Life Skills to Teach Your Kids Before They Go To College

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A parent’s work never ends. Be it admission to the nursery or sending the kids to college, we are always worried and always teaching them to do better and be prepared for whatever life throws at them. The importance and need for life skills education class for kids in high schools, especially before college, cannot be stressed enough.

Most parents focus on getting their kids through schooling that we sometimes forget to prepare our kids for life ahead of school. We assume that the kids once they have gone to high school they are equipped to handle college.

However, we forget there are certain things to teach before the kids go to college. It is another threshold they need to cross to be ready for adulthood. We are mostly focused on saving enough money for the kids’ higher education and give this important education a miss.

According to the 10th Annual College Savings Indicator Study by Fidelity Investment 70%, parents want to cover the cost of the tuition fees in full, but only 29% of those can fulfill the goal.

Paying the tuition fee is important. However,  with scholarship programs and other aids, it is more important to teach them these like skills before they go to college. College is a stepping stone to real-life experiences thus as a parent it becomes our duty to guide them and teach them before they leave the nest.

What Is Life Skills Education?

Life skills are a set of skills that enable us to efficiently handle issues that we come across in daily life. High school education should involve learning life skills. Life skills education has great importance in the world in today’s time.

One of the primary life skills goals and objectives is to prepare a child to face the practical world. Life skills education help to build self-confidence, encourage critical thinking, foster independence, and help students to communicate more effectively. There are many benefits of having a life skills class in high school

One of the major goals of any student is to find the perfect job and life skills help you to fulfill this objective. Here is a list of how to prepare your child for college and it must start as early as possible.

Life Skills to Teach Your Kids Before They Go To College

Life Skills to Teach Your Kids-AlignThoughts

1. Social Skills: Making Informed Decisions

Children need to learn to make their own choices. Parents can start with basic things like- which ice cream would the kids like to eat- Chocolate or Vanilla? Let the kids decide the menu for their birthday party. If they are not taught to decide for themselves as small kids, they would not be able to make the right choice when they grow up.

Kids need to learn to do things on their own, never disregard their choices even if you do not approve of them. They must learn to solve their problems to be truly independent.

No doubt, all their life choices would be correct, but they would learn from their mistakes when they face the consequences themselves.

I know, as a caring parent you cannot let your child suffer through bad choices, but letting them be, would help them make stronger and more confident decisions before they go to college.

The kids will take many wrong turns, and your role is crucial when you teach them how to think about each choice in depth.

Guide them to write the pros and cons in detail of every decision so that they are aware and in control of their choices. They would learn to figure out things on their own.

If we try to resolve their problems for them, they may keep on making the mistakes thinking that they have a safety net to fall back on. They would never grow up to be responsible adults.

2. Financial Skills: Understanding & Managing Money Wisely

Kids are taught about money in school, but as a parent, we need to educate them about the vital life skill, i.e., how to handle money. Children get their allowances, and we buy them whatever extra they need.

But as kids grow up, they need to learn financial skills like:

  • Save & invest money
  • Budgeting skills, for example, how to survive on a budget
  • Passive income
  • Credit cards
  • Stock market
  • Banking skills

They are essential for your kid, before going to college. They would no longer be under your roof and might have to support their needs from the allowance or by getting a part-time job.

We must teach them the importance of working smart to earn money and at the same time saving up some for the future.

  • Involve them while making a monthly budget and creating a shopping list.
  • Take them along the supermarket to learn how to compare and shop wisely.
  • By giving them an allowance, tell them that they need to manage within this amount.

All these would help them become responsible while handling money.

3. Career Skills: Managing Time

Some of us still struggle to manage our time. Most of us take on much more work than required. We are always running and hoping to maintain a work-life balance.

Our life is becoming fast-paced, and thus it is essential to guide the college-bound kids to be able to tackle the demands of studies in the time they have along with having some fun.

Time management life skill is of great importance today. Teach them to work on schedule. Let your children make their time table and the amount of work they need to finish during that duration.

Let your kids handle their time table, but explain the importance of striking a balance between the studies and other activities.

Once they can manage the time in junior classes, they would be able to learn to manage their time even before they go to college.

4. Daily Life Skills: Doing Household Chores

This is one life skill that you don’t get to learn in a high school class. Cleaning, laundry, and cooking are certain chores that parents love to do for their kids even when they are grown up. All these do not show your love for them, instead, it is simply making them weak.

Unless they learn to do all these things themselves at home, they will continue to live like a pig after they leave your love and care. Teach them about the importance of cleanliness and hygiene.

As a parent, you must give them age-appropriate chores and explain to them why to do it.

Eleanor Mackey, Ph.D. who works majorly for obesity and children research says that children should and must do age-appropriate chores.

Some of her daily chore suggestions for children are:

  • 2-3 years old: Children should place their own dishes near the sink or on the counter.
  • 5-6: Your child makes his/her bed ay this age.
  • 6-9: The child learns how to set the table for the family meal.
  • 9 and above: You and your child together must load the washing machine.

5. Self-Awareness Skills: Holding Good Ethics

It is more important for parents to teach ethics right from a kids’ childhood. A lot many are unfair in dealings. Thus it is essential to teach our kids to be fair and ethical. The other person has a threshold and a personal space, and therefore it should not be violated.

Being true to your work is also ethical so teach the kids to take care of submissions and assignments to the best of their abilities and never to resort to unfair means.

Certain kids feel that college is one big party scene. However, make sure that your kids are accountable for their actions, homework, and their living space.

6. Daily Life Skills: Doing Basic Maintenance Work

This is one of the most important life skills that students must learn. College students can’t hire maintenance workers for everything that breaks.

Hence, they should be made aware of small tasks like changing a flat tire, fixing a leaky pipe, etc. and they do not spend a massive amount on such things!

Some of the basic examples of maintenance works are:

  • Doing laundry
  • Pressing clothes
  • Making a campfire
  • Splitting firewood
  • Painting a room
  • Assembling IKEA’s furniture
  • Unclogging a sink, drain, or toilet

7. Relationships Skills: Being Communicative

Kids nowadays can communicate via texts easily. However, they need to be taught to vocalize and put their point of view forward rather than accepting the terms. How much and what to say is essential in college.

Many times people stress that parents are the role model for the kids.

Thus we need first to follow these to teach our kids to do the same. Make the kids college-ready by teaching these life skills to them.

Concluding Thoughts On Importance Of Life Skills

In conclusion, life skills help students meet their personal as well as career goals and objectives. Life skill education can help students take on more responsibilities.

High schools should have a special class for students having life skills education as it will help them to navigate relationships and careers and personal life.

Key Takeaways On Importance Of Life Skills

  • There is a great need for high school students to learn life skills before going to college.
  • Life skills education trains students to thrive in the class and the world beyond.
  • Through life skills education, students can learn to be more independent, confident, and communicate effectively.
  • Apart from this, through life skills education, students can meet their personal goals as well as career objectives.
  • Moreover, it also teaches you to manage your time well as well as learn basic things like household chores or maintenance.
  • Lastly, but most importantly, life skill teaches you ethics that has great importance in your life.

What are the life skills your parents taught you? If you are a parent, do you know some other life skills that you should teach a child before they go to college? Leave your thoughts in the comments section. We love to hear from you.

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Preeti is a stay at home mother of two boys, who keep her on toes. Writing and paper quilling are her passion. She loves to express herself through these mediums - use of words and paper filigree. Listening to music, watching favorite shows, and reading books are her hobbies that take her to a different plane.