9 Essential Life Skills to Teach Your Children Before Age 10

Are you teaching your children to be independent? What are the life skills for kids that parents need to teach their children? These are the questions we will be answering in this article; the aim is to enlighten you, as a parent, on the essential skills to teach your children before age 10. 

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A lot of parents are looking for ways to teach their kids important life lessons, but sometimes this can be overwhelming because it feels like they are not on the right track. If you are one of these parents, don’t worry; just relax and breathe, as you are not alone — many other parents are in the same boat. 

Every parent wants the best for his or her children. We want to raise our kids right and be there for them. While we can’t always instil in our children every skill possible, there are some essential life skills for kids that are crucial and should be taught. These skills will help your child cope better in the world and grow into a responsible and valuable member of society.  

                9 Essential Life Skills for Kids

Here are the life skills for kids that you need to teach their youngsters at home:

  1.     Teach your children to respect everyone

This is a very essential life skill that a lot of parents forget to teach their children. However, it is the most important life skill for kids to learn because the way they treat other people will say a lot about their character and values. 

Children imitate their parents, especially at an early age; so if your kids find that you talk down to people or scream at the slightest problem, it will become easy for them to pick up such negative traits and behaviour as they grow older. Teaching kids respect is necessary, and it starts with you respecting your children, domestic staff and casual workers within the neighbourhood.

  1.     Teach your children to always wear a smile

As a parent, this is something you probably struggle with personally. You might get overwhelmed with the issues of life and allow them to affect how you react. As mentioned earlier, young children imitate their parents, so what they see affects how they behave.

You need to learn how to control your feelings and emotions when things don’t turn out the way you expect, by developing positive thinking, especially in difficult situations. 

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Also, whenever you notice that your children feel astounded and moody – you should teach them to see the bright side in the situation and to always be cheerful.  They don’t have to feel happy — to act happy. 

The power of positive confessions goes a long way. When we speak things aloud, we give them the power to shape our lives. Therefore, when your children feel discouraged or things look bleak, encourage them to speak aloud words of positive affirmation. Tell them to say things like “I can do it,” “I will succeed,”  “I am wonderful,” “I will be happy today” etc.

Learning to use the power of positive thoughts and affirmation is one of the major life skills for kids that you need to teach your children at a tender age.

Life Skills for Kids _smiling kid

  1.   Teach your children the value of money

Want to teach your children a life skill that could literally make or break their success as a teenager or an adult?  Teach them about money. Apart from education, nothing is more important than your children’s understanding of the value of money. Teach your kids to be financially savvy. 

Also, educate them about managing money, delayed gratification, the responsible ways to handle debt and how to save for future goals. You can begin to teach your kids about money as soon as they are able to talk. Having conversations with your children about money is proven to be one of the most important ways for kids to learn about the value of money.  

By the time they get older, they will have a solid understanding of how money works and be able to manage it on their own.  

  1.   Teach your children time management

Time management is another essential life skill for kids that you should teach your children. Your children aren’t too young to understand the concept of time management. A lot of youths and adults struggle with managing their time effectively.  

If this skill is learned at an early age, they won’t have issues with properly managing their time and activities. Here are some steps in teaching your children that their time is precious:

  • Start before your children become teens

Your preschoolers can learn through small tasks completed in short blocks of time, such as putting on their clothes or cleaning up their toys. For older children, you can task them by giving assignments that should be delivered at a specific time.

  • Create a family calendar 
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Not a lot of families put thought into creating a family calendar.  By having a family calendar you can track everyone’s activity at home. For example, just by looking at the calendar you can know when your children have a specific activity.

  • Give rewards

There is nothing wrong with rewarding your children for good time management. Rewards can be daily or weekly, but you should decide on those rewards together as a family. By giving rewards, it will prompt your children to deliver on more tasks.

life skills for kids _stopwatch

  1.   Teach your children how to wrap a gift

You may be wondering why this made it to our list of life skills for kids. You might think learning how to wrap a gift isn’t an essential skill, but the truth is that it is important to teach your children this skill. 

The reason is that children love to give and receive gifts, and to them, wrapping presents is fun. Your preschoolers can help cut the paper and stick the tape. By teaching your children how to wrap a present, you are also teaching them about the art of giving.


  1.     Teach your children to clean

We have seen young adults who are academically sound and successful; they have the charisma and charm of amazing business people. However, they do not know how to clean their homes — visiting them is like a punishment. The problem is that many of them failed to learn the skill while growing up. 

As a parent, you need to teach your children to be a homemaker and to tidy up their homes. Sometimes, it might seem easier for you to do all the housekeeping yourself, but doing so wouldn’t be in the best interest of your children. Start with age-appropriate chore charts that include teaching your children how to make their bed, empty the dishwasher and clean their rooms. Set a daily housekeeping schedule to make cleaning a part of their routine and make sure they stick to it. 

Being able to clean their home themselves is an essential life skill for kids that you must ensure your children learn at an early age. 

Black family cleaning the house together

  1. Teach your children health and hygiene

Your children are never too young to start learning about their health and hygiene. Start teaching them about personal hygiene and give them reasons why they need to take care of themselves.

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You can also create a checklist for your kids so that they can tick off tasks as they complete them.  By teaching your children about personal hygiene, you’ll make them pay more attention to good health practices, and this will minimize potential health risks.

When these healthy habits are established over time, take away the chart and your kids will mentally go through the checklist throughout the day without you having to continually remind them.

brush teeth

  1.   Teach your children to show kindness and help the less privileged

Teach your children to be kind to everyone. You have to let them know that things do not revolve around them and the fact that they are living comfortably does not mean they should look down on other people. Showing unprecedented kindness is not only interesting but also the easiest way to touch lives.  

Encourage your children to show kindness and lend a helping hand whenever they can. This will teach them compassion and help them understand the difference between wants and needs. 

  1.     Teach your children to care for the environment

Caring for the environment is an important life skill for kids to learn. In Nigeria, pollution is a big problem affecting people and the environment. For this reason, you need to teach your kids to protect and care for the natural environment around them. They should not throw refuse on the floor, and everything they use should be handled with care.  

Encourage your children to be less wasteful, to pick up any litter they see around them, and to water plants etc. By doing these, they will be mindful of the planet and its ecosystem.

clean environment

In summary, it is not only the duty of the school to instil moral values in children, but also the responsibility of the parents. Do not focus only on academic excellence, as there are essential life skills for kids that need to be taught. When children experience a  well-rounded education, there is more value to society.