83 Things your Kids should know before they Leave Home

Note: this post was originally published on December 6, 2017, but has been updated.

What life skills do your kids have? Do you know which ones they don’t have?

Some things can make a huge difference in life – like getting that job or not, improving a relationship, or saving money because you can do it yourself.

Here is a list of skills to guide you in preparing your kids for life – these are things they should know before they leave home:

People Skills

  1. How to start a conversation with a stranger
  2. Healthy boundaries in relationships – not allowing yourself to be a doormat
  3. How to say no
  4. How to take instructions
  5. How to give and receive a compliment
  6. Good manners
  7. How to make a phone call
  8. How to take a message
  9. How to resolve conflict and have courageous conversations
  10. How to recognize flattery
  11. How to be safe from sexual predators
  12. How to say sorry
  13. How to take ownership of mistakes

Home Skills

  1. How to make a simple, healthy meal from scratch
  2. How to wash dishes
  3. How to sweep and mop floors
  4. How to clean a bathroom
  5. How to care for a pet
  6. How to change an electrical plug
  7. How to wash and iron clothes
  8. Basic first aid
  9. How to make good bread
  10. How to clean a car inside and out

Related: 12 Reasons to give kids chores

Life Skills

  1. How to create a resume
  2. How to type – in today’s techy age this is a must!
  3. How to navigate the internet safely
  4. How to write, address, and send a letter or card (this does still happen occasionally!)
  5. How to make an appointment
  6. How to fill out forms
  7. Create a signature/sign their name
  8. How to use a hammer, pliers, and screwdriver (girls too!)
  9. How to sew on a button
  10. Basic sewing skills (for girls – and boys too, if they want. My boy cousin once sewed himself an outfit and he was no pansy.)
  11. How to give and take directions
  12. How to check the oil in the car
  13. How to fill a tyre with air
  14. How to change a tyre
  15. How to swim
  16. How to shop for groceries
  17. How to persevere when a job gets long or tough or boring

Download a printable version of this list:

Image of life skills checklist

Time Management Skills

  1. How to plan and schedule a day/week/month
  2. How to deal with distraction
  3. How to take time out to rest and not feel guilty
  4. How to create a to-do list and work through it
  5. How to tackle big jobs by dividing them into smaller bits
  6. How to be prepared ahead of time

Related: The importance of small, daily habits

Organizational Skills

  1. How to plan and execute the plan
  2. How to schedule, prioritize, and delegate
  3. How to set goals and deadlines and meet them
  4. How to keep things neat and tidy in your workspace
  5. How to file important papers, invoices, receipts

Money Management Skills

  1. Understand interest (why you want to earn it, not pay it)
  2. How to make a budget
  3. How to work out change
  4. How to live within your means

Healthy Lifestyle Skills

  1. How to stay physically fit
  2. How to eat healthy
  3. How to follow other basic health habits – drinking water, getting enough sleep, managing stress
  4. How to practice personal hygiene

Healthy Mind Skills

  1. How to differentiate between guilt and shame
  2. Where to find a healthy self-worth (in Christ)
  3. Right thinking vs wrong thinking about problems
  4. How to solve problems
  5. Choosing what to think about
  6. How to forgive – others and themselves
  7. How to heal and let go of baggage from the past
  8. What to do with criticism
  9. How to accept yourself

Spiritual Habits

69. How to pray

70. How to study the Bible

71. How to share what they believe and why

72. How to confess sin and seek forgiveness

73. How to serve others

74. How to surrender the heart in the moment

75. How to recognise and resist temptation

Related: 10 Ways to jumpstart your devotional life

Decision-making Skills

76. How to gather information about the decision and weigh up the pros and cons

77. How to make decisions based on principle not feeling

78. How to evaluate what the consequences of a decision will be

79. How to deal with the fear of making the wrong decision

Communication Skills

80. How to start a difficult conversation

81. How to listen well

82. How to be tactful, yet honest

83. How to deal with conflict in a healthy way

Related: 2 Ways to improve communication skills

There’s a lot you can do to help your kids be well-adjusted when they leave home.  Don’t panic if you haven’t taught your kids everything on this list. Let the list be a guide not a tyrant.

How  prepared are your kids to face real life?  Are there some things you wish you had known before you left home? Share your thoughts in the comments please!

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has three grown kids and is married to her best friend, Richard. She started this website as a platform to help families, and specifically women, to take control of their lives and grow themselves spiritually, mentally & emotionally, and to discover their God-given purpose and live it out with confidence. She is a trained Life Coach and has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). She is a certified SYMBIS (Save Your Marriage Before It Starts) facilitator. She lives in sunny South Africa.


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  3. Carolina Stander | 21st Jun 22

    Love this list! Very comprehensive. I needed to learn how to do deposits etc. at the actual bank… Never got taught and it freaked me out the first time I needed to do it by myself. We didn’t have online banking then. I was also fearful of asking help.

    • Jennifer Lovemore | 21st Jun 22

      There were lots of things on this list I didn’t know how to do! Life would have been a lot less scary if I’d been helped to learn some of these!

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