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It is totally natural for parents to want to help, protect and raise their children into happy, healthy and well-rounded adults. This isn’t always what happens though when children are over-parented.

You see, overparenting our children can have the complete opposite effect, leaving our children completely unprepared for the adult world.

There are some basic life skills kids should know before they move out.  We as parents should be teaching our children to prepare them for adult life.

It is time to stop being helicopter parents and prepare our children for adulthood.

Basic Life Skills for Kids


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We as parents don’t always need to be our children’s taxi drivers. Once they are old enough to take public transportation on their own, they should be. They need to learn how to get themselves from point A to point B without your help otherwise, instead of navigating public transportation when they are adults, they will ring up Mom or Dad to drive them to all their important appointments.

Can you imagine your 25-year-old asking you to taxi them all over the place?

No. That would be crazy. If they aren’t in a situation to be able to drive themselves, then they should be able to at least take a bus or a train.


Your child should be able to navigate a grocery store on their own. You can send them off on their own with a little list to retrieve a few small items to start off with and go from there.

It is important that we teach our children how to shop for themselves so when they are adults they are aware how crucial productive shopping is.


Your children can start helping with the laundry at a young age. Have your child fold and put away their own clean clothes, or sort the whites and the colors to put in the wash.

Teaching our children how to properly do their own laundry is so important because our kids need to know how NOT to shrink their favorite sweater.

Let’s face it, we don’t want them showing up at our door with laundry bags every weekend as adults, a bouquet of flowers would be better.


Teaching your children time management is very important. Make them responsible for their own timelines.  Teach them how to set their alarms and wake themselves up for the day.

Stop reminding your kids about their sports practices or extracurriculars, and show them how to add them to their calendars and make them responsible for their own attendance.

It is so important that they know how to budget their time.  In the adult world, they will need to know how to wake up in time for work, make time for chores and have time for fun.


Spending time with our children in the kitchen can have many benefits, but one of them is that they will know how to cook themselves healthy and delicious meals and won’t blow their budget on pizza and eating out every day.


Having a basic knowledge of budget and finances will have a great impact on how your child will manage their finances as an adult.

This includes knowing how to balance their chequing accounts and avoid debt. Having the ability to identify where income comes from and how much income they require is only part of budgeting. Your child will need to know how much is being spent on entertainment and fun, how much they will need for grocery shopping and plan for what they will do if their income is less than what they plan to spend.

Being responsible with money is a big part of adulthood and the sooner we facilitate that, the better.

Try one of these books to help with teaching children life skills:

365 Manners Kids Should Know

100 Things Every Kid Needs To Know Before Leaving Home

How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism or Asperger’s

Focusing on teaching our children the basic things they need to know before they become adults is so very important to ensure that we are raising well rounded and well-prepared adults.


How to raise internally motivated children

image via Shutterstock

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Saturday 30th of December 2017

A lot of young adults go off into the "real world" these days completely unprepared. I know one thing I wish I had known more about was budgeting and money management. I really feel it should be a required course in high school. Being able to cook and do laundry are very important skills as well.


Thursday 16th of November 2017

These are all great pieces of advice! I'm the first to admit that my oldest was lacking on life skills when he moved out. In fact, he struggled so much with living on his own that he moved back home and then eventually to a residential program where they helped him to develop the necessary skills to thrive on his own. Admittedly, there were some other issues that prevented his success, but a lot of it was due to us not teaching him everything he needed to know when he moved out. Our youngest are still at home and we work hard to teach them how to survive on their own. Though I hadn't thought about using public transportation! I think my kids could take the bus if they needed to, but they never actually have. Maybe its time to change that! Thanks!

Laurie P

Wednesday 15th of November 2017

very important indeed! a little home maintenance too doesn't hurt!