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4 Everyday Life Skills to Teach Your Children

Photograph by Getty Images/Flickr RM

Children may seem like little bundles of unpredictability and confusion at times. One day they want to learn the piano, but by the end of the week they have forgotten about it and are begging for Karate lessons. The one universal certainty with children, however, is that they will grow up and leave the nest.

So they will need certain basic life skills to make their trip to college or to work a successful one. These are the necessary skills to instill at a young age:

1. How to Make and Use a Budget

Learning how to make a budget helps children understand the value of money. This skill could be picked up later in life, but habits are much more easily formed in early childhood. Using an allowance is a great teaching tool. Some parents set up separate jars or piggy banks for spending, sharing (donations), short-term savings, and long-term savings. By instilling these values early, kids will confidently make budgets when they go off to college.

2. How to Wash Clothes

This is an essential skill so that kids will be able to depend on themselves to make sure their clothes are clean. It is best to ease them into the process; show them simple skills, such as making sure that clothes are right side out before they go into the hamper and proper folding techniques. As they grow older, teaching them how to use a washing machine is easy and fun. By teaching these basic skills, you are ensuring that your kids will have a presentable appearance when they're out on their own.

3. How to Prepare Simple Meals

Another certainty in life is that we all have to eat. Teaching children to make simple meals with healthy food choices has many benefits. It is much easier on the budget to buy healthy ingredients at the grocery store than to gorge on fast food daily. This will help ensure that your children will have money to spend on necessities once they leave home and that they will lead healthier, longer lives.

4. Conflict Resolution

It is inevitable that in life human beings will disagree and will have conflicts. It is important that early on, children understand that there is always a goal to conflict and that it can be a positive thing. Many of the best ideas in life are born out of disagreements, so by teaching children to handle conflict with a positive attitude you are teaching them that two people in disagreement can work together to come up with an even better idea than either person had on their own.

As wonderful as it would be for children to stay forever young, the fact is that they will grow up and will need certain skills to cope in the real world. The earlier these lessons begin, the more confident these young adults will be when they are ready to leave home.

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