My View on Life Skills - If You Wait Until Their Teens, It's Almost Too Late

My goal as a parent is to raise God-loving responsible adults. I believe children should be fully capable of being responsible for themselves before they are eighteen years of age. History has clearly demonstrated that men and women are fully capable of this at ages much younger than 18.

My children are young now. I am trying to teach them basic life skills. I intend to teach them most of the life skills I want them to learn, before they become teenagers. Then when they become teenagers, they will have the opportunity to practice these skills under my guidance and supervision, before they are out on their own.

I have a list of life skills that I feel my children will need to know in life as adults. My list has one column for each child. I can check off each skill for each child when I feel that child has learned that specific skill. Such as when my oldest son knows how to sew on a button, I can check it off for him, but not for my other children. That way when my third son is 10, I can look at my chart and know that I haven’t taught him how to sew on a button yet-A skill I don’t practice every day, but feel is important for him to know as an adult. I try to include minor things on my list that I don’t think about often, such as changing the furnace filter. I continue to add things to my list as I think of them.

My list is the same for both my sons and daughters. I believe they both need to know the same life skills. I may teach them the skills differently though. I may teach my son’s how to check and change the oil in their vehicles, where as I may teach my daughter how to check the oil, and how to know when to get it changed at a service station.

I believe it’s not only important to teach life skills to our children, but also to teach them the logic behind the skills. I feel it’s easier to do things, when we know why we are doing them. I also think my children will be more likely to remember the skills I teach them if they know the why behind the skills. And if they do forget something, they will hopefully be able to reason it out.

What’s your view on teaching your children life skills?

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