I was listening to a newly discovered podcast last night, Welcome Home. (Highly recommend it if you like to chit chat about basic housekeeping, home improvement, parenting, and just the everyday stuff!!)
They had an episode about the question “What do you mean you don’t know how…??” It was basic life skills we sometimes find ourselves surprised we can’t do or our kids can’t do!
Even myself – I was thinking I have no earthly clue how to change my own tire. I should also admit I’m terrible at laundry. My husband banned me from it, and he does it all. So, if you ever see an article about washing clothing on here, I’ve lost my mind.
Then, I was thinking about my son, who is 10, and wondering if there are any life skills we’ve missed that we need to cover! So, it got me thinking about what life skills you should probably have before the age of 13.
Here is what I’ve come up with:
Life Skills Kids Need Before Their Teenage Years
- Be able to talk to adults and other children and hold a good conversation.
- Their own basic grooming, from showering to brushing their teeth.
- Pick out appropriate clothes for the occasion and weather.
- Use a telephone to call people as well as be able to text.
- Clean their room thoroughly, including making the bed.
- How to organize and declutter their room.
- Dust and sweep – basic housekeeping!
- Use basic appliances: the microwave and toaster at minimum. (Also, know what doesn’t go in a microwave like foil and metal.)
- Know how to use a can opener.
- Be able to boil water or heat up soup.
- Make scrambled eggs. (I would still provide supervision.)
- How to properly set a table.
- Read a nutrition label.
- Take out the garbage.
- How to load and run the dishwasher.
- Fold and hang their own clothes.
- How to handwrite a letter and address an envelope.
- How to mail the letter, from postage to taking it to the post office.
- Fill a car up with gas. (Why should they not be able to do this even before they drive?)
- Basic money management. Know how to save money for something they want. Know how to count and understand money.
- Balance a checkbook.
- Endorse a check and deposit it.
- Use an ATM machine.
- How to calculate a tip.
These are just a few of the life skills that your 13-year-old should have that came to mind. I’m sure there are more! I’d like to hear your suggestions on must know life skills for kids!
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