Living in the Land of the Littles, you basically have to do everything for them 24-7. It's exhausting. It's tiring. But it's life, so you suck it up and move forward. Then one day you wake up and realize that your oldest isn't really a Little anymore. They are a Big. They can do things. By themselves. You can teach them life skills that will not only set them up well for adulthood, but they can help you now.
There are the basics:
- washing dishes
- folding clothes
- sweeping the floor
But what other life skills can we teach our children that will help lay the foundation for a successful adulthood? What are some things our children should learn how to do before their tenth birthday?
10 Life Skills Kids Need to Learn Before They Turn 10
- Pack their own lunch. Yes, it's possible! My oldest started making lunch for herself and her siblings when she was six. They were simple lunches of sandwiches with fruit and chips or crackers. She was always so proud of herself.
- Do laundry. We are working on this now. How to sort by color. How much laundry detergent to add to the washer. Where to pour the liquid soap – not in the bleach or fabric softener compartment. Of course, I'm hands on with this right now. They are eight and six. But I know that soon, I can hand it over to them.
- Wash the dishes and put them away. The three-year-old likes to “help” with washing dishes, which usually ends with more water on her than the dishes. The eight-year-old loads the dishwasher, empties the dishwasher, puts the dishes in the sink in the dishwasher, and washes the dishes in the sink that can't go in the dishwasher. Soon, my oldest is going to show her brother how to unload the dishwasher. We've been waiting until he's slightly more coordinated. We might start with plastic cups and silverware first.
- Sweep the floors and vacuum. This is something that everyone can do. The three-year-old has a handheld broom and dustpan and she uses to help sweep the floor. We're teaching the bigger kids how to sweep the right way with a broom, and the oldest vacuums the carpets. Yes, it's easier for me to do it, but this is a life skill they need to learn.
- How to tie their shoes. While this seems obvious, it's not. I was looking at the shoes my kids wear the other day, and only two of them have shoes with laces. That was not on purpose. We usually buy shoes based on the sizes available, not on whether or not they are laces or hook and loop. My kids will learn how to tie their shoes before they are ten.
- Clean their room. Not by throwing everything under the bed or in a closet. Actually putting things away, making sure clothes are hung back up or put in the laundry basket, making their beds, dusting, and vacuuming.
- Cook a simple meal. Maybe they cook breakfast for dinner, make a pot of soup out of a can, make grilled cheese sandwiches, or cookies from scratch. Nothing fancy or elaborate, but enough to prove they know their way around the kitchen.
- Use manners. When asking for something. When talking to adults. How to say Please and Thank you. How to hold the door open for people. How not to talk over people. How to share. Basically how to be a polite person.
- How to receive criticism with grace. Receiving criticism is hard at any age. I want to teach my children how to respond properly when they are criticized. Instead of getting defensive, I want them to be able to listen to the person even if they disagree and are hurt. They need to learn how to turn a negative into a positive.
- How to use a dictionary. Even in this day of technology, learning how to use a dictionary is important. It's a great way to learn new words and the meanings of words.
Those are definitely things that kids should be able to do by the time they are ten. But sometimes we need a little getting started on teaching those life skills, don't we?
Need Help Teaching Life Skills?
Sometimes, it's not that we don't want to teach our children life skills to become a successful adult. We don't have the time, or we don't know where to start. When I was in middle school, there was Home Economics. But I didn't take it because I was in the band, and we couldn't do both. There are so many skills that I wish I had mastered in my youth. Sewing, cooking, how to declutter. It wasn't until college that I learned how to change a tire and the oil in my car. That was because my friends decided I needed to learn those life skills.
You don't have to wait. You can start today.
I recently found a great curriculum that teaches kids life skills in a fun and exciting way! It's called Skill Trek.
What is Skill Trek?
Skill Trek was developed to meet the specific need of teaching life skills to children. With an increasing drive towards academics and eliminating other practical subjects, students are going into the world with serious and damaging gaps in their skills and knowledge. Skill Trek is perfect for the whole family, and not just for homeschoolers.
Skill Trek is super customizable. Your program will be unique to your family’s needs and desires. If Trekkers complete an entire level in one year, they will learn 24 to 32 new skills, plus bonus skills.
How amazing is that?
So far, my kids have loved learning about the eclipse. They are learning how to peel veggies, hang clothes properly, pack groceries and put them away, how to cut neatly with scissors, how to do tasks with urgency, so much more. All because of Skill Trek. I love asking for help and them jumping up to help because they know exactly what to do.
Check out the Skill Trek website to see how it can benefit your family. Start laying the foundation now for a successful adulthood.