Do you want to ensure that your children are prepared for the future? Teaching them life skills is one of the best things you can do! They'll be better roommates, partners, or parents themselves someday if they know the basics.
Knowing how essentials like personal hygiene, oral care, lawn maintenance, car upkeep, and how to sew on a button will lay a strong foundation for your child’s future success.
Personal Hygiene and Oral Care
As a parent, it is important to prioritize your child's hygiene and health. One way to do that is by teaching them the importance of proper dental care even before they have their first tooth. You can learn about the importance of brushing baby teeth from Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry HERE. Brushing their teeth twice a day and eventually adding in flossing are essential habits that can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues in the long run.
Once puberty hits, it’s time to start teaching children about daily showering and how to use hygiene products including deodorant and face wash. Help them graduate from a plain bar of soap to body wash that may be better for acne-prone skin. Incorporate skills for caring for their hair type, whether it’s straight, curly, or somewhere in between.
Teaching children to love and care for their bodies now can help set up a healthy relationship with their self-image throughout their turbulent teen years.
Kids of all ages usually love mimicking their parents, and that includes doing chores in the yard. As soon as kids are toddling around, you could have them “help” water flowers. It’s a chore they’re likely to enjoy, and it starts to plant the seed of responsibility.
As they mature and can handle more tasks around the yard, be sure to help your kids learn to deadhead spent blooms, rake leaves, and pull weeds. Lawngevity has tips for how to eliminate weeds in the yard, and you can take your teen through these as applicable on your property. They can also learn how to pick fruits and vegetables from the garden, plant new vegetation, and eventually mow the lawn.
It’s recommended to hold off on teaching kids how to use powered yard tools until they’re about 12 or 13 years old. For riding mowers, you might wait until they’re 16, or licensed to drive. Use your discretion as you continue to give your kids responsibilities in the yard.
Basic Car Maintenance
As a young driver, keeping up with your maintenance might not even be on the radar. Or, it can seem intimidating or dangerous to get under the hood. It's easy for teens to get caught up in the excitement of the road and forget about the basics, so be sure to give them routine refreshers about how to take care of the vehicle they’re driving.
Car Maintenance Teens Should Know
- How to check and top off the oil
- How to refill windshield wiper fluid
- How to pump gas
- How to replace headlights
- How to replace windshield wipers
- How to jumpstart a vehicle
- How to change a tire
Checking the oil level and changing tires may seem like minor tasks to your teen, so be sure to stress the importance of looking for signs of trouble in a vehicle. Get them comfortable with taking their vehicle in (with or without you) for routine maintenance. Schulz Auto recommends an oil change every 3,000 miles, so inform your young driver about the process and what to do
Don't let car maintenance intimidate your teen! Frequently go over routine tasks with them so they’re comfortable – with a little understanding and practice, they can become a pro at keeping a car running smoothly.
Teaching kids how to sort clothes by colors before washing and drying, and even showing them how to fold clothes neatly after drying can be the first step toward tackling this life skill. If they’re not tall enough to load or unload machines, give kids as young as two the task of simply putting clean clothes back in their own drawers. Most of the time the clothes don’t even have to be folded, so they don’t have to master that skill just yet.
As they mature, teach kids about measuring laundry soap, using the dryer on the correct setting, and how to iron out wrinkles. Show them how to replace a lost button or iron on a patch when clothes still have a lot of life left in them.
Getting kids comfortable with reading washing and drying instructions will set them up for success as they begin to launder clothes unsupervised, although one mishap with bleeding colors or shrinking shirts will teach them pretty quickly, too!
It's never too early to start teaching children about the importance of budgeting and saving money. By instilling these skills early on, children will be better prepared for making decisions on their own in the future.
One of the most valuable lessons children can learn is the importance of saving for emergencies or the value of working hard to earn something expensive. By teaching children to save a portion of their allowance or earnings, they'll be better equipped to handle unexpected expenses and avoid unnecessary debt. We must equip our children with the financial knowledge they need to build successful and secure futures.
As parents, one of our biggest responsibilities is to ensure that our children develop healthy habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. A key part of this is educating them about proper nutrition. One way to do this is by making sure that the meals we prepare contain a good variety of fruits and vegetables. And, as kids get older, they can be involved in the meal-planning and prep process. When they have a hand in the cooking, they’re more likely to be willing to try something new.
Teaching children these essential life skills is a great way to set them up for one day leaving the nest. It gives them the confidence and independence they need to confidently tackle adulthood. Not only that, but it also provides important opportunities for parents to bond with their kids while imparting knowledge. So make sure to invest some quality time with your kids now so they can fully understand all the important life skills that will help them succeed later on in life!