6 Types of Life Skills Your Kids Need to Learn – By Category

Learning valuable life skills is a part of growing up. These important skills are taught at home through proper training, modeling, and experiences. Check out these six types of skills your kids need to learn:

Being a mom ain’t for the lazy or faint of heart.

We spend the first months in a newborn haze, then are baby focused, and then keeping toddlers and preschoolers from climbing bookcases or running on the road.

And then… when they’re finally old enough to take care of themselves a bit, you realize there’s so much more for them to learn.

Covered in this post…

  • Personal Care
  • Health & Safety
  • Chores
  • Finances
  • Self-Management
  • Relationship & Community

However, let’s remember a few rules of thumb before I give you 23,342,645 life skills. HA.

  • The hare wins the race (no sprinting needed unless they’re 17).
  • Focus on involving your kids IN these skills where possible, not feeling like you need to create new scenarios.
  • Don’t get overly stressed about this since giving your kids a “you can figure it out” attitude goes a long way and will serve them through life.

Personal Care

Personal care is broad and encompasses anything dealing with the body and immediate surroundings. Proper instruction of personal care can lead to a lifetime of health and good habits.

  • Hygiene: Toilet hygiene, bathing habits, brushing teeth, washing hands, clean clothes
  • Nutrition: Exploring food groups, drinking enough water, balanced eating, allergy alerts, understanding food quality, healthy proportions, and instruction about drugs/alcohol.
  • Exercise: The habit of staying active, being outdoors, learning how to swim, proper attire/shoes for various types of exercise.
  • Grooming: Nail hygiene, neat attire, combing/fixing hair, socks & shoes, deodorant (if needed).
  • Self-care: Getting dressed, sickness hygiene, tidy environment (picking up after self), mental self-awareness, keeping up with belongings.

50+ Life Skills Checklists (By Age!)

Kids (toddlers through elementary school) will learn everything from life management, social, survival, and hygiene skills PLUS MORE!

Health & Safety

When my kids are in the pool, I don’t allow them to “pretend drown” or call out for help unless it’s an emergency. It’s a good idea to have some key rules when swimming, out in public, or even in day to day life.

  • How to ask for help: Teach how to express their need for help, who to ask/not ask, and why we don’t play hurt.
  • What to do if lost: It’s terrifying to loose a child in public. Knowing to stay put, who to ask for help, and parent’s key information is a good place to start.
  • Calling 911: When to all 911, how to speak clearly when upset, etc.
  • First-Aid kit: Put kit somewhere handy and reachable, teach that it isn’t for play, and how to use basic items.
  • Medicine: First of all, keep all dangerous medicine locked up and away. Even with this precaution, make sure kids know never to eat medicine unless being told to do so. Also, as kids get older you can teach how to read measurements and times for taking medicine.
  • Technology Safety: Make and know clear boundaries for social media, apps, or any other media outlet.
  • Security issues: Locking doors and windows, staying beside the vehicle in the parking lot, how to cross the street, never opening the door for a stranger, and saying “mom’s in the shower.”
  • Kitchen safety: Don’t touch or place things on top of stove, store knives/sharps safely, be careful with glass, heavy, or hot items.
  • Learning key information: Their name, parent’s name, phone numbers, address, and any important personal health information
  • Establishing a family meeting spot: Many families do this in case of a fire.


Teaching chores is a great practice for moms and kids. Mom’s get a bit of a break and kids learn so many important life skills.

Taking care of the home and yard can be rewarding as well as beneficial to everyone who lives there.

  • Cleaning: Cleaning bathrooms, bedrooms, living spaces, etc. Each space has its different challenges and sets of life skills to learn. Daily cleaning chores teach collaboration, independence, and more.
  • Cooking: How to cook basic foods like eggs can be a great life skill to have. Also, spending time with the kids in the kitchen can be great for bonding and teaching life skills like measuring, food safety, and how to pour things.
  • Food Related/Kitchen Skills: Clean up after meals, taking out trash, drying dishes, putting away dishes, etc.
  • Home maintenance: Maintenance simply put is keeping in good working order the things necessary for life. Therefore, it is a life skill to teach children basic home maintenance. Fixing broken things, taking care of our home, and more.
  • yard work: Raking, tending to the garden, picking up trash, maintaining porch areas, etc.


