Life Skills to Teach Your Kids at an Early Age

Teaching your kids valuable life skills at an early age is essential for their growth and development. These skills, such as decision-making, health and hygiene, time management, meal prep, money management, cleaning, laundry, comparison shopping, ordering at restaurants, getting dressed and ready, and home maintenance, will be invaluable throughout their lifetime. While many kids only learn these skills in high school, it’s never too early to start teaching them. By giving your children a head start, you can help them become confident and capable individuals. So let’s dive into these important life skills!

Decision-Making Skills

Making good decisions is a skill that should be nurtured from a young age. Start with simple choices like chocolate or vanilla ice cream, blue socks or white socks, playing trains or playing cars. As your kids grow older, introduce them to the concept of good and bad decisions and the consequences that come with them. Guide them through the process of decision-making by helping them weigh their options, evaluate the pros and cons, make a final decision, and then reflect on how it turned out.

Health and Hygiene

It’s never too early to teach your kids about the importance of health and hygiene. Beyond just telling them to take a bath, brush their teeth, wash their hands, and change their underwear, explain why these habits are crucial. Create a chart or checklist that allows them to track their daily tasks. Once these healthy habits become established, you can gradually remove the chart, and your kids will remember to do them on their own.

Time Management

Time management is not just a skill for adults; it’s valuable for kids too. Teaching your children about time, how to stay on task, and the importance of following a schedule will make your days easier and help them become responsible individuals. Start by introducing them to basic concepts like measuring time and gradually build up to more advanced skills as they grow older.

Meal Prep

Even young children can learn basic meal preparation skills. While we’re not talking about a five-course dinner, preschoolers can learn how to make a sandwich, and elementary school kids can use the microwave. As they gain confidence in the kitchen, they can learn more advanced skills like packing their own lunches, making healthy food choices, cooking simple meals with adult supervision, and planning their own meals.

Money Management

Teaching your kids about money and how to manage it is invaluable. Start with basic math concepts and expand them into money management skills. Teach them the importance of saving, spending wisely, and making change. It’s also essential for them to understand that checks, credit cards, and cash apps are not free money. By imparting these skills early on, you’ll better prepare them for financial independence in the future.


Teaching your kids how to clean is not only beneficial for maintaining a tidy home but also for their overall responsibility. Start with age-appropriate chores like making the bed, emptying the dishwasher, and dusting furniture. Encourage them to clean up their own messes, such as wiping toothpaste off the bathroom counter or picking up toys and putting them away. Establish a daily family housekeeping schedule to incorporate cleaning into their routine.


Laundry is an inevitable part of life, and teaching your kids how to do it will be a valuable skill. Even toddlers can learn to sort clothes by color and understand different textures. As they grow older, they can start operating the washing machine and dryer, measuring laundry detergent, and folding and putting away their clothes. By gradually involving them in the process, they’ll eventually be able to handle their own laundry.

Comparison Shopping

Teaching your kids to be smart shoppers is crucial in today’s world. When they demand something in the store, take the opportunity to show them the importance of comparison shopping. Use your phone to search for the item on different shopping sites and demonstrate the price differences and the quality of comparable products. This will help them make informed decisions and save money in the long run.

Ordering at Restaurants

Encourage your kids to order for themselves at restaurants. This simple act not only makes them feel confident but also builds their self-esteem and independence. Many restaurants have picture menus for preschoolers to circle their choices. As they grow older, they can start verbally placing their orders, practicing good manners by saying please and thank you.

Getting Dressed and Ready

Teach your kids how to get ready on their own from an early age. Let them choose their clothes the night before, set an alarm clock that they can easily operate, and lay out their essential items like a hairbrush and toothbrush. Visual aids, like pictures of their routine, can be helpful reminders. By creating a structured routine, they will develop the habit of getting ready independently.

Home Maintenance

Involve your kids in light maintenance tasks around the house. Teach them how to change a light bulb, unclog a drain, or change the vacuum cleaner bag. By doing so, you not only teach them valuable skills but also make them feel like significant contributors to the household. Give them age-appropriate tasks and encourage their enthusiasm to help.

Teaching these life skills at an early age will give your kids a head start in becoming competent and self-reliant individuals. So, start today and watch them grow into responsible adults who are prepared to handle real-world situations.


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