Basic Life Skills to Teach Your Child

Parents are constantly thinking of their children’s futures. Because of this, they do everything they can to make sure the path for their children is bright. So, they start off at the present. They give their children the best quality education and even enroll them in classes outside of academics to support their interests and help make them well-rounded individuals. Some parents may also engage in home tutors for their children’s supplementary lessons. All of these are great ways to build the foundations of a child to become an adult with a bright future. However, what about basic life skills?

More often, parents will be too focused on helping their children gear up for the future through good education and supported passions that they may often not put too much importance on guiding them on how to deal with life. They may teach their children these but not until they are in secondary school, which can be disappointing. Like everything else that helps the child towards a better future, parents should teach their children practical life lessons and skills as early as possible. This is so those lessons will be ingrained in the children as soon as possible, helping them grow and be ready for the future.

Life skills to teach your child

If you’re a parent and you’re thinking about which life skills you should start teaching your child, don’t worry! We have compiled a list of the basic life skills that will help your child towards the bright future you want for them.

1. Making their own decisions

Decision-making is an essential part of one’s life and something that one should excel in. However, it should also be noted that decision-making isn’t something that can be mastered overnight. This is why it’s important to teach young children to make their own decisions at a young age.

Start off by giving them choices with the smaller stuff. It can be choosing which clothes to wear or which snacks they think are healthier. This way, they can start off with easier decisions and move them up to more complex ones. As such, parents should also teach them to differentiate between good and bad decisions and the consequences and benefits of choosing which one to make. Guide them in the process of decision making but ultimately, let them make the final call. Teach them to weigh their options, the pros and cons of the choices they make, and help them make wiser decisions with time.

2. Reading habits

A child will inevitably have to read when they enter school. However, this life skill isn’t only about learning how to read but to love reading and making it a habit. Some will only read when they need to while there are others who read because they love reading. Reading provides many benefits for your child. It widens one’s vocabulary, strengthens the mind, and opens it up to make sense of new ideas and learnings. Reading will help allow your child to become wiser and interpret new ideas on their own.

As such, reading will also enable your child to pick up other good habits from the books they’ve read. Books almost always have lessons in them and with that, your child will be more inclined to relate those with real-life situations as well. Discuss with your child the importance and benefits of reading and making it a habit. Don’t also forget to introduce books to them that will enable them to love reading.

3. Sportsmanship and playing fair

No one wants to play in order to lose. No matter what the game will be whether it’s just board games or sports games, everyone is intent on winning. However, losing is also a part of the game. As such, parents should also teach their children the art of sportsmanship and playing fair. By instinct, children can resort to pretense when they see themselves losing in a game. This can create negative imagery for the children they are playing with and for the child as well, since they may think it’s alright for them to keep doing it when they are losing.

Teach your child to play fairly and to learn to accept defeat. Discuss it with them and point out when they are wrong. However, as parents, you should also be mindful of your words. When you speak with your child with sharpness in your tone, they can interpret it the wrong way and may become truly disheartened. Instead, teach them to be empathetic of others and also show respect to their opponents. Additionally, teach them the value of teamwork as well and help them realize that playing is more fun when everyone exercises sportsmanship.

4. Importance of apologizing

Some children may have a hard time apologizing. It can be for a variety of reasons but it’s still important for parents to teach their children the importance of saying “Sorry” and actually meaning it. They should be sincere in apologizing and show that they are sorry. As such, parents should also help them understand that they should not feel ashamed if they want to seek forgiveness. Additionally, parents should also teach their children to learn to forgive others as well.

5. Standing up for themselves

Parents will not always be with their children every step of the way. There will come a time when children have to be on their own and protect themselves. As such, it’s important for parents to let their children know this and teach them to stand up for themselves. Teach them to be brave and be vocal with their opinions when they are in the right. Additionally, they should not be able to not only stand up for themselves but also against the wrong they see around them.

6. Money-saving habits

Once your child has mastered the fundamentals of basic math and is able to calculate, it’s time to teach them real-life situations they can make use of their theoretical knowledge of the subject. It will help them understand that math and calculating aren’t only applicable in classrooms but in real-life situations as well.

Aside from using this as an application of their knowledge, it can also be another learning experience when it comes to helping them understand the value of money. Teaching children to be mindful of their expenses and savings has its benefits. They will be able to understand the value of money early on and as such incur a habit of saving their own money. With this, they will be able to become wiser with their spending habits. This can be especially helpful in the future when they have to take care of their own expenses and savings.

If the child, however, still isn’t so great at Math, it may be time to consider hiring a tutor for them. A Math home tutor will not be able to teach your child the concepts in the subject but also help with skills such as balancing expenses and savings. Either way, it’s important for parents to teach their children the concept and benefits of saving.

7. Writing a letter

It may seem like a trivial task to teach children, with the advancement in technology and using more of email and chatting, why would parents need to teach their children writing letters? Here’s the thing, even though children may already make use of easier services, they should still be able to write with the essence of letter writing in mind. With this, they will know and understand the importance of the parts of the letter, such as salutations and how to start writing the body of the letter.

Teach the child the basics of letter writing and help them post or mail their letters to relatives or friends. They will also learn how to post letters through this and it’s also a way to keep up with old traditions. And even more so, even in emails, some still use the format used in writing traditional letters.

8. House chores

It doesn’t matter if your child is a girl or a boy, they should be taught house chores just the same. Getting them involved in daily household chores like cleaning, cooking, gardening, and doing the laundry can help them by not only being able to learn these house chores but also developing their practical knowledge when it comes to it. They can learn the names of vegetables when they help you cook. They can learn the best way to remove a stain when they help you with laundry. This will not only help them for their future when they will probably do these things themselves, but also help instill other values like patience, discipline, and the likes.

9. Caring about the environment

It’s recommended to also teach children the importance of taking care of the environment as well as applying what they learn. They should be taught to keep their surroundings clean, throw their trash properly, and help in taking care of plants as it can affect the environment. As such, when speaking of the environment, it’s also not limited to just plants. Parents should also instill in their children to treat animals well, whether it’s their own or not. They should understand that animals are not something they should treat carelessly or make fun of. Encourage them to be kind to the environment and its natural inhabitants. Additionally, they should also follow your example and so you should also show them how you take care of the environment.

10. Being kind and considerate

It’s very easy to be influenced by a cutthroat and unforgiving world but that doesn’t mean that you can’t instill kindness in your child. The world is already tough and it needs more kindness in it. Parents should also teach their children to be considerate and kind to everyone around them. Encourage them to show compassion to others and help them. This will open their eyes to the world around them and help them become more empathetic towards others.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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