Five Life Skills to Teach Your Sons at a Young Age

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Ever since my boys have been toddlers I have been trying to instill life skills in them. You know the things that they don’t teach at schools, but are necessary for them to be functioning adults.

As they age, I show them how to do more things because when they get older I don’t want them to think that certain roles are meant to be held by women and that they should expect things to be done for them.

Besides, our children are the future.

Therefore, I’m sharing with you today five life skills to teach your sons at a young age.

Cleaning

With three kids, as you probably can imagine keeping a clean house is a ton of work. I clean at night after they go to bed and in the mornings after they are gone to school, but they each have their own set of chores to complete. I personally, feel that boys need to know how to clean after themselves because unbelievably there are some men that believe it’s a woman’s job to clean up after them. I don’t even want my boys to even think that type of nonsense is going to fly when they become adults and get wives and girlfriends.

The following are the cleaning chores that my boys have spread among them: (keep in mind my kids are ages 4-7 so you can adjust accordingly to fit the capabilities of your sons)

  • Sweeping their bathroom
  • Vacuuming their room and the living room
  • Cleaning their bathroom (I would recommend using nontoxic cleaning supplies or creating your own kid friendly cleaning supplies)
  • Mopping their floor
  • Cleaning their bedroom
  • Cleaning their bedroom mirror
  • Taking out the trash
Oldest son preparing to vacuum.

How We Manage the Cleaning Schedule

Recently, I was introduced to a cool app called ChoreCheck. The basic version can be used for free and you can access it from your computer as well as your smartphone.

With this app, I have been able to upload all the different chores and set the reoccurring deadlines. For example, trash is a daily chore and cleaning the bathroom is an every other day chore.

With ChoreCheck my kids all have their own accounts and for chores that multiple boys can do whoever gets it done first is able to steal it from the other sibling. Each time a chore is completed I have it set so they will earn between 0.25 and $1.00.

Additionally, once a chore is complete they just let me know and they sign into their ChoreCheck account and mark the task complete. At the end of the day, I evaluate whether it is clean to my standards and then confirm the chore is finished so the amount can be applied to their balance for me to pay at the end of the week.

Click here to check out ChoreCheck for yourself.

Managing Finances

While in school they do teach students about learning to count money and make it clear that money is earned from work, but they fail to go into specifics about managing money (in my area at least). I think this is an important life skill that not only boys, but girls should know as well.

If your kids are anything like mine they always need something for school or want a new gadget or the latest pair of Jordan’s while failing to realize that these things cost money. We’ve tried doing allowances in the past and they have their bank accounts for saving, but now that we’re using ChoreCheck I’m really drilling in the importance of money management.

As we all know as soon as you’re 18 credit card offers seem to come flying in left and right. It can be easy to find yourself in a financial crisis before you’re 20. Luckily in my case, at the age, I only had 1 credit card with a $300 limit. But, the number of cards for those trying to establish credit has dramatically increased since that time.

The good news is with ChoreCheck you can order prepaid MasterCard’s for your kids, which you can add their chore money too.

My goal with this is to get them familiar with using plastic at a young age and since it’s prepaid, they will already have the notion that credit cards don’t mean you have an instant income boost. While in this case, it will be their chore money and not a credit limit, I’m hoping the right mind frame sets in so when they’re older they’re not applying for every credit card that comes their way, if any.

Doing Laundry

At my kid’s ages, I’m easing them into doing laundry because being able to do laundry is a definite life skill in my book. While at my eldest’s age I was doing my own laundry, at this point when I refer to laundry I am talking about folding and putting away clothes.

There’s nothing wrong with kids this age doing laundry, but I’m not at the point where I’m comfortable with them handling the entire process because they could possibly ruin something which will lead to me having to purchase a new wardrobe lol.

I do feel as laundry is an important life skill for boys because quite a few of my male friends don’t do their own laundry. They feel as though it is a woman’s role and they would literally go buy something new to wear if their wife or girlfriend doesn’t do their laundry. Sad, right?

Boys need to know how to do laundry so when they go off to college, and especially settle down, they can function.

