10 basic life skills to teach your child

Have you ever noticed that parents who grew up poor or who had life especially hard, do their utmost to ensure their own children never have to work as hard as they did?

Children won’t remain young forever, so we need to prepare them to be able to handle the world.

This is admirable but unfortunately many times they go to another extreme and have their kids so dependent on them they end up being unable to fend for themselves in a crisis.

However, there will come a day when there is no one around to help and they figure it out. Being dependent on others is rarely good thing so equip them adequately. The below list represents some basic life skills you should teach your children by the time they become teenagers.

1. Preparing basic meals: They do not have to be a top chef but they should be able to feed themselves without another’s input.

It doesn’t have to be restaurant quality, but your child should know how to cook the basics.

2. Take public transportation: You may not always be able to pick them up after school or an extracurricular activity so they should know the way home and the number bus that runs along that route.

3. Doing basic chores: Any individual who cannot wash their own plate or underwear is not equipped to go out into the world on their own. Teach them how to survive as well as thrive.

A little housework never hurt anyone, and you should ensure you’re raising kids who can take care of themselves.

4. Be self-motivated: This goes from waking themselves up for school to studying without someone standing over you with a big stick.

5. Making goals and working towards them: There should be some direction in their lives. Just hanging around is not going to cut it.

6. Grocery shopping: They should be able to go out and read the packages on the shelves, compare prices, nutritional information and make decisions on what is needed and how much for how long a period.

Make sure the young adults you’re raising know how to grocery shop.

7. How to do a basic budget: Money management, especially in these times, is key. They need to learn to overlook trinkets and gadgetry and prioritise on what s important.

8. Learn how to dress for different occasions: If your child does not know what to wear for an interview versus what to wear to the mall, something is wrong. Teach them from early what is appropriate for each event, how to colour coordinate and always be presentable when out and about.

9. Basic etiquette: We call it ‘home training’ when you know how to use a knife and fork, where the glass goes and where to place your napkin. It can be embarrassing when you see grown folks struggling to fit in at formal occasions or when they tuck their napkins into their collar as if they are at a crab fest!

Table etiquette is something many people fail to learn in their youth. Don’t let it happen to your kids.

10. Good manners: Saying please and thanks and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze was being done long before COVID! In fact, it should start from as early as they begin to talk. That way they are socialised and it becomes as automatic as breathing.