also instills and love and value of family in them.
Teach them the value of both items and maintaining our possessions.
Kristen mentions in this episode of the podcast that the older generations learned to “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”.
If we raise our kids that they don’t just get something new when it’s broken and that the family either tries to fix it or does without, it instills the value of caring for what we are blessed with.
Plus, in this process, they are learning to earn money if they want to buy something, skills to repair their belongings, and an attitude of not “having to have” something.
Check out our completely free routine chart and chore chart downloads.
Click here for a pop-up without leaving the page.
Let your kids struggle
Learning to endure frustration and natural consequences are some of the greatest skills we can teach our children.
In practicing this and “teaching” our kids they learn to understand that lows are normal and we instill resilience in them to be able to recover from disappointment. And that emotional intelligence and resilience is one of the most priceless life skills our kids can possess.
Practice makes progress, not perfect. Just as we can’t be perfect parents, our kids can’t be perfect either. Talk through downfalls, mistakes, and failures. Even share in your own shortcomings so our kids can understand how we try and sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fall flat.
Every day is a stepping stone for our children in adulthood.
Every. Single. Day.
So even the small moments of explaining to your children how we have to work to make money, cook to have dinner, and picking up so we can find our belongings are important.
Being intentional in how we raise them to address hardships, care for others, and be emotionally intelligent are all part of life that goes beyond “book smarts.”
Read about teaching our kids how to respectfully disagree & why it’s important.
“Everything they’re not teaching you in school”
If we don’t introduce or continue practicing even what they learn in home economics, they might not be prepared for adulthood. That’s part of what life skills are. While they may be taught residually at times in the classroom, they’re what we have to intentionally pour into at home.
And it starts before they’re even going to school!
Don’t forget how many steps there are for each task.
We take for granted as adults how much we know and do without realizing.
Remember the old activity of writing out how to make a PB&J sandwich and your teacher said “but you never got out a knife out, so I wound up spreading jelly with my hand.”
Same concept applies. When we bring our kids along side us to learn daily life, we need to look at it from the child’s perspective. What do they not know and what are the super-simple, basic details?
Sometimes teaching our children life skills doesn’t require teaching at all.
Our kids see everything we do.
Just involved them in the process.
Involving our kids helps them conceptualize the abstract.
Talking them through why we have to work to earn money, make money to be able to use a debit card or ATM, and use money to be able to get the groceries turns the concept of “going to the bank” less of an abstract concept.
Teach your young kids to to save and budget. Have them work towards goals by doing chores. Show them their progress to keep them motivated (Kristen has a great tip for this in the podcast episode).
And in delaying gratification, model contentment. Show them your thankfulness for what you have and discuss how your family is blessed.
Read more on modeling gratefulness to our kids.
Listen to the Life Skills & Entitlement Podcast Episode with Kristen of Busy Kids Happy Mom
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!
- Comprehensive life skills list for ages 2-18
- Life skills on Pinterest
- Teach your kids gratitude.
- Explain purpose to our kids and why we work
- Raising selfless kids in a selfish world
- Allow your kids to be bored
- Raising creative thinker
- How to raise a problem solver
- Natural vs encouraged learning
- Organizing clothes for independent dressing
- Kid accessible Home
- Mastery of Skills Build Confidence
- The Kavanaugh Report Jacket Flip
- Paying Preschoolers
- Kid Size Stuff is the key (Encouraging Independence)
- Correlle dishes as “real” dishes that are also harder to break
- Spend, Save, and give concept
- Ending Overpraise
- “Blame it on the list!”
- Kids can have an earning plan as toddlers
- 38:30 start of Extremely Good of the week and questions for our guest!
More Intentional Parenting Resources
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!