3 Important Things to Teach Your Kids Before They Start High School

My wife and I have two teenage boys, and our oldest is a freshman in high school. This has brought a whole new set of challenges to him and our family. One of our many jobs as parents is to help prepare our kids for life once they leave our house.

They will be making more decisions on their own, and these decisions can affect them in the short and long term. Time stops for no one, and the clock keeps on ticking, so we need to teach them well at an early age. Here are 3 life skills for tweens before they start high school.

1. How to Manage Their Time

Time management is a huge skill to teach your kids at a young age. In high school they may deal with increased homework, more competitive sports schedules, having a job, and possibly dating for the first time. Factor in getting eight to ten hours of sleep ,and your teenagers have a lot on their plate. Teaching your kids about how their priorities need to come first is a great first step in helping them understand how to manage their time.

2. How to Manage Their Money

When your kids are in grade school, most of their money comes from gifts or doing chores around the house. They usually spend it on stuff like toys and candy without a lot of fiscal things to consider. However, once your kids get their first jobs, they will have more money than ever before. They may even start paying some of their own bills like gas or car insurance. Sit down and show them how a budget works. By this point in their lives, they should already have a saving account, so talk to them about setting money aside and prioritizing their expenses. When you do this, you will be setting them up for financial success in the future.

3. How to Prioritize Academics

The saying we had drilled into our minds as high school athletes was “No Pass, No Play.” If your grades weren’t good enough, you sat on the sideline until they got better. This can be said for all the things that your kids are interested in. Some will be tempted to put sports, social life, clubs, hobbies, or other extracurricular activities ahead of school. College is very expensive, and there are a lot of opportunities to earn academic scholarships to help pay for it. When your kids prioritize academics at a young age, you help set them up for academic success in high school.

Sound off: What are some other life skills for tweens you can teach before they start high school?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is your favorite thing about school? What is one thing you don’t like?”