Recently, I’ve been reading about the life skills kids need to be successful and independent in the 21st century. In the real world.
I’ve read books and articles through a “teacher lens,” but can’t avoid my other “parent lens.” Some information has caused me to cringe, while I reflect on my parenting style!
Have my own kids acquired life skills, age-appropriately?
I’m not sure I’ve done enough pushing to get my two teens to contribute to household chores, yard work, pet care, and cooking. Have you?
Lindsay Hutton, associate editor at familyeducation.com, created a list of living skills kids should possess, by age category. She outlines the skills needed per “stage” — goals kids and teens can work toward.
I hope you find Ms Hutton’s list as helpful as I do.
AGES 2 TO 3: SMALL CHORES AND BASIC GROOMING.
This is the age when your child will start to learn basic life skills. By the age of three, your child should be able to:
AGES 4 TO 5: IMPORTANT NAMES AND NUMBERS.
When your child reaches this age, safety skills are high on the list. She should:
AGES 6 TO 7: BASIC COOKING TECHNIQUES.
Kids at this age can start to help with cooking meals, and can learn to:
AGES 8 TO 9: PRIDE IN PERSONAL BELONGINGS.
By this time, your child should take pride in her personal belongings and take care of them properly. This includes being able to:
AGES 10 TO 13: GAINING INDEPENDENCE.
Ten is about the age when your child can begin to perform many skills independently. He should know how to:
AGES 14 TO 18: MORE ADVANCED SKILLS ARE LEARNED.
By the age of fourteen, your child should have a very good mastering of all of the previous skills. On top of that, she should also be able to:
YOUNG ADULTS: PREPARING TO LIVE ON HIS OWN.
Your child will need to know how to support himself when he goes away to college or moves out. There are still a few skills he should know before venturing out on his own, including:
As parents in this day and age, it’s hard not to want to do some of these things for our kids. We love to pitch in. Sometimes it’s easier to do it ourselves. I think this behaviour is the popular parenting style of our time.
But research shows we’re not helping our kids in the long run.
I’ve made changes already (since doing this research) to the way things run around our home. Surprisingly, my teens seem to be on board!
Bring on the chores!