Basic Life Skills to Teach Children and Teens

Your child may be years away from leaving home, but the time to start teaching grown-up life skills is now. From how to keep house to how to manage money, these life lessons will help your children and teens become functioning adults later.

Pin
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

Life Tip 1: How to Keep House

When to teach: Ages 5-7

Key teaching tool: Basic chores

Life lesson plan: Establish two specific, daily chores. For example, at 5, kids can put toys away or help set the table.

Key teaching tool: Chores with consequences

Life lesson plan: Let them watch and help you. Then let them complete tasks on their own. Praise a job well done. If a chore is done incorrectly, suggest a trick that will help correct the problem for next time.

Helpful parenting tip: Set up a "star chart" reward system, awarding a star for a week's worth of successfully completed chores. Stars are redeemed for money, privileges, or other rewards. Apply previously agreed-upon consequences if chores aren't done.

continue reading below

Life Tip 2: How to Manage Health Care

When to teach: Ages 16-17

Key teaching tool: A pre-college visit to the doctor explaining routine concerns

Life lesson plan:

  • Arrange for him to talk with your family doctor in private.
  • Teach him how to get a prescription filled.
  • Explain how to use health insurance.
  • Make sure your child knows how to use the college's health facility to find a doctor.

Life Tip 3: How to Avoid Risky Behavior

When to teach: Ages 10-17

Key teaching tool: Role playing

Life lesson plan: Help your child brainstorm options for getting herself out of scary situations safely. Don't stop until you're satisfied she knows what to do, and work in brush-up sessions on occasion and before events.

Have her act out these situations:

  • You're being bullied at school. What do you do?
  • You're at a party and one of your friends is getting drunk. What do you do if someone starts taking advantage of her?
  • You're in the backseat of a car. The driver acts impaired and the car is weaving around.

Life Tip 4: How to Manage Money

When to teach: Ages 5-10

Key teaching tool: Allowance

Life lesson plan:

  • Choose between a chore-based, no-strings-attached allowance, or one that combines a base amount plus bonuses for chores.
  • Let your child know the conditions for getting the allowance.
  • Set the amount. one rule of thumb: 50 cents to a dollar per year of age.
  • Define spending guidelines.
  • Establish amount to be saved. (Hint: Present her with a fun piggy bank).
  • Be consistent. Give the allowance on the same day every week.

When to teach: Ages 11-13

Key teaching tool: A savings account

Life lesson plan: Set up a meeting with your child and a bank manager to discuss the difference between savings and checking accounts, monthly charges, fines, and interest rates.

When to teach: Ages 14 and up

Key teaching tool: A part-time job (including babysitting, dog walking, or other odd jobs)

Life lesson plan:

  • Have him open a checking account.
  • Agree on how pay should be used: Will some be eamarked for a car or college?
  • Discuss taxes, and show how FICA and income taxes are deducted.
  • Introduce the "paying yourself first" concept. Encourage your child to
  • Deposit some money in a savings account before spending any of it.

Life Tip 5: How to Ask for Help

When to teach: Age 12

Key teaching tool: Open, honest, ongoing communication

Life lesson plan: Provide phone numbers and access to her pediatrician. Make sure she knows the school nurse, guidance counselor, or other appropriate heath professionals.

Pin
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Oops, we're sorry. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Share your take on this idea!
Upload your photo here.
CLOSE

More Raising Responsible Kids

close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...

Add My Photo close
I Did It!
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
Share on Facebook
Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
No one has shared their photo yet.
close