Life skills are extremely important to a child's upbringing. While a good amount of life skills can be learned by simply living life, being in social situations, school, and other life events, sometimes we need to make more of an effort to teach these skills to our children. Many things should be, but often aren’t, taught in school.
Formal education is important, but not always enough to succeed in life. That’s why it's our job, as parents, to provide our kids with the best possible education they can receive, whether that be at school, at home, or both! Below are some life skills that are so rarely ever taught in schools, and should absolutely be taught at home.
The Value of Communication
Speaking to get your point across is one thing. It’s another to effectively communicate with another person. Even in adult relationships we sometimes see this as an issue. Communicating well with friends, family, bosses, spouses, neighbors, etc., enables us to thrive in all our relationships. Healthy communication requires certain social norms to be observed, like mutual respect and boundaries. Help your kids to understand how to connect with others with empathy, mutual respect, and healthy communication.
How to Handle Money
This life skill is pretty equal to communication, as it is imperative in everyday living. The importance of financial responsibility is obviously valuable, and business, accounting, and finance classes help tremendously. However, those classes are aimed at preparing students for working environments, not necessarily how to handle their finances. Concepts like budgeting, how to invest, how to pay your taxes, and how insurance works are among a few important ones that need to be taught at home.
How the Law and Your Rights Apply to Your Life
Knowing the law, to some extent, is a practical life skill. Children and teenagers should be taught the laws that might affect their lives after graduating from college and stepping into society as adults. Can you get arrested for not paying back debt? Can you go to jail if you’ve been drinking too much? What rights do you have if ever arrested? Given the serious consequences of breaking the law, it’s important to know the basics.
Vehicle Maintenance, Repair, and Insurance
Vehicle maintenance and repairs are inevitable for anyone who drives a car. Knowing the importance of car maintenance and insurance will not only help with managing finances but also with the law. Teach your kids the importance of getting your car inspected and ordering an inspection tag every year so that they don’t get into trouble with the law. It’s also important they know when to get their oil changed and air put into their tires. There’s so much when it comes to car maintenance.
Knowing How to Cook a Meal
Cooking is essential to living life and eating healthily. Being taught how to cook and handle household duties will not only enable you to eat a balanced diet but also saves money by not eating out. The basics of cooking, food preparation, safety, and hygiene should be taught to everyone.
Own Your Children’s Education
These are only a few of some very important life skills that are not taught in school but need to be. Some other notable mentions are time management, romantic relationships, health, and sex education, and so much more. Give your kids the tools they need to be successful in life by teaching them these life skills.
Source: Jake Akins (2023) 20 Life Skills Not Taught in School
Source: Kalen Bruce (2019) 47 Things You Weren’t Taught in School