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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?