6 Life Skills to Teach Children Before They're 10

From a young age, it's important that we teach children the life skills they'll need to function on their own in the future. Discover more.
6 Life Skills to Teach Children Before They're 10
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

We often think that children are too young to learn certain things. But in reality, they’re capable of learning so much more than we imagine. Here, we’re going to look at life skills that you should teach children before they’re 10 years old.

The earlier we teach them certain things about life, the earlier they’ll acquire them. And, by the time they’re older, they’ll have integrated them into their behavioral repertoire. If they’re very young, we can involve them in household chores, helping mom and dad, so that, as they get older, they’ll carry them out autonomously.

It’s important that all of us know how to perform these life skills because they’re a basic part of everyday life. This is why we need to teach them to our children. Are you ready to find out what they are?

Life skills to teach children before the age of 10

We can adapt these skills to the current age of our children. Sometimes we can even play games to teach them how important it is to know how to do them so that, in the future, they’ll be independent.

Eating healthy

It’s crucial that children learn to eat healthily and, from an early age, we have to show them that they have to take care of their health. Instead of forcing them to eat vegetables, you should explain to them that if they don’t eat them, in the end, this will affect their health and they could get sick if all they want to eat is junk food.

6 Life Skills to Teach Children Before They're 10

Explain to them that fruits and vegetables protect them from disease and that they’ll help them grow up healthy and strong. Remember that your example is extremely important. So, if you ask them to eat vegetables and fruits, you should do the same. So, let’s all eat healthily!

Clean up the entire house

Surely your child, when you start cleaning, will want to help you. Let them, because it’s important that they contribute, even if they do it in their own way. Of course, you must always keep cleaning products away from the little ones and, when they help you clean, they must wash your hands well afterward.

Clean your furniture to remove dust, sweep, mop the floor, wash the windows… Let them experiment. They’ll be developing skills that, when they’re older, they’ll already have integrated.

Teach them basic first aid knowledge

It’s important that children learn first aid. We must explain to them what to do if they’re alone and something happens to them. Tell them where the first aid kit is and what each item is for.

If they get a small scratch, when we care for it, all the while explaining to them what we’re applying and why. Then, when it happens again, under our supervision, they can be the ones to care for themselves and put on their band-aid.

More life skills to teach children

6 Life Skills to Teach Children Before They're 10

Prepare an easy recipe

When you’re cooking, you can ask your children to help you and cooperate in this task. You need to keep in mind that the kitchen can end up getting pretty messy. Just stay calm and don’t worry, you can clean it up later. But, if they help out from an early age, they’ll be able to be independent in preparing their own sandwiches or other simple meals when they’re older.

Helping to do the laundry

Surely you’ve heard of people who’ve moved out on their own and don’t know how to do their own laundry. As a result, they have to go to their parents’ house to have their clothes washed.

To keep this from happening to your own children, you can invite them to see how you load the washing machine. Then, you can show them where you put the detergent and softener, how much to use of each, and which buttons to push. Then, they can help you carry out each one of these steps. Then, when everything’s clean, they can help you transfer everything to the dryer or clothesline. And, of course, you can also invite them to help fold and put away the clean laundry.

Make the process as fun and playful as possible and your children will learn to be independent in the future.

Learn to be a responsible consumer

For children to know how to be responsible consumers, three steps are required:

  • At home, pretend that you’re shopping in a supermarket. Get fake fruit and vegetables and play buying and selling games. Let your child perform both roles. You can use real money so they become familiar with it or toy coins and bills. This way, you’ll be teaching them to be independent and responsible when it comes to shopping.
  • Explain how prices work and compare their quality. You can do this when your kids are closer to 10 years old. You can explain, for example, why you buy a certain type of milk instead of another.
  • Under our supervision, let your child pay the bill at the supermarket. This way, you give them a responsibility that they alone can carry out, even if you’re always around.

About life skills to teach children before the age of 10

These life skills that children need to learn are important in order for them to function more independently when they grow up. They’re basic things we all need to know how to do. And the sooner your children learn them, the sooner they’ll become part of their behavioral repertoire.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.