39 Life Skills Every Child Should Know Before They Turn 18

There are so many things as a parent that we are responsible for teaching our kids, life skills should be on the top of that list. It is on us when our children graduate from high school not knowing basic life skills. I’ve seen arguments a lot lately about the public-school system and things they should be teaching; balancing a check book, how to do taxes, how to write a resume, how to create a budget, and so much more. Although I do think it would be great if public school systems would add these life skills to their curriculum, I do not think that it should be the school’s sole responsibility to make sure our kids are capable for adulthood. We are their parents and it is on us.

Life Skills

  1. Be able to talk to strangers
  2. Be able to find your way around
  3. Be able to manage a workload (school or work)
  4. Be able to self-start
  5. Be able to do laundry
  6. Be able to sort laundry
  7. Be able to do dishes
  8. Be able to manage money
  9. Be able to do taxes (know what to claim on W2s)
  10. Be able to save money
  11. Be able to cook
  12. Be able to wake themselves up on time
  13. Be able to pump gas
  14. Be able to advocate for themselves
  15. Be able to order in a restaurant
  16. Be able to go grocery shopping
  17. Be able to create a budget
  18. Be able to pay their own bills
  19. Be able to make their own doctors’ appointments
  20. Be able to read and write in cursive
  21. Be able to sign his/her name
  22. Be able to address an envelope
  23. Be able to read an analog clock (this seems like a no brainer to me but I’ve seen so many kids in the last 10 years that cannot do it).
  24. Be able to write a check
  25. How to use a credit card to build credit but not gain debt
  26. How to bargain
  27. How to write a resume
  28. How to create a savings reserve for bills
  29. How to change car oil
  30. How to type
  31. How to clean a bathroom toilet
  32. How to do basic sewing, like sewing on a button or fixing a ripped seam.
  33. How to unclog a toilet
  34. How to write
  35. How to speak in front of others (public speaking)
  36. How to research what you read online
  37. How to stay safe.
  38. How to use kitchen appliances and always remember to turn them off
  39. How to do basic first aid

There are so many things that we learn as we’re thrown to the wolves as adults but there are also a great number of skills we should prepare our kids with. I know there are all kind of arguments for and against pampering kids. What they need help with, what we need to be teaching them, helicopter parenting, hands off parenting, etc. Whatever your parenting type pay attention to some of these essential life skills and do what you can to prepare you children for adulthood. There is definitely more than this list of 37.

Sarah

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7 thoughts on “39 Life Skills Every Child Should Know Before They Turn 18

  1. Excellent list! When my son left for college, I wrote out all the things I felt I had not taught him. I detailed how to do laundry, why he should sort his clothes, the importance of taking vitamins and how handwashing is the best prevention for illnesses! He says he takes out that paper frequently to look up things I wrote out. He even keeps the laundry instructions in the bottom of his laundry basket.

  2. Great thoughts!! I loved, “How to use a credit card to build credit but not gain debt” because I was debt-free leaving college but since I didn’t have a cc I had no credit to buy a house!

  3. Yes, this is a fantastic list!! I feel like things such as managing finances, writing checks, etc. should be focused on more in schools than they currently are.

  4. I so love your list that I’m pinning it. As a single mom, I try to remember to teach them all the little things but sometimes life makes me forget lol. Going to print this list and find other things to teach my children. My oldest is 13 so I better get on the ball. Thanks for sharing!

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