Life Skills for Kids

There are life skills that we need to make the most out of, well, our life. It’s anything that can be useful such as being able to drive a car or use a computer. It’s interesting to even note some of the generational differences in life skills, as my grandparents had no idea who to use a computer or a blackberry phone when those were a thing. So, depending on one’s age, life skills can be very different. So, what are some life skills that your kids likely need at this time?

How to Cook

If anyone is going to live independently and eat relatively healthy, it’s definitely important to learn how to cook. Honestly, I never learned much from my parents and didn’t have much of an interest. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even know to bake chicken when I went to graduate school. Here’s a great site to help you get started with this: How to Teach Children to Cook

Needless to say, I started getting my daughter in the kitchen early, so maybe she’ll gain some interest in it as she gets older.

How to Manage Money

This is one thing I so wish my parents taught me. I had no idea how to budget, save, invest, nothing. So, this is obviously an important skill, as it keeps a person financially healthy and afloat. Some things can’t be helped at times such as losing a job, but if we are financially prepared, we can better weather those storms. This is an excellent article to look at for this topic: Teaching Kids About Money

Vehicle Management

Middle schoolers can begin to learn about some of the basics of taking care of a car, such as what needs to be done at certain times (without having to do those tasks yet). Those that are older and driving can learn about how to change a tire or what to do when the battery goes dead.

How to Manage Mental Health

This should start early, even as young as infancy. This can help set them to good mental health later on it, as long as you are consistent in helping them learn to cope with their feelings. When we teach our children that their emotions are valid, this helps them realize that their emotions are normal and manageable.  Here is a good link for helping younger kids manage emotions: Helping Young Kids Manage Emotions

For older kids, this is a great site: Helping Older Kids Manage Emotions

Of course, our emotions and how we cope with them is a part of managing our overall mental health. But we also want to build confidence in who we are, which can also play a role in mental health. Parenting does relate to self-esteem development, so if you’re interested in learning more about this, click here.

How to Shop

This can involve many things. For example, in terms of grocery shopping, you might teach them how to price compare. Is milk cheaper at one store compared to another? Is there a store that is best to shop in terms of quality and value? You might also teach your child how to pay for items at a grocery store. I also remember being taught to make a list, stick to it, and don’t go shopping when you are hungry.

Final Thoughts on Life Skills

These are just some of the skills that are deemed essential, so there are obviously more to teach. However, I think the ones listed are some of the major ones that certainly impact one’s life greatly. Are there are others you would include?


Written by Tamra Cater

I am married, and I also have a 4-year-old daughter. I earned my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, and I have been teaching psychology classes over the past 10 years. As a professor and as a parent, I grew to love learning anything about child development. I recently turned that into a passion for helping other parents by starting my own blog at


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