Money management is a life skill that can be learned at home. It’s never really too early to begin teaching principles surrounding money and finances.

  • Budgeting: Things cost money. We can’t get everything we want, but if we work hard, we can get the things we need. And then if we have extra saved back we can spend it on what we want.
  • Price comparison: Checking the cost of items in the store for a better value somewhere else.
  • Banking: Teach the purpose of baking and basic bank establishment information. Most kids are interested in how banks work and why they are ok with “giving money away.”
  • Investing: The topic of investing can lead to some great family discussions. Perhaps the family can invest in something together for educational purposes.
  • Saving: The skill of saving money can start early. Teach them how much they should save versus spend and how to safely save money.
  • Earning: “Money doesn’t grow on trees”… or so they tell me. It’s a good idea to let your kids in on how your family does acquire money. Don’t burden kids with the stress of finances, however talking about work and earnings can be enjoyable.


Self and time management covers a wide variety of life skills. This brief list below is a great place to start:

  • Impulse control: Think before you act is not just a command. It’s a skill that is observed, taught, and practiced.
  • Emotions: Understanding, being able to identify, and coping with emotions are all great life skills.
  • Negotiation: There is a difference in negotiations and arguments. But, that fine line depends on your parenting preferences. In any case, teaching respect of other people’s opinions is key in acquiring the life skill of negotiation.
  • Stress management: Know how/when to cool down, learn what personal stress triggers are, and being able to communicate needs are great ways to handle stress. It’s also a good life skill to have some de-stressing techniques handy (deep breathing, attention focus changing, music, cool-out zone, etc.).
  • Communicating: Teach proper eye contact and body language, teach appropriate volume and speed for speaking in various situations, and how to respond calmly when someone is upset.
  • Keeping personal routine: Although time management skills fade in and out of developmental stages, it’s good to teach keeping personal routines in all stages of life.
  • Following instructions: Following instructions may be one of the most important life skills. It involves self-control and listing skills.
  • Tracking: Teach awareness of personal behaviors and attitudes.

Relationship & Community

We all want to raise kids with the life skills needed to be a successful contributor to their relationships and community. It is a joy to hear other’s praise your kids behaviors and attributes. It’s even a better joy to know that people love being around your kids.

  • Listening: We listen first and then we speak. This is easier said than done for children. Teach this by helping them learn how to ask questions, and then respond to what was said before giving their own input.
  • Empathy: Empathy can be taught. An empathetic person is someone that people want to be around. They are viewed as friendly, approachable, and trustworthy. This is a life skill we all want for our kids. Once empathy is there, it is feeling deeply for the needs of others and allowing oneself to be moved into compassion.
  • Thank you habits: Write thank you cards, show appreciation for good things done, smile and say thank you (even if it isn’t your favorite.)
  • Gratitude: Teaching gratitude has so many benefits. Gratitude shows up on a child’s face, in their actions, their words, and how they express themselves.
  • Volunteering: Plan one day a month where the family works to help out the community, neighborhood, or a family in need.
  • Giving: Learning to give hits so many character training topics like empathy, pride, joy, and more. You can give gently used toys, time, or even allowance.
  • Helping: Being helpful is a life skill that is learned though observation and opportunity. Teaching kids to be helpful will not only give them a boost of self confidence but also give them an edge up in life.

50+ Life Skills Checklists (By Age!)

Kids (toddlers through elementary school) will learn everything from life management, social, survival, and hygiene skills PLUS MORE!

The post 6 Types of Life Skills Your Kids Need to Learn – By Category appeared first on A Mother Far from Home.

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