Youngest son sorting through the laundry to cleanser nonmatching socks.

See Also: How to Make Laundry a Little More Manageable

Teamwork

While teamwork is something that is touched on at school during group activities, we also work on this at home.

Continuing from my laundry life skill above, we practice this when it comes to laundry days. For example, I’ll wash the clothes, get them in the dryer, and then everyone has their folding and putting away assignments. I’ll usually fold the bigger items (i.e. pants and shirts) when I want the process to go quickly, my oldest will put away the clothes neatly, and the younger two will fold and sort their underwear and socks.

Their dad and I also display teamwork in front of them consistently so they have it instilled in their brains when they’re older that when you have a family you work together as a team and not one person is saddled with all the tasks.

Cooking

Learning to cook is the final life skills for boys that I will share with you today, but don’t mistake it as being the least important.

I don’t let the kids play with the stove, microwave, or even go in the refrigerator for that matter, but when doing basic meal prep my oldest is learning the basics.

Cooking That My 7-Year-Old Helps With

  • Washing chicken
  • Peeling boiled eggs
  • Making sandwiches
  • Stirring cake mixes and anything else that would require stirring
  • Seasoning food
  • Measuring ingredients

Even though these tasks are pretty basic, it’s a starting point and as the kids get older we will work on more advanced cooking skills.

By teaching them to cook, I hope when they’re older they’ll consider cooking at home more versus spending money eating out or expecting that someone is going to serve them food all the time.

Final Thoughts on Life Skills to Teach Your Sons at a Young Age

As I mentioned earlier, our kids are the future.

If we want them to be successful and functioning adults we must make sure they are prepared. While the school will make them education smart they must have life skills to be able to function in the world.

While my kids and I do a ton of fun kid stuff, I believe that it is also equally important for them to learn these important life skills at a young age. In my opinion, the younger they get used to doing something the more accustomed they will be to doing it when they’re older.

What life skills are you teaching your kids at a young age?

42 Comments

  1. I have teach my son in washing dishes and cleaning our rooms. It is a great way to teach them to be independent.

  2. My girls loves helping cleaning around the house, however, when it comes to cleaning their room it’s like pulling teeth. UGH!!!

    Learning life stills is important at an early age. I wish they would teach it in school.

    #ProductReviewParty

    1. Lou,

      My boys too. They do good cleaning everything else, but their pull back from cleaning their room is what made me do incentives for them to earn.

      Life skills are definitely something that should be taught at school.

  3. Melissa C. says:

    This site is awesome!

  4. Yeu Doi says:

    It’s great to teach them these life skills when they are young! Their future girlfriends and partner will really appreciate it! 🙂

  5. hannah says:

    my favorite feature is the earn and learn – Chore Check allows parents to allocate kids’ earnings toward “buckets” called SPEND, SAVE, and GIVE. It’s the beginning of an important conversation about financial responsibility and using your money wisely.

    It’s important to teach kids HOW to use their money – not just spending it, but how to save and why

    1. Hannah,

      Yes, I agree. Saving and investing properly is something that will help them in the future.

  6. Gabrielly says:

    I love that parents can create and schedule chores for each child.

  7. Molli Vandehey-Taylor says:

    i love that you can set it up for multiple people

  8. Melissa C. says:

    I love that chorecheck makes it easy to track money!

  9. Melissa C. says:

    I really like that chore check teaches kids to be responsible.

  10. Wonderful post! I do agree that as soon as a kid becomes toddler age they should be taught how to do chores. I remember when my kid was 3 years old we made a game of picking up her toys and putting it on a large basket.

  11. I’m so glad my mom had me do chores as a kid, but I really feel like we don’t talk about money enough to our children. There are so many things that were just taboo to discuss about money, and I believe a lot of my mistakes could have been avoided had I felt as though it was okay to talk about them as a child. I LOVE that you are teaching your young ones about finances. Brilliant!

  12. Julie Syl says:

    It’s very important, Nowadays to teach our children for doing a house chores in their young age. For them to be responsible, and disciplined.

