The most important life skills your children should learn will differ from family to family, and will also vary slightly, based upon your part of the country. You can also add or modify necessary life skills, as your family sees fit, based upon any special needs your children may have.
These six life skills will help your children endure, and survive through most emergencies. They are also so much fun for your kids to learn, that you may have to plan and budget for more classes or lessons.
Necessary Food-Related Life Skills
1. Cooking is a skill which both girls and boys enjoy doing, and if you start them out helping in the kitchen from a young age, cooking will become a natural process. My son is a great cook at 13 years old, and has been happily inventing his own recipes since he was 10, under my direct supervision and guidance.
If you do not know how to cook then please take lessons with your child through local parks and recreation, or human services classes offered. This can be a fun way to spend time with your child, learning how to cook the basics together.
2. Planting, growing, and helping to maintain a family garden will also come naturally to a child, if started early enough. Teaching them how to cook will further inspire their desire to grow a garden, and use healthy fresh-picked ingredients.
Turn planting into a fun family project, allowing everyone to pick out their favorite vegetables and fruit seeds. Mix mulch with your local soil, make holes, and drop seeds into your garden. Water and tend your family garden, and in a couple of months enjoy eating homegrown garden delicacies.
3. Fishing and/or hunting for food is a great excuse to get away for the weekend, camping with the kids. I am personally too fond of animals to hunt, however I did teach my son to fish, as my father taught me.
Because I also know how to de-bone and clean freshly-caught fish before cooking, it is my responsibility to teach my son this step, when he is ready to learn fish-gutting. We have already tackled the fresh-caught fish-fry hurdle, and many bravely-taken bites have actually been enjoyed.
Necessary Medical Life Skills
4. Safety must come first for your children. It is much better to prevent and avoid, accidents and emergencies, than it is to treat them afterward, either at home, or in the emergency room of your local hospital.
Take a community first aid class with your child through your local Red Cross. Learn how to make a family first aid kit, and how to use it. Make sure your class also includes CPR, rescue breathing, and the Heimlich maneuver for chocking.
Other Essential Life Skills
5. Swimming is an essential life skill, disguised as a fun water sport to keep hot summer days more tolerable. Every child needs to learn how to swim even if your family doesn’t live close to water.
Every year we see more flooding events in areas of our nation that are not even close to large bodies of water. Should an emergency arise, your child should know how to swim well.
6. Horseback riding is an important skill which will help your child feel comfortable around large animals, as well as provide them with an emergency mode of transportation. Whether city or country bound, your child will benefit from learning riding skills.
Most horseback riding classes will also instruct in the proper care, grooming and feeding of these majestic creatures, which also teaches your child handling responsibilities. When my son took basic horseback riding lessons, as part of his therapy, he was bucked twice, on his last lesson.
In helpless agony, gasping across the ring, I watched my son control the situation, just as he was taught, to hold onto the reigns and bullhorn, and ride it out. Because riding it out, on their own, is the really the best confirmation of your child’s learned life skills.