Life skills aren’t necessarily taught like they used to be. There are also a number of important lessons that kids don’t learn in school. As an adult, I noticed a few glaring deficiencies that I felt held me back from living the life that I wanted.
Have you ever noticed these for you?
Neglecting basic life skills is a mistake I refuse to make with my children. That’s why I focus a lot on building good habits in my kids. I think helping them live healthy, happy lives starts young – and early skills can serve them for life.
In short, here are the things I wished I’d learned earlier!
Aside from balancing a checkbook (which is pretty much obsolete now), very little about money was taught to me in school. It’s a shame considering so much of success in your adult life revolves around whether you can budget, save, and invest.
When my husband and I were first married, I crumbled up a bay leaf in our dinner and tried to feed it to him. I had no idea you were supposed to use it as a flavoring (and not actually eat it). Many other meals were like this because I had no idea how to cook.
My husband, on the other hand, is a fantastic chef. This is mainly because in his house growing up, if he didn’t help cook, they didn’t eat until extremely late.
It’s a glaring difference. And for this reason, I have my kids help me cook often. We talk about measurements and spices and I want them to at least have a basic understanding for when they go out on their own.
Knowing What You Are Eating
My mom is a great cook. And I grew up eating school lunches.
But as an adult, I realized that a lot of what the marketing industry and my parents said was “healthy,” actually is the opposite. When we realized that both my husband and I have intolerances to food (often what was deemed “healthy”), we had to make a hard left and begin learning about the science of a good diet.
Now, it’s a huge goal of mine to teach my kids to read food labels. Yes, they’ll still eat some processed junk food. But at least they’ll be aware of what’s real and what’s not.
So many of us are sucked into the rat race or the negativity of the news. But one of my favorite life skills as an adult is to focus on gratitude. The science is staggering on its connection to happiness, and it would have been a useful tool when I was younger and always feeling like I was never good enough.
A Growth Mindset
Finally, while this is partly a principle, it’s one that I’m trying to teach my kids as young as possible. Growing up, I feared failure often. I fretted about doing poorly during a sports game or receiving a bad grade.
But as I’ve read and grown, I’ve realized that being willing to fail is one of the number one indicators to success. It’s the only way to ensure that you are getting out of your comfort zone and learning from your experiences.
This is a basic (yet sometimes difficult) mindset that I work on with my kids often. We talk about our goods and “grits” at dinner to help focus on it.
I’m not perfect, and I never will be. But I’ll certainly make it a priority to teach these life skills to my kids as much as possible. I think simply by being proficient in them they’ll have a leg up in life. And hopefully a happy, bright future.