As a boy mom of two and a professionally Certified Life Coach, there are seven life skills I’m teaching my kids. My hope and intention is that these skills will help them live their best lives.
7 Life Skills I’m Teaching My Kids
While there are hundreds of life skills I practice and teach in my coaching program, Grow You, these are the seven specific life skills I want to teach my kids.
1. Feel your feelings
Understanding and managing emotions is a fundamental life skill that can make a profound difference in one’s life. Teaching your kids to feel their feelings without judgment is the first step toward emotional intelligence.
Encourage them to recognize and express their emotions openly, whether they are happy, sad, angry, or excited. By doing so, you’re helping them develop the ability to handle their emotions in a healthy way and build better relationships with others.
There’s no point in time where they graduate from feeling sad, mad, frustrated, annoyed, or angry, so if they learn how to process their feelings when they’re young, this will serve them really well in their adult life.
2. Intentional decision making
Decision-making is a skill that shapes the course of your life.
Focus on 1) making decisions quickly, 2) having your back for all your decisions (i.e.: being kind to yourself when it doesn’t work out the way you thought), 3) making decisions from abundance instead of scarcity, and 4) remaking decisions.
Teaching your kids to make decisions intentionally, considering the consequences and potential outcomes, will help them become more responsible and confident individuals. It will also help them create their dream life.
3. Planning ahead
Planning ahead allows you to live your best life because it’s deciding intentionally on the future you want to create, instead of falling victim to what you want in the moment. For example, in the moment (without planning), I want to eat peanut butter M&Ms and watch Netflix. But if I plan ahead, I’m much less likely to do that and much more likely to eat healthy and exercise. Planning allows you to make conscious—and better—decisions.
Encourage your children to think about their future and plan for it. This helps them live intentionally and use their time in a way that serves them.
4. How to make money
Financial literacy is a crucial life skill that often goes overlooked in traditional education, especially how to make money. Money is created by the value provided in the marketplace. It’s not created by the time spent.
For example, my dentist might charge $3,000 for dental work. I pay him based on the value I get, which is repairing my teeth. I don’t care how long it takes. The higher value you provide in the marketplace the more money you make. This is what I want my kids to know.
Consider teaching your kids the basics of managing money, including budgeting, saving, and investing. Explain the value of hard work and the importance of setting financial goals. Encourage them to explore different ways to make money, such as part-time jobs, entrepreneurship, or investments, and instill the concept of delayed gratification.
5. Thinking on purpose
Critical thinking is a skill that can help your kids become more independent and analytical. Encourage them to question information, think for themselves, and make informed decisions. Teach them to evaluate sources, differentiate between facts and opinions, and develop their own viewpoints. By thinking on purpose, they will be better equipped to navigate an increasingly complex world.
6. Focus on what you can control
Life is full of uncertainties and challenges. Teach your kids to focus on what they can control and let go of what is beyond their reach. This applies to life events as well as other people.
This skill will help them manage stress and anxiety, as well as develop resilience in the face of adversity. Show them how to identify factors they can influence and how to adapt when faced with situations beyond their control.
7. Goal setting
Setting and working towards goals is a powerful skill that can lead to personal growth and success. Encourage your kids to dream big and break their aspirations into smaller, achievable goals. Teach them about the importance of persistence and the value of learning from setbacks. Goal setting instills motivation, determination, and a sense of purpose in their lives.
A Final Note
In teaching these seven life skills, we are not only preparing our children for success but also nurturing their personal growth and well-being. These will empower our kids to become resilient, independent, and fulfilled.
As parents, we have a unique opportunity to guide our children on their journey to adulthood, providing them with the tools they need to thrive in an ever-changing world. By imparting these life skills, we’re giving them the keys to unlock their potential and lead fulfilling lives. Start teaching these skills today, and watch your children grow into capable, confident, and compassionate individuals ready to face the world with confidence.