13 Life Skills Every Child Should Have Before They Turn 13

There are a lot of essential life skills that a child needs to grow and be well balanced.

Have you ever given it a thought on  how independent your child actually is?

Will your child be able to look after themselves if left alone for a while?

Do you think your child is well-equipped with essential life skills to face the world?

It’s absolutely important for children to learn more than just academically, I am a strong advocate for a good academic background but these skills are more and more essential.

While we know that School, Afterschool programs and Classes can instill these skills, a Parents you also play a primary role in this too. Your Child is firs your responsibility. Life skill education is important and should be taught at home through responsibilities and training activities and not by assumptions.

1. MAKE YOUR CHILDREN DO THEIR OWN WORK:Sometime sooner or later,your Children will leave home for Work, Holiday or to pursue their Education,no matter how you shelter them at some point they will have to go. So this ability to perform chores will always come in handy.

What you need to teach your Child will include :
• Ability to do Home chores
• Ability to Wash their cloths
• Personal hygiene like caring for their hair and body
•Basic first aid
•Home Management skills( How to replace  light bulbs, how to iron, how to wash a car, change bicycle tire.

One of the worrisome things we see in 21st century parenting is that a lot of Parents do chores while their  teens and preteens get engrossed with their screens. To avoid this put out a structure, what are the things they should do then stay teaching them. If you assume that they will automatically know these skills all by themselves when they are of age, you are setting yourself up for struggles.

2. TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS:One of the things I have learnt in my parenting journey is that if you teach these skills , misbehaviour disappears. Most of the time, the reason why Parents resort to yelling and spanking is because this structures are not in place. We need to understand that Children don’t deal well with unpredictability.

To teach these time management skills:
• Teach them How to follow timetables
•Get Alarm clock to help them understand the concept of allotted time
•Teach them to understand the Clock and time using seconds, minutes and hours
•Teach them to claim responsibilities for their own time.
•Teach them about the time quadrant( What is important and not)

The ability to manage time is an essential life skill and it can lead to productivity.

3. DECISION MAKING SKILLS:Before your Child turns 13, they should be able to make certain level of fundamental decisions for themselves. I have seen adults who still have issues with this skill.Decision making skills is something you deliberately teach your Children.

let them know how to:
•Let them know how to make choices
•Let them know how to say No!
•Let them know when to say Yes!
•Teach them consequences of decisions.

If you must allow your children learn this skill, then you must give them a voice at
home. As parents, we know that someday, they will have to make decisions
without us. How do we make sure they know how to make good decisions that
keep them safe in a dangerous world? We need to teach them how exactly to
make decisions for themselves starting from the early years.

4. MONEY MANAGEMENT AND BASIC BUDGETING:Create a. Structure that teaches your Child what Money is all about, Budget training teaches your Child not to waste money and to respect it’s value.

5. LEARNING TO SAY NO: Do you know that the ability to say No is a skill and a lot of people actually lack this skill. Building this skill needs and has to start from the home.
If your Child cannot say No at home, then they will not learn it outside your home.
To teach this, you need to craft out a structure or a plan.

You can build the capacity to say no by:
1. Teaching what consent is all about. Educate them that they must respect the
consent of others as much as they want theirs respected also.

2. Teaching consent by role-play. Create short plays at home where you allow
the child to disagree with you by saying no to negative things.

6. COOKING SKILLS:A part of our family values at home is that cooking is a life (survival) skill not a gender role. I have come to realize that many parent don’t know the benefits of cooking maybe that’s why they don’t necessarily take out time to teach it.

These are Skills and healthy habits children learn by cooking and learning to help
in the kitchen.Your Child should be able to navigate their way in the kitchen domain

This skill brings us back to the initial question that I asked in the beginning of this post, ” Will your child be able to look after themselves you are unavailable for a while?
If you are not able to answer this question, you need to review your parenting structure.
Think through deeply

If you want to learn more about these skills, then you need to get the TIP Preteen Guide
where we have shared all the strategies that has helped Me imbibe these skills into my 10- year old twins.

Get the preteen guide here:https://paystack.shop/the-intentional-parent-academy-store

This blog post is part 1 of a full TIP live session, to watch the full session , please click on the embedded video below.

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