Not long ago, I wrote my most popular post ever on this blog, 10 Life Skills Every Child Needs To Succeed Before Leaving Home.
I wrote this post after visiting with some college students and realizing that many of them had very limited basic skills! Many of them had taken advanced high school science, math, and English classes but had no idea how to manage a checkbook, be able to get to class on time or how to plan or cook meals. As I was talking to them about this, I heard over and over again, “I don’t know how!” “No one taught me how to do that. Mom just did it for me!”
This was scary and eye opening for me. These were all skills that I learned from my parents, grandparents, or in school. One of the girls, who has a very respectable college GPA, sheepishly confessed that she didn’t know how to brown hamburger (and was really embarrassed about it, but her mother didn’t cook, and no one had ever taught her how!)
These conversations became a turning point in my mothering adventure. One of the most important things I will do in my life is raising my five children, forever having an impact on the generations of our family to come. Whether they are taught to love Jesus, be responsible, or be able to function in society, largely depends on my attitude and involvement with them as young children.
It also made me realize how little time I have to shape these little people before they will be leaving my home and begin their own adult lives. As parents, it is our job to prepare the kids to leave our home with the essential skills they need.
My kids are still fairly young, but it is never too early to start teaching these skills. As we were looking at the calendar yesterday, there are only 13 more Saturday’s until our school is out for summer. Summer always seems to be when we should have ample time to do things as a family, but without a plan, it quickly ends and the school year begins again.
Life is the same way. The minutes keep ticking and time passes whether we are living intentionally or just letting time pass by. Without direction and purpose, it’s easy to see how parents can miss the mark on training up their kids. However, that is no excuse. Our children should be one of our very top priorities.
Over the next 10 weeks, I will be going into detail on each of the following 10 skills. Each week, one of the skills will be highlighted and I will give examples of how to teach these skills and how to work on them with various age groups of children. It is also important to incorporate these new skills into daily life while also making it fun.
As my oldest child is almost 11, I definitely find myself agreeing with the saying that, “they grow up so quickly!” Being intentional women we can encourage each other while we succeed in giving our kids the tools they need to leave the house and live a successful life!
Here are the 10 Life Skills that will be covered over the next several weeks with a few examples of what I will be discussing!
- To love and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. (Examples: taking children to church, praying as a family, devotions, and creating prayer journals.)
- To love and serve others and the community. (Examples: blessing others, being a friend, hospitality, and serving as a family.)
- To be able to manage emotions (self-control, anger, adapt to situation, etc). (Skills include manners, sharing with others, taking turns, and practice speaking on the telephone!)
- To be an independent thinker and a problem solver, but be also be able to compromise. (Ideas include playing games, learning how to speak to adults and how to ask them questions, and activities dealing with responsibility and leadership.)
- To be a good listener, deliver forgiveness, persistence, and being resilient. (Examples include asking questions, reading stories of historical people whose character represents what you want your child to learn, and playing games like Simon Says or Red-Light/Green-Light.)
- To understand the balance of work, family, and recreation. (Skills include chores, eating meals together, and playing together.)
- To have healthy habits (hygiene, eating, goal setting). (Examples are tea parties, time management, proper hygiene, learning how to set goals.)
- To be able to manage money (budgeting, balancing checkbook). (Skills include playing grocery store, opening a savings account, allowances, and learning to give and save.)
- To be able to manage a home (cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc). (Examples: baking cookies or a favorite meal, meal planning, and grocery shopping, learning how to sew a button, how to do laundry, and basic repairs.)
- To have basic car knowledge (change a tire, check the oil). (Skills include how to check the oil, how to fill up a car with gas, and changing a flat tire.)
How you have taught your children these life skills? Which skills do you feel are the most important or are there any others you would add to the list?