Teaching your kids basic household skills (without gender roles at play) is the best way to prepare them for adulthood. You see so many adults today who to learn how to ‘adult’ because their parents didn’t teach them how to, and you can see how much they struggle with basic tasks that should have been taught in their childhood and teenage years. Don’t let your children go down the same path. While they’re in your care, teach them these basic household skills:
Basic home maintenance
Teaching your child basic home maintenance can go a long way when they finally have a place of their own. Even though they’d still have to call for annual boiler maintenance services and other professional services, at least they would know how to fix something small or take care of a problem temporarily until professional help arrives.
Here are several home maintenance tasks that you should teach your child:
- Unclogging a toilet or sink
- Fixing a leaky faucet or pipe
- Turning off main water valve/power supply
- Applying paint and sealants
- Installing weather stripping
- Replacing air filters
- Replacing a light fixture
With the basic knowledge of home maintenance and repairs, your child will be more self-sufficient in the future, which will help them save money on maintenance fees and avoid having to call for emergency services when they can’t fix a problem themselves.
Many adults today don’t know how to cook even the most basic meals, which is a worrying phenomenon in our society today. You don’t want your child to rely on instant food and take out for the majority of their adult life. As early as childhood, teach them the basic skills in the kitchen so that they can make at least the basic home-cooked meals for themselves.
Cleaning is another basic life skill that everyone needs to have as early as childhood. Teach them the proper way to clean stuff (kitchen counters, toilets, showers, appliances, etc.) as early as possible—not only to have them help out around the house but also to ingrain in their memory the right way of cleaning. In this way, they know how to keep their own space clean when they move out of the house.
Everyone should know the basic lawn care tasks: mowing, watering, fertilizing, weeding, and repairing the damage. Teach your kids how to take care of a lawn by letting them get hands-on experience as soon as they are at the appropriate age. When they grow up, they can take care of their own lawn and save money on lawn care services, except maybe for very specialized tasks.
Kids today are not taught enough about basic car maintenance. Other than changing a tire, most children grow up without knowing how to replace an air filter, installing new wiper blades, change oil, maintaining the battery, flushing the radiator, and changing the brake pads, among other basic maintenance tasks that you can do yourself without having to call a mechanic.
Just like most of the skills mentioned above, teaching your child basic car maintenance will help them be more self-sufficient when they have their own car, which, of course, will save money in mechanic fees. It’s also important to teach your child what to do if their car breaks down, which will definitely come in handy in times of emergency.
Your child doesn’t have to become a pro at sewing–knowing how to sew on a button or fix a tear by hand are likely enough sewing skills for their adult life.
A crucial part of managing a household–whether living alone or with a family–is budgeting money. Teach your child this basic life skill early on in their life so that they can become financially responsible in the future. As adults, children who were taught how to handle money wisely are less likely to fall into debt, develop bad spending habits, and take on more financial obligations than they can handle.
Aside from teaching them how to create a budget and stick to it, here are other financial skills that your children need to learn from you:
- Using debit cards and credit cards
- Choosing a good loan (home, auto, student, etc.)
- Saving money
- Understanding invoices, receipts, etc.
- Separating needs and wants
- Looking for bargains
- Avoiding financial pitfalls
No one can be fully ready to take on adulthood, but you can prepare your children as much as you can while they are still in your house. Teach them what they need to know so that you know they’ll be ready for the future.