By Guest Blogger Michelle Salcedo, M.Ed, Chief Academic Officer, The Sunshine House

Kids grow up fast. Before you know it, your 2-year-old will be a 16-year-old driving off in their first car. Ok, it might not be that fast, but with the growth of media and technology today, kids seem to be doing more “adult” things earlier than ever.

There are several lessons you’ll want to teach your children before they become headstrong young adults. And with kids growing up so fast, teaching your children to be self-sufficient should start early.

But what’s important for your kids to know? We compiled a list of the 10 life skills your kids should learn by age 10.

1 – How to Find their Way Home
While GPS has become readily available on our smartphones, you should teach your kids not to rely it — especially for emergencies when it’s unavailable. Teach them about important landmarks around town, especially those that help them find home in case of emergency.

2 – How to Clean
This is more than just picking up toys—it means dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and more. Teaching your kids these skills early will make them habitual by the time they leave the house. Plus, teaching your kids cleaning skills will help you around the house!

3 – How to Manage Money
Don’t wait until your child is heading to college to teach them about budgeting! As soon as your kids start earning money with either an allowance or a job, teach them to manage that money. Giving your children a strong start will help them be fiscally responsible adults.

4 – How to Have Good Manners
No one wants their child to be known as a brat, especially once they’re old enough to know better. Start using “please” and “thank you” when your children are young so they become accustomed to them. The more you demonstrate good manners, the more you can expect in return from your children.

5 – How to Advocate for Themselves
You won’t always there to speak up for your children. Once your kids start going to school, they’ll encounter hurdles they’ll have to fix on their own. Teaching your children to confidently use their voice will serve them far beyond the classroom.

6 – How to Use Basic Tools
When you’re fixing things around the house, let your kids stick around! Use it as a teaching experience to help your child understand how things around the house work. By 10, your children should know how to safely use basic tools like a screwdriver or hammer.

7 – How to Prepare a Simple Meal
On busy days, do your kids complain about how long it takes to get a meal on the table? Teach your children to make simple, safe meals. Slowly show them how to use different appliances, while emphasizing safety. By age 10, they should be able to use the stovetop (with supervision, of course!).

8 – How to Write a Letter
While the written word has been taken over by the Internet, letter writing is still an essential skill. Letter writing translates well to email correspondence and will come in handy when they apply for jobs (remember those pesky cover letters?). Encourage your kids to send letters to family members, especially those that stray away from technology. The correspondence will teach them a lot about writing and patience.

9 – How to Make Healthy Choices
You are your child’s biggest role model—and that includes healthy lifestyle choices. It’s hard to stick to a diet and regular exercise routine, but you can make it easy for your kids by regularly stocking the fridge with fresh fruits and veggies and taking regular family walks.

10 – How to Show Gratitude
There’s a thin line between giving your kids the best in life and spoiling them. Teach your children to be grateful by reminding them of the blessings in their lives. By planting the seeds of gratitude early, your kids will be better at showing their gratitude as adults.

With these 10 skills, your children will be equipped to tackle most hurdles that life throws at them. And they’ll know they can turn to you for help in the process!

Ms. Salcedo has been in early education for more than 30 years. She has worked as a teacher, director, family educator, curriculum coordinator, and teacher trainer. She has traveled the country as a trainer and key note speaker, and is the author of the upcoming book Uncovering the Roots of Challenging Behavior: Create Responsive Environments Where Young Children Thrive. She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and an undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology with an emphasis in Family Life Education.

About The Sunshine House Learning Academy
At The Sunshine House, your child will build a solid social and educational foundation for success in school and in life. Our programs focus on school readiness, social and emotional development, literacy, problem solving, and what every child needs – love and care! Learn more by visiting

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