Kids grow up fast. Before you know it, your 8-year-old will be a 16-year-old driving off in their first car.
Ok, it might not be that fast, but with the growth of media and technology today, kids seem to be doing more “adult” things earlier than ever.
There are several lessons you’ll want to teach your child before they mentally check out and become headstrong young adults. With kids growing up so fast, teaching your child to be self-sufficient should start early.
What’s important for your kids to know? We’ve compiled a list of the 10 life skills your child should learn by age 10!
1. How to Clean
This is more than just picking up a few toys—it means dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and more. Teaching your child these skills early will make them habitual by the time they leave the house. They will also adopt organizational habits which can benefit them in more than just rearranging their stuffed animals.
2. How to Find Their Way Home
While GPS has become readily available on our smartphones, children should learn basic navigation skills in case technology is unavailable. Teach them the importance of identifying landmarks and how to read a map. By the time they’re driving, navigation should be a breeze.
3. How to Make Healthy Choices
Healthy lifestyle choices start at home. It’s hard to stick to a diet and regular exercise routine, but you can make it easy for your kids by regularly stocking the fridge with fresh fruits and veggies and taking regular family walks.
4. How to Use Basic Tools
When you’re fixing things around the house, encourage your kids to partake! Use it as a teaching experience to help your child understand how things work around the house. By 10, your children should know how to safely use basic tools like a screwdriver or hammer.
5. How to Prepare a Simple Meal
Do your kids ever complain about how long it takes to get a meal on the table? Perhaps include them while making dinner so they see the responsibilities involved. Slowly show your children how to use different appliances, while emphasizing safety. Before you know it they’ll be baking soufflé (with supervision, of course!).
6. How to Manage Money
Don’t wait until your child is heading to college to teach them about budgeting! As soon as your kids start earning money, either with an allowance or job, teach them about management and saving. Giving your children a strong start will help them be fiscally responsible adults.
7. How to Have Good Manners
Children are extremely impressionable starting at a young age. Emphasize the use of “please” and “thank you” from the moment your child is old enough to speak. The more you demonstrate good manners, the easier it will be for your child to make it a habit.
8. How to Show Gratitude
Believe it or not, gratuity is another lesson that can be taught. Explaining to your child why they may not receive everything they want can help them grasp a better understanding of what they have and can be thankful for. This will help them in their adult lives when they approach larger subjects such as jobs and relationships.
9. How to Advocate for Themselves
You won’t always be there to speak up for your children. Once your kids start going to school, they’ll encounter hurdles they’ll have to fix on their own. Teaching your kids to confidently use their voice will serve them far beyond the classroom.
10. How to Write a Letter
While the written word has been taken over by the Internet, letter writing is still a necessary skill. Letter writing translates well to email correspondence and will come in handy when they apply for professional jobs (especially with those pesky cover letters!). Encourage your kids to send letters to family members or friends. The correspondence will teach them a lot about writing and patience.
With these 10 skills, your kids will be equipped to tackle most hurdles that life throws at them. Plus they’ll know they can turn to you for help in the process!