23 Of The Most Important Life Skills I Taught My Only Child

As parents, it is important to instill the life skills and values to help our children become confident, responsible, and respectful members of our society. I sat down with my teenage son, and we compiled a list of almost one hundred useful life skills… then narrowed it down to 23 of the most powerful ones to share with you!

1. Don’t Tie Your Happiness to Others – Happiness comes from within. When people tie their happiness to something outside themselves, they become dependent on those things to dictate their mood.

2. Practice Gratitude

3. Be Comfortable Spending Time Alone – Alone time empowers kids to become self sufficient. Kids who learn this are able to face time on their own without feeling sadness or panic.

4. Cope with Rejection, Disappointment, and Stress

5. Distinguish Between Wants and Needs

6. Treat Everyone with Respect – Respect for others results in kindness. Respect for oneself results in self-worth. The absence of respect produces bullying, disobedience, lying, and laziness. While self control, follow-through, and determination are products of respect.

7. Empathy – This is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another while being able to regulate our own emotional responses.

8. Listen to Understand… Not to Reply

9. Self Confidence and Self Esteem – Teach your child that they were born as perfect as they can be. They have no reason to feel uncertain about themselves because their best effort is their BEST at the moment, and they’ll just keep getting better!

10. Develop a Love for Reading and Learning – The more a child reads and learns, the more their mind opens up to a wide range of information and possibilities!

11. Communicate Clearly – This includes how and when to speak up, ask questions, and follow up. Knowing how to properly “use your voice” is an invaluable skill in both personal and professional environments.

12. Lose and Win Gracefully

13. Resolve Disagreements Peacefully – Help kids practice keeping a level head during disagreements. Encourage them to focus on the problem and not the person, to make it easier to control heated emotions.

14. Apologize When They are Wrong – Everyone makes mistakes. There is no shame in asking for forgiveness and in forgiving others. In fact, apologizing and forgiving others takes courage!

15. Show Up and Work  While showing up is the first step to reaching a goal, they must put in the work to actually achieve the goal. Unearned rewards sets the children up to expect a win just for showing up… resulting in entitlement.

16. Learn How to Identify and Appreciate the Positives – Life is a mix of good and bad experiences. Encourage kids to count their blessings and identify the happiness from little things in life.

17. Accept Others for Who They Are

18. Identify and Solve Problems – When your child learns to be proactive in finding a solution, it prevents him from falling into victim mentality.

19. Take Responsibility for Their Thoughts and Actions – Help kids understand that they have the power to choose their own thoughts, feelings, and actions!

20. Forgive and Let Go – While forgiveness is an act of compassion, it’s also the key to set oneself free from pain caused by another person.

21. Respect and Appreciate the Value of Money

22. Accept Your Positive and Negative Emotions

23. Be the Source of Your Own Light – Most people feel valued only when others shine the spotlight on them. One of the most powerful secrets you can share with your child for a happier life is to be the SOURCE of their own light.



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