  13. Melissa C. says:

    I love that you can link it with your checking account and also that it has the “buckets” divided into save, spend, give.

  14. As a boy mom I absolutely love this. I really want to instill work ethic and responsibility into my boys…and more hands lighten the load for sure!

  15. With 6 people in my house and 4 being kids chores are VERY important in my house. My boys (I have 2) know they need to get their sleeves up and get to helping as well. Awesome post.

  16. This is a very good idea to give young kids life skills. My kids were pretty much in shock when they went off to college!

  17. Jaime Nicole says:

    I think it’s kind of cool that chores can be “stealable”. Nothing like a little sibling competition to get the chores done!

    1. Jaime,

      Yes, I know right. My boys are very competitive so this is actually helping chores get done quicker.

  18. I love these skills, they are all so important! I have been actively teaching my kids a lot of these, they are only ours for a short time. Kids need to be able to turn into responsible, kind and grown-up adults one day.

  19. I love this so much! We can teach children so many great things for the offer 🙂

  20. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    I love this post. I have two sons and a daughter. I made it clear to them since they were young that there are no gender specific chores, so they would learn to care for themselves. Thankfully, it turned out well.

  21. THese are great tips for teach sons and daughters, too. I have two girls and I’m always teaching them about compassion, strength and self-confidence.

  22. adriana says:

    I love this! I totally think the younger you teach your kids to do things, the more likely they’ll be to stick with doing them their whole lives. Great lessons to teach your boys – all so important!

  23. Myisha says:

    This is so true. I’ve used many of these tips with my now 20 year old son and while some didn’t stick (lol), the majority of it did.

  24. I don’t have a son, but I’ll definitely be teaching my two daughters all of this soon. It’s best to start them young.

  25. I do not have any child yet…but I do agreed these are all great skills kids should learn, thank you for sharing with us!

  26. ChoreCheck sounds really helpful. Both of my kids had chores to do at a fairly early age. My son really liked cleaning.

  27. OMG this sounds so awesome. We havent started to make our kids do chores yet because they are super little. But I am TOTALLY going to do this once they get a bit older. I totally also agree with teaching them about finances. SO important.

  28. Claudia Krusch says:

    These are all important skills to teach our kids. To many kids are going off to college and can not do laundry or cook something simple.

  29. MarciaF says:

    I can always get my little ones to help with cooking though it makes more work for me. They are good about clearing their plates from the table too but not much more.

  30. Cheryl says:

    Yes to all of this. I started my son out at a young age. It’s so important to start young and stay consistent.

  31. Those are such great skills! I don’t even have children but I feel like I learned so much from this. I will take a look at chorecheck and will recommend it to my friends!

  32. Love this! I don’t have kids of my own but this is definitely a great way to get them to start helping out around the house! And this app is such a cool idea!

  33. Gladys parker says:

    Chore Check sounds awesome for youngsters! I wish I’d have done something like that with my four children that are now adults. I totally missed the cleaning and laundry section. Thought I taught finances although it doesn’t look like it now.

  34. We taught all these things to both our sons and daughter. Shouldn’t matter the sex of the child they need to be prepared for life.

    1. Hi Candy,

      Yes, this is true both genders need to know about these life skills. However, with girls, it’s more of a given where as boys tend to do things such as trash, heavy lifting, etc. Even in school society gears Home Ec to girls more than boys. So, I’m just trying to shed lights that our sons need to learn how to do the same things as our daughters.

  35. I love this post! I’ve always believed in teaching life skills to children at a young age, and feel that they earlier you start the better they learn. My stepson is great at helping out around the house with cooking and cleaning!

  36. I totally agree! We’ve been teaching our boys to cook, clean, the beginnings of finances, etc. since they were small because I’m hoping they’ll be successful little adults some day 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  37. I so agree with this! I’m having my son help out more. He has cooked a few things, but isn’t a fan and I’m like, “Dude, neither am I, but if you want to eat, you have to do it..”

  38. robin rue says:

    My boys love to help out with the cooking and cleaning around the house. They are going to make awesome husbands someday!

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